Q: What are the deadlines otolaryngologists need to be aware of?
Explore This IssueJune 2013
A: If 2013 is the first year an otolaryngologist is participating in the EHR Incentive Program, participants report data for any 90 continuous days in 2013. This means that if this is your first year, you must begin reporting data by October 1 of this year. February 28, 2014 will be the last day for Medicare-eligible professionals to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for data collected in calendar year 2013.
In 2014, according to CMS, all providers, regardless of their stage of meaningful use, are only required to demonstrate meaningful use for a three-month EHR reporting period. For Medicare providers, this three-month reporting period is fixed to the calendar year (for EPs) in order to align with existing CMS quality measurement programs, such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). CMS is permitting this one-time three-month reporting period in 2014 so that all providers who must upgrade to 2014 certified EHR technology will have adequate time to implement their new EHR systems.
Q: Are there any specific rules that apply to otolaryngologists?
A: Unfortunately, there are no specific rules. The Academy has advocated through comments to CMS for the agency to consider specialty physicians when determining reporting requirements and will continue to do so.
Q: Does AAO-HNS have any suggestions on core measures, menu measures and clinical quality measures that are particularly applicable to or achievable for otolaryngology providers and groups?
A: The AAO-HNS Medical Informatics Committee provides guidance on five menu set items that may be the least difficult for otolaryngologists to comply with, including:
- generating a list of patients with a specific diagnosis;
- using the EHR to provide patient-specific education resources;
- performing one test to submit data to an immunization registry (not applicable if the registry is unable to receive information electronically);
- performing one test to submit data to a public health agency (not applicable if the agency is unable to receive information electronically); and
- providing a summary of care record if transferring care to another provider.
Recommended clinical quality measures for otolaryngology include but are not limited to:
- Core measures: blood pressure, tobacco screening and adult weight (already required in core objectives).
- Additional measures: appropriate testing for children with pharyngitis, pneumonia vaccination status for older adults, asthma assessment.
Q: How many otolaryngologists have met Stage 1 requirements for the initial 90-day period or the initial one-year period?