In 2015 CMS released the Final Rule that outlines the requirements eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) must fulfill in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, also known as Meaningful Use. The Final Rule addresses participation in 2015 through 2017 with changes to Stage 2, as well as establishing Stage 3 in 2018 and beyond.
Stages for Meaningful Use and Objectives
Stage 1 – 2011 to 2013 – Data capture and sharing
Stage 2 – 2014 to 2017 – Advanced clinical processes
Stage 3 – 2018 to TBD – Improved outcomes
The CMS Rule allows providers to start Stage 3 of Meaningful Use in 2018, with 2017 as an optional year for Stage 3 participation.
Reporting Periods to Qualify for MU
The reporting periods for EPs and EHs are aligned beginning in 2017 to run on the calendar year. In terms of objectives, the Rule set out eight (8) objectives that providers are required to meet, while establishing a single set of objectives and measures, tailored to EPs, EHs, or critical access hospitals (CAHs), to meet for the definition of Meaningful Use.
In 2016 (Stage 2) – First-time participants may use their EHR to report through any continuous 90-day period between January 1 and December 31, 2016.
All returning participants must use their EHR to report the full calendar year (January 1-December 31, 2016).
In 2017 (Stage 2 or Stage 3) – First-time participants may use their EHR to report through any continuous 90-day period. Providers attesting to Stage 3 may also use a 90-day reporting period. All returning participants must use their EHR to report the full calendar year (January 1-December 31, 2017).
In 2018 (Stage 3) – First-time Medicaid participants may use their EHR to report through any continuous 90-day period. All other providers must use a reporting period of the full calendar year (January 1-December 31, 2018).
For more information, visit the CMS EHR Incentive Program, https://www.cms.gov/regulations-and-guidance/legislation/ehrincentiveprograms/.