If you had been hoping to avoid a 1.5 percent hit to your Part B pay next year, you might be in luck. You can request hardship exemptions from CMS if you think your practice meets any of the four eligibility criteria.
As you would probably know, if you didn’t successfully participate in e-prescribing in 2011, you’ll undergo one percent payment adjustment on your Part B pay this year. However, just before the start of 2012, CMS began to accept hardship exemptions for the 2012 adjustment. But since the timeline was so tight and the rules were new that many practices didn’t know what to do and missed the application deadline.
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But you can make a fresh start in anticipation of the 2013 cuts. CMS is accepting hardship exemption requests through June 30, and will review them on a case-by-case basis.
Only the practices which meet one of the following four criteria will be eligible to apply for an exemption:
- 1. Prescribing Medications That Legally Cannot Be Electronically Transmitted. Many state, local, or federal regulations prohibit eligible professionals (EPs) from electronically prescribing certain medications, such as narcotics—but practices that prescribe large quantities of these drugs (for instance, some pain management physicians) may find that they can’t electronically prescribe even if they’d like to participate in the incentive program. These practices should consider applying for the exemption.
- 2. Limited Prescribing Activity. Some practitioners may appear to be eligible for the e-prescribing penalty because they perform enough office
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