Home > EHR, meaningful use, Medicare > CMS Releases Final Rule to Allow Meaningful Use of HIT With Outdated Certification Status

CMS Releases Final Rule to Allow Meaningful Use of HIT With Outdated Certification Status

On September 4, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) will publish the final rule to allow 2011 Edition certified EHR technology, coupled with the 2013 version of Stage 1 Meaningful Use (MU) requirements, to comply with the EHR Incentive Program in calendar year (CY) 2014. The rule also includes compliance options for those with combinations of 2011 Edition and 2014 Edition certified HIT products. Prior to these changes, all participants needed to meaningfully use 2014 Edition certified products in CY 2014.

While the latest revision is far too late to be a practical option for most MU participants, it is intended to help previous MUsers who were unable to fully upgrade to 2014 Edition certified products in time for the fourth (and final) special quarterly reporting period in CY 2014 that begins in less than one month.  These individuals would have otherwise had to forgo their incentive payments for 2014 and use up a precious significant hardship exception year to avoid the CY 2016 penalties.

Regardless of this last minute flexibility, all MU participants are required to use 2014 Edition certified products beginning in CY 2015, so it is not recommended that physicians (who have a choice) delay implementing the newer 2014 Edition certified products.  In fact, those who leverage this new flexibility will need to prove their inability to fully upgrade to 2014 Edition certified EHR technology to auditors.

The pre-publication formatted version of the final rule is currently accessible via the Office of the Federal Register’s public inspection desk. The ACR Government Relations team is reviewing the text and may re-release our CY 2013 educational materials for those seeking to leverage this flexibility.

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Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare

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