Meaningful Use Application for Hardship Extension Submission Deadline

Meaningful Use Application for Hardship Extension Submission Deadline


Did you know the submission deadline for Eligible Professionals (EPs) to submit an application for a 2016 Medicare EHR Incentive Program hardship extension is 11:59 PM EDT July 1, 2015? The hardship exception will be granted under specific circumstances if CMS determines that providers have demonstrated that those circumstances pose a significant barrier to their achieving meaningful use.

Eligible Professionals can apply for hardship exceptions based on the following:

  • Infrastructure: EPs must demonstrate they are in an area without significant internet access or other insurmountable barriers to obtaining infrastructure.
  • New Eligible Professionals: Newly practicing EPs who have not had the time to become "meaningful users" can apply for a 2 year limited exception to payment adjustments.
  • Unforeseen Circumstances: Such as a natural disaster of other unforeseen barrier.
  • Patient Interaction: Lack of face-to-face interactions with patients or lack of follow-up needed with patients.
  • Practice at Multiple Locations: Lack of control over availability of CEHRT for more than 50% of patient encounters.
  • There are "2014 EHR vendor issues," which applies if the EHR vendor did not receive 2014 certification, if the practice was unable to implement a certified EHR in time to demonstrate meaningful use, or if the practice did not have enough time to incorporate Stage 2 workflows in time to demonstrate meaningful use.

It should be noted that not every application for an exception will be approved, the exemption is for 1 year, and subsequent years will require a reapplication. Documentation, such as notice from an EHR vendor regarding the availability of a 2014 certified edition of their system, will increase the likelihood that an application will be approved.

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