After hearing some physicians were having difficulty accessing the CMS Communication Support Page, the AMA was able to work with CMS to secure an extension. The new deadline to file for an e-prescribing hardship exemption is Tuesday, November 8, 2011.
Qualify for an Exemption?
Your practice qualifies if:
- You are in a rural area without highspeed internet access
- You are in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for ePrescribing (CMS clarified by providing more examples including disruption of e-prescriptions between physician offices and pharmacies caused by natural disasters).
- You are registered to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) Incentive Program and you adopted certified EHR technology by October 1, 2011, and did so prior to requesting an exemption.
- You are unable to electronically prescribe due to local, state or federal law or regulation, (CMS clarified that physicians who mainly prescribe narcotics but due to certain limitations cannot submit these prescriptions electronically can apply for this exemption category).
- Limited prescribing (you do not prescribe on a regular basis).
- There were too few opportunities for you to report the ePrescribing measure due to limitations of the measure’s denominator (you do e-prescribe but your electronic prescriptions are not related to qualifying visits/services).
Where to File
Access the Communications Support Page to file your exemption request.
Problems With Exemption Webpage?
CMS and the QualityNet Help Desk have found that problems reported by some Eligible Professionals in accessing the Communication Support Page are related to an issue with the internet browser. If you are having trouble, follow the directions below:
- After typing in the Communications Support link (above), in the internet browser, select Tools/Internet Options/Advanced.
- Scroll down toward the bottom and locate the “Use TLS 1.0” choice. Place a checkmark in the “Use TLS 1.0.”
- Click OK. Attempt to access the site again.
If you still have trouble accessing the site, call the QualityNet Help Desk at 866-288-8912 or email email@example.com from 7am to 7pm CT, Monday through Friday. Due to the high volume of calls, there may be a waiting period.