The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today posted updated hardship exception applications for eligible hospitals, critical access hospitals and providers participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program. According to the agency, the new applications are more streamlined and reduce the amount of information required. The Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act gave the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to create hardship exception applications for categories of providers; previously, exceptions were considered on a case-by-case basis. Eligible hospitals and CAHs can submit applications through April 1; eligible professionals must apply by March 15. For more, see the CMS website.