Last week, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-MI) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) reintroduced the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act, which allows providers the option to choose any three-month quarter for an EHR reporting period to qualify for the Meaningful Use Program in 2015, as opposed to a full year. Ellmers’ press release noted that the full-year rule reporting period has sparked much concern in the healthcare industry, as evidenced in the low attestation numbers reported last year. According to a December announcement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be sending letters to approximately 257,000 professionals affected by the meaningful use penalty with instructions for applying for possible considerations, which will be due back to CMS by the end of February.
“The time constraints imposed on doctors and hospitals are inflexible and simply unmanageable— and this is evident by the dreadful Stage 2 Meaningful Use attestation numbers released by CMS late last year,” stated Ellmers in a press release. “It’s hard to comprehend how HHS can move forward to full-year reporting when the numbers for 90-day reporting are so low—particularly when noting that half of the physicians in our country are now facing costly fines.”