2015 Medicare Eligible Hospital Hardship Exception

Take Action by April 1 to Avoid 2015 Payment Adjustment

Payment adjustments for eligible hospitals that have not successfully participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will begin on October 1, 2014. Hospitals can avoid the payment adjustment by taking action by April 1.

Hospitals that have never participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program can:

  • Submit a hardship exception application for experiencing circumstances that posted a significant barrier to achieving meaningful use
  • Begin 90 days of meaningful use for the 2014 reporting year by April 1 and attest by July 1

Hospitals that participated in 2011 or 2012, but did not successfully participate in 2013 due to circumstances that created barriers can also submit a hardship exception.

Returning Hospitals to the EHR Incentive Program

  • If you successfully met Meaningful Use in 2013, you will be excluded from the payment adjustment  and do not need to submit a Hardship Exception Application for Payment Year 2015.
  • If you did not successfully meet Meaningful Use in 2013 and you would like to apply for a Hardship  Exception, you must submit your Application no later than midnight EDT on April 1, 2014.

Hospitals that have not participated in the EHR incentive Program

  • If you have not previously participated in the EHR Incentive Program and would like to participate for Program Year 2014, you have until July 1, 2014 to successfully attest and avoid payment adjustment.
  • If you have not previously participated in the EHR incentive program and would like to submit a  Hardship Exception Application, you must submit your Application no later than midnight EDT on April
    1, 2014.

Hospitals that DO NOT need to submit this form

  • New Hospitals – If you are a new Hospital enrolling in the Medicare program, you DO NOT need to submit this form. You will be granted a Hardship Exception and are automatically exempt from the 2015 payment adjustment based on the data in Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS). For additional information please refer to the Hospital Tip Sheet.

About Hardship Exceptions
The hardship exception application for Medicare eligible hospitals is available on the EHR Incentive Programs website and outlines the specific types of circumstances that CMS considers to be barriers to achieving meaningful use. Supporting documentation must also be provided. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not a hardship exception should be granted.

As a reminder, the application must be submitted electronically or postmarked no later than 11:59pm ET on April 1, 2014 to be considered. If approved, the exception is valid for one year.

Demonstrate Meaningful Use
CMS has developed resources for hospitals that demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology, including:

Dually eligible hospitals can avoid the Medicare payment adjustment by successfully meeting meaningful use under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Be sure to visit the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.