Exemption from 2012 eRx penalties: The Process is Now in Place – Meaningful Use Monday

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money. Check out Lynn’s previous Meaningful Use Monday posts.

The Final Rule on ePrescribing was published in the Federal Register on September 6. This is the rule that adds new categories under which some providers can request a hardship exemption from the 2012 (1%) ePrescribing penalties, and it eliminates some of the discrepancies between the Medicare ePrescribing rule and ARRA. (See Meaningful Use Monday June 6.)The only change from the Proposed Rule is the deadline for filing a request—it has been extended to November 1, 2011 (from October 1). Providers should file as early as possible, however, to minimize the number of claims that have to be reprocessed. 

Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. To submit a request for exemption:

  • Access the exemption request form on CMS’ QualityNet website www.qualitynet.org/pqrs
  • In the “Related Links” box on the upper left, click on “Communication Support Page”, which will display the online form
  • Provide identifying info (TIN, NPI, name, address, etc.)
  • Indicate which hardship category applies
  • Submit a justification statement explaining how ePrescribing represents a significant hardship
  • Attest to the accuracy of the information submitted. 

Craft your argument thoughtfully. There is no appeal process—the decision of CMS is final.

About the author

Lynn Scheps

Lynn Scheps

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

3 Comments

  • Question for you. If our practice has been submitting the G code for the eRx incentive AND plan on attesting for the Medicare MU incentive for 2011, is it possible that since the MU money is supposed be processed/received first that the eRx incentive will not be received? I thought the rule previously stated you could not receive eRx incentives if you receive MU incentives. Now it says this and vice versa, so I am worried the lesser amount (eRx) will be given instead!

  • Charlotte,
    If you successfully attest to meaningful use in 2011, (by the February 29, 2012 deadline) and also ePrescribe and submit the proper G-code on 25 Medicare encounters in 2011, you will receive the $18,000 EHR payment (the larger of the two incentives.) You will not receive your 1% ePrescribing bonus.

    Have you considered postponing meaningful use for just a few months (starting the 90-day period in January 2012)? Then you would be able to collect both the 2011 ePrescribing bonus (1% of Medicare) and still collect the full $44K EHR incentives over the next 5 years, and would maximize your total revenue.

  • I am retired as of 5/30/11. It is unfair to penalize me for writing Rxs in 2012 basid on first half 2011. I have seen no medicare patients since 5,30. I plan to see 1 or 2 patients/month in retirement i.e 5/30/11-the indefinite future.
    Please grand me the exemption I desorve.

    Alan Kravitz

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