Physician Practice

CMS extends meaningful use attestation deadline

Physician Practice Insider, February 23, 2016

CMS extended the deadline for hospitals and EPs to attest 2015 meaningful use data to March 11. The original deadline for attesting to meaningful use as part of the 2015 Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program was February 29.

Hospitals and eligible professionals participating in the program must demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs for a continuous 90-day period between October 1, 2014, and December 31, 2015, to avoid a negative payment adjustment, the final rule says.

Earlier this year, CMS announced that more than 200,000 EPs will see their 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) payments cut for failing to meet meaningful use benchmarks in 2014. Although most EPs will see losses of less than $1,000, the negative payment adjustments could total more than $10,000, CMS estimates.

The Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act (PAMPA) gives CMS the power to temporarily fast-track meaningful use hardship exemption applications for the 2015 reporting period. Hospitals and critical access hospitals must file their applications by April 1, and EPs by March 15, to have their hardship applications fast-tracked. Hardship applications filed after this date will revert to CMS’ standard case-by-case evaluation process. The PAMPA-revised hardship application instructions also allow groups of providers to apply on a single application. All hardship applications are due by July 1.

Meaningful use attestation data for 2015 will be used to calculate payments in 2017 for hospitals and EPs who have participated in the program in previous years. Providers who participated in the program for the first time in 2015 will see that data used to calculate payments in 2016 and 2017.

This article was originally published in HCPro’s new Revenue Cycle Daily Advisor.

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