January 29, 2016

Further CMS Clarification on EHR Hardship Exceptions

As we reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted revised instructions and application forms on January 22, 2016, for health care providers unable to meet electronic health records (EHR) “meaningful use” requirements in 2014 due to hardship. A successful hardship exception application means avoidance of substantial Medicare penalties for failure to meet meaningful use requirements.

CMS has now issued a further clarification that may be helpful to many providers. The publication Medscape reports that CMS confirmed the following statement on January 27, 2016:

There is now a blanket exception for providers who were not able to attest because of the late announcement of these rule changes, according to CMS spokesman Jibril Boykin. To obtain such an exception, he said, eligible professionals should check off box 2.2.d (electronic health record certification/vendor issues) on the application.

The January 22 CMS post, including application forms and instructions, can be found at the Medicare website, under “EHR Hardship.”

Application deadlines remain April 1, 2016, for hospitals and March 15, 2016, for other providers.

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