On Monday, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives sent letters urging the federal government to establish a 90-day reporting period for the first year in which health care providers attest to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 5/1).
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
In February, CMS released a proposed rule outlining requirements for hospitals and health care providers seeking to attest to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT also released a proposed rule outlining standards and criteria for the certification of EHRs under Stage 2 of the meaningful use program (iHealthBeat, 4/25).
The deadline for submitting comments about the Stage 2 proposed rules is May 7.
Details of the Letters
CHIME sent one letter to National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari and sent another letter to acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
In the letters, CHIME said that its members are concerned about the reporting period for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 5/1).
CHIME wrote that CMS should "follow the precedent set in Stage 1" and allow the Stage 2 reporting period to be "any continuous 90-day period within the first payment year of Stage 2 and a 365-day reporting period for all subsequent payment years within Stage 2."
Doing so would provide "adequate time for application development, provider adoption and testing," CHIME wrote (Healthcare Informatics, 4/30).
Pam McNutt -- senior vice president and CIO of Dallas-based Methodist Health System and a CHIME Policy Steering Committee member -- said, "By giving providers flexibility through a 90-day reporting window, CMS can ensure that more Stage 1 meaningful users will become Stage 2 meaningful users" (Healthcare IT News, 5/1).