Apply Now for Quality Payment Program Hardship Exception

August 09, 2017 09:54 am News Staff

CMS recently announced that applications for a Quality Payment Program hardship exception( for the 2017 transition year are now available online.  

[Silver-gray word 'exception' against red background]

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:

To prepare for application submission,( 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.

Related AAFP News Coverage
MACRA: The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act

More From AAFP
MACRA Ready: The Shift to Value-Based Payment