President Barack Obama recently signed a bill into law that allows for more flexibility when applying for hardship exemptions for Meaningful Use Stage 2.

The provision is part of the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act, and makes it easier for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to apply for hardship exceptions for the 2015 reporting period for 2017 payment adjustments.

Here are some key pieces of information from an iHealthBeat article:

  • The legislation will create a blanket hardship exemption from 2015 meaningful use penalties, which would have been assessed in 2017. Eligible professionals will have until March 15 to apply for an exemption, and eligible hospitals will have until April 1.
  • The CMS currently issues exemptions on a case-by-case basis.
  • The bill allows the CMS to grant blanket hardship exemptions to eligible professionals and hospitals that are unable to attest to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program because of CMS’ delay in releasing the final rule for program modifications for 2015 through 2017.
  • The law does not address other areas of concern with the program, such as reporting periods, quality measures and the pass-fail construct.

Visit the CMS website to learn more about payment adjustments and hardship exemptions.

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