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EHR Incentive Program Hardship Exception Applications Due July 1

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jun 30, 2014 10:16:00 AM

CMS, EHR, Hardship, CMS reminds eligible professionals that the deadline to submit a hardship exception application is TOMORROW, JULY 1. An interactive tool is available to help eligible professionals determine if they will avoid upcoming 2015 and 2016 Medicare EHR Incentive Program payment adjustments by demonstrating meaningful use, or if they should apply for a hardship exception.

If an eligible professional determines that they need to apply for a hardship exception, the application must be submitted by July 1, 2014. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not a hardship exception will be granted. If approved, the exception is valid for one year.

Applying for Hardship Exception

When submitting hardship exception applications, entries must include supporting documentation that proves demonstrating meaningful use presented significant hardship.

CMS has posted hardship exception applications on the EHR website for:

Please read and follow the submission instructions on the application. Note that all required supporting documentation must be included at the time of submission. Completing your application online and submitting it electronically to EHRhardship@provider-resources.com, with all required supporting documentation, will reduce the application processing time. Please do not submit hand-written applications.

Hardship Exception Tipsheets

You can also avoid payment adjustments by successfully demonstrating meaningful use prior to the payment adjustment. Tipsheets are available on the CMS website that outline when eligible professionals must demonstrate meaningful use in order to avoid the payment adjustments.

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?

Make sure to visit the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.

Topics: EHR, Meaningful Use, Medicare, CMS, EHR Incentive Program, Hardship Exception

CMS Proposes Major CEHRT Revision for 2014 Meaningful Use

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 20, 2014 4:55:00 PM

HHS, Health and Human ServicesEligible professionals and hospitals will have greater flexibility in demonstrating meaningful use in the 2014 reporting year based on a rule proposed by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

In a joint statement, the two federal agencies overseeing the EHR Incentive Programs — the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) — have indicated that providers would be allowed to use either 2011 Edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Editions CEHRT for their EHR reporting period in 2014 for both EHR Incentive Programs. However, in 2015 all eligible providers will be required to use technology certified under the 2014 Edition criteria.

The proposed rule should offer relief to eligible providers struggling to implement 2014 Edition CEHRT. CMS went as far as providing a meaningful use hardship exception for physicians and hospitals finding themselves in that predicament.

“Increasing the adoption of EHRs is key to improving the nation’s health care system and the steps we are taking today will give new options to those who, through no fault of their own, have been unable to get the new 2014 Edition technology, including those at high risk, such as smaller providers and rural hospitals,” National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, said in a public statement.

CEHRT, Meaningful Use, CMS

The proposed rule also includes a provision to extend Stage 2 through 2016 and begin Stage 3 in 2017.

“We have seen tremendous participation in the EHR Incentive Programs since they began,” CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a public statement. “By extending Stage 2, we are being receptive to stakeholder feedback to ensure providers can continue to meet meaningful use and keep momentum moving forward.”

Read the proposed rule here.

Topics: EHR, Meaningful Use, HHS, Medicare, CMS, EHR Incentive Program, CEHRT, Department of Health & Human Services

Medicare Eligible Hospitals: Take Action by April 1 to Avoid 2015 Payment Adjustment

Posted by Matthew Smith on Mar 20, 2014 1:24:00 PM

EMR, EHR, Meaningful Use, MedicarePayment adjustments for eligible hospitals that have not successfully participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will begin on October 1, 2014. Hospitals can avoid the payment adjustment by taking action by April 1.

Hospitals that have never participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program can:

  • Submit a hardship exception application for experiencing circumstances that posted a significant barrier to achieving meaningful use
  • Begin 90 days of meaningful use for the 2014 reporting year by April 1 and attest by July 1

Hospitals that participated in 2011 or 2012, but did not successfully participate in 2013 due to circumstances that created barriers can also submit a hardship exception.

Note: Critical access hospitals are on a different payment adjustment schedule, and have until November 30, 2015 to apply for a 2015 hardship exception.

About Hardship Exceptions
The hardship exception application for Medicare eligible hospitals is available on the EHR Incentive Programs website and outlines the specific types of circumstances that CMS considers to be barriers to achieving meaningful use. Supporting documentation must also be provided. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not a hardship exception should be granted.

As a reminder, the application must be submitted electronically or postmarked no later than 11:59pm ET on April 1, 2014 to be considered. If approved, the exception is valid for one year.

Demonstrate Meaningful Use
CMS has developed resources for hospitals that demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology, including:

Dually eligible hospitals can avoid the Medicare payment adjustment by successfully meeting meaningful use under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Be sure to visit the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.

Meaningful Use, Stage 1, Stage 2, EHR, EMR

Topics: EHR, Meaningful Use, Medicare, CMS, EHR Incentive Program

REMINDER: Medicare EPs Must Attest by March 31 at 11:59 pm ET to Receive 2013 Incentive

Posted by Matthew Smith on Mar 7, 2014 8:30:00 AM

EHR, Meaningful Use, AttestationDue to the large volume of providers attesting, please submit your data as soon as possible and during non-peak hours to avoid system delays.

If you are an eligible professional, the last day you can register and attest to demonstrating meaningful use for the 2013 Medicare EHR Incentive Program is March 31, 2014. You must successfully attest by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 31, to receive an incentive payment for your 2013 participation.

CMS extended the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program to allow more time for providers to submit their meaningful use data and receive an incentive payment for the 2013 program year.

Medicaid Eligible Professionals

Eligible professionals participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program need to refer to their state deadlines for attestation information.

Eligible Hospitals

If you are an eligible hospital, you may contact CMS for assistance submitting your attestation retroactively.  You must contact CMS by 11:59 pm on March 15, 2014 in order to participate for the 2013 program year.

Payment Adjustments

Payment adjustments for eligible professionals will be applied beginning January 1, 2015, to Medicare participants that have not successfully demonstrated meaningful use. For more information, visit the payment adjustment tipsheet for eligible professionals.

You must attest to demonstrating meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a payment adjustment.

If you are only eligible to participate in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, you are not subject to payment adjustments.

Resources

Plan Ahead

Review important dates for the EHR Incentive Programs and all CMS eHealth program using this Interactive Timeline.

Topics: Meaningful Use, EHR Incentive Program, Attestation

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