At the recent free webinar, AAA for MU: Roadside Assistance for the EHR Incentive Program, speaker Barbara Drury, FHIMSS, shared the latest updates on Meaningful Use along with some user cases and experiences she has had as a HIT consultant. Participants had many questions, and Barbara and Kareo have answered some of them here.
Q: When will we know whether or not the extension for use of MU 2011 Edition has passed?
A: We will know whenever CMS publishes the final rule (FR). The government has no obligation to publish a final rule within any specific time and sometimes the FR takes years. However, the pressure of the pending Medicare physician fee schedule 1% penalty is most likely to result in a final rule being available within “months” of the public comment period rather than years. Continue to watch since the October 1st deadline is right around the corner.
Q: If the rule change goes into effect, do we still have to do the patient portal piece of MU?
A: That depends: if the final rule allows you to use a 2011 Edition with the 2013 “tweaks”, then you would not be required to provide the patient with an electronic copy, or electronic access—that was removed from MU1 with the 2013 “changes”. If the rule holds fast that all stages must use a 2014 certified Edition, then the 'access' and the VDT requirements are likely to stand.
Q: If the proposal passes and we're in our 4th year of Medicare MU and we elect to use our 2011 CEHRT for the 2013 measures, what is the reporting period for 2014?
A: For 2014, no providers, regardless of stage or program year, will be required to report on 365 days. If 2014 is your 4th year of Medicare MU (3 years for MU1 and 1 year for MU2), then you must report on any quarter in 2014.
Q: When the EP begins to attest, who is supposed to register? What is the link to register?
A: A staff person in the practice may register and attest on behalf of an eligible professional but it is the EP who is registered, attesting, receiving the incentive and being assessed a penalty. So, if you are doing these things on behalf of an EP be sure they are reviewing and signing off on each item. The first thing you need to do is determine eligibility, which you can do on the CMS website.