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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently issued a reminder that eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) participating in Electronic Health Record Incentive Schemes must use the QualityNet Secure Portal (QNet) to submit Meaningful Use attestations in 2018.
Back in October, CMS announced it was transitioning Meaningful Use attestations to QNet. Previously two separate systems had been used for attestations and reporting clinical quality measures; but, in order to simplify reporting requirements and streamline data submissions, the QNet portal would be used for both from January 2nd 2018.
From October, eligible hospitals and CAHs new to QNet had the opportunity to enroll on the system and get used to how it worked, while existing QNet users were advised to add an MU role to their accounts. From the beginning of this month, the QNet system opened for attestations relating to the 2017 calendar year. The attestation period closes on February 28th.
Different Processes for Medicare and Medicaid Hospitals
Although attempting to simplify the reporting requirements, the new system has caused some confusion about the different processes for Medicare-eligible and Medicaid-eligible hospitals. This has prompted CMS to issue a reminder detailing the different process for each type of incentive program. From January 2nd 2018:
- Medicare-eligible hospitals and qualifying Critical Access Hospitals will use the QNet process as described above to submit Meaningful Use attestations.
- Medicaid-only hospitals and CAHs need to update their registration through the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System and coordinate with their respective State Medicaid agencies in order to submit their Meaningful Use attestations.
- Dually eligible hospitals and CAHs (both first-time participants and returning participants) will need to register or update their registration with both QNet and the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System.
- Medicaid-only clinicians should coordinate with their respective State Medicaid agencies to submit Meaningful Use Attestation, while Medicare Part B clinicians eligible to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) should visit qpp.cms.gov for more information.
CMS also stated that a QNet Help Desk will be available to eligible hospitals and CAHs starting January 2nd 2018. Providers are instructed to use the QNet Help Desk instead of the EHR Incentive Program Information Center for assistance with the registration and attestation process. Further information and points of contact can be found in the QNet User Guide and the Transition Overview Factsheet.