CMS recently announced that applications for a Quality Payment Program hardship exception(qpp.cms.gov) for the 2017 transition year are now available online.
According to an email from CMS, "MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System)-eligible clinicians and groups may qualify for a reweighting of their advancing care information performance category score" to 0 percent of the final score.
These MIPS-eligible individuals and groups can apply for a hardship exception based on one of three reasons:
- insufficient Internet connectivity,
- extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, or
- lack of control over the availability of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.(www.cms.gov)
To prepare for application submission,(qppprod.service-now.com) physicians should have certain information handy, including
- a taxpayer identification number for group applications,
- a national provider identifier for individual applications and
- contact information for the person working on behalf of the individual clinician or group that includes name, email address and telephone number.
If the hardship application is based on an extreme and uncontrollable circumstance, the applicant must choose a specific circumstance from a CMS list and provide start and end dates for that specific situation.
Circumstance categories are described as
- disaster -- such as a natural disaster -- in which the certified EHR technology was damaged or destroyed,
- practice or hospital closure,
- severe financial distress resulting in bankruptcy or debt restructuring, or
- EHR certification or vendor issues.
After submitting an application, the applicant will receive a confirmation email stating that the request was submitted and that the application is pending, approved or dismissed.
Applications are processed on a rolling basis.
Physicians who choose not to submit the hardship application online may contact CMS' Quality Payment Program Service Center at 866-288-8292 to verbally complete the hardship exception request.
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