January 04, 2016
President Obama Signs Legislation Expanding Meaningful Use Exemptions for the 2015 Reporting Year
On Monday, December 28, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act. This law expands the hardship exceptions for meaningful use (MU) for the 2015 Electronic Health Record (EHR) reporting period. The text of the law is available here.
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act to give the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) additional flexibility to grant hardship exceptions to eligible professionals (EPs) who will have difficulty attesting in 2015. Part of this issue stems from when the 2015-2017 Modifications for Meaningful Use Final Rule was released. In order to avoid a penalty for the 2015 reporting year, EPs must report a period of 90 consecutive days; since the rule was published in mid-October, many participants in MU were left without clear guidance on how to follow and attest to the new requirements.
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. Pain medicine physicians and other physicians who may participate in Meaningful Use should look for additional guidance in the next few weeks from CMS outlining categories of EPs who will qualify for exemptions.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.