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Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Deadline Extended to July 1

By: Nextech | March 10th, 2016

Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Deadline Extended to July 1 Blog Feature

 In an effort to provide relief for both eligible medical professionals and eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has once again extended the deadline to file for a hardship exception for Meaningful Use. 


The deadline now sits at July 1, 2016.

This is the second time in the last month that CMS has opted to push back the hardship exception deadline. Originally, the deadline was March 15 for eligible professionals.

According to, CMS explained in a statement to the media that it was extending the deadline "so providers have sufficient time to submit their applications to avoid adjustments to their Medicare payments in 2017." Those adjustments are based on the performance of eligible professionals and hospitals in the 2015 electronic health records (EHR) incentive program.

Back in December, Congress passed the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act, a law designed to ease claims for Meaningful Use hardship exceptions.

This law, also known as S.2425, aims to "makes changes to Medicare payments for certain complex rehabilitation technology and radiation therapy services, provide flexibility in applying a hardship exception from meaningful use of electronic health records, and improve Medicare and Medicaid program integrity."

The three month extension for hardship exceptions further conveys CMS's latest efforts to ease Meaningful Use for medical providers. Of course, the future of Meaningful Use is already up in the air in light of comments from CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt suggesting the program will end in 2016.

Although his comments have been clarified to suggest Meaningful Use is, in fact, not ending, it's evident CMS is continously looking to simplify the Meaningful Use process for providers with hopes of increasing attestation rates in the coming year.