News in Brief

EHR Meaningful Use hardship exception deadline extended until July 1

AOA recommends all DOs participating in Medicare consider applying, even if they can successfully attest to Stage 1 or Stage 2 compliance.

DOs who participate in Medicare now have more time to apply for an EHR Meaningful Use hardship exception as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services extended the deadline to July 1.

Due to significant advocacy efforts on this issue by the AOA over the past year, Congress passed legislation in late 2015 making it easier for physicians to obtain an exception. This “blanket” policy means that CMS must only verify that an application is complete in order to grant an exception.

Applying for a hardship exception does not preclude DOs from successfully attesting to Meaningful Use. The hardship application will serve as a backstop to attestation, and would only come under consideration should DOs’ attestation fail.

The AOA created a step-by-step primer to help guide physicians through the application process. For more information, contact govt-issues@osteopathic.org.

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