Physicians have until Tuesday, July 1, 2014 to submit an EHR Hardship Exception Application to the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
However, as a direct result of ASA’s advocacy efforts, the Stage 2 Final Rule for the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program creates an automatic hardship exemption from the penalties for anesthesiologists. Anesthesiologists who designate their primary specialty as Anesthesiology (05) under Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) receive an automatic annual exemption from the penalties.. These anesthesiologists are automatically exempt from the 2015 payment adjustment and are not required to submit an exemption application by the July 1 deadline.
Anesthesiologists who are not “hospital-based” are permitted to apply for the EHR Incentive Program. An eligible professional is considered hospital-based if 90% or more of his or her services are performed in a hospital inpatient (Place of Service code 21) or emergency room (Place of Service code 23) setting. If you are interested in learning more about the EHR Incentive Program, please review the April 2014 CMS-issued guide for eligible professionals. The guide provides a step-by-step review of the incentive program, eligibility requirements, registration, and meaningful use.
Please visit the ASA webpage on EHRs for further information on ASA’s position on the EHR Incentive Programs, our advocacy on this issue and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.