Deadline Extended to Report 2013 EHR Meaningful Use

Disclosures

February 07, 2014

Physicians will get an extra month to tell Medicare that they achieved meaningful use of an electronic health record (EHR) system last year, helping them qualify for an incentive payment and avoid a 1% penalty in 2015 in the process.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that it is extending the deadline to attest to EHR meaningful use in 2013 under Medicare from February 28 to March 31, with physicians having until 11:59 p.m. EST to submit their performance data.

The extension does not alter any deadline for physicians who participate in the EHR meaningful-use program under Medicaid — which does not impose any penalties — or any other Medicare program, such as the Physician Quality Reporting System.

Physicians and other eligible providers can earn a maximum of $44,000 in Medicare incentive payments over 5 consecutive years for satisfying meaningful-use requirements in each of those years. In 2013, clinicians were subject to Stage 1 requirements, which ranged from transmitting prescriptions to the pharmacy electronically to maintaining an up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses. More rigorous Stage 2 requirements take effect this year.

Physicians who first qualified for a Medicare incentive payment in 2011 or 2012 must demonstrate meaningful use for all 12 months of 2013 to avoid a 1% penalty in 2015. Newcomers to the program in 2013 need only demonstrate meaningful use for a 90-day reporting period that year.

Anyone with questions about the attestation process can call the government's EHR Information Center, open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. CST, at 1-888-734-6433. More information about achieving and reporting meaningful use of an EHR system is available on the CMS Web site.

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