05 Oct AMA presses CMS for meaningful use hardship exemption
CMS has left physicians without any guidance or assurances that they will be capable of meeting program requirements
In the continued absence of a meaningul use final rule, physicians have been left hanging, according to the American Medical Association, which is calling for an “automatic hardship exemption” to protect docs from circumstances outside their control.
With the flexibilities promised by the proposed modification to Stage 2 still yet to be released, AMA late Friday put out a press release calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to offer eligible providers for an exemption, shielding them from adverse consequences brought about by the continuing regulatory delays.
Rule relaxations such as a 90-day reporting period were welcomed by many providers when first announced this spring. But six months later – even though the rulemaking now sits in the Office of Management and Budget awaiting review – the rules have still yet to be finalized.
“The AMA welcomed and supported the proposed changes, but it’s now Oct. 1, and CMS has left physicians without any guidance or assurances that they will be capable of meeting program requirements before the end of the year,” AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD, wrote in a statement.
“As a result, many physicians who were counting on this flexibility will be subject to financial penalties under the rules currently in place,” he added.
Meanwhile, AMA points to many physicians who have bailed on meaningful use thanks to “a pervasive lack of faith in the overall program.”