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Final CMS e-Prescribing Rule Eases Requirements

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, September 2, 2011

The final rule is "a positive movement in the right direction" toward consolidation and clarification, Mary Griskewicz, senior director of health information systems for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society said in an interview.

"The biggest issue was [that] the eligible professionals did not want to have to deal with the payment adjustment for 2012. We think there's an attempt here to do that. Given the current environment, the providers are still feeling squeezed overall. To have them go through the adjustment in 2012 really wasn't fair," she said.

The 2012 hardship exemptions in the final rule cover eligible professionals who:
  • Cannot electronically prescribe due to local, state, or federal law or regulation or have limited prescribing activity.
  • Are not a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant as of June 30, 2011 and do not generally have prescribing privileges.
  • Are located in rural areas without sufficient high speed Internet access or in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for electronic prescribing.

Additionally, organizations that have already registered to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs and adopt certified EHR technology do not have to prove that they are successful e-prescribers, since that program already requires meaningful users have e-prescribing capabilities.

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