More than 200K to see hit in Medicare payments after failing to meet MU requirements

Andy Slavitt: In 2016, Meaningful Use as it has existed will be effectively over
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More than 200,000 eligible professionals are set to see a slash in their Medicare payments after failing to meet Meaningful Use standards in 2014, according to a fact sheet released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Broken down further, about 13,900 will see a payment adjustment of less than $100, while 5,700 will see a cut of $10,000 or more.

The 209,000 EPs facing penalties this year is less than last year, where about 257,000 Medicare eligible professionals faced a 1 percent penalty, FierceHealthIT previously reported.

According to CMS, at this point "more than 70 percent of EPs and other clinicians and more than 95 percent of eligible hospitals have successfully used electronic health records and received incentive payments from the federal government."

However, the program continues to take heat from healthcare professionals, with some saying that a bill recently signed into law by President Barack Obama allowing more flexibility when applying for a hardship exemption under Meaningful Use shows the program has run its course.

Speaking at the J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on Monday, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt (pictured) told attendees (and tweeted) that 2016 likely will mark the end of the Meaningful Use program as it has existed, particularly in light of forthcoming changes called for in the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

Dan Haley, senior vice president and general counsel of EHR vendor athenahealth, wrote in a blog post that the law indicates that the Meaningful Use program has "probably passed the end of its productive life."

Meaningful Use's proposed Stage 3 has also seen a lot of flak. Both the American Hospital Association and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives are calling for changes to the rule that would implement Stage 3 as well as a delay of the rule.

To learn more:
- here's the fact sheet (.pdf)
- here's Slavitt's statement (via Twitter)

Related Articles:
CMS: Providers face millions in Meaningful Use penalties
Obama signs Meaningful Use hardship exemption bill into law
MU hardship exemption law shows that program has 'run its course,' says athenahealth's Dan Haley
Is hardship exemption law the death knell for Meaningful Use?
AHA, CHIME call on CMS to delay and change Meaningful Use Stage 3