Physicians and other health care providers who are unable to demonstrate meaningful use because they have recently changed vendors for their electronic heath record (EHR) – or worse yet, have seen their EHR system decertified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) – have to work fast to avoid penalties to their Medicare payments.
CMS has updated its guidance for practices wanting to continue participating in the EHR incentive program or apply for a hardship exception:
• If a practice changes certified EHR technology vendors and is unable to demonstrate meaningful use, the practice may apply for an extreme or uncontrollable circumstances hardship exemption before the deadline for a particular program year. If approved, the practice would not incur a Medicare penalty.
• If the practice’s EHR has been decertified, the practice can still use it to attest to meaningful use as long as the EHR reporting period ended before the system became decertified. However, if the reporting period ended after the decertification, the practice must apply for a hardship exemption.
If the EHR was decertified after the hardship exception period for the payment adjustment year had already passed, the practice will need to contact the CMS Hardship Coordinator at EHRinquiries@cms.hhs.gov to apply for an exception under CMS's discretion.
You can get more information from the EHR incentive programs website.
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