HHS Releases Final EHR Rules for Incentive Programs, 2015 Edition Health IT Certification; Patrick Conway Comments

electronic-health-record-EHRThe Department of Health and Human Services has issued a set of final regulations that seek to promote the adoption of electronic health records.

HHS said Tuesday it collaborated with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to develop and release the final rules for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs and 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria.

The rules for the incentive programs and 2015 Edition aim to facilitate interoperability among EHR systems and guide healthcare providers as they deploy and achieve “meaningful use” of EHR platforms.

“We eliminated unnecessary requirements, simplified and increased flexibility for those that remain, and focused on interoperability, information exchange and patient engagement,” said Patrick Conway, deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer at CMS.

“By 2018, these rules move us beyond the staged approach of ‘meaningful use’ and focus on broader delivery system reform.”

CMS will seek additional comments in the next 60 days on its final rule for the EHR Incentive Programs and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 in order to guide the development of future policies.

MACRA aims to combine federal incentive and quality measurement programs into one single framework and set up an incentive payment scheme based on merit.

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