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August 30, 2016

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AAOS Requests CMS Finalize 90-Day Reporting Period for Meaningful Use

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AAOS Requests CMS Finalize 90-Day Reporting Period for Meaningful Use

In a letter to the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American Medical Association, and 19 other organizations requested the agency expeditiously move from full-year reporting to a 90-day reporting period for the 2016 meaningful use program.

“The start of the final 90-day reporting period in calendar year 2016 is rapidly-approaching, and to ensure that eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) are able to take advantage of the flexibility associated with the shortened reporting period, the policy must be finalized as expeditiously as possible,” the letter states. “The sooner CMS can provide certainty to providers about a 90-day reporting period, the more it will help participants successfully attest in 2016, and make necessary changes to prepare for the first Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) program year.”

CMS announced the change in a proposed rule last month following months of pressure from health care providers, including AAOS (read more in Advocacy Now online here). As a result of this proposed change, the EHR reporting period for any hospital or eligible provider would be any continuous 90-day period between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 – down from a full calendar year.

“This increases flexibility and lowers the reporting burden for hospital providers,” CMS stated.

CMS adopted a similar 90-day reporting period for 2015, “which enabled health care providers to accommodate the changes to the program that were not finalized in rulemaking until the end of 2015.” However, the letter noted that the policy was not finalized “until after the start of the final reporting period so many providers were not able to take advantage of the additional flexibilities.” Instead, the letter states, many providers “relied on hardship exemptions under the expanded authority established under the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act, thus it is vital that the 90-day reporting period be finalized as soon as possible to avoid a similar scenario.”

Read the letter online here.

A fact sheet on this proposed rule is available at: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2016-Fact-sheets-items/2016-07-06.html.