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 and do not receive a hardship exception will have their payments reduced in fiscal year 2016. To file a hardship exception application, the circumstance must be beyond the hospital’s control and the hospital must explicitly outline how the circumstance significantly impaired the hospital’s ability to meet 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