Are You Eligible for a Quality Payment Program Hardship Exemption?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Payment Program (QPP) Hardship Exception Application for the 2017 transition year is now available on the Quality Payment Program website.

If you are a Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinician you may qualify for a hardship exemption for one of the following specified reasons:

  • Insufficient internet connectivity
  • Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances
  • Lack of control over the availability of Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT)

In addition to submitting an application via the Quality Payment Program website, clinicians may also contact the Quality Payment Program Service Center and work with a representative to verbally submit an application.

To submit an application, you’ll need:

  • Your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for group applications or National Provider Identifier (NPI) for individual applications;
  • Contact information for the person working on behalf of the individual clinician or group, including first and last name, e-mail address, and telephone number; and
  • Selection of hardship exception category (listed above) and supplemental information.

If you’re applying for a hardship exception based on the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstance category, you must select one of the following and provide a start and end date of when the circumstance occurred:

  • Disaster (e.g., a natural disaster in which the CEHRT was damaged or destroyed)
  • Practice or hospital closure
  • Severe financial distress (bankruptcy or debt restructuring)
  • EHR certification/vendor issues (CEHRT issues)

Please note: Once an application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email that your application was submitted and is pending, approved, or dismissed. Applications will be processed on a rolling basis.

For More Information contact the Quality Payment Service Center at 1-866-288-8292 or TTY: 1-877-715-6222 or QPP@cms.hhs.gov.

The Quality Payment Program is part of the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) enacted by Congress in 2015. This massive piece of legislation sets out the framework for changes in how physicians will be reimbursed through Medicare and will likely influence all payers eventually. A recent AMA survey found that physicians feel unprepared for the changes brought by this legislation.

How the NCMS can help

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) encourages you to learn about how MACRA will impact your practice. We have worked with other organizations to provide a wealth of resources to help you understand, succeed and even thrive in the new payment structure. Visit our MACRA webpage for links to a wide variety of resources to help you wherever you currently may be on the learning curve.

The AMA recently released a short video aimed at small and rural practices, entitled “One patient, one measure, no penalty: How to avoid a Medicare payment penalty with basic reporting,” which is accessible on the AMA web site at ama-assn.org/qpp-reporting.

The AMA also has a new customizable resource, the MIPS Action Plan, which includes a timeline with important milestones to help physicians think strategically about how to successfully implement MIPS in 2017.

 
 

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