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Sophie Scheidlinger · Jan 22, 2016

CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt, MACRA, and Meaningful Use 3: The Practice Fusion perspective

If you haven’t heard by now, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt’s presentation at the J.P. Morgan Annual Health Care Conference set the industry abuzz. Perhaps due to all the speculation this speech created, he then released a blog post with Acting Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Karen DeSalvo, to clarify his remarks.

Both the speech and the blog post discussed the need to transition the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, more popularly referred to as Meaningful Use. The controversy centered around Administrator Slavitt’s remark that, “Now that we effectively have technology into virtually every place care is provided, we are now in the process of ending Meaningful Use and moving to a new regime culminating with the MACRA implementation. The Meaningful Use program as it has existed, will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.” Additionally, what Administrator Slavitt didn’t say led to quite a bit of speculation, “We will be putting out the details on this next stage over the next few months…”

While it may be appealing to draw the conclusion that Meaningful Use is over or Stage 3 is null and void, we can not responsibly do so at this point. The co-authored blog post makes very clear that the changes to Meaningful Use will come about in the yet to be released details of the Merit Incentive Payment System (MIPS), created through the passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 ( MACRA). “The current law requires that we continue to measure the meaningful use of ONC Certified Health Information Technology under the existing set of standards. While MACRA provides an opportunity to adjust payment incentives associated with EHR incentives in concert with the principles we outlined here, it does not eliminate it…We encourage you to look for the MACRA regulations this year; in the meantime, our existing regulations – including meaningful use Stage 3 – are still in effect.”

Practice Fusion is consistently committed to helping our providers meet Meaningful Use requirements and stay up to date on policy changes. We continuously monitor the industry for regulatory reforms and automatically update our EHR to make sure that you’re kept current in a changing clinical landscape. In the past few months, Practice Fusion updated our Meaningful Use Dashboard to support providers after CMS released changes to the Meaningful Use program in October of 2015. Our cloud-based EHR makes sure that we can do so again. Regardless of any future changes, our certified EHR will adapt as necessary to continue to be the #1 cloud-based electronic health record platform for doctors and patients and the most progressive tool in healthcare.