Especially since having certified EHR is a requirement to participate — and using it in a meaningful way holds 25 percent weight of your MIPS score — it’s super important to make sure your EHR is keeping up with the times.
Could It Be — MACRA EHR Exceptions?
When was the last time you checked up on your EHR certifications (check out if you have an up-to-date version here)? If your EHR is certified to 2014 or 2015, you’re in the clear (cue for a happy dance), especially as far as Advancing Care Information (ACI) reporting goes for 2017.
But if your EHR isn’t certified, you won’t score any points in this category. You can get around this reporting requirement by applying for a Hardship Exception, and If CMS approves your request, you can whittle down the ACI category weight to 0% for 2017. Otherwise, you won’t be able to participate in MACRA.
Keep in mind you’ve got to be eligible for the Hardship Exception by either having (1) poor internet connectivity, (2) extreme circumstances, or (3) no control over CEHRT availability. We think #2 is up for the most interpretation, but you have to plead your case well regardless (dog-ate-my-EHR kind of reasons won’t count).
Certified EHR = Happy CMS
What’s the EHR certification process like? One thing’s for sure: you don’t want to be combing through CMS’s EHR compliance booklet yourself (it scares us a little, too). If you take a quick look at the booklet, you’ll notice your EHR has to comply with 8 broad categories.
The requirements for each category are pretty involved. To show you how little practices know about certified tech, around 92 percent of them didn’t know any MIPS-approved technology outside of their current EHR companies.
With all the criteria around EHR tech, we think it’s best you work with your health IT developers to make sure your EHR is up to date.
Future of EHR Compliance
As health IT keeps expanding to meet the needs of patients and practices alike, you best believe you’ll have to watch out for updates on whether CMS still qualifies your EHR for the ACI MIPS category.
After all, there’s a good chance you’ll have to re-certify again, especially since CMS continues to emphasize value-based care.