Reprieve! CMS extends EHR attestation deadline for EPs

The EHR attestation deadline for Medicare eligible professionals (EPs) has been extended until March 20, 2015 for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program reporting year.

CMS provided no specific reason for pushing the deadline back from the original Feb. 28 date, other than it wanted to give physicians and other EPs more time to submit their meaningful use data for 2014.

In a statement, Steven J. Stack, MD, president elect of the American Medical Association, applauded the CMS decision to extend the deadline, but added that he is “concerned that the program will still face low participation rates without substantial changes to its rigid requirements."

"Only 24 percent of physicians have attested to Meaningful Use for 2014 as of the beginning of February," he said in a statement. "The deadline extension underscores that the Meaningful Use program is not working and that policymakers need to act on our recommendations to make it more flexible, remove the measures that physicians are having the most difficulty in meeting and revamp the certification program so that electronic health record vendors can innovate to create products that better serve patients and physicians."

Steven Waldren, MD, director of the American Academy of Family Physicians Alliance for eHealth Innovation called the CMS decision “good news for many family physicians,” particularly those who come from states like Tennessee that have been hit hard by harsh winter weather and had their practice’s disrupted.