The MGMA-ACMPE, formerly the Medical Group Management Association, is seeking a six-month extension of the deadline for submitting hardship exemptions to avoid penalties associated with federal e-prescribing requirements.
The deadline needs to be extended from June 30, 2012, to Dec. 31 to give practices time to assess their success in reporting so far this year and avoid the imposition of penalties in 2013, association President and CEO Dr. Susan Turney wrote in a letter to CMS acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner (PDF)
Many of their member practices struggled this year with claims rejection problems resulting from the federally mandated transition to Version 5010 claims transaction standards as well as stripped quality codes resulting from "clearinghouse issues," Turney wrote.
The 22,500-physician member group also urged the CMS to change the program through new regulations to "harmonize and simplify the various data reporting processes that exist across a variety of CMS quality reporting programs." Specifically, the group wants the CMS to deem as compliant with the e-prescribing requirement all physicians who meet the separate electronic health-record system incentive program's meaningful-use
requirements, which include e-prescribing and reporting clinical quality measures.
"Eligible professionals that successfully meet the meaningful-use requirements should automatically avoid penalties for both e-prescribing and PQRS," she wrote. "CMS should make this regulatory change in the proposed fee schedule, if not sooner."
Among other program changes sought by the physicians' group was the creation of an appeals process that would allow providers to contest past and future CMS e-prescribing award, penalty and exemption decisions.
Earlier this year, Turney petitioned HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
and Tavenner for a further delay in enforcing the transition to Version 5010. The CMS announced in March plans to do just that, saying it wouldn't begin enforcing the Jan. 1, 2012 deadline for switching from Version 4010 to Version 5010 standards until after June 30