ASCO Submits Comments to CMS on EHR Stage 3 of Meaningful Use and Modifications Final Rule

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On December 15, ASCO submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the agency’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) Stage 3 of Meaningful Use and Modifications in 2015 through 2017. The Society’s comments provided recommendations to CMS regarding the implementation of the EHR incentive program within the context of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

“ASCO is a strong advocate for the utilization of health information technology (HIT) to improve the quality and value of cancer care services,” stated ASCO President Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO, in the comment letter. “ASCO is working diligently to facilitate the oncology community’s adoption of HIT and cancer-specific interoperability standards.”

The comment letter included the following recommendations to CMS:

  • Focus regulatory efforts on ensuring widespread interoperability between HIT products and reducing administrative burdens on providers in implementing MACRA.
  • Facilitate increased interoperability in the exchange of treatment information about cancer patients by implementing COTPS standards. 
  • Clarify ambiguous regulatory language involving the Specialized Registry Reporting Measure of the Public Health Reporting objective as finalized in the Modifications for 2015–2017 to more clearly state that active engagement with clinical data registries will satisfy this measure.
  • Continue to promote the use of application programming interfaces to facilitate patient access to their health information is crucial to promoting innovation and interoperability in HIT.

In the letter, Dr. Vose also reiterated ASCO’s plans for its electronic Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (eQOPI) to be used to satisfy the Specialized Registry Reporting Measure in 2015 and beyond.

“ASCO is currently piloting an electronic version of its eQOPI registry,” stated Dr. Vose. “Without clarifications that registries like eQOPI are satisfactory for meeting the Modified Stage 2 Objective 10 requirements, adoption of clinical data registries as powerful tools for quality improvement, especially among oncology and other specialty providers, may stall.”

To read the full letter, visit ■

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