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CMS Extends MU Hardship Exemption Application Deadline

February 26, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the deadline to July 1 for eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals (EHs), and critical access hospitals (CAHs) to apply for a Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program Hardship Exemption.

The deadline originally was March 15 for EPs, and April 1 for EHs and critical CAHs. CMS said it seeks to give providers sufficient time to submit applications so that providers can avoid adjustments to their Medicare payments in 2017.

In late December, President Obama signed a new hardship exemption bill into law, designed to make it easier for healthcare providers to receive hardship exemption from financial penalties for failing to meet Stage 2 meaningful use EHR requirements. The legislation enables CMS to grant hardships not just on a case-by-case basis, but also to 'categories' after which time CMS would still have the case-by-case authority to grant hardship exemptions. Prior to this law, CMS was required to review all applications on a “case-by-case” basis.

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