CMS has announced a one-month deadline extension(ehrincentives.cms.gov) for physicians attesting to meaningful use (MU) as part of the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program(www.cms.gov).
Physicians now have until midnight EST on March 31 to attest for the 2013 reporting year. The extension does not affect deadlines for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
The new deadline will give physicians and other eligible professionals more time to submit their meaningful use data and, in turn, qualify for an incentive payment.
Successful participation in the incentive program also will shield physicians from a CMS-assessed penalty that would, in effect, result in a 1 percent cut in a physician's Medicare payment in 2015. Family physicians might want to review the AAFP's bonus/penalty checklist that was created in 2013 to help members keep track of the various Medicare initiatives that affect physician payment.
Additionally, CMS said its registration and attestation system was experiencing heavy user volume and suggested that physicians do their online attestation work during non-peak hours to avoid system delays and long waits.
A number of CMS resources are available for physicians working on their MU attestation including an MU stage one attestation calculator(www.cms.gov) and registration and attestation user guides(www.cms.gov).
Physicians also can call CMS' EHR Information Center at (888) 734-6433 with questions about registration and attestation. The center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. CST.
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