Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
The AMA continues to hear concerns expressed by physicians, states and specialty societies that a significant number of physicians will be subjected to the e-prescribing penalty in January 2012.
Consequently, the AMA’s Executive Vice President, James Madara, MD, called Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, to urge the agency to provide more flexibility so that a 1 percent penalty in 2012 does not affect as many physicians. During the call, Dr. Madara thanked Dr. Berwick for issuing a recent proposed rule creating additional penalty exemptions, but went on to alert the administrator to the concerns being expressed. He urged Dr. Berwick to consider additional steps, such as establishing a new reporting period in 2012 and refraining from applying the penalty until 2013.
The AMA strongly believes that the agency plans to apply the penalty a year earlier than called for by Congress. Dr. Madara’s call follows a July 25 sign-on comment letter to CMS, where the AMA was joined by 92 states and specialty societies in calling for greater program flexibility. The AMA will continue to follow-up with CMS to secure additional changes to the program.
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