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    CMS extends CEHRT hardship exception deadline for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals

    In the November 13, 2014 Federal Register, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized a hardship exception under the existing category of “extreme and uncontrollable circumstances” for eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) if they (1) were unable to fully implement the 2014 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) as a result of delays in the 2014 Edition CEHRT availability; and (2) were unable to attest by the 2014 attestation deadline using the flexibility options in the 2014 Flexibility Rule. The attestation deadlines were July 1, 2014, for EHs and October 1, 2014, for EPs. CMS’ action was contained within the Calendar Year 2015 Physician Fee Schedule final rule.

    This hardship exception is available only for EPs and EHs meeting both of the above criteria for purposes of the 2015 payment adjustment under the EHR Incentive Program. CMS is extending the deadline for EPs and EHs to apply for this hardship exception to November 30, 2014.

    In addition, beginning in 2015, CMS will require EPs to report the most recent version of the electronically-specified clinical quality measures (CQMs), but they will not be required to recertify their CEHRT to the most recent version of the electronic specifications for the CQMs. CMS also made changes in the EHR Incentive Program to align CQMs with other quality reporting and payment programs.

    The relevant text begins on page 67905 of the Federal Register link.

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