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Government News
Exemptions Added to Medicare Rule on E-Prescribing
Psychiatric News
Volume 46 Number 19 page 8-8

A number of APA's recommendations have been incorporated into a newly released final rule on Medicare's electronic prescribing (eRx) standards. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended until November 1 the deadline by which physicians must either comply with the regulations or request a hardship exemption to avoid a 1 percent payment reduction in 2012.

CMS added four new hardship exemption categories:

  • Physicians who register to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs and adopt certified EHR technology.

  • Physicians who are unable to prescribe electronically due to local, state, or federal laws or regulations. (APA made a concerted lobbying effort for this particular exemption, which is key for physicians practicing in states such as New York and Ohio, where regulations prohibit electronic prescribing of controlled substances.)

  • Physicians who have limited prescribing activity.

  • Physicians lacking sufficient opportunities to prescribe electronically due to patient interactions deemed ineligible for consideration under the program.

Additionally, physicians may request a hardship exemption under CMS's two previously established exemption categories:

  • Professionals practicing in rural areas with limited high-speed Internet access.

  • Professionals practicing in areas with a limited number of pharmacies capable of receiving electronic prescriptions.

Look for the latest information on e-prescribing on APA's Web site at <www.psych.org/MainMenu/PsychiatricPractice/MedicareMedicaid/Electronic-Prescribing.aspx>.8_3.inline-graphic-1.gif

Look for the latest information on e-prescribing on APA's Web site at <www.psych.org/MainMenu/PsychiatricPractice/MedicareMedicaid/Electronic-Prescribing.aspx>.8_3.inline-graphic-1.gif

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