On January 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its intent to revise the requirements for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. The goal of these revisions is to decrease the burden on health care providers required to report while still promoting the long-term goals of the EHR program, including switching Medicare and Medicaid providers to a new electronic record system.

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, adopted in 2011, provides incentives to health care providers and health care entities that adopt and implement certified electronic health record technology. Health care providers and health care entities are required to demonstrate meaningful use of EHR systems that positively affects patient care. 

CMS is considering revisions that would modify the program’s reporting period by changing the reporting period for hospitals to the calendar year and shortening the reporting period in 2015 to 90 days, which would allow health care providers and health care entities more time to incorporate EHR systems into their practices. CMS also intends to modify other aspects of the program to promote the program’s long-term goals, to reduce complexity, and to decrease reporting burdens, but it does not state what these revisions will include. 

The proposed rule is expected to be released in the spring of 2015.