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Meaningful use hospitals to face October payment changes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is reminding hospitals eligible for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program that have not successfully participated that they will be subject to payment changes beginning on October 1, 2014. CMS is offering these hospitals two options on avoiding these payment changes.
Here is the full message from CMS:
Medicare Eligible Hospitals: Take Action by April 1 to Avoid 2015 Payment Adjustment
Payment adjustments for eligible hospitals that have not successfully participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will begin on October 1, 2014. Hospitals can avoid the payment adjustment by taking action by April 1.
Hospitals that have never participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program can:
• Submit a hardship exception application for experiencing circumstances that posted a significant barrier to achieving meaningful use
• Begin 90 days of meaningful use for the 2014 reporting year by April 1 and attest by July 1
Hospitals that participated in 2011 or 2012, but did not successfully participate in 2013 due to circumstances that created barriers can also submit a hardship exception.
About Hardship Exceptions
The hardship exception application for Medicare eligible hospitals is available on the EHR Incentive Programs website and outlines the specific types of circumstances that CMS considers to be barriers to achieving meaningful use. Supporting documentation must also be provided. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not a hardship exception should be granted.
As a reminder, the application must be submitted electronically or postmarked no later than 11:59pm ET on April 1, 2014 to be considered. If approved, the exception is valid for one year.
Demonstrate Meaningful Use
CMS has developed resources for hospitals that demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology, including:
Stage 1 meaningful use spec sheets
Attestation worksheet
Dually eligible hospitals can avoid the Medicare payment adjustment by successfully meeting meaningful use under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Be sure to visit the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.
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