Deadline approaching to submit meaningful use hardship exception to avoid payment adjustment


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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the hardship exception instructions and application form for the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program (now called the Promoting Interoperability Program) for the 2017 reporting period. 

Eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) that were unable to meet requirements for meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology under the EHR Incentive Program will face Medicare payment adjustment penalties unless the hospital is able to show that demonstrating meaningful use would result in a significant hardship for the hospital. Any such hardship must be based on extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, such as a natural disaster, hospital closure, bankruptcy or debt restructuring, or EHR certification or vendor issue.    

Eligible hospitals and CAHs seeking a hardship exception must complete a hardship application, along with any supporting documentation, and submit the application via email by July 1, 2018. If approved, the hardship exception is valid for one payment year. Additional information regarding payment adjustments and hardship information can be found on the CMS website. 

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