For certain measures in the CMS EHR Incentive Programs final rule, CMS changed the reporting requirements over time 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,
implementing or upgrading certified EHR technology (CEHRT).
In 2016 there are changes to the following objectives:
Secure Electronic Messaging (EPs Only) This objective has a phased approach for its measure's threshold. For 2016, an eligible professional (EP) must send a secure message using their CEHRT's electronic messaging function to at least one patient (or the patient-authorized representative) the EP sees during the EHR reporting period, or must respond to a secure message that the patient (or the patient-authorized representative) has sent during the EHR reporting period.
Public Health Reporting In 2016, all EPs must meet two measures, and eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) must 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 Tip sheets for EPs and eligible hospitals and CAHs in preparation for attestation. The attestation system will be open from January 1, 2017 to February 28, 2017.