Advocacy News

April 26, 2016

IN THIS ISSUE

BACK TO MAIN

House Discusses MACRA Implementation

CMS Won’t Continue
Two-Midnight Cuts

Meaningful Use Legislation Introduced

Research Capitol Hill Days

BPCI Models 2-4 Extended

House Opioid Markup

What We’re Reading

Election 2016 Graphic
of the Week

Pre-Certification Alert

2015 EHR “Meaningful Use” Hardship Exemption Information

PAC NOLC Capitol Club Reception

AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online Contribution Center

 
MORE RESOURCES

AAOS Website

AAOS Calendar

House of Representatives Legislative Activities
   
Facebook Twitter

Meaningful Use Legislation Introduced

A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives introduced legislation this month to limit meaningful use reporting periods to 90 days for hospitals, physicians and other eligible professionals. The bill – S. 2822/H.R. 5001, the Flexibility in Electronic Health Record Reporting Act – would allow providers and hospitals to complete the reporting for the MU program early in 2016, giving providers and hospitals time to prepare for the changes in the MU program that begin in 2017.

“The AAOS believes that health information technology (HIT) is a fundamental component to improving our nation’s health care system and has been working to increase EHR adoption and Meaningful Use (MU) certification among its members,” stated Gerald R. Williams, Jr., MD, AAOS President. “Additionally, the AAOS looks forward to seeing what changes CMS will make to the MU program for the start of the MACRA program in 2017. However, the current MU program requires providers to report for 365 days in a reporting year. This means that providers will be reporting for the 2016 program through December 31, 2016. Providers and hospitals will have no time to plan, prepare, or implement any systematic or infrastructural changes necessary to participate in the new MU program and payment models that start on January 1, 2017.”

In both the 2014 and 2015 reporting years, CMS instituted a change which allowed providers to report for a consecutive 90-day reporting period instead of the full 365 days, Dr. Williams added. “The AAOS believes that having a 90-day reporting period has been good policy in the past and will be good policy for the 2016 reporting year, allowing providers and hospitals the opportunity to make any changes and prepare for the new programs in 2017.”

AAOS joined a number of other organizations to write CMS earlier this year, asking for a 90-day reporting period for 2016. In the letter, the groups stressed that a 365-day reporting period increases the likelihood a provider will be forced to rely on a hardship exemption and makes it significantly more challenging for providers to prepare for the transition to the new MACRA requirements. Read the letter online here.

“The continued procrastination by CMS to provide relief from the tough and inflexible deadlines within the Meaningful Use Program has prompted myself and Senator Portman to rally our colleagues and take action,” stated Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC). “As a nurse, I continue to recognize the problems physicians, hospitals and healthcare providers face when working to meet CMS’ stringent Meaningful Use requirements. While provider participation in this program is important, as it allows for more seamless care of patients, it’s clear that our medical community is eager for relief but that CMS is in no hurry to provide it… Today’s bipartisan and bicameral legislation is critical to the ongoing conversation about how to best serve patients and supply relief to the provider community.”

“Our hospitals and medical professionals work long, unpredictable hours every day to keep us safe and healthy,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) added. “Washington red tape and arbitrary deadlines make their job harder. Our legislation will make it easier to comply with the law, and help them to do their jobs so that patients are provided with the highest quality care.”

Find all of the AAOS letters, articles, and other efforts on MU, EHRs, and health information technology on the AAOS website at www.aaos.org/Advocacy/HIT/.