What CMS' ACO rule change means for health IT: 4 things to know

CMS proposed several changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program in a draft rule Aug. 9, which would also overhaul the way ACOs share risks and rewards.

The proposal has several implications for EHR usage and telehealth. Here are four ways health IT would be affected if the proposal is approved:

1. Under the proposal, ACOs would be required to report a certain threshold percentage of participating clinicians using certified EHR systems, according to the Aug. 10 edition of Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

2. CMS is considering simplifying the process ACOs use to measure EHR functionality, shifting the focus away from quality performance measures that reflect level of adoption and toward emphasizing the percentage of clinicians using certified EHRs.

3. CMS is proposing coverage for some asynchronous teleophthalmalogy and teledermatology services for its Next Generation members. This would fall under CMS' Telehealth Expansion Benefit Enhancement waiver, effective 2018.

4. In the Medicare Shared Savings Program, CMS is considering reimbursing telehealth delivered outside of non-rural and other shortage areas as soon as January 2020.

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