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Thursday May 21, 2015

July 1 deadline approaching to avoid 2016 Medicare cut

Physicians who did not successfully participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Electronic Health Record Incentive Program (also known as "meaningful use") in 2014 are scheduled to see their Medicare payments cut in January 2016.

However, those physicians can avoid a cut if they apply for a hardship exception by July 1.

To qualify for a hardship exception, you must show CMS proof that a specific circumstance beyond your control significantly prevented you from complying with the requirements of the program.

You can download instructions(www.cms.gov) and applications (both for individuals(www.cms.gov) and groups(www.cms.gov)) for the hardship exception on CMS’s Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs website(www.cms.gov).

CMS will review each hardship application and supporting documentation to determine if an exception is warranted.

Newly practicing physicians, hospital-based physicians, and physicians with certain Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) specialties (i.e., anesthesiology, pathology, diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine, and interventional radiology) do not have to apply for a hardship exception. CMS will use Medicare information to determine if these physicians are eligible for an automatic exception.

A hardship exception applies only to the 2016 payment adjustment. You’ll have to submit another, separate application for subsequent years.

Posted at 12:54PM May 21, 2015 by David Twiddy

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