CMS Extends Meaningful Use, Quality Reporting Deadlines

November 25, 2014 in News

On Monday, CMS announced a one month extension for eligible hospitals, including critical access hospitals, to attest to the Medicare meaningful use 2014 reporting period, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 11/24).

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Meaningful Use Delay Details

The new deadline for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals is Dec. 31, pushed back from the previous Nov. 30 deadline. The payment period for those hospitals to have met meaningful use requirements ended Sept. 30 (Modern Healthcare, 11/24).

CMS said it extended the deadline to “allow more time for hospitals to submit their meaningful use data and receive an incentive payment for the 2014 program year, as well as avoid the 2016 Medicare payment adjustment” (CMS release, 11/24).

The latest CMS data show that:

  • 43,898 eligible professionals had attested to meaningful use for the 2014 reporting period; and
  • 1,903 eligible hospitals had attested to meaningful use (iHealthBeat, 11/4).

CMS said that the extension “does not impact the deadlines for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program” (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 11/25).

Quality Reporting Delay Details

In the same announcement, CMS said it also has delayed the deadline for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals that are electronically submitting clinical quality measures to meet requirements for the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program and meaningful use. Hospitals will be able to continue to submit their quality data through the federal Quality Net portal until Dec. 31 (Modern Healthcare, 11/24).

Reaction

Jeff Smith, director of public policy for the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, called the extension “welcome news.” He said that “the extension also points to the degree of program complexity and the level of reporting burden associated with attesting to meaningful use.” He added, “Further, this announcement does nothing to help hospitals struggling to meet full-year reporting requirements in 2015 — something CHIME and many other organizations have been pleading for” (Murphy, EHR Intelligence, 11/24).

John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, also praised the deadline extension, saying, “any delay is a good delay” (Gold, “Morning eHealth,” Politico, 11/25).

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