How to Avoid Meaningful Use Penalties in 2016

In this months post, we take a look at a recent article posted on Radiology and HIT Blog discusses two ways to avoid MU penalties coming next year.

The negative payment adjustments for non-participation in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program (“Meaningful Use” or MU) will increase to -2% off covered professional services in calendar year (CY) 2016. Physicians who are eligible for the Medicare version of the program will have two ways to avoid the 2016 penalties:

Option 1: Compliance

  • Prior MU participants must have been a Meaningful EHR User in 2014 to avoid the 2016 penalties. If the prior MU participant was not MU-compliant in 2014, he/she must use Option 2 below.
  • Those who have never participated in MU must begin participating by July 1, 2015 and complete the attestation process by October 1, 2015 (at the latest) to avoid 2016 penalties. If the first-time participant does not meet the attestation deadline, he/she must use Option 2 below.

Option 2: Significant hardship exception

Regardless of whether or not a physician was MU compliant in the past, he/she can obtain one of several “significant hardship exceptions” to avoid 2016 penalties. CMS can grant these to physicians on an annual basis for up to 5 total years. The various available significant hardship exceptions are as follows:

  • Lacking broadband/infrastructure
  • Newly practicing
  • Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances
  • Inability to influence availability of certified EHR technology (CEHRT)
  • Lack of face-to-face/telemedicine interaction with patients AND lack of need for follow-up
  • Primary specialty listing in PECOS

Read more on the Radiology and HIT Blog.

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Go to http://www.theMUguide.com to learn more. Buy a book from the official e-store (http://buy.theMUguide.com) or Amazon.com (http://amazon.theMUguide.com).

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