Meaningful Use Means No eRx Penalty

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS') 2013 physician fee schedule final rule says physicians who achieve meaningful use between Jan. 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, and who attest to meaningful use by Jan. 31, 2013, will not suffer the 1.5-percent Medicare e-prescribing penalty on Jan. 1.

Physicians who intend to participate in the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program are eligible for an e-prescribing hardship exemption as long as they register for the EHR incentive program by Jan. 31, 2013, and provide their EHR certification number (available by visiting the Certified Health IT Product List site). If you have already registered for the program, you can go back and add in the EHR certification number.  

Physicians do not need to take any other action for these exemptions. As Action reported in November, CMS did reopen the e-prescribing portal for physicians needing to claim a hardship exemption, and it will remain open until Jan. 31, 2013.   

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.  

For more information about the e-prescribing program, call TMA's Department of Health Information Technology calling (800) 880-5720 or email  HIT.     

 Action, Dec. 4, 2012

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