Bill expands providers' eligibility for Stage 2 hardship exemptions
On Dec. 28, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act, which creates a blanket hardship exemption from penalties under the Electronic Health Records (EHR) meaningful use program for the 2015 reporting period. The bill, introduced by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), is based on language included in H.R. 3940—the Meaningful Use Hardship Relief Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom Price, MD (R-Ga.)—and passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. Under the legislation, physicians have until March 15, 2016 to apply for an exemption.