There has been much confusion over e-Prescribing as it relates to Meaningful Use (MU). Here are the issues:
E-Prescribing is one of the core objectives of MU.
You cannot receive an incentive for both MU and eRx.
Yet, prior to the proposed rules due to be finalized in November 2012, even if successfully attesting to MU, there was no way to avoid the eRX adjustment in 2013, without submitting the eRx measure through the eRX Incentive Program.
CMS proposes to correct this with new rule-making expected to be final in November. The proposed rules create two new categories of hardship exemption:
- Eligible professionals or group practices who achieve meaningful use during certain 2013 and 2014 eRx payment adjustment reporting periods
- Eligible professionals or group practices who demonstrate intent to participate in the EHR Incentive Program and adoption of Certified EHR technology
It is important to recognize, that even if you successfully attest to MU if an eligible professional is subject to the eRx adjustment, they must apply for hardship exemption to avoid the 2013 and 2014 adjustment to their Medicare Fee Schedule. The exemption will not be automatic.
Also: the professionals eligible for the eRx adjustment are not the same as the professionals eligible for the incentive.
Eligible professionals wishing to apply for a hardship exemption can use the CMS Quality Reporting Communication Support page. Starting Nov 1 and continuing through January 31, 2013. If applying under the hardship category 2 listed above, the proposed rules indicate that to show intent to adopt Certified EHR technology, they must have their CEHRT product number or make a request via letter to CMS.
Watch for more detail when the final rules come out in November 2012.
Other questions about Meaningful Use, eRx or PQRS? Contact Mingle Health
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