CMS extends meaningful use hardship exception deadline

February 29, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Payor Issues and Reimbursement Practice Management 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the deadline for physicians to file applications for hardship exceptions from the meaningful use requirements of the electronic health record incentive payment program. The new deadline is now July 1, 2016.

In mid-December 2015, Congress adopted a last-minute bill that gave CMS the authority to grant a blanket exception for all eligible physicians who applied for an exception from the 2015 meaningful use penalties.

CMS reports the extension is being granted “so providers have sufficient time to submit their applications to avoid adjustments to their Medicare payments in 2017."

CMS also released new “streamlined” hardship exception application forms “that reduce the amount of information that eligible professionals must submit to apply for an exception,” the agency said. The new application forms and instructions on filing a hardship exemption are on the CMS website.

To help physician members navigate the hardship exemptions process, the California Medical Association (CMA) has published “Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Frequently Asked Questions.” This document answers questions about the blanket exemption, including who should apply, deadlines and more.

This free members-only resource is available in CMA's online resource library.


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