Over 200,000 Professionals to Receive Meaningful Use Penalties

dollarsignvectorA Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) official reported that there will be 257,000 penalties levied for failing to meet Medicare Meaningful Use and notices will begin going out January 1, 2015.  The penalty letters will state that there will be a 1% reduction in Medicare payment for not meeting Meaningful Use criteria.  A supposed 28,000 will be receiving a 2% reduction that will begin January 5, 2015.  If a provider feels that these penalties have been made in error, they can apply for reconsideration.

CMS reports that over 200 hospital were also set to receive penalties and those penalties began in October of 2014.  In 2015, hospitals will be penalized 25% of their Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) increase. The percentage goes up to 50%in 2016 and as high as 75% in future years.

American Medical Association president-elect Steven J. Sack, MD, issued a statement including, “The American Medical Association is appalled by news from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that more than 50% of eligible professionals will face penalties under the Meaningful Use program in 2015, a number that is even worse than we anticipated.”

Many medical professionals feel that the ‘pass/fail’ system is unfair as it requires a provider to be 100% compliant with over fifteen criteria.  Among the criteria are use of an electronic medical records (EMR) system all the criteria are broken into 3 different stages with stages 1 and 2 requiring the capturing and sharing of data to advance clinical processes and stage 3 aiming to improve outcomes through the use of EHRs.

One criteria in particular that seems to be bothering some medical providers – that of increasing patients’ computer interactions with physician practices.  Some feel that a patient wants more face to face time than computer time and some providers commented that the requirement of 2-5% interaction through computer portals was not really reasonable for some rural areas where internet access was problematic.

Microwize Technology has been helping physicians to adopt EMR since 1997. One size does not fit all and that is why they offer Medisoft Clinical and Lytec MD for practices that have been using Medisoft and Lytec, McKesson Practice Choice for startup practices looking for a monthly fee and cloud based system, and Greenway PrimeSuite for the busy practice with multi-physicians and multi-specialties.