Recently, The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 301-page proposed rules for Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use program. Under the proposal, beginning in 2018, no matter the level of previous participation, users would report on Stage 3 with the option to start using it in 2017. The proposal also changes the EHR reporting period to a full calendar year timeline, except for those attesting to meaningful use program for the first time.
While some are supportive and hopeful that new proposed rules will help aid the move to true interoperability and looking forward to new rules that will create some simplification, others such as the American College of Cardiology raised concerns about the new rulings not leaving time for the learning curve associated with the program, and concerns regarding burdensome requirements.
CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer, Patrick Conway, said, “This Stage 3 proposed rule does three things: it helps simplify the meaningful use program, advances the use of health IT toward our vision for improving health delivery and further aligns the program with other quality and value programs.” The proposal strongly emphasizes on data exchange made possible through interoperable certified EHR technology and others forms of health IT. The proposal requires eligible professionals (EP) to boost patient engagement by meeting two of the three below requirements:
- Providing patients with access to their own records
- Collecting patient-generated health data
- Offering secure messaging between patients and providers
Several thresholds are being raised during stage three including:
Fully functional EHR systems like Greenway PrimeSuite offer practices powerful functionality, comprehensive reports and management tools that are easy to use, up to date and meet interoperability standards. Meeting current requirements is easier when you have the right tools at your fingertips.