Meaningful use eligibility error may mean penalties for physicians

September 26, 2014

The Medical Group Management Association is calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to extend the October 1 reporting deadline for providers to attest to meaningful use.

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend the October 1 reporting deadline for providers to attest to meaningful use (MU).

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The CMS registration and attestation website has not been updated to reflect changes in the final rule issued in August, which gave eligible providers (EPs) more flexibility in attestation, according to the MGMA.

The website glitch will impact EPs who adopted electronic health record (EHR) systems this year and used 2011-certified or a combination of 2011 and 2014-certifed EHR systems to attest to MU stage 1.

Providers who do not meet the October 1 deadline will face a 1% reduction in their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements next year. Politco reports that the number of physicians affected may be in the thousands.

The MGMA sent a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner earlier this week,  asking CMS to update its website and to extend the deadline for at least 30 days.

The MGMA is not the only one calling for a delay. Congressional Representatives Renee Ellmers (R–North Carolina) and Jim Matheson (D–Utah) sent a joint letter to CMS.

“We are concerned that these providers will receive fines, even though they are acting in good faith to meet CMS deadlines,” the letter stated. “Providers nationwide who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars toward electronic health record software and hardware to comply with CMS’s EHR program will now face the additional and unexpected burden of unreasonable cuts to their reimbursements – simply because of a delay in CMS system updates.”

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