If you missed the opportunity earlier this year to claim an e-prescribing exemption to prevent a 1.5-percent penalty in 2013 on all Medicare allowable charges, you now have a second chance. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it would accept new hardship exemption requests Nov. 1 and Jan. 31, 2013, so you can claim one of the four hardship exemptions:
You cannot electronically prescribe due to local, state, or federal law or regulation (e.g., you prescribe controlled substances).
- You infrequently prescribe (e.g., fewer than 100 prescriptions between Jan. 1 and June 30).
- Your practice is in a rural area without high-speed Internet access.
- Your practice is in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for electronic prescribing.
To claim the exemption, log on to Medicare’s Quality Reporting Communication Support webpage to access the exemption form.
In Texas 88 percent of community (nonmail-order) pharmacies were e-prescribing-activated in 2011, according to SureScripts, which provides the network that connects physician to pharmacy. You can find a list of e-prescription-enabled pharmacies or search using Find E-Prescribing Pharmacies on SureScripts’ website.
If you need help with e-prescribing, turn to the Texas regional extension centers (RECs). RECs provide support to physicians to help with e-prescribing, EHR selection, workflow analysis, staff training, EHR incentives, and much more. Visit TMA’s Texas REC Resource Center for more information.
You can direct questions regarding the e-prescribing program to TMA’s Health Information Technology Department by calling (800) 880-5720 or emailing HIT.
Published Nov. 15, 2012
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