The End of MU As We Know It?


On Monday, January 12 at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt announced that “The meaningful use program as it has existed will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.”

In its place will be the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), called for in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which is intended to sunset the three existing reporting programs and streamline them into a single program.

Slavitt said several themes will be guiding implementation of the new system:

  • Emphasis will be placed on outcomes. “The focus will move away from rewarding providers for the use of technology and towards the outcome they achieve with their patients,” Slavitt said.
  • Health IT will be about physician needs. “Providers will be able to customize their goals so tech companies can build around the individual practice needs, not the needs of the government,” he said. “Technology must be user-centered and support physicians, not distract them.”
  • Vendors will need to unlock data. Slavitt said requirements will be put in place to “allow apps, analytic tools and connected technologies to get data in and out of an EHR securely.”
  • Vendors will need to make health IT interoperable. “We are deadly serious about interoperability,” he said. “We will begin initiatives in collaboration with physicians and consumers toward pointing technology to fill critical use cases like closing referral loops and engaging patients in their care.”

(Source: Nina Flannigan,, 1/13/2016)