In response to requests from the American Medical Association, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued FAQ #14357 clarifying that applying for a hardship exemption from the 2017 meaningful use payment penalty will not preclude physicians from receiving the incentive if they successfully attest to meaningful use in 2015. In essence, the hardship exemption will act as a safety net. As a reminder, the AMA is encouraging all physicians to apply for a hardship exemption as a result of the delay of the 2015 meaningful use modification rule. Step-by-step instructions (AMA log-in required) on how to file for the exemption, which must be received by the agency by March 15, 2016, may be found on the AMA website.

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