Deadline to apply for e-prescribing hardship exemptions is Nov. 1

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Under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) final e-prescribing rule the deadline to apply for additional hardship exemptions and avoid the 2012 e-prescribing penalty is Nov. 1. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is encouraging eligible professionals to apply for exemptions via the CMS web-based portal.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that these exemptions are very limited and the majority of cardiologists who did not report e-prescribing activity during the first half of 2011 will receive reduced payments in 2012. As background, t ACC, along with the AMA and others, have had significant concerns regarding the implementation of the 2012 penalty and have urged CMS to reconsider the details and timing and to thoroughly consider the effects of this position on specialists such as cardiologists.

The final rule, while not extending the reporting time, did address many of these concerns and make it easier for more physicians to be eligible for hardship exemptions, according to the college. More on the e-prescribing incentive program is available at