257,000 clinicians face meaningful use penalties in 2015

Starting next month, approximately 257,000 eligible professionals will face Medicare payment adjustments for failing to meet requirements of the meaningful use EHR incentive program, according to a Medscape report.

Eligible professionals dealt the penalties will receive 1 percent less in Medicare payments than they would normally receive, and approximately 28,000 eligible professionals will receive 2 percent less for failing to comply with both meaningful use and the Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program.

Eligible hospitals who failed to meet meaningful use requirements started seeing reimbursement penalties in October. More than 200 hospitals are subject to payment adjustments, according to the report.

CMS is preparing to notify eligible professionals facing such penalties. The mailed notifications will also include instructions for providers wishing to challenge CMS' decision, according to Elizabeth Holland, director of the division of health IT in the quality measurement and health assessment group in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at CMS.

The American Medical Association released a statement saying it is "appalled" that more than 50 percent of eligible professional are facing these penalties, saying it is "a number that is even worse than we anticipated."

Reads the AMA letter, "The meaningful use program was intended to increase physician use of technology to help improve care and efficiency. Unfortunately, the strict one-size-fits-all requirements is failing physicians and their patients…. The penalties physicians are facing under the meaningful use program are part of a regulatory tsunami facing physicians."

Eligible hospitals have until Dec. 31, 2014 to submit meaningful use attestations for 2014. Eligible professionals will have until Feb. 28, 2015 to submit attestations for 2014.

More articles on meaningful use:

The top 14 healthcare stories of 2014
CMS extends Medicare meaningful use attestation deadline to Dec. 31
IOM: Social, behavioral domains should be factored into MU

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