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Home > News > CMS Proposal Aims To Help Clinicians Avoid E-Prescribing Penalties
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CMS Proposal Aims To Help Clinicians Avoid E-Prescribing Penalties

Earlier this month, CMS released adjustments to its electronic prescribing program that aim to make it easier for health care providers to avoid penalties if they do not meet certain criteria for electronically transmitting Medicare beneficiaries’ prescriptions to pharmacies, Medscape reports.


The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act established Medicare incentive payments for physicians who e-prescribe with approved software.

The e-prescribing program started paying out incentives in 2009, and Medicare providers who do not e-prescribe are scheduled to face penalties beginning in 2012.

In May, CMS issued a proposed rule that would allow certain physicians to claim exemptions from requirements in the e-prescribing incentive program. The proposed rule also would extend the deadline for physicians to claim such exemptions (iHealthBeat, 5/27). The comment period on the proposed rule ends July 25.

New Proposal Details

Under the newly proposed adjustments to the e-prescribing program, clinicians who fail to earn e-prescribing bonuses in 2011 could avoid penalties in 2013 if they submit 10 or more e-prescriptions during the first half of 2012. In addition, clinicians could avoid penalties in 2014 if they receive a bonus payment in 2012 or if they report at least 10 e-prescriptions during the first half of 2013.

The new proposal also would apply two of the four exemptions from the 2012 penalty to 2013 and 2014. The two exemptions are:

  • The inability to e-prescribe because of geographic restrictions; and
  • Submitting fewer than 100 prescriptions in a six-month reporting period.

CMS is accepting comments on the newly proposed adjustments until Aug. 30 (Lowes, Medscape, 7/19).

More info….