Organizations urge 90-day MU reporting period for 2016

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and 32 other organizations are asking the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to shorten the Meaningful Use reporting period for 2016 from 365 to 90 days.

A March 15 letter to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt asks that the shortened reporting period granted for 2015 also be allowed for 2016. The coalition also recommends that CMS allow participants to report on any 90-day period in 2016, as was allowed in 2015.

"Doing so will continue the significant progress providers are making to harness the use of technology to succeed in new payment and care delivery models," the organizations wrote. "Further, announcing this as soon as possible will reduce the number of providers who will feel compelled to rely on filing for a hardship."

The letter also notes that the 365-day reporting period for 2016 leaves providers and vendors with no down time to improve usability and innovation, which it says could result in many providers having no baseline data for quality reporting if they're unable to report in 2016. Year-round reporting also makes it harder for providers to transition to the Medicare Access and CHIPS Reauthorization Act, which moves most physicians into a different EHR incentive program--the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

Meanwhile, CHIME put out a separate announcement noting that "[u]ntil the final MACRA rules are issued, providers will be greatly challenged to meet the reporting requirements. Maintaining 365-day reporting period also will force providers to pull resources away from using health IT to innovate care processes and workflows."

A longer reporting period also will limit the amount of time both providers and vendors can spend on improving interoperability and information exchange.