CMS extends deadline for EHR hardship exemption
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that providers will get more time to apply for hardship exemptions from its electronic health record incentive payment program meaningful use requirements.
The new application deadline is July 1, 2016, for all providers. Previously, the deadlines were March 15 for physicians and other eligible professionals and April 1 for hospitals and critical access hospitals.
CMS said it seeks to give providers sufficient time to submit applications so that providers can avoid adjustments to their Medicare payments in 2017. Additionally, the CMS has published new application forms for the hardship exception, reducing the amount of information that eligible professionals, hospitals and critical access hospitals must submit, CMS said in a statement.
Additionally, CMS will grant exemptions to the meaningful use requirements of the EHR incentive payment program for a variety of reasons, such as difficulties with Internet connectivity or a lack of availability of certified software that meets the government's requirements.
The Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act promised to "ensure flexibility in applying the hardship exception for meaningful use for the 2015 EHR reporting period."