ACC to CMS: Finalize rule on Meaningful Use ASAP

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is calling for a speedy issuing a final rule on Meaningful Use, pointing out that there is little time to adjust.

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the ACC outlined its concerns and encouragement with the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program and modifications proposed for Meaningful Use from 2015 to 2017. Top on its list was the timing for finalizing the rule.

“By the time a final rule is issued, it will be August or September, not long before the end of the participation window for program participants,” Kim A. Williams, Sr., MD, ACC president, wrote on behalf of members. “CMS must act quickly to provide [eligible professions] and [eligible hospitals] with as much information as possible, so they can assess their options with a degree of certainty.”

The ACC encouraged CMS to take a more liberal stance on the proposed 90-day reporting period to allow first-time users to attest in any 90-day EHR reporting period in 2016 and 2017, extend the 90-day reporting option to any participant in the first year of a new stage and broaden the hardship exemptions.

Many medical societies have weighed in on the incentive program. The American Hospital Association, like the ACC, praised CMS for the shorter 90-day reporting period and urged CMS to finalize the rule quickly. “Even if the rule is finalized by August 1, providers have very little time to understand the changes, work with their vendors, and ensure that they meet the revised requirements,” Executive Vice President Rick Pollack wrote.