Radiology practices that participate in the EHR incentive program may want to review the 2016 program requirements on the EHR Incentive Program website before they sign onto the agency’s program attestation site, open January 1, 2017, through February 28, 2017.
In 2016, the EHR reporting period is a minimum of 90 days between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, and eligible providers who successfully attest will avoid a negative update in 2018. Be aware of changes for the 2016 program to the Secure Electronic Messaging measure and the Public Health Reporting measure (EPs must meet two measures).
Looking ahead, for those (the lion’s share of radiologists) that do not participate in this program and are concerned about how that will affect a practice’s ability to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Program that rolls up PQRS, MU program, and value modifiers into one program, Michael Peters, director, legislative and regulatory affairs, ACR, wrote an informative blog post shortly after program details were unveiled.
Similar to exemptions from the MU program, there are various “reweight-to-zero” option for the Advancing Care Information category (stand-in for the MU program) in MIPS, Peters wrote in an email to Vox Percipio. None of the options refer specifically to any specialty, but four of them (non-patient facing, hospital-based, lack of influence over certified EHR technology availability, and extreme and uncontrollable circumstances) “should be enough to cover most radiologists who were previously exempt from MU payment adjustments,” Peters wrote.
“If a radiologist chooses to re-weight to zero in the Advancing Care Information category, that weight is reallocated to the Quality category,” he explained. In this event, the full weight of the ACI category (25%) would be reallocated to the Quality category, giving it a total weight of 75%.