Hardship Exception Applications Now Accepted
(March 17, 2017) CMS Medicare is now accepting requests for Hardship Exceptions from 2018 Medicare payment adjustments. The CMS Medicare Program Year 2016 Meaningful Use attestation period ended on 3/13/2017. Medicaid EPs who were seeking to do the Alternate Medicare MU attestation and the Dual EHs who were seeking to attest for Program Year 2016 to the Medicare program must have registered for the 2016 Program Year at the CMS Registration & Attestation system on or before 3/13/2017 but could not proceed with the MU attestation while awaiting their Medicaid State to confirm/approve their registrations may submit a Hardship Exception request from 2018 Medicare payment adjustments.
The 2018 EP & EH Hardship instructions and application forms are now available. For the Medicaid providers specified above, it is recommended Option2.2.d 'EHR Certification/Vendor Issues (CEHRT Issues)' on the Hardship Application form is selected
Reconsideration Application deadline is Feb. 28, 2017
(Feb. 17, 2017) The deadline for Eligible Professionals (EPs) to submit reconsideration forms for the 2017 payment adjustment based on the 2015 EHR reporting period is Feb. 28, 2017. No applications will be accepted after the deadline. Please visit the CMS website to find the EP Reconsideration Application. Complete this application if you received a letter from CMS that said you are subject to the 2017 Medicare EHR payment adjustment and you believe this payment adjustment is in error.
For more guidance on completing the application, review the EP Reconsideration Instructions or e-mail them. For more information on Payment Adjustments and Hardship applications or for information on reporting requirements, please visit the EHR Incentive Programs webpage
Program Year 2016 MU attestations accepted Feb. 13
(Feb. 10, 2017) The application for the Kentucky Medicaid EHR Incentive program will be unavailable at 8:00 am on Monday, Feb. 13 so we can release the 2016 MU changes. The Kentucky Medicaid EHR Incentive Program will accept attestations for Program Year 2016 Meaningful Use beginning Monday, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. User manuals for EPs and EHs for program year 2016 are located on the EHR website under the Manuals section. The deadline to submit an attestation for Program Year 2016 is 11:59 p.m., March 31, 2017. Any attestation in process after that time will be closed out and not eligible for participation. In the event of any questions or concerns, you may contact the EHR team by emailing or calling (502) 564-0105 extension 2463.
Review 2016 Reporting Requirements
For certain measures in the program, CMS changed the reporting requirements to increase flexibility. CMS provided alternative reporting options and exceptions for providers who are scheduled to be in an earlier stage of the programs, affected by a significant hardship, or implementing or upgrading certified EHR technology (CEHRT).
In 2016 there are changes to the Secure Electronic Messaging (EPs only) and Public Health Reporting objectives. For the Secure Electronic Messaging objective, the measure’s threshold has a phased approach. While the Public Health Reporting objective requires EPs to meet two measures and EHs/CAHs to meet three measures or claim alternate exclusions.
Providers should visit the EHR Incentive Programs website and review the What You Need to Know for 2016 Tipsheets for EPs and eligible hospitals and CAHs in preparation for attestation.
CMS has updated the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website and resources based on changes to the program. CMS encourages EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs to visit the updated website to find official CMS resources and program information, including:
Since the Stage 2 Final Rule was released there have been numerous changes to the meaningful use (MU) objectives and measures. CMS has made available comparison tools for EPs and EHs. The tool highlights how the MU objectives have evolved from Stage 2 to Modified Stage 2 to Stage 3. In addition to describing the MU requirement changes, a timeline is presented that includes key dates and deadlines associated with the MU stages and associated program years.
CMS Finalizes Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Rule
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized updated payment rates and policy changes in the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System for calendar year 2017. This rule includes changes to the EHR Incentive Program as well. Changes include a 90-day meaningful use reporting period in program years 2016 and 2017, removal of clinical decision support and computerized provider order entry objectives and measures and reduction of a subset of the remaining objectives and measure for EHs, new participants in program year 2017 must attest to modified stage 2 objectives and measures, significant hardship exception for new participants transitioning to MIPS in 2017, and modifications to measure calculations for actions outside of the EHR reporting period.
For more information, read the:
The OPPS/ ASC Final Rule with comment period and the IFC are available on the Federal Register.
CMS Finalizes MACRA
(Oct. 14, 2016) The Department of Health and Human Services finalized its policy implementing the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternate Payment Model incentive payment provisions in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. A Quality Payment Program website has been created to help explain the new program and help clinicians identify the measures most meaningful to their practice or specialty.
What does MIPS mean for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program? MIPS applies to physicians and clinicians providing services under Medicare Part B. MIPS does not replace the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, which will continue through program year 2021. Clinicians eligible for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program will continue to attest to their respective State Medicaid Agencies to receive their incentive payments. If those clinicians are also Medicare Part B clinicians, they may also participate in MIPS.
MACRA/MIPS will sunset the Medicare meaningful use payment adjustment, and there will no longer be a separate Medicare EHR Incentive Program at the end of CY 2018. Medicaid EPs that fail to meet the eligibility criteria for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, or who fail to properly attest to meaningful use, will no longer be subject to any Medicare payment adjustments after the CY 2018 payment year. No changes were proposed to the objectives and measures previously established in rulemaking for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program (for EPs). MIPS does not apply to hospitals or facilities – it only applies to clinicians.
Please read the
Program Year 2016 update
(Oct. 14, 2016 ) The Kentucky Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is currently accepting attestations for Program Year 2016 AIU only. We are in the process of updating the system for the new meaningful use requirements. The release is tentatively scheduled to occur the beginning of December. Thank you for your patience
New tools available from the ONC!
(Oct. 12, 2016) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology recently released two tools to help health care providers get the most out of their health information technology, such as electronic health records (EHRs): an EHR contract guide and a newly expanded Health IT Playbook.
The new contract guide, EHR Contracts Untangled: Selecting Wisely, Negotiating Terms, and Understanding the Fine Print, explains important concepts in EHR contracts and includes example contract language to help providers and health administrators in planning to acquire an EHR system and negotiating contract terms with vendors. The Health IT Playbook is a dynamic, web-based tool intended to make it easy for providers and their practices to find practical information and guidance on specific topics as they research, buy, use or switch EHRs.
Both resources are available on the ONC website. In addition, EHR contract guide can be accessed from the Electronic Health Record tab of the Health IT Playbook.
Reportable Disease Surveillance regulation
(Sept. 29, 2016) As the Oct. 1, 2016 deadline for compliance with 902 KAR 2:020 (Section 8 and 9 of the Reportable Disease Surveillance regulation) nears, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) is aware of concerns of timely compliance across the state. Those dections require medical laboratories defined by KRS 333.020(3) in a health facility defined by KRS 216B.015 to report certain diseases to KDPH through the Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) by Oct. 1, 2016. KDPH is aware of the difficulties for some facilities to meet this timeline. Therefore, KDPH is requesting:
- All medical laboratories that qualify as needing to meet this regulation are asked to contact Rhonda Scott with KHIE at (502) 564-0105, ext. 2690 or by email, where they can report their readiness to transmit the electronic laboratory reporting (ELR)-required data by Oct. 1 or to supply a timetable for projected completion of your ELR connections through KHIE.
- Rhonda can validate your engagement, readiness and detail your compliance plan if your facility cannot meet the deadline.
- This documentation will be submitted to KDPH by KHIE on your behalf.
- If your facility cannot meet the Oct. 1 deadline for these designated diseases in Section 8 and 9, please continue to report as you have historically and voluntarily been reporting for Section 8 and 9. On or after Oct. 1, a health facility or medical laboratory should not start-up reporting by fax or mail in lieu of ELR reporting of diseases and laboratory test results listed in Section 8 and 9.
- Reporting of all other diseases in the other sections of the regulation (902 KAR 2:020) remain unchanged. Reporting of outbreaks is required for any disease or condition listed in the regulation, including those listed in Section 8 and Section 9.
This transition to electronic laboratory reporting will be challenging. We do look forward to your successful outcome to establish ELR connections through KHIE.
Connie Gayle White, MD, MS, FACOG
Senior Deputy Commissioner
Kentucky Department for Public Health
Help Stop Information Blocking
(Aug. 11, 2016) -The Department of Health and Human Services is working to identify and stop instances of information blocking. Information blocking (or data blocking) occurs when individuals or entities (healthcare providers or IT vendors as example) knowingly and unreasonably interfere with the exchange or use of electronic health information. Read more information regarding helping to stop information blocking. Help stop information blocking by reporting information blocking.
Kentucky Health Information Exchange Declaration of Readiness: Program Year 2017
(July 5, 2016) The Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) is the Public Health Authority for meaningful use (MU) reporting in Kentucky. Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals/Critical Access Hospitals (EH/CAHs) who wish to submit electronic immunization, syndromic surveillance, laboratory results, and cancer cases (specialized registry reporting) in Kentucky must do so through KHIE. Additionally and with regards to the immunization registry, KHIE has the ability to respond to bidirectional queries and receive NDC codes.
For EHR Incentive Program Year 2017, KHIE provides support for the following public health reporting measures:
Measure 1 - Immunization Registry Reporting
Any EP or EH/CAH that administers any type of immunization (influenza, pneumococcal, HPV, chickenpox, shingles, etc.) during the EHR reporting period, can submit to the immunization registry.
Measure 2 - Syndromic Surveillance Reporting
In Kentucky, all EPs or EH/CAHs collect Syndromic Surveillance data; therefore, this option is available to all providers.
Measure 3 - Specialized Registry Reporting
Any EP that diagnoses and/or treats cancer patients is eligible to submit to the Kentucky Cancer Registry through KHIE for specialized registry reporting.
Measure 4 - Electronic Reportable Laboratory (ELR) Results Reporting
Kentucky recently adopted legislation, 902 KAR 2:020, requiring laboratory results to be reported electronically to KHIE.
KHIE supports public health reporting data submission from ONC 2014 certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT). KHIE will make a separate announcement when we are ready to begin onboarding of public health reporting from providers that are using ONC 2015 CEHRT.
View older EHR announcements.
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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Section 4201) established the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program for payment to certain classes of Medicaid professionals and hospitals who adopt and become meaningful users of electronic health records.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator have released rules to guide the program, integrating it into the broader health information technology infrastructure needed to reform the health care system and improve health care quality, efficiency and patient safety.
Information on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs can be found on the CMS website. Administration of the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is a combined effort of both the states and CMS. We recommend you visit the CMS website for a baseline understanding of the program and use this website to find information on Kentucky-specific questions.
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