E-Prescribing Exemption Deadline Extended

 

Physicians now have until 10:59 pm today (July 2) to apply  for the e-prescribing hardship exemption to prevent a penalty in 2013 on Medicare allowable charges. The original deadline was June 30, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended it because of scheduled maintenance on the webpagewhere physicians must apply for the exemption.    

Physicians can apply for the exemption for one of these four reasons:  

  1. Is unable to electronically prescribe due to local, state, or federal regulations (e.g., controlled substances).  
  2. Prescribes infrequently (fewer than 100 prescriptions across all payers between Jan. 1, 2012, and June 30, 2012)  
  3. Practices in a rural area without sufficient high-speed Internet access (can also add G9642 on a claim form one time)  
  4. Practices in an area without sufficient available pharmacies accepting e-prescriptions (can also report G8643 one time) 

CMS will impose a 1.5-percent penalty on 2013 Medicare payments to physicians who do not meet the e-prescribing program requirements. This applies even to physicians participating in the federal electronic health record incentive program. It is not enough to simply e-prescribe for 10 Medicare patients; you must add G8553 to the claims accompanying that patient encounter. Details about e-prescribing software and how to comply with the program are available here.   

CMS says physicians must use this link to seek a hardship exemption: https://www.qualitynet.org/portal/server.pt/community/communications_support_system/234A. The agency says it "cannot be responsible for eligible professionals who access our site via a different link; we cannot guarantee that the data will be stored and saved in our database for processing."   

Questions about the e-prescribing program and other office technologies may be directed to TMA's Department of Health Information Technology by calling (800) 880-570 or emailing HIT@texmed.org 


Action, July 2, 2012


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