This week CMS has introduced significant alterations to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program hardship release procedure that will decrease loads on clinicians, clinics, and critical admission hospitals (CAH). Please note, if your exemption is approved by CMS, you won't have payment penalties for 2017 and you also will NOT be eligible for any EHR meaningful use stimulus money for the 2015 period.
Please see the passage from CMS underneath:
CMS does not require an EP, eligible hospital, or CAH - or any group of providers - to submit documentation for the hardship category selected and CMS will not be reviewing documentation supporting the application on a case-by-case basis. CMS will review the application to record the category selected and use the identifying information to approve the hardship exception for each provider listed on the application.
CMS has also updated FAQ #12845 to reflect these changes and to provide additional guidance specific to sub-category 2.2d of PAMPA - EHR Certification/Vendor Issues (CEHRT Issues). This category can be used for issues related to the 2015 rulemaking timeline and is included under the existing category for extreme and uncontrollable circumstances related to the implementation and use of certified EHR technology.
Providers who experienced an issue with their CEHRT related to the rule timing - and any other provider for whom the timing of the rule caused a significant hardship - should select sub-category 2.2d on the 2017 hardship exception application. No additional documentation is required for this selection.
To see the hardship release request and directions, go to the Payment Adjustments and Hardship Information
page on the CMS website
Tick here to retrieve the Hardship Exemption Form