CMS Provides Short-Term Relief to Pathologists in Final Stage 2 Meaningful Use Rules
August 24—CMS is granting pathologists short-term relief from penalties beginning in 2015 under the just-released final Stage 2 rules for the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program.
In the CMS portion of the rule, the agency states that if a physician’s specialty is defined as pathology, radiology or anesthesiology, the agency will not apply the penalties. In doing so, the agency is agreeing with CAP comments to the proposed rule (as well as from other provider groups) that these three specialties “lack face-to-face interactions and need to follow up with patients with sufficient frequency to warrant granting an exception to each EP [eligible provider] with one of these primary specialties.”
CMS goes on to state that physicians in these three specialties should not expect this exception to continue indefinitely, as it will be subject to an annual review. The College is supporting pending legislation to make this exception permanent. Introduced by Rep. Tom Price, MD (R-GA), The Health Information Technology Reform Act (H.R. 4066) exempts pathologists from eligibility for both Meaningful Use penalties and incentives. To date, CAP has secured 38 co-sponsors and continues to lobby for its enactment.
For more analysis on the final Stage 2 rules for the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program, read the next issue of Statline on August 30.
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