AHA 'dismayed' CMS has not eased MU Stage 3 requirements

The American Hospital Association called CMS' proposed 2018 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System rule "poorly designed" and warned it "will do real damage to patients' access to care," in a July 13 statement.

The proposed OPPS rule would increase payment rates by 1.75 percent while paying hospitals 22.5 percent less than the average sales price for drugs purchased through the 340B Drug Pricing Program. CMS did not mention Meaningful Use Stage 3 reporting requirements, which are slated to begin Jan. 1, 2018.

Tom Nickels, executive vice president for the AHA, expressed concern CMS did not "propose relief" from the reporting requirements established under Meaningful Use Stage 3, which he called unrealistic and unattainable.

"The mandate for all hospitals and critical access hospitals to switch to new EHR functionality and report for a full year is unattainable and is at odds with the meaningful use flexibility proposed for eligible clinicians in the Quality Payment Program proposed rule," Mr. Nickels wrote.

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