Proposed law would reduce 2015 MU reporting period to 90 days

A proposed law would override part of a recent HHS final rule and legislate the 90-day 2015 meaningful use attestation period industry stakeholders have been lobbying for.

Introduced by Reps. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah), The Flexibility in Health IT Reporting Act would reduce the 2015 reporting period from 365 days to 90, and allow providers to choose any quarter in 2015 for EHR reporting.

"The meaningful use program has many important provisions that seek to usher our healthcare providers into the digital age," said Rep. Ellmers. "But instead of working with doctors and hospitals, HHS is imposing rigid mandates that will cause unbearable financial burdens on the men and women who provide care to millions of Americans... The Flex-IT Act will provide the flexibility providers need while ensuring that the goal of upgrading their technologies is still being managed."

Industry groups have long advocated for a reduced reporting period in 2015 given the struggles many providers are facing in attesting to meaningful use stage 2. Frustrated the final rule on meaningful use attestation flexibility did not include a shortened reporting period for 2015, 17 industry groups, including the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, HIMSS and the American Hospital Association, wrote a letter to HHS Monday explaining the hospitals that had trouble implementing 2014 CEHRT or attesting this year were unlikely to be in a much better position when the 2015 reporting period starts Oct. 1.

The proposed law has been met with praise from these industry organizations. The AHA stated the law would provide "relief" to providers struggling to keep up with meaningful use requirements, and CHIME officials said the law will "would help hundreds of thousands of providers meet stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner, and ensure long-term vitality of the program itself."

More articles on meaningful use:

Health IT stakeholders lobby for 90-day MU reporting period in 2015
ONC: Half of patients given online EMR access use it
Presence, Sarah Bush Lincoln CIOs share MU2 strategies, challenges

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