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New CHIME chairman talks meaningful use reporting period

Charles Christian, CHIME chairman, talks about 2015 priorities, topped by a push for meaningful use reporting to be shortened to 90 days.

This is the first half of a two-part interview with Charles Christian, board of trustees chair of the College of Health Information Management Executives. Here, he discusses his organization's plans for 2015 and shares why it is challenging the length of the meaningful use reporting period. In part two, Christian expounds on its role in a pair of new partnerships.

The arrival of the new year brought disappointment for the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) and other health IT groups, which had hoped for relief from CMS' 365-day reporting period for meaningful use stage 2 in 2015.

CHIME -- and more than a dozen other groups -- have pushed CMS to shorten the attestation period to 90 days, as it was in 2014. CHIME and others also took a more forceful approach by developing the so-called Flex-IT bill and encouraging Congress to legislate the condensed attestation timeframe.

But 2015 dawned without Congress acting on Flex-IT. Now CIOs represented by CHIME, along with other health IT groups, may have to wait until March for a suitable legislative vehicle to attach the 16-line meaningful use bill to.

In the meantime, Rep. Renee Ellmers, a North Carolina Republican and the bill's original sponsor, plans to re-file the bill, Politico reported.

In this podcast, Charles Christian, new chairman of the CHIME board of directors for the next two years and vice president and CIO of St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, Ga., reflects on the Flex-IT bill, difficulties CIOs and physician practices faced with meaningful use measures, and other issues on CHIME's 2015 agenda.

Christian tells SearchHealthIT that while CHIME expects stage 3 measures to be released by summer, the future of meaningful use is unclear now because the reporting issue is not yet settled.

Meanwhile, Christian notes that CHIME plans to reach out internationally in 2015, particularly to CIOs in Europe and the Middle East.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Shaun Sutner, news and features writer or contact @SSutner on Twitter.

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