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Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Applications Due July 1, 2014

Posted by Matthew Smith on Apr 22, 2014 5:09:00 PM

EHR, Meaningful Use, CMSAre you a Medicare provider who was unable to successfully demonstrate meaningful use for 2013 due to circumstances beyond your control? CMS is accepting applications for hardship exceptions to avoid the upcoming Medicare payment adjustment for the 2013 reporting year.

Payment adjustments for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will begin on January 1, 2015 for eligible professionals.

However, you can avoid the adjustment by completing a hardship exception application and providing supporting documentation that proves demonstrating meaningful use would be a significant hardship for you. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not you are granted a hardship exception.

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

Applications for the 2015 payment adjustments are due July 1, 2014 for eligible professionals.  If approved, the exception is valid for one year.

New 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.

Questions? Contact Health Directions at 312-396-5400.

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

Topics: Meaningful Use, Medicare, CMS, Eligible Professionals, Hardship Exemption

Medicare Eligible Providers: How to Avoid Payment Adjustments

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 30, 2013 10:55:00 AM

CMS, EHR, Medicare, Eligible ProvidersMedicare eligible professionals (EPs) who do not demonstrate meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program may be subject to payment adjustments beginning on January 1, 2015. Because payment adjustments are mandated to begin on the first day of the 2015 calendar year, CMS will determine the payment adjustments based on meaningful use data submitted prior to the 2015 calendar year.

These payment adjustments will be applied to the Medicare physician fee schedule amount for covered professional services furnished by the EP in 2015. EPs who do not demonstrate meaningful use is subsequent years will be subject to increased payment adjustments in 2016 and beyond.

EPs that began participation in 2011 or 2012
EPs who first demonstrated meaningful use in 2011 or 2012 must demonstrate meaningful use for a full year in 2013 to avoid payment adjustments in 2015.

EPs that begin participation this year (2013)        
EPs who first demonstrate meaningful use in 2013 must demonstrate meaningful use for a 90-day reporting period in 2013 to avoid payment adjustments in 2015.

EPs that plan to begin participation in 2014
EPs who first demonstrate meaningful use in 2014 must demonstrate meaningful use for a 90-day reporting period in 2014 to avoid payment adjustments in 2015. This reporting period must occur in the first 9 months of calendar year 2014, and EPs must attest to meaningful use no later than October 1, 2014, in order to avoid the payment adjustments.

Note: EPs must continue to demonstrate meaningful use every year to avoid payment adjustments in subsequent years.

Eligibility

Only EPs that are eligible for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program are subject to payment adjustments. Use CMS’ Eligibility Widget to determine for which programs you are eligible. Medicaid EPs who can only participate in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and do not bill Medicare are not subject to these payment adjustments.

Resources

For more information on EP payment adjustments, view the Payment Adjustments and Hardship Exceptions Tipsheet for EPs and the How Payment Adjustments Affect Providers Tipsheet.   

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

Topics: EHR, Medicare, Eligible Professionals, EPs

Timing of Quality Reporting Alignment at CMS

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 7, 2013 12:09:00 PM

CMS, ReportingIn order to reduce the burden of multiple quality reporting initiatives, CMS is working to align quality measurement across programs. As part of the eHealth initiative, CMS has created a timeline of quality measurement alignment for both eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals.

This timeline includes upcoming activities that CMS is taking or that EPs and eligible hospitals can take to prepare for this alignment.

For Eligible Hospitals
By 2013:

  • Complete alignment of Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP) and Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program CQMs reported on Hospital Compare.
  • Implement the Medicare EHR Incentive Program Electronic Reporting Pilot for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals. (Note: This electronic reporting pilot will be the basis for electronic reporting in other reporting programs.)

By 2014:

  • IQR will introduce EHR-based reporting. Additional details will be included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule that is targeted for publication later this year.

Beyond 2014:

  • CQMs will be transitioned to electronic EHR-based reporting in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, and then to IQR and other hospital reporting programs.

For EPs
By 2013:

  • Individual EPs: Implement the PQRS-EHR Incentive Program Pilot (Note: EPs can fulfill the CQM component of meaningful use for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program as well as PQRS if reported using QRDA I).

Group Practices:

  • Align PQRS Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) web interface CQMs with those in the ACO GPRO measure set and the Physician Value-Based Modifier (VBM) GPRO measure set.
  • Align PQRS with the VBM, whereby the quality component of the 2015 VBM for group practices with 100 or more EPs that elect quality tiering will be based on the groups' performance on PQRS measures.

By 2014:

  • Individual EPs: PQRS EHR reporting options align, including CQMs, reporting criteria, and reporting mechanism in the calendar year 2013 Physician Fee Schedule and the Stage 2 rules for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
  • Group Practices: Group practices participating in the PQRS GPRO or Medicare ACOs using certified EHR technology and reporting via the GPRO web interface fulfill the requirement of the CQM component of meaningful use for the EHR Incentive Programs.

Group practices can also report the CQMs as a group directly to CMS to fulfill the requirement of the CQM component of meaningful use for the EHR Incentive Program.

Learn more about quality program alignment efforts at CMS by visiting www.CMS.gov/eHealth.

Meaningful Use, Meaningful Use Incentives

Topics: EHR, CMS, PQRS, CQM, GPRO, Eligible Hospitals, Eligible Professionals

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