The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is continuing to take steps to make attestation simpler for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) participating in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.
What is Changing?
- For Medicare eligible hospitals and CAHs, CMS is migrating the 2017 meaningful use submission process from the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System to the QualityNet Secure Portal (QNet). QNet is the same system you currently use for CQM reporting, so beginning January 2, 2018, you can submit both meaningful use and quality attestations in one place. The change applies to 2017 meaningful use data, as well as future reporting periods. CAHs that attest to meaningful use using QNet will also have the option to manually or electronically attest for CQMs using QNet.
- The Registration and Attestation System will still be available for Medicaid eligible hospitals. Medicaid-only hospitals should contact their state Medicaid agencies for specific information on how to attest.
- Hospitals and CAHs attesting for both Medicare and Medicaid (as dually eligible hospitals) will register and attest for Medicare on the QNet portal and update and submit registration information in the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System.
What Do You Need to Do?
Starting in October 2017, CMS will open new user enrollment registration on the QNet portal. Between October and December 2017, you will be able to view your data in the existing CMS EHR Incentive Program’s Registration and Attestation system.
As of October 1, 2017, QNet enrollment is open, and you can take one of two actions:
- If you don’t have an account on QNet already from previous CQM submissions, you’ll need to create a new one before you attest.
- If you—or the person/department at your hospital who usually submits meaningful use data—already has an account, you’ll need to update that existing account by adding the “meaningful use” role before attestation. If your organization’s account has several users associated with the account, you may not have permission to make the change. The designated Security Administrators can make the meaningful use role update.
When Can You Attest?
On January 2, 2018, QNet will be open for 2017 meaningful use attestation. CMS will release a user guide in the coming weeks to help you to navigate QNet registration and attestation screens.
If you have authorized a surrogate to attest for you, they will need to create their own QNet account to attest using your data.
At this time, vendors will not be able to electronically attest on behalf of hospital clients. Measure and objective results files exported by vendors will need to be entered into QNet manually, rather than imported directly. CMS is working toward allowing vendor attestation in the future.
Where Can You Find More Information?
You can also submit questions to the EHR Information Center, available at 1-888-734-6433 (press option 1) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
CMS will distribute more information on this transition as it becomes available. In the meantime, don’t forget to review the 2017 Modified Stage 2 and Stage 3 EHR Incentive Program requirements to ensure you are ready to attest in 2018.