CHA News Article

CMS Issues Application for new Medicare EHR Incentive Program Hardship Exception Process
Hospitals and CAHs must apply by April 1; EPs must apply by March 15

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced changes to the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive program hardship exception process, as required by the recently passed Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act. The exemptions apply to the Medicare EHR program 2017 payment adjustments. The streamlined hardship applications reduce the amount of information that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must submit for an exception. In addition, the new process allows CMS to consider hardship exceptions for “categories” of EPs, eligible hospitals and CAHs, rather than the previous process that required a case-by-case process.

EPs must submit hardship applications by March 15; the deadline for hospitals and CAHs is April 1. The hardship application and instructions are available on CMS’ website. CAHs should use the form specific for the CAH hardship exceptions related to an EHR reporting period in 2015. CAHs that have already submitted a form for 2015 are not required to resubmit.