CMS Considers 3 Changes to EHR Incentive Programs

March 6, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services intends to engage in rulemaking this spring to help ensure providers continue to meet meaningful use requirements. The changes listed here are in the proposal stage and will not go into effect until CMS approves them.  CHITREC encourages providers to proceed with meaningful use as planned and then adjust if and when the rule is passed.

In response to input from health care providers and other stakeholders, CMS is considering the following changes to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs:

  1. Shortening the 2015 reporting period to 90 days to address provider concerns about their ability to fully deploy 2014 Edition software
  2. Realigning hospital reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and to better align with other quality programs
  3. Modifying other aspects of the programs to match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burden

These proposed changes reflect the Department of Health and Human Services’ commitment to creating a health information technology infrastructure that:

  • Elevates patient-centered care
  • Improves health outcomes
  • Supports the providers who care for patients

While CMS intends to pursue these changes through rulemaking, they will not be included in the pending Stage 3 proposed rule. CMS intends to limit the scope of the pending proposed rule to Stage 3 and meaningful use in 2017 and beyond.

To read a blog on this announcement written by Dr. Patrick Conway, CMS Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Chief Medical Officer, go to the CMS blog. For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, please visit