Obama admin faces backlash over proposed Stage 2 reporting rule
- The Department of Health and Human Services' final rule for Stage 2 of the EHR meaningful use program is coming under fire. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) sent a letter last week to HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthew Burwell claiming that requiring providers to submit a full year of reporting for attestation in 2015 could cause many to drop out of the program.
- The final rule did provide some flexibility for providers. It allows them to use 2011 software or a combination of 2011 and 2014 EMR technology for the 2014 reporting period. Providers will not face penalties if they cannot attest to Stage 2 during 2014. The rule also gives providers more time before the start date, moving it from January 2016 to January 1, 2017.
- But the changes were not enough to make groups like HIMSS happy. Many were hoping a 90-day reporting period would be allowed for Stage 2, but the government kept the time period at one year in 2015. To date, four hospitals have attested to Stage 2.
HIMSS isn’t the only group to protest the year-long reporting period for Stage 2. In fact, several organizations are predicting the demise of meaningful use over the requirement. Robert Tennant, senior policy advisor for The Medical Group Management Association, told Healthcare IT News, "If significant changes are not coming in the program, I think the program risks a lot. We could see, frankly, failure of the program."
HIMSS said the reporting timeframe will continue to put hospitals at risk for not meeting requirements. According to iHealth Beat, HIMSS predicted the requirement will ensure that "large segments of the provider community will no longer participate" in meaningful use programs.
Furthermore, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives released a statement after the proposed rule was released, claiming the reporting period “muted” the rest of the positive impacts of the regulation and that “millions of dollars will be lost due to misguided government timelines.”