Eligible professionals who believe they have a valid reason to receive an exception from CMS’s Meaningful Use Incentive Program for Electronic Health Records (EHR) must submit an exception application by July 1, 2015 to avoid penalties in 2016.
The 2016 Hardship Exception Application and instructions for completing the form can be found at this CMS link.
To file a hardship exception you must meet one of the following criteria:
Lack of infrastructure, which applies to providers in areas without sufficient internet access or who face insurmountable barriers to obtaining infrastructure.
Unforeseen and/or uncontrollable circumstances, such as a disaster, practice closure, bankruptcy/debt restructuring filing, or EHR certification or vendor issues.
Lack of control over the availability of certified EHR technology, as in the case of providers who practice at multiple locations and lack control over the availability of CEHRT for more than 50% of patient encounters.
Lack of face-to-face interaction, in which there is a complete lack of face-to-face patient interaction and follow-up need; or cases in which face-to-face patient interaction and follow-up need is extremely rare and not part of the provider’s normal scope of practice.
The 2016 Hardship Exception Application can be completed online, saved on a computer and attached to an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants will receive an immediate confirmation via email that their application was received. The submission deadline for a hardship exception is 11:59 PM EDT July 1, 2015.