Deadline Approaching: Submit 2016 Meaningful Use Hardship Exemption by July 1 to Avoid 2018 Payment Adjustment

Eligible professionals (EPs) can avoid the EHR Meaningful Use payment adjustment that begins on January 1, 2018, by submitting a hardship exemption application by July 1, 2017. To file for a hardship exemption, CMS requires that you show proof of a circumstance beyond your control and explicitly outline how the circumstance significantly impaired your ability to meet Meaningful Use. 

Eligible professionals can apply for hardship exceptions in the following categories:

  • Lack of Infrastructure: Eligible professionals must demonstrate that they are in an area without sufficient internet access or face insurmountable barriers to obtaining infrastructure (e.g., lack of broadband).
  • Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances: Examples may include a natural disaster or other unforeseeable barrier.
    • EHR Vendor Issues: The eligible professional’s EHR vendor was unable to obtain
      certification or the eligible professional switched vendors.
  • Patient Interaction:
  • Lack of face-to-face or telemedicine interaction with patient.
  • Lack of follow-up need with patients.
  • Practice at Multiple Locations: Lack of control over availability of CEHRT for more than 50% of patient encounters.

An EP may apply for an exemption by submitting this EP Hardship Exemption Form. For additional information, view the EP Hardship Exemption Instructions.

In addition, an EP may submit this EP Hardship Exemption (transitioning to MIPS) Form if the EP has never before successfully attested to Meaningful Use under the EHR Incentive Program and is transitioning to MIPS in Program Year 2017. If an EP meets the criteria for this one-time exception to the 2018 EHR Incentive Program payment adjustment, the EP must submit this application no later than October 1, 2017. For more information on the hardship exemption for EPs transitioning to MIPS, access instructions here.

Need More Information?

Contact Allison Madson, manager of regulatory affairs, at or 703-591-2220.