In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Congress mandated that payment adjustments should be applied to Medicare eligible professionals that are not meaningful users of Certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) Technology under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
If a provider is eligible to participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, they must demonstrate meaningful use each year to avoid a payment adjustment. Those EPs who are first time participants in 2017 have until October 1, 2017 to apply for the Hardship Exception and avoid the 2018 payment adjustment. We note that 2017 is also the first year of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which carries similar EHR reporting requirements to those of the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for EPs. For first time Medicare EHR Incentive Program participants in 2017, CMS is offering a one-time significant hardship exception for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program 2018 payment adjustment to provide EPs ample time to collaborate with their EHR vendors and adjust to the new reporting requirements in the Advancing Care Information performance category of MIPS. CMS’ goal is to help those first time participants successfully participate in MIPS for the 2017 program year. The application can be found here.
CMS.gov, July 3rd, 2017