The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a proposed rule that would modify the reporting period for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Program in 2015 to a 90-day period aligned with the calendar year and provide additional flexibilities, including reducing the share of patients that must use the patient portal from 5% to at least one patient. The rule also would remove some measures that have reached widespread adoption. In addition, it would make a significant number of other changes to the program in the middle of the program year. “America’s hospitals are devoting enormous time, effort and resources to implement [EHRs] in a way that improves patient care,” said Linda Fishman, AHA senior vice president of public policy analysis and development. “Today’s rule provides some much needed relief on meaningful use regulations, while at the same time advances [EHR] adoption. The shortened reporting period that [CMS] proposes gives hospitals more time to transition to Stage 2 and increases the likelihood they will meet CMS’s timetable. However, the inclusion of numerous additional program changes at this late date risks causing confusion and added burden for hospitals on top of the elements proposed in the Stage 3 rule. Health information technology holds the promise of improved care for patients. That’s why we’ll continue to advocate for rules that spur adoption and recognize the unique challenges of providing health care.” AHA members will receive a Special Bulletin Monday with further details.