CMS has reopened the submission period for hardship exception applications, allowing eligible providers (EPs), like you, one last chance to avoid the 1% Medicare payment penalty in 2015. The new deadline is November 30 at 9:59 pm Pacific. You must complete the Hardship Exception Application and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 1 was a frenzied rush as thousands of EPs attempted to attest to meaningful use to avoid the 1% Medicare penalty in 2015. The crushing volume strained the attestation system as well as the call centers of EHR vendors. Frustration increased when EPs attempted to attest to the 2011 Edition criteria under the recent delay because CMS’s attestation system had not been retrofitted to accommodate the revised rules.
Breathing a Collective Sigh of Relief
To alleviate the situation, CMS has decided to reopen the submission period for hardship exception applications after a three-month hiatus. EPs who were stuck in the snarl of October 1 will surely appreciate this extension.
Reading the Fine Print
This extension is not an outright postponement of Medicare penalties in 2015. To be eligible for a hardship exception, you must meet the following criteria:
- You were unable to fully implement a 2014 Edition certified EHR because your certified software was not available soon enough for you to install, train, and use prior to July 1
- You were unable to attest by October 1, 2014, using the flexibility options provided in the 2014 Flexibility Rule
Visit the Payment Adjustments and Hardship Exceptions webpage for more information about Medicare EHR Incentive Program payment adjustments.