Impact Insights

Week in Review 7/31/15

POTENTIAL DELAY OF MEANINGFUL USE STAGE 3?…The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will recommend that CMS delay meaningful use Stage 3 requirements.  Right now – at least based on the proposed rule CMS published in March 2015 – Stage 3 would be optional in 2017 and required by all providers in 2018.  According to Modern Healthcare, if “legislation is ultimately needed” to delay Stage 3 (or to implement the Committee’s other recommendations on issues such as interoperability, information security, and EHR usability), the likely option would be the Senate’s version of the 21st Century Cures bill the House recently passed – expected to be voted on early next year.  The public comment period for the Stage 3 proposed rule closed on May 29, 2015.

For more on the currently proposed requirements and timeline for Stage 3 of meaningful use, click here for Impact Advisors’ analysis and overview.

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  There has been no shortage of pushback on the timing of Stage 3 from providers, trade groups, and other stakeholders.  The difference here is that Congress actually has the power to do something about it.  In fact, Politico reports that an unrelated bill that was introduced in the House includes language that would delay Stage 3 and alter the “all or nothing” nature of meaningful use requirements.

ICD-10 GUIDANCE FOR PHYSICIANS – PART 2… CMS has published a more detailed FAQ as a follow up to their recent joint announcement with the AMA on ICD-10 “flexibility” for physicians during the first year of the transition.  CMS once again re-iterated that the deadline remains October 1, 2015 and that a valid ICD-10 code will be required on claims as of that date.  However, the new FAQ provides more details on the flexibility for the first 12 months.

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  The FAQ includes some new details from the original announcement, and is definitely recommended reading for anyone working closely with physician practices on the transition to ICD-10.  One question CMS didn’t address in the FAQ though is why the “flexibility” for the first 12 months only applies to Medicare Part B (outpatient) claims – and whether or not they considered giving hospitals the same option.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… Becker’s Hospital Review published a great list of “50 things to know about the EHR market’s top vendors” earlier this month.  Lots of interesting information is included in the list, so it is definitely recommended reading!