Advocacy News
March 15, 2016



Annual Meeting Symposium: Payment Models in Orthopaedics

Governor Rick Perry Speaks at AAOS PAC Lunch

Senate Passes Opioid Bill

Task Force on Health Care Reform Releases Mission Statement

Precision Medicine Initiative Anniversary

Election 2016 Graphic of the Week

What We’re Reading

Annual Meeting Symposium: Opioid Strategies

2015 EHR “Meaningful Use” Hardship Exemption Information

AAOS Orthopaedic PAC Online Contribution Center


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2015 EHR “Meaningful Use” Hardship Exemption Information

Note: visit for all the latest updates on health information technology and meaningful use, including information on applying for a 2015 exemption.

In an effort to allow physicians to avoid a potential 3 percent meaningful use penalty in 2017, a law was passed by Congress that allows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider hardship exceptions for categories of eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals in a new, more streamlined process. Physician groups, including the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), lobbied for the legislation because the delayed release of modifications to the Stage 2 of the program left physicians with insufficient time to report under the modified requirements (read about the changes in an earlier Advocacy Now article here).

If you or your organization did not successfully meet meaningful use for an electronic health record (EHR) reporting period in 2015 and would like to apply for a hardship exception, the deadline is July 1, 2016.

  Physicians will find an individual as well as a group option, which for the first time allows multiple providers to apply for a hardship exception on a single application. The individual filling out the information may be the physician applicant him/herself or it may be another individual filling out the information on behalf of the physician group. The hardship exception categories are the same for both groups and individuals—AAOS urges members to use the exemption category, “EHR Certification/Vendor Issues (CHERT Issues)” (option 2.2.d in the application), which will be open to ALL physicians because of the modification delay.  

The application and additional instructions are available on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website ( Submission of a hardship exception application does not prevent providers from receiving an incentive payment if meaningful use requirements are met.

Additional resources: