Since the meaningful use program began, there has been an abundance of challenges to successfully demonstrate and attest. According to CMS, only 4% of eligible professionals (EPs) have successfully attested to Stage 2, and beginning this month, 257,000 EPs will be assessed penalties as a result.
Progressively Tougher Requirements
As the program currently stands, beginning this year, the meaningful use demonstration period is required to run for the full 365 days of the year, rather than 90 days as required in previous years. In an effort to mitigate the additional challenge and facilitate successful attestation, Representative Renee Ellmers introduced the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting Act (Flex-It) in 2014.
If passed, Flex-It will reduce the demonstration period in 2015 to 90 days, rather than the full year that is currently required for those attesting for either Stage 1 or Stage 2. Those in their first year of Stage 1 will attest to a three month period regardless of the outcome of the rule. In 2015, EHR solutions must be 2014 certified to qualify for meaningful use attestation.
Though the act was submitted, no decision was made in 2014. Not to be dissuaded, Rep. Ellmers has reintroduced the bill in January, and has the backing of legislators from both the Democrat and Republican parties. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted on the status of the Flex-It Act, when its fate is decided, and all of the latest news on meaningful use.
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