According to the 2013 Medicare Final Rule released last week, there are new ways to avoid future payment adjustments under the MIPPA ePrescribing rule for those who have not already taken the necessary steps to avoid them: 1) The exemption request period has been reopened and 2) meaningful use will satisfy the ePrescribing requirements according to specific timetables.
1) CMS is offering a second chance to physicians who missed the June 30 deadline for requesting an exemption to the 2013 ePrescribing penalty (1.5%) under the original 4 categories. Between November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013, physicians can go to the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page and request an exemption based on one of the following justifications:
- Inability to electronically prescribe due to local, State, or Federal law or regulation (i.e., prescribe predominantly controlled substances)
- Prescribed fewer than 100 prescriptions between January 1 and June 30, 2012
- Insufficient high speed internet access (i.e., rural area)
- Insufficient available pharmacies that accept electronic prescribing.
2) In the interest of harmonizing the various government programs that contain ePrescribing components, CMS now will provide two additional ways to avoid the 2013 MIPPA penalties:
- Achieve meaningful use during 2013
- Demonstrate intent to participate in the EHR Incentive Program and adopt Certified EHR Technology by January 31, 2013
This information will be retrieved by CMS from the information in its EHR Incentive Program’s Registration and Attestation System, rather than by having providers request an exemption as in #1 above.