Congress passed legislation S. 2425 (The Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act) on Friday, December 18. This legislation included a provision that will allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the authority to move more quickly on applications for exemptions from Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements for the 2015 calendar year.
The Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act is intended to address issues created by the delay of the Stage 2 modification rule that was issued in October by CMS. The modification rule revised the Stage 2 Meaningful use requirements, making them a little more realistic by requiring physicians to attest to meeting the requirements for a period of 90 consecutive days during 2015. However, publication of the rule in mid-October meant that fewer than the 90 minimum days were left in the calendar year.
Physicians will have until March 15, 2016, to apply for an exemption from the 2015 meaningful use program year.