Following its announcement at HIMSS, CMS has published its hardship exception application for 2014 along with its new exception due to vendor delays. The new exception permits eligible hospitals and eligible professionals to request an exception from the 2015/2016 payment adjustments due to 2014 EHR Vendor Issues. Specifically, CMS now permits an exception due to the inability of the vendor to obtain 2014 certification or if the hospital or EP was unable to implement meaningful use due to 2014 EHR certification delays. Along with filling out the EP or Hospital exception forms, those requesting the exception must submit a notification from the EHR vendor.
For EPs and hospitals who are demonstrating meaningful use for the first time, they may apply for this hardship exception to avoid the 2015 payment adjustments. For those EPs and hospitals who have previously demonstrated meaningful use, they may use this hardship exception to avoid 2016 payment adjustments.
For hospitals, the hardship exception request for 2015 payment adjustments is due April 1, 2014. For eligible professionals, the hardship exception request for 2015 payment adjustments is due July 1, 2014. However, for those EPs that have not previously participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program they can submit attestation by October 1, 2014 and also avoid the payment adjustments. CMS has also issued guidance for applying for the EHR Vendor hardship exception for EPs and hospitals.
For more information about the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program or applying for these hardship exceptions please contact Elana Zana.