Physicians unable to file for a Medicare ePrescribing hardship exemption by the June 30, 2012 deadline have until January 31, 2013 to avoid a 1.5 percent payment penalty.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has re-opened the Communications Support Web page to allow physicians who missed the original deadline to file for an exemption.

A waiver may be requested under any of the following categories:

  • The physician is unable to ePrescribe as a result of local, state or federal law or regulation.
  • The physician wrote fewer than 100 prescriptions during the period of Jan. 1–June 30, 2012.
  • The physician practices in a rural area that doesn’t have sufficient high-speed Internet access.
  • The physician practices in an area that doesn’t have enough pharmacies that can do ePrescribing.

Members with questions or need further information on the exemption can visit the CMS ePrescribing Web page, submit an email or contact CMS’s QualityNet Help Desk at (866) 288-8912.