The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year. The new deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET on March 20, 2015. Despite the extension, CMS urges eligible professionals to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can, and suggests that starting early and attesting during non-peak hours can speed up the process.

The Medicare extension does not affect deadlines for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. However, the extension does allow eligible professionals who have not previously switched between the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs to switch from the Medicare to the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program or vice versa until March 20, 2015. The extended deadline also applies to the EHR reporting option for the Physician Quality Reporting System.

Eligible professionals who successfully attest for the 2014 program year will receive an incentive payment, and avoid the Medicare payment adjustment that would otherwise be applied January 1, 2016. Eligible professionals should remember to take special care to document their compliance at the time of attestation because the audit rate for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program has been high.