Sometimes deadlines just slip. The federal government’s deadline for providers certifying “Meaningful Use Stage 2″ in order to get federal funding for their electronic health records (EHRs) has just been bumped yet again:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has reconsidered its original position not to extend the deadline for applying for Meaningful Use hardship exemptions and reopened the application submission period through Nov. 30, according to an announcement.
Eligible hospitals (EHs) and eligible professionals (EPs) who have not attained Meaningful Use and have not been granted a hardship exception are subject to “payment adjustments” of their Medicare reimbursement beginning Oct. 1 for EHs and Jan. 1, 2015 for EPs. The previous deadlines for submitting hardship exception applications had been April 1 for EHs and July 1 for EPs.
The deadline gets pushed back every time we get hear it, for the simple reason that the industry has the regulator on the ropes. As explained in a recent Health Alert, the EHR industry (with notable exceptions of vendors which participate in the CommonWell Alliance) has little interest in achieving the interoperability standards demanded by the Administration. However, it know the Administration requires industry’s support to lobby for further funding from a Congress that is disillusioned by having spent almost $30 billion with little to show for it.