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CMS Reviews Exclusions for Meaningful Use Reporting in 2016

According to CMS, eligible providers must attest to all requirements or submit an exclusion for successful meaningful use reporting in 2016.

By Sara Heath

As a part of its National Health IT Week series, CMS has issued information about the 2016 meaningful use reporting period, helping eligible providers determine if they qualify for an exclusion or alternate exclusion.

In a public statement, CMS explained that eligible providers must attest to all meaningful use requirements or they must apply for an exclusion or alternate exclusion in order to successfully complete the program. Exclusions exempt providers from having to attest to certain meaningful use requirements they may have barriers to meeting.

CMS notes that exclusions are not based on specialty and that specialists must determine if they meet the criteria for an exclusion for each objective. Additionally, there are no blanket exclusions for any eligible professionals.

Alternate exclusions are those added to the program following the October 2015 modified stage 2 meaningful use rule. Alternate exclusions apply to certain objectives and measures included in the reporting periods between 2015 and 2017.

Alternate exclusions are geared toward providers in the early stages of attestation by allowing them to attest to a lower threshold or to exclude measures for which there is no stage 1 meaningful use equivalent.

Alternate exclusions also accommodate required changes between the original stage 2 meaningful use rule and the modified stage 2 meaningful use rule, such as new certified EHR technology requirements.

The 2016 meaningful use reporting period allows for the following alternate exclusions:

A. Computerized Provider Order Entry

Measure 2: Laboratory Orders

Measure 3: Radiology Order

B. Electronic prescribing (Eligible hospitals only)

C. Public Health Reporting

Measure 2: Syndromic Surveillance Reporting (EPs)

Measure 3: Specialized Registry Reporting (EPs, and Eligible hospitals and CAHs)

CMS notes that many of the 2015 alternate exclusion options are no longer available. Additionally, the agency emphasizes that providers have the option of selection an exclusion or alternate exclusion, but they are not required.

This review was posted as a part of CMS efforts to promote education during National Health IT Week. Earlier this week the agency published a review of meaningful use requirements for the 2016 reporting period.

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