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Analysis

IT Adapts to MACRA, ONC Final Rules

By smace@healthleadersmedia.com  
   October 25, 2016

While providers praise flexibility, work is just beginning on which technology will work best, and whether regulations are too little or too much.

As the final days of the Obama administration tick down, a flurry of final rules from CMS and ONC promise to reduce the reporting burden which the meaningful use program imposed on providers.

The final rule on MACRA and Merit-based Incentive Program legislation provide more flexibility on how physicians enter the value-based payment world of CMS' new Quality Payment Program.

John Halamka, MD, chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, praised the final outlines of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APM).


MACRA: Physician Groups Praise Flexible Reporting Options


"In the final rule's technology area, called Advancing Care Information (which replaces meaningful use for physicians), CMS reduced the number of [quality] measures from 11 to 5," Halamka wrote in an October 19 blog post.

"CMS recognizes that technology, infrastructure, physician support systems, and clinical practices will change over the next few years, so over reliance on a highly prescriptive and broadly scoped certification rule must be avoided."

A final rule on the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS), due within days, may provide some meaningful use relief on the hospital side as well, says Mari Savikis, vice president of federal affairs at the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.

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