Hospitals and others applying for a hardship exception to the Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program to avoid a 2017 payment adjustment need not submit documentation of their circumstances but should retain it for their own records, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says in response to a Frequently Asked Question posted on its website. CMS also updated a hardship exception FAQ related to certification/vendor issues. “This category can be used for issues related to the 2015 rulemaking timeline and is included under the existing category for extreme and uncontrollable circumstances related to the implementation and use of certified EHR technology,” the agency said. “Providers who experienced an issue with their CEHRT related to the rule timing – and any other provider for whom the timing of the rule caused a significant hardship – should select sub-category 2.2d on the 2017 hardship exception application. No additional documentation is required for this selection.” CMS recently posted updated hardship exception applications for eligible hospitals/professionals and critical access hospitals participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. Eligible hospitals and CAHs can submit applications through April 1; EPs must apply by March 15.

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