CMS makes final meaningful use tweaks

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has fixed a host of minor problems--from phone numbers to small, but important, wording mistakes--in its final rule explaining meaningful use requirements.

The correction notice was published in the Dec. 29 Federal Register, and took effect immediately so that there aren't any delays to healthcare providers signing up to receive incentive payments.

For the most part, the changes were typographical, changing mistakes such as "CY" or calendar year, being used instead of "FY" or fiscal year. There were, however, a few more substantial fixes. CMS clarifies, for example, that office visits, not "unique patients" will be the qualifier for patients receiving a clinical summary within three business days.

The agency also adjusted its definition of clinical decision support, reducing it to one rule instead of five in the final regulation. The agency also clarified that the one clinical decision support rule does not have to be linked to a specific clinical quality measure.

The clarification expands its prohibition on e-prescribing for controlled substances, bringing CMS regulations in line with the U.S. Drug Enforcement agency's controlled substance requirements.

For more information:
- check out the Federal Register
- read this Government Health IT article