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eHealth Tidbit: MU Webinars, MACRA Update

By eHealth Specialist Suzanne McEachron

As the warm and relaxing days of summer draw to an end and Vermonters anticipate the glorious foliage of fall, we frequently use the month of September to regroup and regain momentum in proceeding with our health care initiatives and organizational priorities.

Of interest to many of our VITL clients is the impending arrival of the MACRA Act final rules, which are due to be published around the first of November. While awaiting the details of what the program will entail is unnerving, there was a positive announcement made recently.

On September 8, 2016, Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of CMS, announced that in recognition of the wide diversity of physician practices, the Quality Payment Program scheduled to begin January 1, 2017, will be adjusted to allow for four different participation options. This flexibility will allow physicians to choose their pace of participation for the first performance year in 2017, and therefore avoid a negative payment adjustment to the physician's Part B Medicare payments in 2019. For more information, please see blog.cms.gov - Pick Your Pace

For the remainder of 2016, many organizations will be refocused on their meaningful use initiatives, and making sure their providers are meeting the 2016 required objectives. CMS recently offered two valuable webinars regarding the new requirements based on the October 2015 final rule; one for Eligible Professionals and one for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals. These webinars were recorded and may be accessed through the CMS website: CMS EHR Events page.

As always, if your organization would like guidance with any aspect of the Medicare and Medicaid Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program, please reach out to your eHealth specialist or call the main line at VITL, 802-861-1800.