The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is extending the deadline for hospitals to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program 2014 reporting year.

The previous deadline was 11:59 pm EST on November 30, 2014; the new deadline is 11:59 pm EST on December 31, 2014.

CMS says the extension “will allow more time for hospitals to submit their meaningful use data and receive an incentive payment for the 2014 program year, as well as avoid the 2016 Medicare payment adjustment.”

In addition, the agency announced it is also “extending the deadline for eligible hospitals and CAHs that are electronically submitting clinical quality measures (CQMs) to meet that requirement of meaningful use and the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program.” Hospitals now have until December 31, 2014 to submit their eCQM data. However, CMS also emphasizes that the extension “does not impact the deadlines for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.” 

On Friday, CMS announced that it reopened the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals and hospitals to avoid the 2015 Medicare payment adjustments for not demonstrating meaningful use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology. The deadline is 11:59 pm EST November 30, 2014.

EPs and EHs that have never met meaningful use before may apply during this reopened hardship exception application submission period if they meet both of the following:

*The provider was unable to attest by July 1, 2014 (for eligible hospitals) or October 1, 2014 (for eligible professionals); and

*The provider has been unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT by the dates above due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability.

“These are the only circumstances that will be considered for this reopened hardship exception application submission period,” states CMS. Over the summer, the agency announced that it had received 44,000 hardship exception applications. In response to a query from Health Data Management, a CMS spokesperson did not have any updates to that number.

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