In a recent post on The CMS Blog, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its intent to update the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs beginning in 2015.

CMS stated the new rule — expected this spring — will be in response to provider concerns about software implementation, information exchange readiness and other related concerns.

CMS is considering the following proposals:

  • Realign hospital EHR reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 edition software into their workflows and to better align with other CMS quality programs.
  • Modify other aspects of the program to match long-term goals, reduce complexity and lessen providers’ reporting burdens.
  • Shorten the EHR reporting period in 2015 to 90 days to accommodate these changes.

CMS notes that it is working on multiple tracks to realign the program to reflect the progress toward program goals and be responsive to stakeholder input. This announcement concerning changes to meaningful use beginning in 2015 through rulemaking is separate from the forthcoming Stage 3 proposed rule that is expected to be released by early March. 

CMS indicated it intends to limit the scope of the Stage 3 proposed rule to the requirements and criteria for meaningful use in 2017 and subsequent years.

View the CMS blog post here.