CMS proposes changes to empower patients and reduce administrative burden

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes to empower patients through better access to hospital price information, improve patients’ access to their electronic health records and make it easier for providers to spend time with their patients.

To advance this, CMS included in the proposed rule issued April 24 to update the Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS). The IPPS and LTCH PPS proposed rule would further advance the agency’s priority of creating a patient-driven healthcare system by achieving greater price transparency and interoperability.

Additionally, CMS is re-naming the Meaningful Use program “Promoting Interoperability” effective immediately. This will also change the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Advancing Care Information performance category to the “Promoting Interoperability” performance category. The rebranding does not merge or combine the two programs. Websites and resources will be updated in the coming weeks to reflect the name changes.

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CMS’s proposal to overhaul the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs (also known as the “Meaningful Use” program) aims to:

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