Home > EHR, meaningful use, Medicare > Rep. Price Introduces Legislation to Eliminate Penalties for Failing to Demonstrate MU in CY 2015

Rep. Price Introduces Legislation to Eliminate Penalties for Failing to Demonstrate MU in CY 2015

Representative Tom Price (R-GA-6) recently introduced H.R. 3940, the Meaningful Use (MU) Hardship Relief Act of 2015, to authorize a blanket significant hardship exception from EHR Incentive Program penalties for CY 2015 reporting periods. The bill would address obvious concerns that CMS published the final rule to modify MU in 2015 around mid-October, weeks after the last possible start date for a 90-day CY 2015 reporting period.

As written, the legislation would prevent CMS from penalizing providers for failing to meet MU in CY 2015. Presumably, this blanket hardship exception would thus negate all MU penalties for everyone in CY 2017, as that would be the applicable payment adjustment year. The bill’s language does not explicitly address the issue of would-be-rookie participants who could have avoided payment adjustments in CY 2016 as well by beginning the program in CY 2015.

The blanket exception is not “free,” as it would still count toward an individual’s cap of five total years of awarded hardship exceptions.

Diagnostic radiologists, interventional radiologists, and nuclear medicine physicians already automatically avoid MU penalties via a different hardship exception option, so this bill would primarily benefit ACR’s radiation oncologist members as well as non-radiologists.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare
  1. December 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    What is considered year 1 of the 5 year exception? Would that be 2014?

    • mpetersacr
      December 4, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      2015 was the first possible payment adjustment year for noncompliant EPs.

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