Posted and filed under Compliance, Technology.

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs were designed to provide eligible professionals (EPs) the opportunity to receive EHR incentive payments as they adopt, implement, upgrade, or practice meaningful use of relevant EHR technologies.

The EHR Incentive Programs have three stages:

  • Stage 1 set the foundation for the EHR Incentive Programs by establishing requirements for the electronic capture of clinical data, including providing patients with electronic copies of health information.
  • Stage 2 expanded upon the Stage 1 criteria with a focus on advancing clinical processes and ensuring that the meaningful use of EHRs supported the aims and priorities of the National Quality Strategy. Stage 2 criteria encouraged the use of CEHRT for continuous quality improvement at the point of care and the exchange of information in the most structured format possible.

In October 2015, CMS released a final rule that modified Stage 2 to ease reporting requirements and align with other quality reporting programs.

  • The final rule also established Stage 3 in 2017 and beyond, which focuses on using CEHRT to improve health outcomes.

2017 Important Dates

January 1 – December 31, 2017

  • 2017 EHR Incentive Programs Reporting Period

October 1, 2017

  • Deadline for first-time participants in the EHR Incentive Programs to attest to 2016 program requirements.
  • Deadline for EPs to submit an Exception Application for decertified EHR technology for the 2018 payment adjustment year.
  • Deadline for EPs who have not successfully demonstrated meaningful use in a prior year under the EHR Incentive Program and intend to transition to MIPS in 2017 to submit a hardship application for the 2018 payment adjustment.
  • Deadline for eligible hospitals that have not successfully demonstrated meaningful use in a prior year, and are seeking to demonstrate meaningful use for the first time in 2017 to avoid the 2018 payment adjustment.
  • Deadline for CAHs that have not successfully demonstrated meaningful use in a prior year, and are seeking to demonstrate meaningful use for the first time in 2017 to avoid the 2017 payment adjustment.
  • Eligible hospitals and CAHs can create an account in QNet to report their 2017 data.
  • Eligible hospitals and CAHs with existing QNet accounts can add the meaningful use option to their accounts.

November 30, 2017

  • Deadline for CAHs to submit a hardship application for the 2016 payment adjustment based on the 2016 EHR reporting period.

January 1 through February 28, 2018

  • For the CY 2017 reporting period, hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program must self-select and successfully report on a minimum of 4 of the 15 available eCQMs utilizing EHR technology certified to the 2014 and/or 2015 Edition through QNet.

Download the hardship application here.