The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the application for the Meaningful Use hardship exemption deadline to 11.59pm EST on 30 Nov 2014 for Eligible Hospitals (EH) and Eligible Professionals (EP). The previous deadline was April 1 for EH and July 1 for EP’s.
By the large number (over 44,000) of applications received by CMS, it is clear that providers are having challenges attesting to Stage 2. Many providers were unable to implement 2014 editions of electronic medical records because they cannot find available technology.
As per the announcement by CMS, Eligible professionals and eligible hospitals may be exempt from payment adjustments if they can show that demonstrating Meaningful Use would result in a significant hardship. To be considered for an exception, an eligible professional or eligible hospital must complete a Hardship Exception application along with proof of the hardship. If approved, the hardship exception is valid for 1 payment year only. A new application must be submitted if the hardship continues for the following payment year. In no case may a provider be granted an exception for more than 5 years.
The following providers do not need to submit a hardship application:
- New providers in their first year (both eligible professionals and eligible hospitals)
- Eligible professionals who are hospital-based: a provider is considered hospital-based if he or she provides more than 90% of their covered professional services in either an inpatient (Place of Service 21) or emergency department (Place of Service 23) of a hospital*
- Eligible professionals in which 90% of their claims include Place of Service 21, Place of Service 23 and certain observation services using Place of Service 22.
- Eligible professionals with certain PECOS specialties (05-Anesthesiology, 22-Pathology, 30-Diagnostic Radiology, 36-Nuclear Medicine, 94-Interventional Radiology) 6 months prior to the first day of the payment adjustments. Eligible professionals should verify that their PECOS specialty is up to date.
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