Hospitals paid under the Medicare inpatient prospective payment system can apply through 11:59 p.m. ET April 1 for a hardship exception under the Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program. IPPS hospitals that did not attest to meaningful use of EHRs in fiscal year 2014, or do not plan to attest to meaningful use for the first time by July 1, will have their payments reduced in fiscal year 2016 unless they receive a hardship exception for one of several types of circumstances that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may deem a barrier to achieving meaningful use. Applications should be emailed by April 1 to or faxed. Approved exceptions are valid for one year. Critical access hospitals have until Nov. 30 to apply for a 2015 hardship exception and a separate form will be posted to the CMS website at a later date. For more on the EHR program, visit or