Stakeholders to CMS: Finalize 90-day MU reporting period

A group of healthcare stakeholders is urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to move forward on a 90-day Meaningful Use reporting period for 2016.

In April 2015, CMS implemented a 90-day reporting period aligned with the calendar year for all Meaningful Use participants in 2015 and for new participants in 2016.

However, CMS also said returning participants would have to attest for a full year in 2016, but can do so over the calendar year as opposed to the federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

The most recent push to change that comes from a group of more than 20 stakeholders--including the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the American Medical Association--which wrote in their letter to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt that “the policy must be finalized as expeditiously as possible.”

“The sooner CMS can provide certainty to providers about a 90-day reporting period, the more it will help participants successfully attest in 2016, and make necessary changes to prepare for the first Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act program year,” they say.

In March, 34 provider organizations, including CHIME, sent a similar letter to Slavitt. A bill unveiled in April by a group of bipartisan lawmakers also sought to shorten the reporting period in 2016.

Stakeholders have long-said that a 365-day reporting period places unnecessary burden on providers. In the most recent letter to Slavitt, they add that in 2015, while a 90-day period was granted, it was not finalized until after the start of the final reporting period.

This meant “many providers were not able to take advantage of the additional flexibilities,” they write.

“Thus it is vital that the 90-day reporting period be finalized as soon as possible to avoid a similar scenario," the organizations say. "Finalizing the 90-day reporting period as quickly as possible will reduce the number of providers who must rely on a hardship exemption in 2016 and if the finalization of the policy is similarly delayed, CMS must be prepared to provide hardship exemptions as was done in 2015.”

To learn more:
- here's the letter