The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new frequently asked question (FAQ) that indicates providers who submit a hardship exception application may still attest to the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program for the 2015 EHR Reporting Period.
FAQ #14357 - If I submit a hardship exception application by the March 15, 2016 deadline, does that mean that I cannot attest for the 2015 EHR reporting period and possibly receive an incentive payment?
No. Submission of a hardship exception application does not prevent providers from attesting and receiving an incentive payment if meaningful use requirements are met.
Attestation for the 2015 EHR reporting period is currently open. CMS urges providers to try to attest by the March 11, 2016 attestation deadline. If they attest successfully, they will avoid the payment adjustment in 2017 and may also be eligible to receive an EHR incentive payment.
However, if providers cannot attest for a 2015 reporting period— or if they believe their attestation may be unsuccessful—then they may apply for a hardship exception to avoid the payment adjustment in 2017. The application will not prevent providers from earning an incentive if their attestation is successful. The deadline to submit a hardship exception application is March 15, 2016 for eligible professionals and April 1, 2016 for eligible hospitals.
For More Information
Please visit the Payment Adjustments and Hardship Information page on the CMS website.