CMS Extends Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals to Attest to Meaningful Use

New EHR Attestation Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals: March 20, 2015

Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015, to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year.

CMS extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data. CMS continues to urge providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can.

This extension also allows eligible professionals, who have not already used their one “switch”, to switch programs (from Medicare to Medicaid, or vice versa) for the 2014 payment year until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015. After that time, eligible professionals will no longer be able to switch programs.

Medicare eligible professionals must attest to meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a payment adjustment. Providers who successfully attest for the 2014 program year will:

Note: The Medicare extension does not affect deadlines for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Additionally, the EHR reporting option for PQRS has been extended until March 20, 2015. Please be on the lookout for a separate listserv with information regarding the PQRS program extension.

How to Attest
Submit your data to the Registration and Attestation System, which includes 2014 Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) Flexibility Rule options.

Tips for speed:

  • Attest during non-peak hours, such as evenings and weekends
  • Start now to:
    • Check that your information is up to date
    • Begin entering your 2014 data

To learn more, see the Educational Resources on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website.

For help, call the EHR Information Center: 1-888-734-6433
TTY for people with hearing impairments: 1-888-734-6563
Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 7:30 pm (ET)

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Message from CHUG Board

February 11, 2015

Mr. Jan De Witte
President and CEO Healthcare IT and Performance Solution
GE Healthcare
540 W Northwest Highway
Barrington, IL

Dear Mr. De Witte,

This coming April the CHUG Board will be traveling to Orlando, FL to participate in the first ever CHUG @ Centricity Live. We would like to take this opportunity to have an open and honest dialogue with you and some of your leaders about the state of the product, interactions with the GE team, and commitment for the future. Thus, the CHUG Board respectfully requests a meeting with yourself, Jon Zimmerman, Peter Kinhan, Clarissa Beyah-Talyor, David Hale and Evren Eryurek.

As you may recall, two years ago, the CHUG Board met with you in Las Vegas, NV and expressed concerns about the direction of the product. In the past two years, some of these concerns have materialized. And while there have been many efforts by the GE team to mitigate these issues, we remain in an urgent situation that has placed us all in jeopardy. This situation includes particular challenges related to interactions between CHUG and GE, severe product quality issues, and overall problems with customer service and support.

It is our sincere hope, that as a result of this meeting, you will have a candid picture of the product issues we face, the impact of those issues on your customers, and the needs we have to continue repairing the fragile relationship between GE, the CHUG Board, and the thousands of customers we represent.

Thank you for your time and consideration in addressing this matter, we look forward to your prompt response.

Etan M. Walls, CISSP
President, Centricity Healthcare User Group Board of Directors

February 12, 2015

Etan M. Walls, CISSP
President, Centricity Healthcare User Group
Board of Directors

Dear Mr. Walls,

Thank you for your continued engagement with GE and for reaching out to me to share your concerns. I accept your invitation to meet in person at the upcoming CLIVE meeting this spring.

I realize we have some work to do, and that you are engaged with many members of my leadership team on several issues. I welcome the opportunity to listen to your concerns first-hand, get your feedback on the progress we are making and counsel on the additional steps we need to take.

Please know my leadership team and I appreciate your advocacy on behalf of many GE Healthcare IT customers. I look forward to meeting with you in April.

Jan De Witte, President & CEO
GE Healthcare IT

Message from the CHUG Board

Good Day CHUG Community,

This past weekend the CHUG Board of Directors met with members of the GE Healthcare IT Senior Leadership team at our quarterly board meeting. We worked collectively and collaboratively with the GE team to advocate on your behalf by voicing your concerns regarding Centricity Practice Solution and Centricity EMR.

The conversation centered on the following themes:

• System Integrity – Outages of CQR, etc
• Regulatory Compliance – PQRS, MU, moving targets
• Urgency to Fix Long Standing Items
• Improving Communication Content & Frequency
• Engaging Users in the Product Development Process

The following items were important to note:

• GE Senior Leadership continues to be devoted to hearing and understanding challenges surrounding CPS and CEMR.
• GE has recently restructured its Engineering Teams. System integrity and producing quality releases are vitally important to this new team.
• Regulatory compliance has become a moving target, and GE is working with key regulatory entities to ensure their customers have the most up-to-date information as quickly as possible.

As a result, the following action items have been created:

• On February 11th, 2015 the CHUG Board sent a letter to Mr. Jan De Witte, President and CEO of GE Healthcare IT, requesting a meeting to discuss and advocate for the needs of the users (request and response attached). We look forward to meeting with Mr. De Witte and members of his leadership team at CHUG @ Centricity Live.
• Based upon your feedback, the CHUG Board has developed a list of 15 items that have been long standing issues. In March, we hope to communicate the full list to you, including resolution dates promised by GEHCIT.
• The CHUG Board will continue to work closely with GEHCIT to deliver needed information in a timely way
• As a community, CHUG will start to become increasingly active in lobbying the US government for regulatory relief. Please keep an eye out for further communications.

These are all steps in the right direction as we continue to advocate on the behalf of users. Please continue to reach out to the CHUG Board to have your voice heard. Get involved in one of our many committees, there is so much good we can do together.

On a personal note, as the new President of the CHUG Board of Directors, I hope we are able to continue this initial momentum into concrete improvements for all GE Centricity users. With open, honest, transparent, and collaborative communication from all stakeholders, I believe we will be able to realize amazing improvements and innovations.

Thank you for your time and attention, I look forward to seeing all of you in Orlando, FL at CHUG at Centricity Live and in New York City on October 1st-3rd, 2015 for the Fall CHUG.

Etan M. Walls, CISSP
President, Centricity Healthcare User Group Board of Directors

Change to PQRS Insurance Filter

Notice from GE Healthcare:

Dear Quality Submission Service Participant:

We would like to make you aware of an issue that some customers have experienced with the filters for PQRS measure selection. We have defined the root cause and deployed a solution in the cloud Clinical Quality Reporting (CQR) system. Below we’ve provided important updates on the issue, what we have done to resolve it, the actions that certain customers will need to take if they are experiencing the issue, and other useful tips to prepare for authorization….read the rest of the communication here.

Upcoming Change to PQRS Insurance Filter

Notice from GE Healthcare:

Dear Quality Submission Service Participant:

We want to share important information about the PQRS program.

Within the last few days, GE Healthcare learned that some customers experienced issues with the insurance filters for PQRS measure selection.  We’ve addressed the issue and will deploy a solution to this issue tonight (Thursday, February 12) in the cloud Clinical Quality Reporting (CQR) system.

As a result, we are extending the authorization deadline to February 18th….Read the rest of the communication here.

PQRS UPDATE: Simplified workflow for 2014

Notice from GE Healthcare:

Customers who have not yet finished applying SOP codes may now use the following workflow.
Part 1: Please review the following required and optional steps

(a) Assign initial SOP codes:
1. Required:  Apply Medicare FFS SOP code.
2. Optional:  Apply any other non-Medicare SOP codes.
Remember, if you have already applied any other Medicare codes (including “Medicare Non-managed Care other” code), we recommend you map those to “Unavailable/Unknown” before proceeding.

(b) Send data to CQR (via new script to reset subscription) and Calculate.
(c) Filter by Insurance: Medicare.
(d) Select measures to meet the CMS Medicare FFS reporting guidance.
(See instructions in Measure Selection & Provider Authorization webinar slides and recording.)

Part 2: Please review the following required and optional steps.
a) Optional: Assign remaining SOP codes:
1. Apply remaining Medicare SOP codes.
2. If in Part 1(a) you had mapped non-FFS Medicare plans to “Unavailable/Unknown”, you may re-map those to the appropriate non-FFS Medicare code before proceeding.
b) If you performed Part 2(a), send data to CQR (via script to reset subscription) and Recalculate.
a) Required: Authorize (See instructions in Measure Selection & Provider Authorization webinar slides and recording.)

BREAKING NEWS: CMS relaxes PQRS 2014 requirement to apply all SOP codes

Notice from GE Healthcare:

Dear Quality Submission Service Participant:

We have some important news about the PQRS 2014 SOP code program requirements that we believe will provide significant relief for customers who are still in the process of applying SOP codes. This news includes updated guidance from CMS in addition to the creation of a new CQM script.


GE Healthcare has been working with CMS over the last months to clarify the application of SOP codes for health plans. In our recent communications with you (webinars on 1/22 & 2/3; email on 2/4), we outlined GE’s interpretation of the PQRS 2014 requirements. CMS confirmed our interpretation but also acknowledged that there has been confusion among vendors in the use of the detailed SOP codes for PQRS submissions.

Yesterday, CMS stated an important change to the PQRS guidelines that adds customer flexibility:

• It is now acceptable, at your discretion, to ONLY apply SOP codes to the Medicare FFS (Part B) plans for PQRS 2014 reporting and to categorize the remaining health plans in a single broad health plan “Category D – Other.”
• Our customers may leave the non-Medicare FFS plans uncoded and these will be mapped by CQR to broad health plan “Category D – Other” without any intervention on your part.
• Please see the attached document for details on applying this guidance.
Please note: Our guidance to report on at least 9 measures across 3 domains that each represent a significant Medicare FFS initial patient population remains unchanged.


CMS advised us to inform our customers that the requirement to apply SOP codes for all payers will be reinstated for PQRS submissions for the 2015 reporting year. Therefore, if you have already fully completed your SOP code mappings, according to our previously issued workflow for the 2014 program year, rest assured that you do not need to un-map any previously assigned SOP codes with this CMS clarification. You are well positioned for the 2015 program year when the requirement goes into effect.

New “Reset CQM Subscription” Script 

In addition to the welcome news from CMS, we are pleased to announce the availability of the “Reset CQM Subscription” script, as discussed on our February 3rd. CPS and CEMR customers will be able to download the script from the service portal once it is posted later today. After applying SOP codes in Part 1 (a), you must reset the Clinical Quality Measures subscription to transmit the data to CQR, and this new script automates that subscription reset process.

We welcome yesterday’s response from CMS and hope this news helps you more easily meet the requirement to authorize your providers by February 13, 2015. If you have any questions, please contact Centricity Support at 888-436-8491 (Option 2, Option 3).  If you have specific questions on the SOP rules, you can also contact the Sage Growth Partners SOP Hotline at 667-217-3650. For expedited service, please request that the support representative record “PQRS” at the beginning of the description of the support ticket.

Peter Kinhan
Vice President & General Manager,
Ambulatory Practice Solutions
GE Healthcare IT