The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized a rule it says will improve interoperability, reduce the reporting burden under meaningful use, and allow healthcare providers to spend more time with their patients while saving hospitals and other medical facilities millions of dollars each year.
CMS said the final rule, announced last Thursday, will “put patients first, ease provider burden, and make significant strides in modernizing Medicare.”
The rule updates Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) to encourage value-based, quality care.
CMS also issued final rules last week on fiscal year (FY) 2019 Medicare payments and policies for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) PPS, Inpatient Psychiatric Facility (IPF) PPS, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) PPS, and the Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update.
The final rule will begin implementing core pieces of the MyHealthEData initiative by overhauling the Medicare and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability programs (formerly known as the “meaningful use” program) to:

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

“Today’s final rule reflects public feedback on CMS proposals issued in April, and the agency’s patient-driven priorities of improving the quality and safety of care, advancing health information exchange and usability, and removing outdated or redundant regulations on healthcare providers to make way for innovation and greater value, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. “We’ve listened to patients and their doctors who urged us to remove the obstacles getting in the way of quality care and positive health outcomes.”

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