As we enter week 3 of the government shutdown, it’s important to discuss how it’s impacting federal agencies. As of now, about half of the employees from the Centers of Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) are furloughed (those who work with the HITECH program are unaffected, however). Meaningful use attestation is not affected and payments can be processed but the timeline for payment distribution is in question. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) which is responsible for HIPAA privacy has only five staff members with two employees in charge of “orderly phasing down and suspending operations.”
Please continue to check the HMS blog for regular updates on the shutdown.