The final rule also adds "outpatient lab reporting" to the program's menu objectives for hospitals and "recording clinical notes" as a menu objective for both physicians and hospitals.
The rule lowered the requirement that providers submit summaries of care from 65% of “transitions of care and referrals” to just 50%. Additionally, it eliminated the organizational and vendor limitations in the requirement that providers electronically transmit a summary of care for more than 10% of transitions of care and referrals to another provider with no organizational or vendor affiliations.
Also, the final rule modifies the definition of "hospital-based" physicians to create an application process for physicians to demonstrate that they alone fund their EHR systems and are eligible to receive the incentive payments, directly.
Since the program began in January 2011, more than 120,000 eligible healthcare professionals and more than 3,300 hospitals have qualified to participate and receive incentive payments, according to the CMS. The rates of participation include more than half of all eligible hospitals and about 20% of eligible healthcare professionals.
The Stage 3 phase will add another layer of health data collection and reporting requirements for the participating providers. Medicare providers that do not successfully participate by 2015 will begin to face cuts in their overall payments from the program.
An earlier version of the story implied that the final rule dropped information-sharing requirements. They remain in place, with some adjustments.
Category: Pathology News