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CMS erroneously warns some physicians of 2017 meaningful use penalties

January 14, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Electronic Health Records Payor Issues and Reimbursement 


Providers who attested to meaningful use with the Medi-Cal Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program for program year 2015 are exempt from Medicare payment adjustments in 2017.  Because the California Department of Health Services pushed back the deadline to submit meaningful use applications for the 2015 program year to December 13, 2016, the agency was not able to send information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding 2015 Medi-Cal meaningful use attestations until late in December 2016.  For this reason, some Medi-Cal providers are now erroneously receiving letters from CMS warning that they are subject to Medicare payment adjustments in 2017. 

These letters offer providers the option of filling out and sending in a “reconsideration form” to CMS to avoid the payment adjustments. DHCS has received assurance from CMS that all providers who attested to meaningful use with the Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Program for 2015, even as late as December 13, 2016, will not be subject to Medicare payment adjustments in 2017.

Submission of the reconsideration form should not be necessary because CMS has now removed the names of all providers who had attested to meaningful use for 2015 with the Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Program from the list of providers subject to payment adjustments in 2017. While a reconsideration form is not required, if you have already filed a reconsideration form, no further action is necessary.

Because no Medicare payments for 2017 dates of service were paid before CMS updated its records with California’s 2015 attestation data, no 2017 payments were affected by the error.

If you think you received a notice of 2017 payment adjustment in error, you can check the list of providers who attested to meaningful use in 2015 on the DHCS website.  

Any additional questions can be directed to medi-cal.ehr@dhcs.ca.gov.

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