New law makes meaningful use exemptions easier

A new law grants Meaningful Use delays for hardship exemptions.

While ICD-10 was enacted without the widespread issues some predicted, Meaningful Use is less of a sure deal. As an example of the new consideration given to this measure, President Obama recently signed  S. 2425, a law that establishes a longer filing period for meaningful use exemption applications. 

The new law includes several provisions related to medical operations.

According to Healthcare Dive, the new changes give medical professionals at least three months of additional time to submit hardship applications, and possibly even longer depending on the individual case.

Known as the "Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act," the law includes several provisions related to medical operations, including a series of sections targeted at Medicare and Medicaid. Section 4 ensures 2017 flexibility for hardship applications and adds a special subsequent rule for hospitals, which have a month longer to file than individual practitioners do.

In a letter addressed to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) acting administrator Andrew Slavitt, Thomas Nickels, Executive Vice President of the American Hospital Association, recommended changing use requirements to better suit the thousands of member hospitals opposed. Among other concerns, the letter highlighted the desire for CMS to "emphasize the availability of EHR functionality."

"This approach reduces measurement burden while ensuring capabilities are in place," the letter reads. "We recommend this approach for the following Stage 3 objectives: clinical decision support (CDS), eprescribing, patient electronic access to health information, and coordination of care through patient engagement."

The best healthcare consulting firms allow practitioners the support services necessary to optimize their systems use. To make these changes more understandable, physicians and their hospitals alike have professional options to help supplement implementation with research and testing.

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