How CMS is trying to tackle interoperability

How CMS is trying to tackle interoperability

In a continuing effort to promote interoperability between electronic health record (EHR) systems, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued, as part of their recently published proposed changes, a renaming of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Advancing Care Information performance category to Promoting Interoperability (PI). Interoperability is, quite simply, a sharing of information between EHR systems, to enable seamless collaboration among healthcare providers.

CMS states that the renamed Promoting Interoperability category:

  • Emphasizes patient engagement and the electronic exchange of health information using Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT).
  • Is worth 25% of the MIPS Final Score in 2018.
  • Is comprised of a Base, Performance, and Bonus score. All added together to give a clinician or group a Promoting Interoperability performance category score. Must fulfill the Base score to earn a Promoting Interoperability performance category score.
  • Includes a minimum performance period of 90 days.
  • Requires the use of CEHRT to capture data and fulfill the performance category

To aid in the transition, CMS has established two Promoting Interoperability measure sets that are available for clinicians in 2018:

  • Promoting Interoperability Objectives and Measures
  • Promoting Interoperability Transition Objectives and Measures

CMS explains that the “measure set a clinician or group selects will depend on the CEHRT edition. Clinicians and groups who exclusively report the Promoting Interoperability Measures using 2015 Edition CEHRT will earn a 10% bonus.” Providers can report the Promoting Interoperability Objectives and Measures if they have 2015 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2014 and 2015 Editions of CEHRT. Providers who have 2015 Edition CEHRT, 2014 Edition CEHRT, or a combination of 2014 and 2015 Editions of CEHRT, can report the Promoting Interoperability Transition Objectives and Measures.

The interoperability score is based on factors such as patient access to records, providing patients a summary of care, secure messaging capabilities, clinical information reconciliation, and reporting certain improvement activities using CEHRT.