Summer’s here, and the July 4 holiday weekend is around the corner. Before packing your bags or lighting up the grill, take a moment to review the meaningful use hardship exception guidelines. The deadline to apply for a hardship exception and avoid a 2017 payment adjustment is July 1 at 11:59 pm ET.
You do not need to file a hardship exception if any one of these scenarios applies to you:
- You successfully demonstrated meaningful use in 2015;
- You’re a hospital-based provider; or
- You’re a new eligible professional who began filing Medicare or Medicaid claims in 2015.
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.
The timeline for hardship exceptions and payment adjustments can be confusing since the payment adjustments occur two years after the participation year.
|If you failed to participate in this calendar year…||File for a hardship exception by this date…||To avoid a payment adjustment in this year…|
|2015||July 1, 2016||2017|
For more information, refer to the following resources:
- Payment Adjustments & Hardship Information
- Medicare EHR Hardship Exception Instructions
- Medicare EHR Hardship Exception Application (due July 1)