CMS Extends Deadline for Seeking e-Prescribing Exemption to Nov. 1

The federal government said this week that physicians have until Nov. 1, 2011, to file for an exemption to the new federal electronic prescribing requirements. Physicians who don't meet the requirements are subject to a 1% reduction in Medicare payments. The penalty will be 1.5% in 2013 and 2% in 2014.

The extension was granb=ted in response to calls from more than 100 physician organizations who said the original deadline of June 26 was unrealistic. The CMS also added a few more exemptions to its original proposal, particular the one which exempts physicians who are using electronic health records.

Physicians may seek an exemption under one or more of six conditions:

  • They have registered in a Medicare or Medicaid electronic health record incentive program or have a certified EHR
  • Were unable to prescribe electronically because of a local, state or federal law or regulation
  • Had limited prescribing activity
  • Had insufficient opportunities to report e-prescribing for eligible patient visits
  • Practiced in a rural area without sufficient high-speed Internet access
  • Practiced in an area without a sufficient number of pharmacies that accept electronic prescriptions

More information is available on the CMS website.

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