American Society of Anesthesiologists - Hardship Exemption Applications for EHR Incentive Program for Payment Year 2018 are Due July 1

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Hardship Exemption Applications for EHR Incentive Program for Payment Year 2018 are Due July 1

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released hardship exception instructions for the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program for the 2016 reporting period. Eligible Professionals (EPs) who did not successfully meet Meaningful Use in 2016 and would like to apply for a hardship exception must submit their applications by *July 1, 2017*. Pain medicine physicians and other physicians who may participate in Meaningful Use can find the hardship applications on the CMS website.

As a result of ASA’s advocacy efforts, CMS created a hardship exemption for anesthesiologists as a part of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Final Rule in 2012. This exemption allows anesthesiologists to avoid the payment penalties that began in 2015. Physician anesthesiologists with the Provider, Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) Anesthesiology specialty designation of “05” have an automatic hardship exemption and do not need to complete a hardship exemption form.

Please note, beginning with the 2019 Payment Year (corresponding with the 2017 Performance Year), payment adjustments for physicians in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will be determined by the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) outlined in the Advancing Care Information component of the MACRA Final Rule.

Please visit the ASA Quality and Regulatory Affairs website for more information regarding the EHR Incentive Program. Other materials related to the EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use) are located on CMS and ONC websites, including several reference tools to guide EPs through the initial assessment stages.

For additional information, please contact the ASA Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs (QRA) at (202) 289-2222 or via e-mail qra@asahq.org.
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