On October 7, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will reopen the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) to avoid the 2015 Medicare payment adjustments for not demonstrating meaningful use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). The hardship exception application deadline had been July 1, 2014, for EPs and April 1, 2014, for EHs, but CMS has now extended the deadline for both to November 30, 2014.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 mandated payment adjustments under Medicare for EPs and EHs that are not meaningful users of CEHRT. EPs and EHs may qualify for a hardship exception to avoid the payment adjustments; such exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

EPs and EHs that were unable to attest by the original deadlines using the flexibility options provided in the 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule are eligible for this reopened hardship exception if they were unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT due to delays in its availability. These are the only circumstances that will be considered for this reopened hardship exception application submission period.