After hearing yesterday that some physicians were having difficulty accessing the CMS Communication Support Page, the AMA was able to work with CMS to secure an extension. The new deadline to file for an e-prescribing hardship exemption is Tuesday, November 8, 2011. The hardship exemption categories include:
- Your practice is located in a rural area without high speed internet access
- Your practice is located in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for ePrescribing (CMS clarified by providing more examples including disruption of e-prescriptions between physician offices and pharmacies caused by natural disasters).
- You are registered to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) Incentive Program and you adopted certified EHR technology by October 1, 2011, and did so prior to requesting an exemption.
- You are unable to electronically prescribe due to local, state or federal law or regulation, (CMS clarified that physicians who mainly prescribe narcotics but due to certain limitations cannot submit these prescriptions electronically can apply for this exemption category).
- Limited prescribing (you do not prescribe on a regular basis).
- There were too few opportunities for you to report the ePrescribing measure due to limitations of the measure’s denominator (you do e-prescribe but your electronic prescriptions are not related to qualifying visits/services).
Where to File for a Hardship Exemption
Click here to access the hardship exemption form. However CMS and the QualityNet Help Desk have been receiving calls from Eligible Professionals who are having difficulty with accessing the Communication Support Page. After doing some research they found that the problem is related to an issue with the internet browser. CMS is asking eligible professionals to follow the steps below if they are unsuccessful in accessing the Communication Support Page when trying to submit their Hardship Exemption Request.
- In the internet browser, select Tools | Internet Options | Advanced.
- Scroll down toward the bottom and locate the Use TLS 1.0 option.
- Place a checkmark in the Use TLS 1.0.
- Click OK.
- Click here to access the site.
If you still have trouble accessing the site, the QualityNet Help Desk may be reached at 1-866-288-8912 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org from 7am to 7pm CT, Monday through Friday. Due to the high volume of calls that the QualityNet Help Desk has been receiving there may be a waiting period.
Need More Information?
Please review AMA's tip sheet on the attestation process.