90-day Meaningful Use Reporting Period for 2016 and 2017

Meaningful_Use_sticknoteEarlier this month, CMS quietly finalized the 90-day reporting period for meaningful use in 2016 and 2017. This means participants have the option of reporting only 90 continuous days of meaningful use. This should come as welcome relief for eligible providers who are in danger of not meeting certain thresholds. The 90-day reporting period gives the provider the ability to report the 90 days in which he or she performed well.

The 90-day reporting period in 2017 should come as no surprise as meaningful use morphs into the Advancing Care Information category in the Quality Payment Program. CMS has given eligible clinicians (ECs) the option to pick your pace. This means ECs can choose minimal reporting, reporting 90 days, or reporting the full year of MIPS in 2017.

CMS press release (look for “Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program”)

 

Upcoming ICD-10 Changes

oct1CMS is making some changes to the ICD-10-CM codes, effective October 1, 2016. In some cases, CMS added new codes and retired others. In other cases, only the description associated with the code changed.

Although these changes are not nearly as sweeping as the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 last year, there are some similarities:

  • October 1 is the so-called “cutover date.” The updated codes apply only to claims with a service date of October 1 or later. Claims with a service date of September 30 or earlier will continue to use the current codes.
  • Eyefinity has your back. We’re currently updating Eyefinity EHR and ExamWRITER to properly code your exams based on the selections you make during the exam and the date of service. In other words, keep coding the way you always have, and we’ll take care of the rest. We’re also updating the ICD-10 codes in our practice management systems for billing and reporting.
  • Billers should familiarize themselves with the changes. Billers should be prepared to verify that the correct codes are appearing on claims

Eyefinity has identified over 400 ICD-10 changes that apply to eyecare. Code changes to the following areas take effect on October 1, 2016:

  • Diabetes
  • Retinal vein occlusion
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Primary open-angle glaucoma
  • Amblyopia
  • Postprocedural hematoma or seroma

We anticipate that CMS will modify ICD-10 codes slightly every year.

We’re adding the ICD-10 changes to OfficeMate/ExamWRITER now, which will be available in a service pack in September. You’ll need to download and install the service pack before October 1 to avoid any disruption in billing.

Eyefinity EHR, Eyefinity Practice Management, and AcuityLogic updates are scheduled in September and will include all of the ICD-10 updates.

To read more about the ICD-10 changes taking effect on October 1, check out CMS’ ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines.

Upcoming Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Deadline

Summer’s here, and the July 4 holiday weekend is around the corner. Before packing your bags or lighting up the grill, take a moment to review the meaningful use hardship exception guidelines. The deadline to apply for a hardship exception and avoid a 2017 payment adjustment is July 1 at 11:59 pm ET.

You do not need to file a hardship exception if any one of these scenarios applies to you:

  • You successfully demonstrated meaningful use in 2015;
  • You’re a hospital-based provider; or
  • You’re a new eligible professional who began filing Medicare or Medicaid claims in 2015.

A hardship exception could exempt you from Medicare payment penalties in 2017 if you failed to achieve meaningful use in 2015 and you met one of the following circumstances:

  • Insufficient internet connectivity
  • Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (a natural disaster, practice closure, bankruptcy, failure of your certified EHR)
  • Lack of certified EHR availability
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction or follow up

There’s no hardship exemption for not knowing about the Modified Stage 2 meaningful use changes that were published in October.

The timeline for hardship exceptions and payment adjustments can be confusing since the payment adjustments occur two years after the participation year.

If you failed to participate in this calendar year… File for a hardship exception by this date… To avoid a payment adjustment in this year…
2015 July 1, 2016 2017
2016 TBD 2017 2018

For more information, refer to the following resources:

GPRO Registration Deadline is June 30

Gblog_stopwatchroup practices with two or more providers that bill under a single tax identification number (TIN) may choose to report their 2016 PQRS measures as a group. To qualify for this option, the group practice must register for GPRO by June 30. Once you register for GPRO, you cannot later decide to return to claims-based reporting.

Individual providers who bill under their own EIN and group practices that don’t register for GPRO should continue claims-based reporting. If reporting individually, at least 50% of providers in a group practice must successfully participate in PQRS for all providers in the group to avoid a negative Medicare payment adjustment in 2018.

Registering for GPRO

To register for GPRO, complete the following:

  1. Go to the CMS Portal.
  2. Log in or create an account.
  3. Click the PV-PQRS tab and select Register from the drop-down.
    If you don’t have access to PV-PQRS, click Request Access Now on the right side of the page.
  4. Click the Register link to the right of the group practice name.
  5. Enter the required Organization Information and Requestor Information.
  6. Select the Group Size based on the number of providers billing under a single TIN.
  7. Select CAHPS
    Note: Groups smaller than 100 providers are not required to participate in CAHPS and should opt out.
  8. Enter the Contact Information.
  9. Verify the summary and click Submit.

For help, refer to the 2016 PQRS GPRO Registration Guide or call the QualityNet Help Desk at 866.288.8912.

Reporting PQRS Data

After registering for GPRO, continue to see patients and document PQRS measures. You may discontinue claims-based reporting. Submit your PQRS data via the CMS Quality Reporting Portal by February 28, 2017.

Resources

Meaningful Use Registry Deadline: February 29

blog_stopwatchAn important meaningful use deadline is approaching. February 29 is the last day to register with a specialized registry and fulfill the public health objective for meaningful use in 2016. Eyefinity recommends the following registries:

You must register with a specialized registry by February 29 to demonstrate “active engagement” with a specialized registry in 2016. Your registration fulfills your specialized registry obligation for the year. Depending upon the scope of your practice, you may be required to register with a second registry.

Eyefinity is actively working with AOA to develop an integration between AOA MORE and ExamWRITER and Eyefinity EHR. Through this integration, you’ll be able to meet the public health objective, submit your clinical quality data, and electronically report your PQRS data. This integration will be available later this year. Continue reading

CMS Extends the Deadline for Reporting 2015 Meaningful Use

Last week, CMS pushed the deadline for attesting to meaningful use (MU) from February 29 to Friday, March 11. This extension applies only to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for the 2015 reporting period. Eligible providers who are participating in their state’s Medicaid EHR incentive program should check with their state to determine their attestation deadline.

This 12-day extension will come as welcome relief to many providers who haven’t yet attested to their 2015 meaningful use performance. A successful MU attestation is required to avoid a 3% negative Medicare payment adjustment in 2017.

MU Attestation Resources

To help you complete your MU attestation by March 11, we’ve compiled these helpful resources:

Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)

This MU extension does not affect the February 26 deadline for Medicare Part B claims-based PQRS reporting.

Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Requirements Announced

CMS has released the requirements for filing hardship exception applications for the 2015 reporting year. The good news is that CMS has reduced the amount of detailed information needed to complete the application. Additionally, CMS is allowing groups of providers to file a single hardship exception application. Hardship exception applications are due by March 15.

A hardship exception could exempt you from Medicare payment penalties in 2017 if you failed to achieve meaningful use in 2015 and you met one of the following circumstances:

  • Insufficient internet connectivity
  • Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (a natural disaster, practice closure, bankruptcy, failure of your certified EHR)
  • Lack of certified EHR availability
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction or follow up

There’s no hardship exemption for not knowing about the Modified Stage 2 meaningful use changes that were published in October.

While this isn’t the blanket hardship exception that many had hoped, the application requires less information than in years past, which will make the application less burdensome. Additionally, the Modified Stage 2 requirements lowered the bar on many of the more onerous measures, which should make it easier for eligible providers (EPs) to attest to meaningful use rather than applying for a hardship exception.

If you’re able to successfully attest to meaningful use for 2015, you do not need to file a hardship exception. New EPs who began submitting Medicare claims in 2015, hospital-based EPs, and EPs in five specialties unrelated to eyecare automatically receive an exemption and don’t have to file an application.

For more information, refer to the following resources: