e-Rx Hardship Exemptions Update

Don’t get caught by a 2% payment reduction in 2014 because you didn’t comply with E-prescribing requirements. You can avoid the penalty by the following:

  1. Submit 10 or more electronic prescriptions by June 30, 2013.
  2. You were a successful E-prescriber in 2012 and were eligible for the 1% bonus in 2012

If you are seeking a hardship exemption from the E-prescribing requirement for 2014, you need to submit your request by June 30, 2013.

There are several exemptions that may apply. They are:

  1. You prescribe fewer than 100 prescriptions during a 6-month payment adjustment reporting period.
  2. You practice in a rural area with limited high-speed internet access.
  3. You practice in an area with limited available pharmacies for E-Rx.
  4. You do not have the ability to electronically prescribe due to local, state, or federal law or regulation.

Two new hardship exemption categories exist. They are:

  1. Eligible professionals who achieve meaningful use.
  2. Eligible professionals who demonstrate intent to participate in the EHR Incentive Program, and adoption of Certified EHR Technology by registering for the EHR Incentive Program.

EHR Incentive Program participants must provide their entire EHR Certification
Number in the CMS EHR Certification ID field during registration to receive the second hardship.

Unlike the existing hardships, there is no application required for these two new exemptions.

As a reminder, Optometrists are not subject to the payment adjustment but are still eligible to receive a bonus if they are successful E-prescribers.

Access to the Communication Support Page and a link to the MLN Matters article can be found at: http://www.cms.gov/ERxIncentive/20_Payment_Adjustment_Information.asp#TopOfPage.

For more information the E-Rx bonus program, see our FAQ and Bonus Program monograph.

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