CMS assists e-prescribers to avoid 2013 eRx penalty

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering a lifeline to eligible professionals and group practices participating in the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) that weren’t successful e-prescribers in 2011, so they can avoid the 2013 eRx Incentive Program payment adjustment.

To avoid the payment adjustment, eligible professionals need to meet specified reporting requirements during the appropriate reporting periods. There is a 1.5 percent adjustment in 2013 where eligible professionals will receive 98.5 percent of their Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule amount for covered professional services.

However, CMS said it may exempt individual eligible professionals and group practices participating in the eRx GPRO from the 2013 payment adjustment if it is determined that compliance with the requirement for being a successful e-prescriber would result in significant hardship.

Hardship exemption circumstances include:

  • Inability to e-prescribe due to state law, federal law, or local law or regulation; and
  • The eligible professional prescribes fewer than 100 prescriptions during a six-month payment adjustment reporting period.

Information on how to claim hardship can be found within the agency’s notice