Deadline Extended for Appealing Medicare EHR Bonus

Physicians who believe they were incorrectly denied a Medicare bonus for using an electronic health record (EHR) system last year have a few more weeks to appeal their case.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is extending the deadline for such eligibility appeals from March 31 to April 30. In 2011, CMS began paying bonuses to physicians and other clinicians who demonstrated meaningful use of an EHR system. They can receive up to $44,000 under Medicare over 5 years or up to $64,000 under Medicaid over 6 years in the incentive program, created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The new deadline applies only to EHR bonuses under Medicare.

ICD-10 Deadline Delayed 1 Year Under HHS Proposal

Physicians would have until October 1, 2014-an extra year-to begin using a new and expanded set of diagnostic codes, called ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision), under proposed regulations announced by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The American Medical Association (AMA) said the switch to the more voluminous and complex set of diagnostic codes could both cost medical practices tens of thousands of dollars apiece and interfere with their adoption of electronic health records and electronic prescribing.

In 2009, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ordered the change from the ICD-9 code set, which is now in use, to ICD-10, as part of implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.