Hospital Meaningful Use Update from CMS

Hospital Meaningful Use Update from CMS

Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals: Submit Meaningful Use Data to the Hospital Quality Reporting System (HQR) via the QualityNet Secure Portal in 2018

CMS has issued the following guidance regarding the notice “Submit Meaningful Use Data to the Hospital Quality Reporting System (HQR) via the QualityNet Secure Portal in 2018” issued on August 7, 2017.

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System will NOT be available for hospitals after December 31, 2017. Hospitals attesting to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will register and attest in the HQR system. However, the Quality Net Secure Portal is not yet setup to accept attestations for CY 2017. Hospitals will attest to their 90 day reporting period for 2017 starting on January 2, 2018 through February 28, 2018. More information, including a user guide will be made available by CMS closer to January. All hospitals will need to update their log-in information to include Meaningful Use (MU) in Quality Net. This will be available in October and additional details will be released closer to the date.

The following CMS FAQs may be helpful:

Q: Some hospitals already have a Quality Net account as they have submitted electronic Clinical Quality Measures in the past. Will they need to create a separate log-in for HQR to attest to MU or will their previous log-in suffice for MU attestation too?
A: It is our understanding that registration to the site will only occur one time and that hospitals will be able to utilize their already established login information. However, for official confirmation, we recommend that hospitals submit this question by logging into the QualityNet Secure Portal and clicking submit this question to the QualityNet support team via the portal, contacting the QualityNet Help Desk at 1-866-288-8912 (TTY 1-877-715-6222), or emailing the QualityNet help desk at

Q: Will hospitals that have never submitted eCQMs to Quality Net previously need to create a new account in order to attest to MU?
A: Yes, correct.

Q: How long do you anticipate the registration process will take and are there instructions on how hospitals will do so?
A: All users requesting access to the QualityNet Secure Portal must be individually approved and verified. This mandatory registration process is used to maintain the confidentiality and security of healthcare information and data transmitted via QualityNet. Providers can register here and must select the appropriate user classification. The QualityNet Security Administrator facilitates the registration process for other users at the organization. Typically, an organization designates two Security Administrators. Providers submitting data via the QualityNet Secure Portal (or using a vendor to submit data on their behalf) are required to designate a Security Administrator. All other registered QualityNet users in an organization are considered basic users. The QualityNet website lists instructions regarding registration, sign-in instructions, password rules, etc. on the left side of the screen.

Q: For 2017, will hospitals continue to be able to submit Clinical Quality Measures via aggregate reporting as they did within the CMS Registration and Attestation System in the new HQR system?
A: The data receiving system is accepting submissions of QRDA Category I (patient level files) test and production files for the Hospital IQR and the Medicare EHR Incentive programs CY 2017/Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 electronic reporting requirements. The system was updated to accept QRDA Category I test and production files utilizing the CY 2017 requirements.

Technical Specifications for CY 2017 Reporting

Eligible Hospitals (EHs) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) that seek to report eCQMs under the Hospital IQR and the Medicare EHR Incentive programs must use the following:

Since the Registration and Attestation System will no longer be available after December 31, 2017 we encourage you to print out documentation from previous participation years to maintain for your records.

ACT NOW: Medicaid Meaningful Use Assistance—Don’t Leave Money on the Table

Remember there is still Medicaid Meaningful Use money on the table for your practice but you need to act now!

If you have participated in the Kentucky Medicaid EHR Incentive program in the past and have not been paid through program year 6, let us help you achieve Meaningful Use and earn the remaining incentive monies. The Kentucky Medicaid EHR Incentive program will continue through 2021.

Our Health IT advisors will assist you through this process by reviewing your Meaningful Use reports, completing a gap analysis and action plan, and assist with the submission of your attestation. We will educate and guide you along the way.

The reporting period for 2017 is any continuous 90 days in the calendar year. So, the last 90 days of the year will begin on October 3, 2017. The deadline to submit your attestation is March 31, 2018.

If you registered for the Medicaid Meaningful Use Program in the past but have only attested to AIU the first year, you will need to attest by October 1, 2017 using a 90-day reporting period in calendar year 2017, to avoid a Medicare Part B payment penalty in 2018. However, you may still attest by March 31, 2018 to receive incentive money. This applies to dual eligible professionals (Doctors of medicine or osteopathy, Doctors of dental surgery or dental medicine, Doctors of podiatry, Doctors of optometry, Chiropractors (This excludes NPs.)

If you are unable to attest by this deadline, there may be hardship applications that apply to your circumstance. The hardship applications are due by October 1, 2017.

Please contact the Kentucky REC here so that we can assist you with Meaningful Use attestation. Don’t leave money on the table!

Deadlines, Webinars, Resources and Information for the 2017 Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

ehr incentive program screenKentucky REC has compiled information and resources for participants in the 2017 Medicaid EHR Incentive Program in order to help you navigate Meaningful Use for Eligible Providers.

We are hosting two webinars this month to address pressing Meaningful Use issues:

Thursday 8/24/2017 at 12-1 p.m. ET: MU Hard to Reach Objectives: HIE and PH Reporting Options
Register here.

Wednesday 8/30/2017 at 12-1 p.m. ET: MU Hard to Reach Objectives: Patient Electronic Access and Electronic Messaging
Register here.

Important Meaningful Use Facts and Deadlines:

  • For all returning participants and all new participants, the EHR reporting period is a minimum of any continuous 90 days between January 1 and December 31, 2017.
  • The 2017 Meaningful Use attestation deadline is March 31, 2018.
  • To avoid the 2018 Medicare payment adjustment, first time participants must attest by October 1, 2017.
  • Providers can attest to Modified Stage 2 objectives and measures using 2014 and/or 2015 EHR technology certified.
  • Providers attesting to Stage 3 objectives and measures must use 2015 EHR technology certified.
  • Providers must be signed up for 2 Public Health options within 60 days after the start of the EHR reporting period.
  • If the provider does not give immunizations, they will not be able to count Immunization Registry as one of the public health options.

IPPS Final Rule Changes for Meaningful Use:

  • 2018 EHR reporting period changed to any continuous 90-day during the 2018 calendar year.
  • CMS is releasing a new hardship exception from the Medicare payment adjustments for EPs, EH, CAHs due to vendor certification being decertified under ONCs HIT program.
  • CMS is allowing healthcare providers to use either 2014 Edition CEHRT, 2015 Edition CEHRT, or a combination of 2014 Edition and 2015 Edition CEHRT, for an EHR reporting period in 2018. Providers will have the choice to attest to either Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3.
  • Clinical Quality Measures will be changed to any continuous 90-day period during the calendar year and will be aligned with MIPS.


Here is a helpful listing of highlights of the CMS fact sheet and changes for EPs.

Health IT has published an excellent resource for how to implement training and get patients engaged on the patient portal. You can read and download it here.

KHIE has a Direct Email Catalog for Health Information Exchange (HIE) available here.

You can read the complete IPPS final rule here.

Transition to MIPS Hardship Application

Per the CMS EHR website, this hardship application is available for first time EPs in the EHR Incentive Program. If you have previously participated in the EHR Incentive Program, you are not eligible for this one-time hardship exemption.

If an EP meets the criteria for this one-time exception to the 2018 EHR Incentive Program payment adjustment, the EP must submit the 2017 Eligible Professionals Transitioning to MIPS Hardship application no later than October 1, 2017.

Our experts are here to help you navigate Meaningful Use, MIPS, HIPAA and other issues facing health care providers. Call us at 859-323-3090 to learn more.

OIG To Investigate Meaningful Use Payments; Kentucky REC Can Help You Prepare

Audit KeyFrom Healthcare IT News: The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General will review the accuracy of $14.6 billion in meaningful use payments made to hospitals by Medicare between 2011 and 2016. Earlier this year, the OIG estimated physicians were wrongfully paid $729 million under meaningful use.

Medicare incentive payments were authorized over a 5-year period to hospitals that adopted electronic health record technology. From January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made Medicare EHR incentive payments to hospitals totaling $14.6 billion, the OIG said.

The Government Accountability Office identified improper incentive payments as the primary risk to the Medicare EHR incentive program. An OIG report described the obstacles that CMS faces in overseeing the Medicare EHR incentive program. In addition, previous OIG reviews of Medicaid EHR incentive payments found that state agencies overpaid hospitals by $66.7 million and would in the future overpay these hospitals an additional $13.2 million, the OIG said.

Read the full article here.

Kentucky REC can help your practice be better prepared when facing either a pre or post payment Meaningful Use Audit. When receiving an audit notice, most practices find that they have a very short time period to fulfill the request for a large amount of information. Kentucky REC offers a Meaningful Use Mock Audit service that will assist you in being ready for a potential audit. We will help you make sure that your practice is organized, having on hand the documentation that may be requested,  and be fully prepared with the items needed at your finger tips for each program year.

If a provider is unable to prove they have met each objective and measure for Meaningful Use, they face the risk of failing the audit and their incentive money may be recouped. Per the EHR Incentive Program, documentation to support attestation data for meaningful use objectives and clinical quality measures should be retained for six years post-attestation. Providers and staff have worked hard to meet Meaningful Use objectives. Make sure you are ready for a Meaningful Use Audit and contact us at Kentucky REC to find out more and receive a quote for this helpful service. You can reach us by calling 859-323-3090.





CMS Finalizes 90-Day Reporting Period for Meaningful Use

cms-logo-smallThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has cemented a 90-day reporting period for attesting to meaningful use of electronic health records, part of a variety of flexibilities for hospitals and physicians in a final rule published Wednesday.

“We are establishing new requirements or revising existing requirements for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals participating in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs,” stated the rule, which goes into effect October 1, 2017.

For 2018, CMS will allow a 90-day reporting period. This is a significant difference from the complete year that CMS had aimed for under the Obama administration. This change applies to hospitals and physicians in the Medicare and Medicaid meaningful use programs.

Also in 2018, CMS will allow healthcare providers to use 2014-certified EHRs, 2015-certified EHRs, or a combination. Initially, CMS was requiring 2015-edition EHRs beginning in January 2018. However, healthcare organizations had raised concerns that the 2015-certified EHRs were more sophisticated and that they would not have enough time to install and test the systems.

In a statement, CMS administrator Seema Verma said this final rule will provide flexibility for acute and long-term care hospitals as they treat Medicare’s sickest patients.

Read the original article here.

Experts at Kentucky REC are here to help you with your questions and issues. Call us at 859-323-3090


Reminder: Join us for our 2017 Healthcare Transformation Survival Seminars

Join us as we travel across the Commonwealth to provide an in-depth look at the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation and the Quality Payment Program!

There are significant changes to physician payments that are now tied to quality and value. This event will prepare healthcare providers for the changes under MACRA and Value-Based Payment. We will explore: QPP Eligibility, QPP Reporting Metrics, Improvement Activities, ACI and Meaningful Use, HIPAA Requirements, and Quality Improvement.

Lunch will be provided!
This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

Register Now


August 18, 2017 – London, KY
London Community Center
Room AB
529 S Main St
London, KY 40741
9:30AM – 3PM EST

September 14, 2017 – Georgetown, KY
Georgetown College
Banquet Hall
100 Crawford Drive
Georgetown, KY 40324
9:30AM – 3PM EST

September 28, 2017 – Paducah, KY
Baptist Health Paducah
Heart Center Auditorium
2501 Kentucky Avenue
Paducah, KY 42003
9:30AM – 3PM CST

October 5, 2017 – Ashland, KY
Ashland Community College
The Rocky Adkins Pavilion
902 Technology Drive
Grayson, KY 41143
9:30AM – 3PM EST

Registration Fee

Clinicians/Practice Representatives/Non-profit organizations: $25
Vendors and Non-Practice Representatives: $75

Register Now

qpp-surs-logoThis material will be prepared by the QPP Resource Center, the Quality Payment Program for the Midwest, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy.