What’s in a Name? Meaningful Use Gets a Name Change

By Erin Heilman. Posted Apr 27, 2018 in Quality Reporting, MACRA/MIPS Program, Academy, IQR Program

Did you hear? The Meaningful Use program is getting an overhaul (again)—and it’s starting with a name change. The new name of the Meaningful Use program will be the Promoting Interoperability (PI) program. Yes, thank you CMS, for providing us with yet another acronym to memorize. Although, I think this program, for many years, will probably have the Prince effectthe PI program (formerly known as Meaningful Use).

This name change applies to the MIPS program as well. We were all just getting used to the ACI, Advancing Care Information, MIPS category. But effective immediately, that category is now also the Promoting Interoperability category. Do you think CMS has a random acronym generator tool they use to come up with these?

No, I’m just kidding. The name makes sense, and the concept behind it actually seems really great in theory. Seema Verma, CMS administrator, wants to make sure patients have access to their health data. She also wants providers to have a better picture of their patient’s health across the entire continuum of care.

The change might not be a big surprise to some. CMS announced at the 2018 HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference that they would be overhauling the program. 

At the conference, Seema said that with these changes, "Patients could collect their health information from multiple providers and potentially incorporate all of their health information into a single portal, application, program, or other software."1

Her own story about how her husband experienced interoperability difficulties in the health care setting when he had a heart failure while she was traveling provides fascinating insight into why this might be one of her top priorities.

Seema said, “The reality is that once the information is freely flowing from patient to provider, the advances in coordinated, value-based care, will be greater than anything we could imagine today. Things could have been different for my family if my husband could have authorized me to have his health records on his phone. Or if he could have notified me that he was in distress. And better yet, maybe we could have predicted his cardiac arrest days before, if his watch could have tracked his health data, and sending that data to alert his doctor, and possibly prevent what happened. My husband is part of the 1% that survives his condition. We shouldn’t have to depend on chance.”2

While the name change is immediately effective, there are proposed changes that came through in the 2019 IPPS Proposed Rule that you still have some time to comment on.

Here are a couple of things to note about the proposed changes to the Meaningful Use program and what it might mean for your organization.

  1. The requirements don’t really change that much. You still have to submit four eCQMs for one quarter of 2019. If you already do this eCQM submission for the Inpatient Quality Reporting program, then you don’t need to resubmit these measures.
  2. If you choose not to do electronic submission and attest instead, you must attest to all CQMs for 90 continuous days of 2019.
  3. There were no changes proposed to the ACI category of MIPS … yet.
  4. Your hospital must use technology certified to the 2015 Edition of CEHRT to submit your measures electronically in 2019.
  5. CMS wants your feedback on what prevents patients from getting access to their data.


For now, since the proposed rule hasn’t been finalized yet, you can do three things. First, send a response back to CMS before the June 25th deadline; second, start practicing the acronym PIPromoting Interoperability; third, look up the word parsimonious (it is used 22 times in the 1,883 page proposed rule). 

  1. Verma: Meaningful-use overhaul is coming, Modern Healthcare, http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180306/NEWS/180309941
  2. CMS Makes a Big Splash with Verma’s Speech, But What Does It Really Mean?, Healthcare Informatics, https://www.healthcare-informatics.com/blogs/mark-hagland/payment/cms-makes-big-splash-verma-s-speech-what-does-it-really-mean


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Erin Heilman

Erin Heilman

Erin Heilman is the Marketing Director for Medisolv, Inc.

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