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I feel you, CMS Acting Adminsitrator Andy Slavitt basically told providers who struggle with CMS' meaningful use requirements on March 2. But his sympathetic comments at the annual HIMSS meeting did not come with details as to how he would make things easier or more effective.

Your EHR vendors may have to make sudden changes -- or even lose their certification -- if the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) finalizes its new proposed rule, which gives ONC a more active "direct review" of electronic health record (EHR) products and relationships, more control over lab testing of products for certification and power to post quarterly "surveillance results" for the public.

On Feb. 26, CMS announed it was extending the deadline to apply for a hardship exception for its Medicare EHR Incentive Program from March 15 to July 1.

You can file a hardship exception for the 2015 meaningful use reporting year even if you plan to attest to the program -- and the hardship application will not prevent you from receiving incentive payments should you attest successfully.

If you don't have enough households in your county at 4Mbps (megabits per second) Internet service, you can skip a couple of meaningful use measures.


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