Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Requirements Announced

CMS has released the requirements for filing hardship exception applications for the 2015 reporting year. The good news is that CMS has reduced the amount of detailed information needed to complete the application. Additionally, CMS is allowing groups of providers to file a single hardship exception application. Hardship exception applications are due by March 15.

A hardship exception could exempt you from Medicare payment penalties in 2017 if you failed to achieve meaningful use in 2015 and you met one of the following circumstances:

  • Insufficient internet connectivity
  • Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (a natural disaster, practice closure, bankruptcy, failure of your certified EHR)
  • Lack of certified EHR availability
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction or follow up

There’s no hardship exemption for not knowing about the Modified Stage 2 meaningful use changes that were published in October.

While this isn’t the blanket hardship exception that many had hoped, the application requires less information than in years past, which will make the application less burdensome. Additionally, the Modified Stage 2 requirements lowered the bar on many of the more onerous measures, which should make it easier for eligible providers (EPs) to attest to meaningful use rather than applying for a hardship exception.

If you’re able to successfully attest to meaningful use for 2015, you do not need to file a hardship exception. New EPs who began submitting Medicare claims in 2015, hospital-based EPs, and EPs in five specialties unrelated to eyecare automatically receive an exemption and don’t have to file an application.

For more information, refer to the following resources:

Patient Portals: How to Train Your Patients to Use Them

Robert BassAn EHR patient portal offers patients a secure way to view records, schedule appointments, and interact with your office. Along with elevating patient care, EHR patient portals enables you meet meaningful use requirements.

Check out how Robert Bass, OD, increased patient portal usage with his patients. Read the entire article: Patient Portals: How to Train Your Patients to Use Them

Copied with permission from Review of Optometric Business.

Eyefinity’s Phernell Walker Selected as International Vision Expo Visionary

IMG_3522Congratulations to Phernell Walker II, ABOM, Senior Product Manager for Eyefinity EHR, for being selected by The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions as the International Vision Expo Visionary!

Like past Visionaries, Phernell, a renowned lecturer and peer-recognized master optician, has dedicated himself to advancing the field of ophthalmic optics. He is a Master in Ophthalmic Lenses, has a Bachelor of Science in Business, and holds an Associate Degree in Optics. For his bestselling textbook, Pure Optics, Phernell also received the prestigious Beverly Meyers Achievement Award in Optics.

In response to this honor, Phernell states, “I am honored to be selected as the International Vision Expo Visionary. It’s thrilling to see how enabling technology allows us to realize our dreams to push the limits of eye care technology and education.”

Phernell envisions an impressive future for eye care technology. “There are endless possibilities for Electronic Health Records (EHR), telemedicine, the synergy of wavefront and ophthalmic optics, and more. These emerging technologies will touch every part of our lives and affect the way we practice. This is a great time to be an eye care professional!” says Phernell.

Congratulations again to Phernell for receiving such a prestigious honor!