Providers who did not participate or apply for an exemption for the eRx Incentive Program in 2012 will face a 1.5 percent financial penalty to their Medicare Part B reimbursements this year. However, CMS has recently extended the deadline to apply for an exemption to January 31, 2013. Six possible exemptions are available for eligible professionals (EPs):
- The provider is unable to electronically prescribe as a result of local, state or federal law or regulation.
- The provider wrote fewer than 100 prescriptions from January 1 through June 30, 2012.
- The provider practices in a rural area that does not have sufficient high-speed Internet access.
- The provider practices in an area that does not have pharmacies that can accept electronic-prescribing.
- The provider successfully reports for the EHR Meaningful Use Incentive program.
- The provider demonstrates their intent to report for the EHR Meaningful Use Incentive program by registering for the EHR program with their EHR certification number.
Claiming exemptions 1-4 require action from the eligible professional. Providers must visit the CMS Communication Support to apply for one of these exemptions. CMS has provided guidance on how to use this page.
Exemptions 5 and 6 do not require that the provider specifically apply for the exemption.
- For exemption 5, the EP must have successfully achieved meaningful use between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, and have attested by the deadline of January 31, 2013.
- For exemption 6, the provider must register for the EHR Incentive Program by January 31, 2013. EPs must also enter their entire EHR Certification Number during registration.
CMS will track those who have either attested or registered for meaningful use, and automatically exempt these providers from the 2013 eRx penalties.
More information about the eRx Payment Adjustments, along with detail about the exemptions, can be found at the CMS website. Questions can be directed to email@example.com or to the CMS Quality Net Help Desk (866-288-8912 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m./CT).