Health care providers who are unable to demonstrate meaningful use under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs because they switched EHR vendors during the program year may apply for a hardship exception to avoid a payment adjustment, according to new guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “The AHA welcomes this change in policy and has advocated for this exception since the meaningful use program began,” said Chantal Worzala, AHA director of policy. “We would like to better understand, however, the duration of this important protection, since it can take multiple years to fully and successfully transition from one EHR to another.” CMS also clarified that providers can use a decertified product to attest to meaningful use if the product was decertified after their EHR reporting period closed. If the product was decertified before the reporting period closed, they can apply for a hardship exception, the agency said.