The Medical Group Management Association is asking federal officials to extend the Medicare e-prescribing program’s reporting and hardship exemption request deadlines of June 30, saying the requirements are confusing and unfair.

“Our members face great difficulty understanding the criteria for avoiding e-prescribing penalties annually as each year the requirements, deadlines and timeframes for reporting have changed significantly,” MGMA contends in a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Additionally, CMS’s approach to applying penalties in one year based on a prior year’s reporting activity further complicates reporting and penalty schemas, causing confusion and unfair penalty determinations. CMS should use its regulatory authority to change this approach going forward, and where penalties exist, they should be based on actual performance during the time period to which they are applied.”

For your consideration: Medicare’s e-prescribing rule.

MGMA, as it and other medical societies have repeatedly advocated, again urges CMS to deem physicians meeting meaningful use requirements as also meeting e-prescribing and Physician Quality Reporting System requirements.

Absent the change in deeming, the association asks CMS to extend the reporting and hardship exemption request deadline to Dec. 31, 2012; allow batch submissions of e-prescribing hardship exemption requests; institute a formal appeals process immediately; and provide timely feedback to providers to correct errors that may result in insufficient reporting. “The recent availability of incomplete, interim feedback reports for 2011 reporting will not be sufficient for providers to make these determinations.”

The comment letter is available here.

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