Earlier this week, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society sent a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner with recommendations on how the agency can maximize the number of successful attesters to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program this year, FierceEMR reports.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
Details of Letter
In the letter, HIMSS Board of Directors Chair Scott MacLean and HIMSS President and CEO Stephen Lieber wrote that while “many eligible professionals and eligible hospitals are ready for the next meaningful use stage, we also acknowledge that EPs and EHs are increasingly citing timeline and implementation challenges in preparation for Stage 2.”
McLean and Lieber outlined five recommendations, including:
- Accepting and processing hardship exemption applications prior to the final deadline to give providers a “better sense” of what situations qualify for the exemptions;
- Developing association collaboration to “translate” meaningful use program requirements into more easily understood and simplified language;
- Establishing CMS as the “single source of truth” on meaningful use requirements, such as by providing additional guidance and more listening sessions;
- Extending the first year of meaningful use Stage 2 attestation through April 2015 for eligible hospitals and through June 2015 for eligible professionals; and
- Simplifying clinical quality measure requirements until processes and standards can support “robust” electronic reporting (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 4/2).