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CMS proposes 90-day meaningful use reporting period for 2016 for all providers

You may be able to forget the full-year reporting requirement for meaningful use this year -- the year-long reporting mandate will be out the window if a proposed rule issued July 6 become final.
Marking a significant change that could ease the administrative stress on thousands of provider groups, CMS proposed a 90-day meaningful use reporting period for calendar year 2016 for all eligible health care providers, including eligible professionals (EPs), in the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule.
While the suggested revision comes in the OPPS proposed rule, it applies to all EPs, whether they work in a facility or non-facility setting, explains Rob Tennant, senior policy adviser for the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) in Washington, D.C.
The 90-day period would apply to all eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals, according to the proposed rule. "The EHR reporting period would be any continuous 90-day period between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016," states a supporting fact sheet from CMS.
While EPs that were reporting meaningful use for the first time in 2016 were eligible to report a 90-day window, those with previous reporting experience were required to demonstrate meaningful use for the full calendar year. If the proposal goes through, all EPs, no matter their previous reporting experience, could meet the 90-day minimum.
That gives a boost to providers who are underway on the full-year reporting, says Tennant. Providers who are reporting the full year can shift staff and resources to realize "less of an administrative burden," he says.
The proposal also provides hope for EPs that have been late to the game for 2016 reporting or otherwise unable to meet the full-year requirement because they'll now have an opportunity to ramp up their activities, notes Tennant. "I think we'll see a significant increase in the number of EPs who are successful [this year]," he predicts.
Of course, that hinges on the proposed 90-day period becoming standardized when the final rule is released later this year. But barring physician opposition to the proposal, which appears unlikely, the 90-day reporting requirement appears set to become the standard this year, says Tennant.
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