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By Alex Ruoff
Feb. 7 — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Feb. 7 extended by one month—from midnight Feb. 28 to midnight March 31—the deadline for physicians and other eligible professionals to attest to meeting the requirements of the Medicare meaningful use program in 2013.
The deadline for hospitals was Dec. 1, 2013.
Additionally, the CMS said hospitals that experienced difficulty in attesting in 2013 can retroactively submit their attestation data in 2014.
The extension might help health-care providers and hospitals that failed to attest to meeting the requirements of the meaningful use program in 2013 avoid a Medicare payment adjustment in 2015. Medicare adjustments that begin in 2015 will be based on 2013 data, according to the CMS.
Hospitals that want to submit their 2013 data retroactively must contact the CMS by March 15.
The extension applies only to the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, not the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program or the Physician Quality Reporting System EHR Incentive Program, which have similar deadlines, the CMS said.
Health-care providers and hospitals that have attested to meeting requirements of Stage 1 of the meaningful use program must still attest to meeting Stage 2 program criteria to avoid a scheduled Medicare reimbursement adjustment, CMS said.
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