CMS Changes Name of EHR Incentive Program and Advancing Care Information Performance Category

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has re-branded both the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs (aka Meaningful Use) and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Advancing Care Information performance category.

According to a proposed rule, the programs will now be known as “Promoting Interoperability,” and will feature streamlined requirements that focus on reducing administrative burdens and improving patient access to health information.

What Does This Mean For Providers?

  • For MIPS Eligible Clinicians: The “Advancing Care Information” performance category is now called “Promoting Interoperability”
  • For Eligible Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, and Medicaid Providers: “EHR Incentive Programs” is now “Promoting Interoperability (PI) Programs”

The name change follows CMS’ announcement at HIMSS of a new initiative named “MyHealthEData.” The stated goal is to put the patient in control of their data and create transparency that permits patients to make more informed healthcare decisions.

In addition to the name change, the proposed rule intends to overhaul EHR incentive programs with following goals in mind:

  1. Making the program more flexible and less burdensome
  2. Emphasizing measures that require the exchange of health information between providers and patients
  3. Incentivizing providers to make it easier for patients to obtain their medical records electronically

Putting Data in Patient’s Hands

Although we don’t yet know how these programs will take shape, expect to see evolving technologies built to collect better collect information from multiple providers.

Starting in 2019, hospitals will be required to have a patient’s electronic health records available on the day they leave the hospital.

“This updated technology includes the use of application programming interfaces (APIs), which have the potential to improve the flow of information between providers and patients,” states a CMS press release. “Patients could collect their health information from multiple providers and potentially incorporate all of their health information into a single portal, application, program, or other software.”