Final Rule Publication and Grace Period

More news from CMS and the ONC in the past couple days:

  1. We now have a publication date for both Final Rules: 5/1/2020! If you recall, all the milestone dates for these regulatory changes key off this publication date.
  2. In light of COVID-19, ONC has exercised “its discretion in enforcing all new requirements… until three months after each initial compliance date”. Basically, this means an additional three month grace period has been added to each deadline.

The table, below, shows the ONC Milestone and Discretionary enforcement dates:

In addition, CMS is delaying enforcement of most of the requirements in its patient access rule by six months, including its API requirements for healthcare organizations and insurers.

  • CMS’ March 9 version of the rule stated that condition of participation would be effective six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register. That’s now extended to one year after publication. This includes the electronic reporting of admissions, discharges, and transfers by Medicare hospitals.
  • CMS is pushing out enforcement of its Patient Access API and Provider Directory API policies for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six months. In a nod to payers dealing with COVID-19, CMS will not enforce new requirements until July 21, 2021.
  • CMS will not begin enforcing new requirements under the Patient Access API for Obamacare Health Plans until July 21, 2021.