On February 7, 2014, CMS announced a one-month delay of the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to their calendar year 2013 meaningful use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) for purposes of compliance with the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. This moves the deadline from February 28 to March 31, 2014. In addition, CMS announced it would provide assistance to hospitals that had difficulty submitting their fiscal year 2013 attestations.
Under the Medicare EHR program, to be a “meaningful EHR user,” an eligible professional must attest that he or she satisfied certain objectives and measures corresponding to his or her stage of meaningful use. 42 C.F.R. §§ 495.4, 495.8(a)(2)(i). An eligible professional who is a meaningful EHR user for the applicable reporting period may be eligible for incentive payments and avoid payment adjustments (i.e., penalties). 42 C.F.R. §§ 495.100, 495.102.
Originally, CMS set a deadline of February 28, 2014 for eligible professionals to attest that they had met the requisite objectives and measures in calendar year 2013. However, earlier this year, providers began to experience technical problems with CMS’s attestation website. According to press reports, these complaints prompted CMS to extend the attestation deadline by a month, to March 31, 2014.
This extension applies only to eligible professionals, not hospitals. CMS also announced, however, that it will offer assistance to eligible hospitals that had difficulty attesting for the fiscal year 2013 reporting period. (These hospital attestations were due on November 30, 2013.) Specifically, hospitals may be able submit their attestations for fiscal year 2013 retroactively by contacting CMS by March 15, 2014.