Feb. 7—Hospitals will have an extra month to attest to meaningful use under the Medicare electronic health record (EHR) incentive program, following Friday’s delay of the Feb. 28 deadline.

Providers will have until 11:59 pm on March 31 to submit their 2013 attestations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced.

Additionally, the agency offered assistance and more time to eligible hospitals that had difficulty submitting their attestation by Nov. 30, 2013. They will have until March 15 to retroactively attest to both garner bonus payments and avoid 2015 Medicare payment cuts. The EHR Information Center can address registration and attestation system inquiries at 1-888-734-6433.

The EHR incentive program, which was authorized by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has paid about $19 billion to physicians and hospitals that install and use qualified EHRs. Penalties for Medicare providers that do not meet the program’s requirements begin in 2015.

The EHR attestation extension did not affect deadlines for the Medicaid EHR incentive program or any other CMS program, including electronic submissions for the Physician Quality Reporting System EHR incentive program pilot.

Tips offered by CMS to expedite the EHR attestation process include hospitals ensuring that their payment assignment and other relevant information is up to date in the Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System.

Publication Date: Friday, February 07, 2014