On February 29, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Directors Letter (SMDL) that expands the scope of expenditures eligible for the 90 percent federal match for activities to promote the use of a health information exchange (HIE) and the adoption of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology by Medicaid providers.

Specifically, this updated guidance permits States to claim the enhanced match for expenditures that promote coordination of care between entities eligible for EHR incentive payments and other Medicaid providers who may not necessarily qualify for such payments.   This SMDL supersedes earlier guidance that did not permit the enhanced match for these activities.


Continue Reading CMS Expands Scope of Enhanced Match for Promotion of Health IT

On January 22, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced the launch of a new, streamlined application process for providers and hospitals seeking a hardship exception from financial penalties for failing to meet meaningful use electronic health record requirements.   According to CMS, “[t]he streamlined hardship applications reduce the amount of information that . . . must be submit[ted] to apply for an exception.”
Continue Reading CMS Launches Streamlined Application for Meaningful Use Hardship Exceptions

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a request for information (RFI) seeking public comment regarding areas of certification and testing of health IT as part of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) meaningful use program.

Beginning in 2018, participants in the Stage 3 Meaningful Use EHR incentive program must electronically report

On May 28, 2015, a panel from the American Medical Informatics Association (“AMIA”) published an eleven-page “Report of the AMIA EHR 2020 Task Force on the Status and Future Direction of EHRs.”  Recognizing that current problems in EHR use “are complex” and that “[s]olving these problems will require regulatory stability, the development of an acceptable threshold ‘barrier to entry’ into the EHR marketplace, and a supportive national policy,” the report outlines ten “near-term strategies” to address challenges with EHR systems.   
Continue Reading American Medical Informatics Association Report Makes Recommendations for EHR Systems

On October 14, 2014, the American Medical Association (AMA) outlined its vision for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Meaningful Use (MU) Program in a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.  Despite the MU program’s achievements since its creation in 2009, the AMA believes “it is important and necessary to pause and fully assess what is working and what needs improvement before moving ahead to Stage 3 of the program.” 
Continue Reading AMA Recommends Improvements to Meaningful Use Program

On October 7, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reopened the submission period for hardship exception applications to allow eligible professionals and hospitals to avoid 2015 meaningful use penalties.  Penalties for failing to demonstrate meaningful use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) were applied beginning October 1, 2014 for hospitals, and will be applied effective January 1, 2015 for Medicare eligible professionals.
Continue Reading CMS Reopens Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Application Period

On March 10, 2014, CMS released its applications for Medicare professionals and hospitals seeking a hardship exemption for the Stage 2 meaningful use requirements.  In these applications, CMS added “2014 EHR Vendor Issues” to the list of grounds warranting an exemption.  The application for eligible professionals can be found here; the application for hospitals can be found here.
Continue Reading CMS Issues EHR Hardship Exemption Applications for Medicare Providers