CMS allows for more hardship exceptions

October 7, 2014 in Medical Technology

The Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services will reopen the submission period for meaningful use hardship exception applications.

[See also: MU tech glitch may cost docs millions]

The new due date for hospitals and physicians hoping to avoid 2015 Medicare payment adjustments is Nov. 30, 2014.

Previously, the deadlines for hardship exemption applications for those eligible hospitals and eligible professionals unable to demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology were April 1 and July 1, respectively.

Some 44,000 providers applied for hardship exceptions before those deadlines, hoping to duck 1 percent reduction Medicare Part B claims in 2015, CMS reported on Sept. 29. It didn’t say how many of those applications were approved.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allows for HHS to “consider, on a case-by-case basis, hardship exceptions for eligible hospitals, critical access hospitals and eligible professionals to avoid the payment adjustments,” according to CMS.

This new application (PDF) submission period is meant for:

  • EPs and EHs that have been unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability
  • EPs who were unable to attest by Oct. 1, 2014, and EHs that were unable to attest by July 1, 2014, using the flexibility options provided in the CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule.

“These are the only circumstances that will be considered for this reopened hardship exception application submission period,” officials say.

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