Current Report Articles
The Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program Hardship Exception Is Now Available

CMS (May 8, 2020) – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires all eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals to use 2015 Edition certified electronic health record technology to meet the requirements of the Promoting Interoperability Programs. As required by law, downward payment adjustments must be applied to eligible hospitals and CAHs that are not meaningful users of CEHRT.

Eligible hospitals and CAHs 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. To be considered for an exemption, 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.

The application is available online via the QualityNet Secure Portal as a web-based application. The deadline for eligible hospitals to submit an application is Sept. 1, 2020, and the deadline for CAHs to submit is Nov. 30, 2020. (Deadlines were extended from the original July date, due to COVID-19.)

If an electronic submission is not possible, hospitals may verbally submit an application over the phone by calling the QualityNet Help Desk at (866) 288-8912. Additional information is available at the CMS website.
--Sally Othmer