The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is reopening the period during which providers can apply for an EHR hardship exception and avoid Medicare reimbursement penalties for failure to attest for meaningful use in 2014.

The previous exception application deadlines were April 1, 2014 for eligible hospitals and July 1, 2014 for eligible professionals. A recent final rule adding some new flexibility to achieving meaningful use was not well-received by the industry as it still did not permit sufficient time for attesting before the meaningful use calendar year for eligible professionals and fiscal year for hospitals ended.

Now, the new deadline for applying for a hardship exception is 11:59 p.m. EST on November 30, 2014 for both eligible professionals and eligible hospitals.

(See also: Final Meaningful Use Rule Won’t Make Providers Happy)

The reopened exception period is available only to EPs and EHs “that have been unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability, and, eligible professionals who were unable to attest by October 1, 2014 and eligible hospitals that were unable to attest by July 1, 2014 using the flexibility options provided in the CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule,” according to CMS. More information on hardship exceptions is available here.

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