February 21, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Electronic Health Records Health Information Technology
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday announced that physicians would have two additional weeks to register and attest to meaningful use for 2016 and avoid the 2018 penalty. Physicians now have until Monday, March 13, to attest for the 2016 reporting year. Two weeks ago, hospitals also received a similar reprieve.
Physicians should note that CMS is only extending the attestation period, not the reporting period, so physicians must have concluded their reporting by December 31, 2016.
Although the Medicare meaningful use program is being phased out this year, physicians are still required to report meaningful use measures for 2016 to avoid a 3 percent Medicare penalty in 2018. According to CMS, approximately 171,000 physicians are expected to be penalized this year because they didn't attest to meaningful use for 2015.
Medicare meaningful use reporting will end in 2017, with eligible clinicians who do not participate in the new advanced alternative payment models transitioning to Medicare's new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
To attest, providers should submit their data through the CMS registration and attestation system. Physicians may select an EHR reporting period of any continuous 90 days from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.
CMA recommends that physicians attest during off-peak hours, such as evenings and weekends, to speed up the attestation process. Physicians are also urged to take time now to ensure that their Medicare enrollment information is up-to-date before entering their 2016 attestation data. Review the CMS Registration and Attestation Resources Page for other tips to success.
Please note the deadline referenced above only applies to the Medicare EHR program, not the Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) program. For more details on the Medi-Cal program and deadlines, see http://medi-cal.ehr.ca.gov.