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Updates to NC Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

NC-MIPS is Open for Program Year 2019

The NC Medicaid EHR Incentive Payment System (NC-MIPS) is only accepting Program Year 2019 Stage 3 Meaningful Use (MU) attestations.

All eligible professionals (EPs) attesting in Program Year 2019 will be required to attest to Stage 3 MU and use a 2015 Edition of certified EHR technology (CEHRT).

In Program Year 2019, EPs may continue to use a 90-day MU reporting period. The MU reporting period must be from calendar year 2019 and will be any continuous 90-day period in which an EP successfully demonstrates MU of CEHRT. There are only three months left before the end of calendar year 2019. EPs must begin their MU reporting period no later than Oct. 3, 2019 to have 90 days of MU data in 2019.

EPs who were paid for Program Year 2018 using a 90-day patient volume reporting period from calendar year 2018 have the option to use the same patient volume reporting period to attest for Program Year 2019.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated its Promoting Interoperability Program website with Program Year 2019 information and details including the 2019 Medicaid EP specification sheets.

EPs will be attesting to six of 50 clinical quality measures (CQMs). Program Year 2019 CQMs are available for review on the eCQI website.

Attestation assistance is available through detailed attestation guides, an extensive library of answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), a series of short webinars explaining different aspects of the attestation process and a dedicated help desk. EPs can get free on-site assistance in their office from a coach from their regional area health education center (AHEC). The NC Medicaid EHR Incentive Program contracts with AHEC to provide technical assistance on meaningful use and the attestation process, so there is no cost to the EP or practice.

Two-Part Attestation Process

All EPs who have 90 days of MU objective data that meets CMS requirements may submit their demographic, license, patient volume and MU objective data in NC-MIPS beginning May 1, 2019.

In Program Year 2019, EPs who have successfully attested to MU in a previous program year will be required to use a full calendar year CQM reporting period. Returning meaningful users who would like an early review of requirements, excluding CQMs, may submit their attestation in two parts. Part 1 of the attestation may be submitted now through Dec. 31, 2019.

The two-part attestation process does not increase or reduce the information being submitted but allows EPs to complete their attestation in a 12-month window instead of in four months.

Submitting in two parts also allows ample time for EPs to address any attestation discrepancies. These EPs will return to NC-MIPS after Jan. 1, 2020 to submit their CQM data. EPs will not be required to sign or email any documentation for Part 1. The signed attestation packet will be emailed only once, after submission of CQMs in Jan. 2020.

EPs who have only attested to adopt, implement, upgrade (AIU), may use a 90-day CQM reporting period and may submit a complete attestation in NC-MIPS beginning May 1, 2019.

EPs will be automatically directed to the appropriate page in NC-MIPS.

For more information on the two-part attestation process, please email NCMedicaid.HIT@dhhs.nc.gov.

Recent Updates from CMS

The Program Year 2019 Medicaid EP Specification Sheets were updated July 31, 2019 to clarify the requirements for meeting objectives six and seven. The language now reads, “An EP must attest to all three measures and meet the threshold for two measures for this objective. If the EP meets the criteria for exclusion from two measures, they must meet the threshold for the one remaining measure. If they meet the criteria for exclusion from all three measures, they may be excluded from meeting this objective.”

On Aug. 2, 2019, CMS issued the Fiscal Year 2020 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) final rule. This rule changes the minimum MU reporting period for returning meaningful users from a full calendar year to any continuous 90-day period in Program Year 2021.

Reminder on MU Stage 3 Objective 8 Measure 1 (Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting: Immunization Registry Reporting)

To meet Objective 8 Measure 1 (Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting: Immunization Registry Reporting), EPs who administer vaccinations must be in active engagement with the North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR). NCIR is capable of accepting the specific standards required to meet the 2015 CEHRT definition and has declared readiness to receive immunization data, so EPs can take an exclusion for this measure only if they do not administer vaccinations.

EPs who wish to participate in Program Year 2019 of the NC Medicaid EHR Incentive Program but who are not yet in active engagement with NCIR, must complete registration with NCIR within 60 days after the start of their MU reporting period. In Program Year 2019, an EP’s MU reporting period must begin no later than Oct. 3, 2019 to get 90 days of MU data in calendar year 2019. This means the last day an EP may complete registration with NCIR to meet MU in Program Year 2019 is Dec. 1, 2019, with the 90-day MU reporting period being Oct. 3, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019.

To begin registering with NCIR, EPs should contact the NCIR Help Desk by phone at (877) 873-6247 or by email at ncirhelp@dhhs.nc.gov. EPs who are not already in active engagement with NCIR should begin this process now if they wish to apply for Program Year 2019 of the NC Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

General Reminders

EPs who attested with another state should email NCMedicaid.HIT@dhhs.nc.gov prior to attesting with North Carolina for Program Year 2019.

For those practices unsure if a new provider may participate in the NC Medicaid EHR Incentive Program in Program Year 2019, please email the EP’s NPI to NCMedicaid.HIT@dhhs.nc.gov and program staff will determine if the provider previously attested with another practice.

Author: 
GDIT, (800) 688-6696