If you did not successfully meet Meaningful Use (MU) for an EHR incentive program reporting period in 2015 – or even if you did — the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Director of Practice Improvement Terri Gonzalez would like to draw your attention to the instructions and forms necessary to file for an EHR Incentive Program Hardship Exception. Read the instructions. Download the application form. The deadline to file the application is March 15, 2016.
The AMA is recommending that everyone should apply for an exception. Those who don’t apply could face up to a 3 percent cut in their Medicare payments in 2017 since the meaningful use program operates on a two-year look-back period. New this year, individuals can apply on behalf of a group of physicians.
Even physicians who believe they met the requirements of the meaningful use program in 2015 can apply. Submitting an application for a hardship exception will not prevent those who qualify from receiving an incentive payment, according to the AMA. The AMA offers this fact sheet to help you avoid a penalty.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has stated it will broadly grant hardship exceptions as a result of the delayed publication of the Stage 2 meaningful use modifications rule, which left physicians with insufficient time to report under the modified program requirements issued in late 2015.