Republican Senators are asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for details on its new plan to grant hardship exemptions to health care providers who are struggling to comply with Stage 2 EHR meaningful use requirements. Last week, CMS announced at HIMSS14 the availability of the hardship exemptions during 2014, but GOP lawmakers are seeking clarification on the qualification criteria.  

“The CMS website currently says hardship exceptions are available only in certain narrow circumstances—such as a lack of broadband internet or an unforeseen natural disaster. How will these categories be expanded? Will the applications be due April 1? What documentation or standard of proof must be met to obtain an exception? What is the timing for review, and will there be an appeals process?,” wrote six senators in a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

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