On October 7, CMS announced that they are re-opening and extending the hardship exemption application
deadline to November 30, 2014. A successful application allows providers to avoid the 2015 Medicare penalties for not demonstrating meaningful use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT).
The hardship exemption application is only for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that:
Have been unable to fully implement the 2014 version of their CEHRT; AND
Eligible professionals who were unable to attest by October 1, 2014, and eligible hospitals that were unable to attest by July 1, 2014, using the flexibility rules.
Previously, the hardship exemption deadline was April 1, 2014, for eligible hospitals and July 1, 2014, for eligible professionals, all physicians who are not hospital-based. A provider is considered hospital-based if he/she performs 90% or more of covered services in either the inpatient or emergency department of a hospital.
Eligible providers who fail to demonstrate meaningful use of CEHRT or to successfully apply for an exemption risk losing, on average, one percent of their annual Medicare payments for 2015
For more information, please see our previous article on Meaningful Use