CMS seeks comment on proposed eRx changes

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking for comments about a proposed rule that would modify certain parts of the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program, which uses incentive payments and payment adjustments to encourage the use of e-prescribing systems.

On May 26, CMS released a proposed rule, titled “Proposed Changes to the 2011 Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program,” to address stakeholders' concerns regarding the implementation of the 2012 eRx payment adjustment.

The proposed rule would:
1. Modify the e-prescribing measure to allow for use of certified EHR technology.

2. Provide the following additional significant hardships to the 2012 e-prescription payment adjustment:

  • Eligible professionals who register to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and adopt certified EHR technology;
  • Inability to e-prescribe due to local, state or federal law or regulation;
  • Limited prescribing activity; or
  • Insufficient opportunities to report the e-prescribing measure due to limitations in the measure’s denominator.

3. Allow eligible professionals until Oct. 1 to submit a request for a significant hardship exemption.

    “CMS is not currently accepting exemption requests based on the proposed significant hardship exemptions stated above. If finalized, CMS will provide instructions for submitting significant hardship requests in a final rule,” the agency stated.

    Click here to see the proposed rule. Comments will be accepted until July 25.