Family physicians, if time has gotten away from you and you're doubtful that you'll meet the Feb. 29 deadline for attesting to meaningful use, step back and take a deep breath.
You have a few extra days to check that task off as "done" and ensure that you're not dinged with a 2 percent reduction in your Medicare payment in 2017.
CMS recently announced an extension of the attestation deadline for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs(www.cms.gov) to Friday, March 11 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Those 11 days could be a game-changer for some busy physicians -- but use the extra time wisely and keep in mind that as the deadline approaches, the anticipated excessive traffic could well slow down the response time of the CMS website.
Remember, to attest to the EHR incentive programs in 2015, eligible professionals can select an EHR reporting period of any continuous 90-day period from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.
Remember, too, that you can always refer to the AAFP's list of frequently asked questions about meaningful use for help navigating a program that many physicians find fluid and confusing.
The FAQ list discusses need-to-know details covered in the final rule(www.federalregister.gov) that was released in October 2015.
For instance, family physicians can browse this resource to learn more about
- reporting requirements,
- timelines for the provision of patient education,
- medication reconciliation,
- electronic access for patients and
- electronic prescribing.
CMS also offers physicians a plethora of resources about the EHR incentive programs, including registration and attestation checklists,(www.cms.gov) an attestation worksheet(www.cms.gov) and a user guide(www.cms.gov) for eligible professionals.
Related AAFP News Coverage
The Uncertain Future of Meaningful Use