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CMS Extends MU Reporting Deadline for Eligible Physicians

February 7, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Following the path it set for eligible hospitals, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has set a new deadline of March 13 for Meaningful Use attestation for eligible professionals (EPs).

A few weeks ago, CMS said it was extending the deadline for eligible hospitals in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) and Meaningful Use programs to submit their electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) data from 2016. The deadline moved from Feb. 28 to March 13, 2017.

The agency is now doing the same for EPs. Late last year, CMS reported that there are approximately 171,000 eligible professionals who are subject to a downward payment adjustment in 2017 under Medicare for failing to meet meaningful use requirements. Payment adjustments for Medicare EPs occur two years from the actual attestation year; so the penalties for 2017 are for 2015 reporting. The Medicare payment adjustments began on January 1, 2015 for EPs and sunset in 2018 per the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

As Medscape reported, regarding this latest CMS announcement, “CMS did not explain why it was pushing back the deadline for 2016 attestation. However, the agency did not specify until November that the reporting period for meaningful use was 90 days in 2016, rather than the original full calendar year. Moreover, no hardship exceptions were granted for 2016 because of the tardy announcement of the reporting period. So it is possible that CMS wants to give EPs every opportunity to attest before the window closes.”

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