Electronic Health Records: Two Proposed Rules in the Federal Register Today

Darci Friedman's picture

On March 30, 2015, the Department of Health & Human Services published two notices of proposed rules (NPR) in the Federal Register.

The first NPR, released in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), specifies the meaningful use criteria that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments and avoid downward payment adjustments under Medicare for Stage 3 of the EHR Incentive Programs. It would continue to encourage electronic submission of clinical quality measure (CQM) data for all providers where feasible in 2017, propose to require the electronic submission of CQMs where feasible in 2018, and establish requirements to transition the program to a single stage for meaningful use. Finally, this Stage 3 proposed rule would also change the EHR reporting period so that all providers would report under a full calendar year timeline with a limited exception under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program for providers demonstrating meaningful use for the first time.

The second NPR, released in conjunction with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), introduces a new edition of certification criteria (the 2015 Edition health IT certification criteria or “2015 Edition”), proposes a new 2015 Edition Base EHR definition, and proposes to modify the ONC Health IT Certification Program to make it open and accessible to more types of health IT and health IT that supports various care and practice settings. The 2015 Edition would also establish the capabilities and specify the related standards and implementation specifications that Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) would need to include to, at a minimum, support the achievement of meaningful use by EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (EHR Incentive Programs) when such edition is required for use under these programs.

These NPRs can be found on your MediRegs research product in the Federal Register at 80 FR 16731-16804 and 80 FR 16804-16921.