Meaningful Use as we know it will be coming to an end.
In the words of Andy Slavitt, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services acting administrator: “The Meaningful Use program as it has existed will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.”
Understandably, the announcement took the healthcare world by surprise. Slavitt and Karen DeSalvo, the acting assistant secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, later clarified his comments in a post on the CMS blog.
By “something better,” he means an adjusted EHR incentive program that works in tandem with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The current system is not going anywhere just yet, he said, but MACRA will allow for changes to payment incentives and other significant factors.
But Meaningful Use is still the law of the land—and that means Stage 3 is still in effect.
So how will these changes help physicians?
Slavitt outlined these points of improvement:
- Shifting focus to rewarding providers for patient outcomes rather than implementation of technology.
- Allowing providers to work with tech companies and tailor their programs around specific practice needs, so that technology can help instead of hinder.
- Opening up APIs so that data can be accessed by other technologies, apps and tools. The goal of this is to put everyone on even footing.
- Focusing heavily on interoperability, which will hopefully allow for higher patient engagement and the closure of referral loops.
Learn more now
The healthcare industry is still waiting to hear more about how CMS plans to accomplish these goals. Until further information comes to light, here are some helpful links to keep you updated:
- The uncertain future of Meaningful Use via Medical Economics
- Meaningful Use updates via Practice Fusion
- Luke's CIO: Despite meaningful use changes, hospitals must align EHR's with quality measures via Healthcare IT News
- CMS Postpones Meaningful Use Deadline via Medscape
- Medicare Program Officials Affirm Meaningful Use Stage Three to Continue… via Dark Daily
- Meaningful-Use Hardship Exemption Deadline Extended via Modern Healthcare