Congress passes blanket MU hardship exemption

Both the House and the Senate have passed a bill that provides a blanket hardship exemption for providers attesting to meaningful use.

The bill, S. 2425, ensures eligible hospitals and professionals have the flexibility to submit a hardship exemption to avoid reimbursement penalties in 2017. Eligible professionals have until March 15 to apply for exemption, and hospitals have until April 1.

In a letter from Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) obtained by Politico, the representative said the new bill provides an overarching opportunity to apply for an exemption. "Under the law prior to S. 2425, CMS could only grant such exemptions on a case-by-case basis, and that exemption process was inadequate and tedious," according to the letter. "As a result of the discussions of our meeting, we now believe reasonable options are provided for in S. 2425."

As the bill passed both chambers in Congress, the bill now awaits President Obama's approval.

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