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Deadline to Request Hardship Exemptions From Medicare's 2011 e-Prescribing Incentive Program Extended
By Sheri Porter
That's good news, said Waldren, who added that the Academy was generally pleased that CMS listened to concerns from the AAFP and other physician organizations regarding the proposed rule.
- CMS released the final rule on the 2011 Medicare e-prescribing incentive program.
- Physicians now have until Nov. 1 to attest for hardship exemptions, which reflects a one-month extension from the original deadline.
- Physicians who don't successfully e-prescribe in 2011 still face a penalty in 2012.
- adjusted language in the final rule to reflect that a "qualified" e-prescribing system for the purposes of the Medicare eRx incentive program includes "certified" EHR technology necessary for physicians to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive programs, and
- added verbiage that allows physicians to use a Web-based tool when requesting a hardship exemption -- group practices can do so via a written letter.
- are unable to e-prescribe because of local, state or federal regulations;
- experience limited prescribing activity; or
- have insufficient opportunity in their practice setting to use the required CPT codes.
An Aug. 31 message posted on the official CMS blog site explained the revisions made in the final rule: "We've made several changes to the newly released final rule for the 2011 electronic prescribing (e-Rx) incentive program that will encourage more doctors and other health care professionals to adopt this technology and give them the added flexibility to help them succeed," said CMS Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway, M.D.
"Changes in the final rule will help doctors and other health care professionals in their efforts to become successful e-prescribers, ultimately leading to fewer errors and better care for patients," Conway added.
AAFP Resource Provides Clarification on CMS' E-Prescribing Program