By Michael Burger, Practice Lead, EHRs and EDI
Heads up, electronic health record (EHR) vendors. Medicare has proposed big changes for fiscal year 2019. Many will affect how EHRS will be used by a multitude of providers for Meaningful Use, MIPS/MACRA and reporting clinical quality measures. Details were announced in a newly released proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Comments are due June 25.
Specifically, the new proposed rule will create or revise existing requirements for:
What’s in the new rule? As with all things CMS, the new proposed rule is complex. The bulk of the rule relates to changes for Medicare payments to hospitals. There are a number of provisions that are of note to ambulatory and hospital EHRs. These will:
What’s the impact? The biggest impact is on vendors serving hospitals, which have the biggest number of changes to absorb. Ambulatory EHR vendors have some changes relating to a few measures. That said, the new proposed rule continues what EHR vendors have been doing already. Many EHR vendors are certified or working to be certified under the 2015 CHERT criteria, so they will be readily available to be used in 2019. Legislation and federal programs have been pushing APIs for some time, especially for patient engagement. Vendors have responded to meet these requirements and we expect to see continued, accelerated growth in that segment of the market. The new opioid-related requirements reflect policy changes at the federal level and activities in the states, which are requiring integration of PDMP data into EHRs and reporting on opioid treatment agreements.
All in all, vendors should see this proposed rule as a harbinger for 2020. Keeping abreast of the proposed changes, and commenting as appropriate before the June 25 deadline, will ensure that they have the opportunity to plan ahead and move methodically to the new requirements in anticipation of the next round of mandates.
Additional questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.