The submission deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 1 for Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program hardship requests. Providers must submit requests on the CMS electronic submission site to avoid the Medicare ePrescribing penalty that starts January 1, 2012. Eligible providers who do not successfully prescribe electronically per Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements will receive a penalty of -1 percent of allowable changes.

An article published by CMS in MLN Matters will help you determine if you are subject to the 2012 eRx payment adjustment. The final rule outlined six exemption categories for providers who are unable to successfully participate in the eRx program due to hardship. A Quick Reference Guide is available to help you understand the changes that the eRx Final Rule made to the 2011 Medicare eRx Incentive Program.

To assist providers in completing the hardship exemption request, CMS has developed a Communication Support Page User Guide. For additional assistance, contact the QualityNet Help Desk at or 1-866-288-8912.