Currently there are four in place and now two more have been added. The deadline has been extended so doctors again could apply for the exemptions between November 1 and January 31st.
Most of the hardship categories pretty much apply to those in rural areas and those who have their hardship approved will be exempt from the cut in reimbursements set to begin in 2013. This would avoid the 1.5 percent penalty cut with reimbursements. Those who do successfully implement though would receive compensation with a 1.5 percent bonus.
So far the e-Prescribing bonus is a little over $3000.00 that has been paid out. Starting in 2013 payment cuts from Medicare are set to begin for those who have not demonstrated meaningful use so the time is now. The two incentives are all part of the incentives but they also get confused at times. A doctor may be a successful demonstrator of meaningful use but again due to practicing in a rural area, may have problems with full e-Prescribing incentives set forth.
“WASHINGTON — Physicians received a pleasant surprise last week when Medicare published its 2013 physician fee schedule and provided two additional categories of hardship exemptions from its electronic prescribing rule.
Doctors and practices who achieve meaningful use of electronic health records by June 30, 2013 and those who demonstrate intent to use electronic health records (EHRs) can apply for an exemption from reimbursements cuts slated to start next year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said in a final rule published last week.”