eMRB InfoAlert: Special Update on EHR Incentive Program
In the headlines this week…
- EHR Meaningful Use to End in 2016, CMS Leader Says
- If EHR Incentive Program Ending, What’s Next?
- Meaningful Use Program ‘Effectively Over,’ Says CMS Head
- Slavitt Announces Plan To Phase Out Meaningful Use Program
- CMS’s Slavitt: End of meaningful use imminent in 2016
- Meaningful use will likely end in 2016, CMS chief Andy Slavitt says
Here’s the rest of the story…
Since Tuesday, there has been a flurry of e-mails regarding statements made at the JP Morgan 34thAnnual Healthcare Conference (1/11/2016). Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) presented an overview of how CMS will be advancing the healthcare agenda in 2016. He announced the advancement of the CMS ACO model with the Next Generation ACOs. The big announcement was that CMS is “now in the process of ending Meaningful Use and moving to a new regime culminating with the MACRA implementation. The Meaningful Use program as it has existed, will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.”
These statements have stirred up questions about the future of the EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use). Below, eMRB provides a perspective on this news. The announcement includes little detail and identifies that CMS will be putting out the details on this next stage over the next few months.
There is a lot of speculation, and in reality, there are a lot of unknowns.
What we do know is:
- This change is about program replacement. The focus is on the Eligible Professionals (EP) program and impacts, and change to the Eligible Hospital (EH) program was not referenced.
- Any changes to the program will still require legislative action.
- The CMS emphasis will still be on improved outcomes via clinical quality measures and moving away from incentives and penalties, however, incentives and penalties post 2016 still need to be addressed.
This is not totally new news; we knew it was coming and have been anticipating a CMS proposed ruling in March 2016 providing direction on implementation of the merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) and alternative payment models (APMs) that are part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation.
Currently MACRA impacts physicians; it consolidates payment adjustments associated with the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Value-based Payment Modifier (VM) and the EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use for physicians).
- MIPS includes four weighted performance categories, of which Meaningful Use of Certified EHR Technology is one and it is weighted at 25 percent of the composite performance score.
- For participation in certain APMs, an eligible APM may require participants to use certified EHR technology.
In summary, the EP Meaningful Use program will be replaced with a different value based program, but CMS has yet to provide the roadmap and the specifics of any changes. We anticipate receiving more information from CMS in the next month or two. What is clear is that the focus on electronic submission of clinical quality measures will continue.
For reference, here is a link to the transcript of the presentation made at the JP Morgan 34th Annual Healthcare Conference: http://blog.cms.gov/2016/01/12/comments-of-cms-acting-administrator-andy-slavitt-at-the-j-p-morgan-annual-health-care-conference-jan-11-2016/
Points of view and interpretation were relevant at time of authorship; however, they are subject to change over time.
Encore’s eMeasure Research and Review Board (eMRB) is made up of Encore’s industry thought leaders and eMeasure experts who are responsible for understanding the current state and future direction of quality and value-based programs for our business. In order to communicate relevant information to our consultants and our clients, eMRB produces periodic InfoAlerts, which provide information on recent and important news.
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