• 2016 Meaningful Use (MU) Program Requirements


    Below is what physicians need to know about meeting EHR Incentive Programs (Meaningful Use) requirements in 2016:

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: The deadline to submit data for the 2016 Meaningful Use Program has passed. Physicians who did not successfully attest by March 13, 2017 and do not qualify for a hardship exception will be subject to a 4% penalty in CY 2018. 


    Hardship Exception Application Now Available

    CMS has released the application form to apply for a hardship exception for physicians who were unsuccessful in meeting the 2016 Meaningful Use (MU) program requirements and fall within one of the available “circumstances of hardship” found within the application. Applications are due July 1, 2017 and successful applicants will avoid a 4% penalty in 2018. CMS strongly recommends electronic submission of the application form to avoid processing delays. EPs can download the application and type in the dynamic form. The application should be emailed as an attachment to ehrhardship@providerresources.com. Access these CMS instructions for additional information.



    Objectives and Measures

    • All physicians are required to attest to a single set of objectives and measures. This replaces the core and menu structure of previous stages.
    • There are 10 objectives for physicians to meet. 
      • Objective 1: Protect electronic protected health information created or maintained by the CEHRT through the implementation of appropriate technical capabilities
      • Objective 2: Use clinical decision support to improve performance on high-priority health conditions.
      • Objective 3: Use computerized provider order entry for medication, laboratory, and radiology orders directly entered by any licensed healthcare professional who can enter orders into the medical record per state, local, and professional guidelines.
      • Objective 4: Generate and transmit permissible prescriptions electronically (eRx).
      • Objective 5: Health Information Exchange -The physician who transitions their patient to another setting of care or provider of care or refers their patient to another provider of care provides a summary care record for each transition of care or referral.
      • Objective 6: Use clinically relevant information from CEHRT to identify patient-specific education resources and provide those resources to the patient.
      • Objective 7: The physician who receives a patient from another setting of care or provider of care or believes an encounter is relevant performs medication reconciliation.
      • Objective 8: Patient electronic access - Provide patients the ability to view online, download, and transmit their health information within 4 business days of the information being available to the EP.
      • Objective 9: Use secure electronic messaging to communicate with patients on relevant health information.
      • Objective 10: Public Health Reporting -The physician is in active engagement with a public health agency to submit electronic public health data from CEHRT except where prohibited and in accordance with applicable law and practice.
    • All physicians must attest to objectives and measures using EHR technology certified to the 2014 Edition. All physicians may attest to objectives and measures using EHR technology certified to the 2015 Edition, or a combination of the two (if the 2015 Edition is available)

    CQM Requirements

    • To participate successfully in the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must submit clinical quality measures (CQMs).
    • Physicians must report 9 out of a possible 64 measures. At least 3 of those must cover the National Quality Strategy domains, which include:
      • Patient and Family Engagement   
      • Patient Safety
      • Care Coordination
      • Population/Public Health
      • Efficient Use of Healthcare Resources
      • Clinical Process/Effectiveness
    • CQM Reporting Options:
      • Option 1: Attest to CQMs through the EHR Registration & Attestation System
      • Option 2: eReport to CQMs through the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Portal  
      • Option 3: Report individual CQMs through the PQRS Portal - This option aligns the EHR Incentive Program with the PQRS Program
      • Option 4: Report group CQMs through the PQRS Portal - This option aligns the EHR Incentive Program with the PQRS Program
      • Option 5: Report group CQMs through Pioneer ACO participation or Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative participation
    • For more information on the 2016 program requirements and clinical quality measures, visit the 2015 CQM Reporting Options page on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website.


     Alternate Exclusions

    • Physicians that were scheduled to be in Stage 1 in 2016 may claim an alternate exclusion for an EHR reporting period in 2016 for Objective 3: Computerized Provider Order Entry, Measures 2 and 3 (lab and radiology orders), or choose the modified Stage 2 objective and measures.
    • Physicians scheduled to be in Stage 1 and Stage 2 in 2016 may claim an alternate exclusion for the Public Health Reporting measure(s) that might require acquisition of additional technologies that they did not previously have or did not previously intend to include in their activities for meaningful use. Physicians may claim an alternate exclusion for measure 2 (syndromic surveillance) and measure 3 (specialized registry reporting). 

     Changes to Specific Objectives

    • Objective 9 - Secure Electronic Messaging: This objective has a phased approach for its measure’s threshold. For 2016, the measure is “For an EHR reporting period in 2016, for at least 1 patient seen by the physicain during the EHR reporting period, a secure message was sent using the electronic messaging function of CEHRT to the patient (or the patient-authorized representative), or in response to a secure message sent by the patient (or the patient-authorized representative) during the EHR reporting period
    • Objective 10 - Public Health Reporting: All physicians must meet two measures

    EHR (Meaningful Use) Reporting Period

    • The EHR reporting period must be completed within January 1 and December 31 of the 2016 calendar year
    • For all returning participants, the EHR reporting period will be any continuous 90-day period within January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016
    • For physicians that have not successfully demonstrated meaningful use in a prior year the reporting period will be any continuous 90-day period
    • The deadline to attest is March 13, 2017, 11:59 p.m. PT

    Registration and Attestation

    If you are ready to register and/or attest for the EHR Incentive Programs please review the following:

    For Registration and Attestation System Inquiries contact 1-888-734-6433 and press option 1.  Open M-F from 7:30am to 6:30pm CST


    Created by HCMS August 2016 | Revised February 2017