CMS Extends (PQRS) Deadline for EHR Submission

CMS Extends Deadline for 2016 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Electronic Health Record (EHR) Submission

***(This is an email we received from CMS March 13th 2017)***

CMS extends the submission deadline for 2016 Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) data submission for the EHR reporting mechanism of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) program. Individual eligible professionals (EPs), PQRS group practices, qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs), and qualified EHR data submission vendors (DSVs) now have until Friday, March 31, 2017 to submit 2016 EHR data via QRDA. The deadline is extended to March 31, 2017 for EPs to electronically report electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.

Please Note: The deadline for eCQM data submission for hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program and to meet the electronic reporting of Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) portion of the EHR Incentive Program is Monday, March 13, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT). The deadline for reporting via attestation and Meaningful Use objective and measure submission for providers participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program is Monday, March 13, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

A complete list of 2016 data submission timeframes is below:

March 13, 2017 deadline:

  • eCQM reporting for hospitals – 1/3/17 – 3/13/17
  • CQM reporting via attestation – 1/3/17 – 3/13/17
  • Meaningful Use objectives and measures – 1/3/17 – 3/13/17

March 17, 2017 deadline:

  • Web Interface – 1/16/17 – 3/17/17

March 31, 2017 deadlines:

  • EHR Direct or Data Submission Vendor (QRDA I or III) – 1/3/17 – 3/31/17
  • Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QRDA III) – 1/3/17 – 3/31/17
  • Qualified Registries (Registry XML) – 1/3/17 – 3/31/17
  • QCDRs (QCDR XML) – 1/3/17 – 3/31/17
  • eCQM reporting for EPs – 1/3/17 – 3/31/17

Submission ends at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the end date listed for PQRS reporting. An Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) account with the “Submitter Role” is required for these PQRS data submission methods. Please see the EIDM System Toolkit for additional information.

EPs who do not satisfactorily report 2016 quality measure data to meet the PQRS requirements will be subject to a downward PQRS payment adjustment on all Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) services rendered in 2018. For questions, please contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 1-866-288-8912 or via email at Qnetsupport@hcqis.org from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Central Time. Complete information about PQRS is available here.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

The Five Steps to a Successful, Thriving Independent Practice

The Five Steps to a Successful, Thriving Independent Practice

Sometimes we feel like this, right? Help is on the way! (Image Via Google.)

Independent:

in·de·pend·ent [indəˈpendənt]

ADJECTIVE

1. “not subject to the control of others”

We know what “Independent” means by definition, however, what does this mean to your practice?

Being independent within your practice may ultimately mean different things to different practices.

Solo and small practices have different industry regulations than larger practices and hospitals do. Staying independent through these regulations means deciding the course in which to drive and what your destiny is for the future of your practice.

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in place, doctors are held accountable to provide higher quality care at lower costs, with increased tracking and reporting demands. Sometimes, even in a facility that has declining reimbursement and high potential of liability.

It is possible to control this course of independence in your practice. These steps will prove to be essential in thriving and surviving in this new health care reality.

Step 1. Focusing on Financial Performance

Being prepared to handle new methods of reimbursement will help maximize financial performance. Independent physicians typically do not have the time to sort through changes enacted by government insurance payers, track claims or manage appeals, all the while trying to provide quality care and attention required to their patients.

Finding a practice management solution that integrates seamlessly with practice workflow, will allow for productivity boost and focus on patient care. The right practice management solution should be able to handle patient scheduling, claims submission and reporting, as well as sending out patient statements, in turn, getting you paid faster!

Step 2. Clinical Integration and Connectivity

Exchange of information is crucial to improve coordination between physicians. Lacking this information can lead to treatment errors, unnecessary costs accrued for the patient and possible, preventable hospital readmissions.

By implementing a cloud-based solution, it allows for access to the information needed and creates an easy transition for patient care and follow up. Having this connectivity, independent practices are able to meet payment requirements, avoid duplicate testing or redundant care and can ensure the data is provided to the physician at the point of care.

Step 3. Thriving in the ACO Environment

Joining an ACO vs. staying independent may make you feel lost. Let’s find a way out! (Image via Google.)

Taking up only a small portion of the massive new health laws are the Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). These are networks of physicians and hospitals that share responsibility for providing care to patients. There are physicians who are joining ACO’s but, there is also an increasing number of primary care physicians who want to remain independent.

To succeed under these payment reforms, independent practices must have an electronic health record that streamlines workflow in your practice, providing access to guidelines and maximizes efficiency, as well as a strong communication with local ACO’s to meet care coordination requirements. Lastly, health information technology is needed to monitor patients within or outside of your practice, ultimately being able to measure and report on the patients outcomes.

Step 4. Creating Foundations for an Engaging Environment

Independent practices must have something that appeals to the patient. Creating an attractive choice for patients and referral partners will be part of thriving in this business. Promoting a certain culture and maintaining a strong financial performance is just the beginning. A great start for this is an online patient portal.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 requires physicians to help patients view, download and transmit health information online. Patient portals not only streamline tasks such as scheduling or registration, but they also serve as communication between doctor and patient, satisfying those requirements for Meaningful Use Stage 2.

Step 5. Adapting to Change

Adapting to a changing environment can be overwhelming at times! (Image via Google.)

The future of health care is starting to take form after many years of uncertainty. This is where independent practices must be quicker than ever. Being able to adapt to all the “new’s” in the industry, such as new payment models, new care models, reimbursement, meaningful use and transitions with ICD-10. Independent practices must have a system in place to stay on top of these requirements.

We hope these steps will be helpful for you, as you embrace independence in your practice!

Let us know what you thought of this blog!

Leave a comment or give us a call @ 480-730-3055.

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Meaningful Use in 2016

Don’t miss out on what’s happening in 2016 with Meaningful Use!

Providers that wait until 2016 to review what they need to be doing for meaningful use in 2016 may miss the mark!

Remember that unless you are in your first year of participating in the EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use), providers will be required to attest for the entire calendar year of 2016. Since there are certain measures that require providers to attest that the functionality was enabled the entire reporting period, there is a high risk to missing the mark. It’s all or none when it comes to meaningful use, therefore we are encouraging providers to take time to review the changes and make sure you are on track well before January 1st. Providers that wait may find it is too late!

Get Started before January 1st!

A great resource to review is this recently released overview document of what has changed in the program and what is REQUIRED in 2016:

Providers are also encouraged to keep supporting documentation at the beginning of the reporting period (January 1st) for yes/no attestation measures, for more information review the Supporting Documentation for Audit Tipsheet from CMS.

Tell me more…

Let us help you along the way. We have many resources available on our blog to help answer questions about the EHR Incentive Program and Meaningful Use. Click here to find previous articles.

Need Any Assistance? Our Trainers Can Help.

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Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the Medicare/Medicaid programs are constantly changing, and it is the sole responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of  program requirements by consulting the authorities and documentation found directly at http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/index.html

New Meaningful Use Guide for 2015

New Meaningful Use Guide for 2015

This notice is intended for McKesson Practice Choice Users participating in the EHR Incentive Program.

In response to the recent changes to the Meaningful Use Program (Modified Stage 2), McKesson has released a 2015 Meaningful Use Attestation Guide. This guide is intended to be a companion to information on CMS site as well as details in McKesson Practice Choice’s online Help for past reporting years.

Here’s a preview of what will be discussed in this guide:

Modified Stage 2 Objectives_Mckesson MU Guide 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can access the guide by Clicking Here.

Need More Help?

Check out these other resources available:

 

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Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the Medicare/Medicaid programs are constantly changing, and it is the sole responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of  program requirements by consulting the authorities and documentation found directly at http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/index.html

Important Update on CQM Reporting for 2015

Please take note of the changes to Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) Reporting for 2015:

Providers participating in the EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use)  or electronically reporting for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Program are required to use the 2014 eCQM Specifications for their 2015 calendar year reporting.

Run The Updater On Your Server

This important update is to notify users that McKesson has now released a software patch on 11/4/2015 for Medisoft Clinical, LytecMD, and Practice Partner that will update the CQM reporting tool from the 2013 eCQM specifications to the new 2014 eCQM Specifications. Practices must run the updater on the server to apply the patch.
If there are any questions on running this update, feel free to contact our Support department for further assistance.

Review Your Selected Reporting Measures

Depending on the specific quality measures the provider is reporting, installing the software patch alone may not be enough as a number of the measures require configuration and workflow training in order to ensure the data is being captured in a manner that the report can read the data.
We are advising all providers to both update the software and review the measures they have selected for any changes to the configuration and workflow. A new user guide was released in conjunction with this update which includes all of the details on configuration and reporting.
Access and Download the guide here: CQM Report User’s Guide 2015

Need Any Assistance? Our Trainers Can Help.

If you need assistance with configuration, implementation and training on CQMs we recommend working one-on-one with one of our Certified Trainers. Call us at (888) 799-4777 to get set up with your training.

Meaningful Use 2015 Final Rule Webinar Replay

Meaningful Use: What you need to know about the CMS Final Rule Changes from October 16, 2015.

In mid October, CMS created a new Final Rule to update a portion of the EHR Incentive Program.

We held a webinar on October 29, 2015 to address the changes and show how this impacts your practice if you plan to attest for Meaningful Use.

Need Meaningful Use Help?

If you need additional help, call our office to schedule some time with one of our EHR trainers and we’ll help you make it through. Call us at (888) 799-4777.

Watch The Webinar Replay Here:

It’s a long one, so block out some time to review and grab some popcorn, Redvines, and any other snacks for the show…

Read the full text of the Final Rule as published on the Federal Register website.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

Meaningful Use 2015 Final Rule Webinar

Meaningful Use: What you need to know about the CMS Final Rule Changes from October 16, 2015.

This webinar was held on October 29, 2015. To watch the recording of the webinar, click here.

Join us for a live webinar hosted by AZCOMP’s EMR and Meaningful Use expert Loree Olsen.

When: Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 10:00AM Pacific

The webinar will last approximately 60 minutes with a Q&A period.

What: Electronic Health Records Incentive Program – Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015-2017

On October 16, 2015, a final rule was published in the Federal Register that changes meaningful use Stage 1 and Stage 2 as we know it. In this webinar we will focus on what you need to know in order to report for 2015.

What we will cover:

  • The adjustment to the reporting period
  • The new outline of objectives
  • Alternate measures and exclusions
  • How these changes impact your practice and workflow

This is a great opportunity to do a self-check to ensure your practice is on track to successfully attest for 2015!

Register for the webinar!

Registration is required, and the webinar is FREE!

 

AZCOMP Technologies, along with McKesson is committed to providing the resources you need to get educated, to avoid penalties, and to earn your EHR incentives.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

Updated Stage 2 Summary of Care FAQ Provides Guidance on Measure #3

Updated Information on Measure #3 for Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has notified us of updated information regarding Meaningful Use Stage 2. We understand that this is a concern for many of our providers so we want you to be aware of this latest announcement (read below for the announcement).

In addition to this accouncement, please be aware that we are all still waiting for the final rule on the proposed changes to Meaningful Use Stage 2 that was published April 15, 2015. The public comment period for the proposed changes closed on June 15, 2015 and we are still waiting for the final rule to be published. You can view the summary CMS posted to their website here.

We will continue to keep everyone up to date when we receive any announcements or changes to meaningful use.

Discontinuation of NIST EHR-Randomizer Application; Effective July 1

To keep you updated with information on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, CMS has recently updated an FAQ about Stage 2 Summary of Care objective. We encourage you to stay informed by taking a few minutes to review the new information below.

Question: When reporting on the Summary of Care objective in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program, how can eligible professionals and eligible hospitals meet measure 3 if they are unable to complete a test with the CMS designated test EHR (Randomizer)?

Answer: CMS is aware of difficulties related to systems issues that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) are having in use of the CMS Designated Test EHRs (NIST EHR-Randomizer Application) to meet measure 3 of the Stage 2 Summary of Care objective, therefore, we will be discontinuing this option effective July 1, 2015.

Providers may still meet the Stage 2 Summary of Care objective measure #3 by using one of the following actions:

  1. Exchange a summary of care with a provider or third party who has a different CEHRT as the sending provider as part of the 10% threshold for measure #2 (allowing the provider to meet the criteria for measure #3 without the CMS Designated Test EHR). This exchange may be conducted outside of the EHR reporting period timeframe, but must take place no earlier than the start of the year and no later than the end of the EHR reporting year or the attestation date, whichever occurs first.
  2. If providers do not exchange summary of care documents with recipients using a different CEHRT in common practice, they may retain documentation on their circumstances and attest “Yes” to meeting measure #3 if they have and are using a certified EHR which meets the standards required to send a CCDA (170.202).

For more information, visit the frequently asked questions page on the CMS website.

Have questions? Be sure to ask them in the comments below.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

Medicare Eligible Professionals: Take Action by July 1 to Avoid 2016 Medicare Payment Adjustment

News Updates from CMS Regarding Meaningful Use And Hardship Exceptions

Payment adjustments for eligible professionals that did not successfully participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2014 will begin on January 1, 2016. Medicare eligible professionals can avoid the 2016 payment adjustment by taking action by July 1 and applying for a 2016 hardship exception.

The hardship exception applications and instructions for an individual and for multiple Medicare eligible professionals are available on the EHR Incentive Programs website, and outline the specific types of circumstances that CMS considers to be barriers to achieving meaningful use, and how to apply.

To file a hardship exception, you must:

  • Show proof of a circumstance beyond your control.
  • Explicitly outline how the circumstance significantly impaired your ability to meet meaningful use.

Supporting documentation must also be provided for certain hardship exception categories. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not a hardship exception should be granted.

You do not need to submit a hardship application if you:

  • are a newly practicing eligible professional
  • are hospital-based: a provider is considered hospital-based if he or she provides more than 90% of their covered professional services in either an inpatient (Place of Service 21) or emergency department (Place of Service 23), and certain observation services using Place of Service 22; or
  • Eligible professionals with certain PECOS specialties (05-Anesthesiology, 22-Pathology, 30-Diagnostic Radiology, 36-Nuclear Medicine, 94-Interventional Radiology)

CMS will use Medicare data to determine your eligibility to be automatically granted a hardship exception.

Apply by July 1
As a reminder, the application must be submitted electronically or postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on July 1, 2015 to be considered.

If approved, the exception is valid for the 2016 payment adjustment only. If you intend to claim a hardship exception for a subsequent payment adjustment year, a new application must be submitted for the appropriate year.

In addition, providers who are not considered eligible professionals under the Medicare program are not subject to payment adjustments and do not need to submit an application. Those types of providers include:

  • Medicaid only
  • No claims to Medicare
  • Hospital-based

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the programs.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

 

2016 EHR Hardship Exception Applications Due

News Updates From CMS: Medicare Eligible Professionals –  To Avoid 2016 Medicare Payment Adjustments, Take Action by July 1

This information was sent to us in an email from CMS dated May 14, 2015.

Payment adjustments for eligible professionals that did not successfully participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2014 will begin on January 1, 2016. Medicare eligible professionals can avoid the 2016 payment adjustment by taking action by July 1 and applying for a 2016 hardship exception.

The hardship exception applications and instructions for an individual and for multiple Medicare eligible professionals are available on the EHR Incentive Programs website, and outline the specific types of circumstances that CMS considers to be barriers to achieving meaningful use, and how to apply.

To file a hardship exception, you must:

  • Show proof of a circumstance beyond your control.
  • Explicitly outline how the circumstance significantly impaired your ability to meet meaningful use.

Supporting documentation must also be provided for certain hardship exception categories. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not a hardship exception should be granted.

You do not need to submit a hardship application if you:

  • are a newly practicing eligible professional
  • are hospital-based: a provider is considered hospital-based if he or she provides more than 90% of their covered professional services in either an inpatient (Place of Service 21) or emergency department (Place of Service 23), and certain observation services using Place of Service 22; or
  • Eligible professionals with certain PECOS specialties (05-Anesthesiology, 22-Pathology, 30-Diagnostic Radiology, 36-Nuclear Medicine, 94-Interventional Radiology)

CMS will use Medicare data to determine your eligibility to be automatically granted a hardship exception.

Apply by July 1

As a reminder, the application must be submitted electronically or postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on July 1, 2015 to be considered.

If approved, the exception is valid for the 2016 payment adjustment only. If you intend to claim a hardship exception for a subsequent payment adjustment year, a new application must be submitted for the appropriate year.

In addition, providers who are not considered eligible professionals under the Medicare program are not subject to payment adjustments and do not need to submit an application. Those types of providers include:

  • Medicaid only
  • No claims to Medicare
  • Hospital-based

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the programs.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the Medicare program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the Medicare program requirements.