The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that it intends to adopt regulations modifying the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EH R) Meaningful Use Program requirements as early as the Spring of 2015.  According to the announcement, CMS is considering:

  • Realigning hospital EHR reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and to better align with other CMS quality programs.
  • Modifying other aspects of the program to match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burdens.
  • Shortening the EHR reporting period in 2015 to 90 days to accommodate these changes.

The announcement also clarifies that the proposed new rules are in addition to and would not replace the “Stage 3” proposed rule expected to be adopted in final in March 2015.

Given the complexities of the Program and the difficulties providers have experienced in implementing and complying with the requirements to date, physicians and providers should carefully monitor these regulatory developments and ensure that their systems are capable of meeting the modified requirements.