DES MOINES, Iowa (March 1, 2012)—Future Health, the Chiropractic authority on EHR, announced two important date changes affecting Doctors of Chiropractic.
Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements pushed back one year
According to Future Health Founder & CEO Dr. Steven J. Kraus, The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released Stage 2 requirements for certified EHR vendors like Future Health.
At the same time, CMS released Stage 2 requirements for public comment regarding Meaningful Use (MU) criteria for eligible providers. The two documents are being published in the federal register and will allow for public comment over the next 60 days. In the documents, the deadline for Stage 2 required software changes has been pushed back to Jan. 1, 2014 (from Jan. 1, 2013).
Stage 1 is in effect now, where Doctors of Chiropractic have already received up to $18,000.00 each for their first year of participation in the meaningful use incentive program.
What does this mean for DCs?
“This is great news for eligible providers (EPs), like Doctors of Chiropractic,” said Kraus. “The delayed EHR vendor deadline to accommodate additional MU criteria provides doctors an extra year of only having to meet Stage 1 meaningful use requirements, without any additional MU criteria added in 2013 as originally planned.”
Kraus stressed that this extended deadline does NOT affect payout years or incentive maximums established in the MU incentive program, as those were written into federal law.
Said Kraus, “2012 is the final year for EPs to qualify for the maximum $44,000 incentive for adopting a complete certified EHR and demonstrating MU. After October 3, 2012, the maximum incentive amount decreases to $39,000. On Oct. 3, 2013, the maximum incentive decreases again to $24,000.”
Kraus continued, “After that, first time EPs will not receive an incentive for implementing EHR. And in fact, doctors who don’t begin using a certified EHR by Oct. 3, 2014, will be penalized through adjustments to regular Medicare payments. It makes sense to do this now and receive an incentive rather than wait and be penalized.”
What changes from MU Stage 1 and MU Stage 2?
According to Kraus, he expects a significant number of additions for EHR vendors in Stage 2 relating to encryption, security and Health Information Exchanges (HIE).
However, he expects only minor changes affecting Doctors of Chiropractic.
For example, effective Jan. 1, 2014, there will be two new items added to the core measures, increasing the number from 15 to 17. New menu-set measures will also be added. Some percentages have also increased related to e-prescribing, which does not impact DCs as EPs.
The rules can be viewed in the Federal Register and will be available for public comment for 60 days prior to finalization. You can also read more about proposed Stage 1 and Stage 2 changes at www.FHeConnect.com.
The ICD-10 requirement delayed
A new date for ICD-10 implementation has not yet been announced, but it will NOT be 2013.
The final rule adopting ICD-10 as a standard was published in January 2009 and set a compliance date of October 1, 2013 … a delay of two years from the compliance date initially specified in the 2008 proposed rule.
HHS will announce a new compliance date moving forward. The AMA has pushed hard to delay the timeline and HHS has since shifted the date back, possibly to be a year later, or even possibly two years later to coincide with ICD-11, which comes out in 2015. The exact date is unknown at this time. Future Health will provide updates when HHS releases the information. You can sign up for updates, visit www.FHeConnect.com.