The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today announced that it will explore possible changes to the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program in rulemaking this spring. In a blog post, Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS chief medical officer and deputy administrator for innovation and quality, said the agency will consider shortening the reporting period to 90 days in 2015, as AHA and hospitals have advocated. The agency also will consider modifying other aspects of the program to “match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burdens,” he said. In addition, a proposed rule might realign the hospital reporting periods to the calendar year to allow hospitals “more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and to better align with other CMS quality programs.” The rulemaking, which Conway says is intended to help “reduce the reporting burden on providers, while supporting the long term goals of the program,” will be separate from CMS’s anticipated rule setting standards and timing for Stage 3 of the program. That rule is expected sometime by early March. “Today’s announcement by CMS is welcome news as it would promise much needed flexibility in the meaningful use program,” said Linda Fishman, AHA senior vice president of public policy analysis and development. “Given that we are well into fiscal year 2015, it’s crucial that CMS release a final rule including a 90-day reporting period, as quickly as possible.”