Meaningful Use hardship exceptions include ‘2014 EHR vendor issues’

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided more details for hospitals and Eligible Professionals (EPs) who may qualify for the Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) hardship exception for the 2015 reporting year.

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided more details for hospitals and Eligible Professionals (EPs) who may qualify for the Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) hardship exception for the 2015 reporting year.

CMS has previously acknowledged that many electronic health record (EHR) vendors may be behind in necessary software upgrades, so it extended MU2 through 2016 to give providers more time to attest.

But now, providers whose vendors were unable to reach certification may qualify for exemption. According to new language in the CMS hardship exception application, EPs can now select “2014 EHR Vendor Issues” as a reason for exception. The application states, “During the calendar year (2014) preceding the payment adjustment year (2015), the EP’s EHR vendor was unable to obtain 2014 certification or the EP was unable to implement Meaningful Use due to the 2014 EHR certification delays.”

The application lists four other reasons for exception:

- Lack of infrastructure

- Unforeseen and/or uncontrollable circumstances

- Lack of control over availability of EHR technology

- Lack of face-to-face interaction

Providers whose applications are approved would not be subject to the penalty, but would also not receive the incentive payment.

The deadline for EPs to submit an application is July 1, 2014 at midnight Eastern Daylight Time.

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raanan meyer, md
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