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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

CMS Extends Meaningful Use, PQRS Deadline until March 20

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended reporting deadlines for 2014 Meaningful Use and the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) until March 20, 2015. The Meaningful Use extension applies only to the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program. The extensions do not affect deadlines for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

According to a statement from CMS, the Meaningful Use deadline was extended to allow providers extra time to submit their Meaningful Use data, but CMS “urges providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can.” CMS further notes that the extension “also allows eligible professionals, who have not already used their one ‘switch,’ to switch programs (from Medicare to Medicaid, or vice versa) for the 2014 payment year.” After the deadline, providers will no longer be able to switch programs.

For PQRS, the deadline to submit data via EHRs and qualified clinical data registries has been extended as well. That submission period now runs until 8:00 p.m. ET on March 20, having begun on January 1. The agency notes in a press release that “all other submission timeframes for other PQRS reporting methods remain the same.” The National Council created an FAQ to help providers better understand PQRS and other Medicare incentive programs.