There has been some confusion surrounding the MU Core requirement to do vital signs and related exception, i.e. should providers report an exception for this measure
Meaningful Use requires all eligible providers to do vitals (BP, Height and Weight) for at least 50% of their patients during the reporting period of 3 months. CMS allows an exception to this rule for providers who do not consider vitals as part of the scope of their practice. However, CMS does not state much more then allowing the specialist to be excluded form this requirement if they feel the vitals is not scope of their practice. They do not issue any guideline or provide specific information for any specialty.
Please see below the official language from CMS guideline pertaining to the vital signs core requirement.
“EXCLUSION: An EP who sees no patients 2 years or older would be excluded from this requirement. Additionally, an EP who believes that all three vital signs of height, weight, and blood pressure have no relevance to their scope of practice would be excluded from this requirement. EPs must select NO next to the appropriate exclusion, then click the APPLY button in order to attest to the exclusion.”
In my opinion the CMS is placing the burden of proof on the specialist who choose to be excluded from this measure. When a provider attests for MU with CMS they are simply reporting on their percentages/numbers for the various measures. They are not verifying the numbers before they make a payment to providers. However, CMS will be doing random audits of providers who received the MU Incentive Payment and ask them to show the supporting documentation and proof of any exclusion they selected. Just doing the vitals for all patients is a lot safer option then trying to opt out for specialist. In the current healthcare climate no one can be certain how future regulations associated with Stage 2 and Stage 3 MU will pan out for healthcare providers.
Every provider attesting on MU measures is independently responsible for the attested measures and exclusions.