Meaningful Use attestation reporting period to be shorter for 2015

Organizations could have a shorter reporting time for Meaningful Use in the coming year.

In a post on the official website for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Dr. Patrick Conway recently announced important changes to the Meaningful Use reporting period for this year. Medical practices that want to stick to a reporting schedule can adjust their plans based on the new guidelines.

According to the source, providers will now have only 90 days to report EHR use as opposed to the previously established period of 365 days. Although it's explicitly not meant to connect with the upcoming changes to Stage 3 Meaningful Use compliance later this year, it does come in the context of other EHR reporting period changes CMS is considering.

The chief benefit of the new reporting period timeline would be to make it easier for providers to test. The shortened timeframe could also better match the calendar year after this is put into place. Last August, CMS announced that the official deadline for Stage 3 would be in 2017, a move that was decried by College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) at the time.

"The new rule, expected this spring, would be intended to be responsive to provider concerns about software implementation, information exchange readiness, and other related concerns in 2015," he said. "It would also be intended to propose changes reflective of developments in the industry and progress toward program goals achieved since the program began in 2011."

CMS is currently just considering this initiative, but it "intends to pursue" these changes with rulemaking decisions. Increasing reporting accuracy could be easier with the help of this tighter period as long as those taking part are working to make the most of the time that they have. Healthcare consulting firms are useful for deciding on the best policies for successful health information processing and for reaching government standards.

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