New Opportunities to Avoid ePrescribing Penalty for 2013 – Meaningful Use Monday

According to the 2013 Medicare Final Rule released last week, there are new ways to avoid future payment adjustments under the MIPPA ePrescribing rule for those who have not already taken the necessary steps to avoid them: 1) The exemption request period has been reopened and 2) meaningful use will satisfy the ePrescribing requirements according to specific timetables.

1) CMS is offering a second chance to physicians who missed the June 30 deadline for requesting an exemption to the 2013 ePrescribing penalty (1.5%) under the original 4 categories. Between November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013, physicians can go to the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page and request an exemption based on one of the following justifications:

  • Inability to electronically prescribe due to local, State, or Federal law or regulation (i.e., prescribe predominantly controlled substances)
  • Prescribed fewer than 100 prescriptions between January 1 and June 30, 2012
  • Insufficient high speed internet access (i.e., rural area)
  • Insufficient available pharmacies that accept electronic prescribing.

2) In the interest of harmonizing the various government programs that contain ePrescribing components, CMS now will provide two additional ways to avoid the 2013 MIPPA penalties:

  • Achieve meaningful use during 2013
  • Demonstrate intent to participate in the EHR Incentive Program and adopt Certified EHR Technology by January 31, 2013

This information will be retrieved by CMS from the information in its EHR Incentive Program’s Registration and Attestation System, rather than by having providers request an exemption as in #1 above.

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.


  • I just tried to submit an exemption due to participation in meaningful use but was told by CMS that we can not do this as of yet. The exemption for participation in meaningful use is a proposed rule and has not been accepted yet.

  • Melanie,
    That exemption is provided for in the 2013 Medicare PFS final rule, which becomes effective at the end of the year. Unlike the first 4 exemptions, however, providers will not apply for exemptions based on meaningful use through the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page. CMS will receive information about EPs meaningful use status directly from its Registration and Attestation website.

  • Do we use GCodes for E-Prescribing in 2014? Do we no longer have to do this since the program ends late 2014 and we participated all years it was in effect? I can’t find anything regarding do we continue using GCodes or not. Any help you could provide is appreciated.

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