FAQs: Attesting for Meaningful Use Stage 1 & Stage 2

Last week we hosted two webinars focused on MU Stage 1 & MU Stage 2  attestation in 2014. At the end of each presentation, we found that many of our participants were asking similar questions. Below we’ve summarized the common frequently asked questions and answers to help other organizations stay on track for attesting for Meaningful Use Stage 1 and Stage 2 in 2014.

FAQs: Attesting for 2014 MU Stage 1 & Stage 2

1. How do I apply for 2014 Stage 1 hardship extension due November 30, 2014?

For those looking to apply for the 2014 Stage 1 hardship extension, you can access the application itself and instructions on the CMS website. These applications must be submitted via email no later November 30th, 2014 to be considered. Per the CMS website, this reopened hardship exception application submission period is for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that:

  • Have been unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability;
  • Eligible professionals who were unable to attest by October 1, 2014 and eligible hospitals that were unable to attest by July 1, 2014 using the flexibility options provided in the CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule.

2. How do I qualify for the flexibility rule?

A provider qualifies for the exception if they could not fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT due to delays in availability. This means, even if you were able to implement 2014 Edition CEHRT, the implementation delay could have negatively impacted your ability to deploy, train staff, test the system and/or make workflow revisions.
CMS does not allow the exception in these circumstances:

  • Provider experienced financial issues with purchase or implementation
  • Provider waited too long to purchase software
  • Clinic experienced staffing or resource constraints
  • Unable to meet certain measure thresholds for Stage 2

3. How do I prepare to take advantage of the flexibility rule?

Documentation is key. CMS does not give a list of the exact documentation needed to take advantage of the flexibility rule, so we say the more documentation, the better. The documentation should provide information about the delay in the availability of 2014 CEHRT – this could mean emails from your vendor, copies of tickets submitted, documentation of your training plan to show a lack of time to implement, etc.

4. Can you tell me more about the numerators and denominators for the measures?

Everyone focuses on the numbers in the numerators for each objective, but the denominators and exceptions (if applicable) are just as important for a successful attestation. Many denominators are similar, if not the same, across the board for objectives. However, some have a few nuances that change the population the denominator is looking at entirely. Exceptions are a key piece in attestation as well. If your provider qualifies for the exception to the rule, they will not have to meet the minimum numerator at all.