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CMS Pushes 'Meaningful Use' Overhaul

By Steven Porter  
   April 25, 2018

The American Hospital Association criticized one component of the plan.

In addition to requiring hospitals to publish their chargemasters online in a machine-readable format, a set of proposals unveiled Tuesday by the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services would overhaul the way CMS handles electronic health records requirements.

Under the proposal, the "meaningful use" EHR incentive program would be rebranded "promoting interoperability" to emphasize its new direction. The goal, the agency said, is to boost flexibility under the program while reducing its burden and promoting data-sharing between providers.

The American Hospital Association praised the CMS plan overall as the beginning steps of a much-needed streamlining process.

"We are disappointed, however, that the agency will require use of 2015 Edition Certified EHR Technology beginning in 2019," AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels said in a statement.

Related: Put Chargemaster Online by 2019, Says CMS Proposal

The 2015 edition could help patients collect their health data from multiple providers using application programming interfaces (APIs), perhaps bringing all their health data together into a single digital place, the agency said.

"This can support a patient’s ability to share their information with another member of their care team or with a new doctor, which can reduce duplication and provide continuity of care," CMS said in its announcement Tuesday, noting that it is requesting stakeholder feedback on the possibility of incorporating interoperability requirements into the Conditions of Participation.

The planned changes, which are proposed as part of the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule updates for fiscal year 2019, also call for the elimination of 18 quality-reporting measures.

The proposal will be published in the Federal Register on May 7 and open for comments through June 25.

Steven Porter is editor at HealthLeaders.

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