The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that all eligible hospitals use the 2015 Edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) to meet the requirements of the Promoting Interoperability Programs. CMS mandates downward payment adjustments be applied to eligible hospitals that are not meaningful users of CEHRT. Eligible hospitals may be exempt from Medicare penalties if they can show that compliance with the requirement for being a meaningful EHR user would result in a significant hardship. The deadline for eligible hospitals to submit an application is September 1, 2020, an extension from the original date of July 1, 2020 due to COVID-19.
To be considered for an exemption, eligible hospitals must complete a hardship exception application and provide proof of hardship. If approved, the hardship exception is valid for only one payment adjustment year. Eligible hospitals would need to submit new applications for subsequent years and in no case may an eligible hospital be granted an exception for more than five years.
For more information about payment adjustments and hardship information, click here. For more information on the Promoting Interoperability Programs, visit the CMS website Promoting Interoperability Programs.