On October 6, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rules for Stage 3, as well as modifications for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. Even though the term “final” is in front of the Stage 3 rules, CMS has left a 60-day comment period open, which indicates there could be further modifications and possibly even further delays—though these are hypotheticals.
Based on what we know now, there are some items of particular note about Meaningful Use for chiropractors.
Reporting Periods and Deadlines
First and foremost, it’s important to point out that there’s been a restructuring of objectives and measures. In its current form, Stage 3 requires eight overall objectives with multiple measures assigned for each respective objective. This was done in an attempt to simplify the Meaningful Use framework.
DCs have been slow to buy-in to Meaningful Use, so many practitioners will likely benefit from the revised 90-day reporting period in 2015 as well as the 90-day reporting period for new providers in 2016 and 2017. The shorter reporting periods are meant to speed along attestation and propel laggards to Stage 3 as quickly as possible. It’s also important to note that the deadline for Stage 3 is January, 2018.
Health Information Exchange
When we examine the new Stage 3 objectives, it quickly becomes obvious that interoperability is a major focus. Of particular prominence is the Health Information Exchange objective. It requires eligible professionals to attest for three measures, though the threshold would only need to be met for two. While the first measure relates to referring EPs, measure two of this objective requires providers to incorporate an electronic summary of care document from a source outside of the provider’s EHR system into the patient’s record. Measure two specifies that this must be done for more than 40% of referrals and patient encounters that involve previously unseen patients. Measure three requires the same thing, but for 80% of transitions or referrals. Again, interoperability is huge for Stage 3, and it’s especially relevant as DCs begin to play a larger role in the care team.
Computerized Physician Order Entry
Another important objective for Chiropractors will be the Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) requirement. The first two measures for this objective establish thresholds for medication orders and laboratory orders created by the EP during the reporting period. Measure three, likely of most importance to DCs, requires that more than 60% of diagnostic imaging orders created by the EP during the reporting period be recorded using CPOE functionality within the EHR. Whether DCs are performing diagnostic imaging in-house or shipping it out to an imaging lab, the CPOE rule will be an important objective for the specialty.
These are only two of the eight of objectives, but upon initial inspection, they appear to be the two that relate most to DCs. Like all Meaningful Use objectives, they will require the best chiropractic software to make the recording align with provider’s workflow.
For more tips on how to streamline your chiropractic practices and get the most from technology, watch this recent free webinar, Chiropractors, Discover the Secrets to Increasing Profitability.