The CMS on Tuesday revised its IT efforts that target the opioid epidemic as part of its annual proposed update for the hospital inpatient prospective payment system.
The IPPS proposal would update inpatient hospital reimbursements for federal fiscal 2020, which starts in October.
Last year's proposal included broad changes for hospital IT, overhauling the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, better known as "meaningful use," to make the programs less burdensome and more patient-centered, according to the agency. Notably, the CMS renamed the programs "Promoting Interoperability" as part of the 2018 announcement.
The IPPS proposal for next federal fiscal year hints at future areas of expansion.
The CMS is seeking public comment on requiring the use of open application programming interfaces, or APIs, and integrating patient-generated health data into EHRs. It's also soliciting input on how to reward hospitals that take steps to reduce errors associated with EHR use.
Additionally, the agency is soliciting comments on adopting two new opioid clinical quality measures for the 2021 reporting period: safe use of opioids, concurrent prescribing and hospital harm, opioid-related adverse events.
The CMS proposed cutting back on two measures meant to address the opioid epidemic.
The agency, which previously said it would require hospitals to integrate prescription drug monitoring programs into their EHRs by 2020, has opted to continue offering the "Query of PDMP" measure as an optional bonus item next year. The CMS also proposed removing the "Verify Opioid Treatment Agreement" measure for 2020. It was slated to be optional for 2019 and 2020.
Providers told the CMS that the PDMP and opioid measures presented significant implementation challenges and would lead to increased burden, the agency said.
"We agree with stakeholders that PDMPs are still maturing in their development and use," the proposed rule said. "We believe that additional time is needed to evaluate the changing PDMP landscape prior to requiring a Query of PDMP measure, or introducing requirements related to EHR-PDMP integration."
The public comment period for the proposed rule closes June 24.