Practice Management & Allied Staff News & Materials
Changes Made to CMS Electronic Prescribing Program
November 22nd, 2011
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule on September 6 , 2011 amending the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program for calendar year 2011. Beginning in January 2012, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) requires an adjustment to Medicare payments for eligible professionals who aren't successful electronic prescribers. After hearing concerns from provider groups on the proposed rules, CMS made the following changes to the program:
- Amended language to state a qualified electronic prescribing system for the purpose of the Medicare eRx Incentive Program includes certified electronic health records (EHR) technology under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs to prevent duplicative efforts.
- Added four significant hardship exemptions that will make professionals exempt from the 2012 payment adjustment:
- Eligible professionals who register to participate in either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and adopt certified EHR technology
- Eligible professionals who are unable to electronically prescribe due to local, state, or federal law or regulation
- Eligible professionals who have limited prescribing activity; and
- Eligible professionals who have insufficient opportunities to report the e-prescribing measure due to limitations of the measure's denominator
- Extended the deadline for requesting significant hardship exemptions to November 8, 2011. Previously, providers needed to request an exemption by October 1, 2011.
- Allows providers to report significant hardship exemptions to the 2012 eRx payment adjustment via a Web-based tool for eligible professionals or via a mailed letter for group practices that are participating in the eRx group practice reporting option for 2011.