The deadline to apply for an e-prescribing exemption for 2013 is June 30, 2012. Individual physicians can apply for an exemption from the 2012 e-prescribing penalty via an online web portal. Exemption requests from individual physicians must be submitted online. They will not be accepted via mail, email or fax.
Medicare’s e-prescribing program provides payment incentives for physicians who e-prescribe and payment penalties for physicians who do not. In 2012, Medicare imposed a 1 percent payment reduction penalty on all Medicare allowed charges for eligible professionals who did not electronically transmit their prescriptions in the first six months of 2011. The penalty increases to 1.5 percent in 2013 and 2 percent in 2014.
The hardship exemption categories are as follows:
- The physician is unable to electronically prescribe due to local, state or federal law or regulation;
- The physician has or will prescribe fewer than 100 prescriptions during a 6-month reporting period (January 1 through June 30, 2012)
- The physician practices in a rural area without sufficient high-speed Internet access
- The eligible professional practices in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for electronic prescribing
The 2013 payment reduction penalty will be determined by prescribing between January 1 and June 30, 2012. To avoid the penalty in 2013, eligible professionals must report e-prescribing activity using measure code G8553 for at least 10 eligible outpatient visits via claims submission. This is true even for physicians who are already reporting through an electronic health record system.
CMA strongly recommends that physicians submit more than 10 claims during the reporting period to ensure the minimum threshold is met.
For more information, see the CMA e-prescribing guide, Medicare Electronic Prescribing Overview: Payment Incentives and Payment Reductions.
Contact: Michele Kelly, (213) 226-0338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.