Issue Background

Meaningful Use

EHR Incentive Program Hardship Exception Clarification

CMS has issued an FAQ clarifying that applying for a hardship exemption from the 2017 meaningful use payment penalty will not preclude physicians from receiving the incentive, if they successfully attest to meaningful use in 2015. In essence, the hardship exemption will act as a safety net.

CMS Hears NJ Physicians Concerns Over EHR Compliance Mandates

MSNJ joined AMA to ask CMS to soften meaningful use requirements and deadlines. We urge all physicians to apply for the federal Meaningful Use hardship waiver. See details.

Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Applications due March 15

MSNJ joined AMA to ask CMS to soften meaningful use requirements and deadlines. CMS heard our concerns and updated the process for the 2015 reporting period. We urge all physicians to apply for the federal Meaningful Use hardship exception. Read AMA's instructions. Read CMS' new FAQ outlining the documentation requirements for submitting the new hardship application to avoid the 2017 payment adjustment and an updated FAQ on additional guidance related to certified EHR technology (CEHRT) and Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act (PAMPA).

Changes to Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Process for 2015 Reporting Period

CMS has released information on changes to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program hardship exception process. Eligible Professionals have until March 15 to file a hardship exemption for the 2015 reporting period, affecting Medicare payments in 2017. Read about the changes.

MU Hardship Exemption Law Signed 

On December 28 the President signed S. 2425, the "Patient Access & Medicare Protection Act." This legislation was introduced to mitigate the impact of a CMS rule that allowed physicians to report for only 90 days in 2015, but the final rule was adopted with less than 90 days to do so. Failure to comply with the meaningful use requirements in the 2015 reporting period will result in a 3% Medicare payment penalty in 2017. While CMS would grant hardship exemptions to physicians on a case-by-case basis for "extreme and uncontrollable circumstances," the legislation will allow physicians to apply by categories. Applications are due by March 15. Now, CMS must design and implement the blanket exemption. Read more. We will update members as more information becomes available.