Hospitals hit by superstorm Sandy may have extra time to attest that they have met the Medicare electronic health-record incentive program's meaningful-use requirements.
Hospitals “adversely affected” by the storm may apply to the CMS for an extension of the Nov. 30 attestation deadline, the CMS said in a message sent to hospital associations (DOC)
in New York and New Jersey. The storm's hurricane-force winds caused widespread power outages and flooding in New York and New Jersey when it made landfall on Oct. 29. Dozens of hospitals across both states were forced to operate on generator power, and nine hospitals were evacuated because of the storm. Five damaged New York hospitals remain closed a month later.
The extension application, which requires hospitals to explain why it's not possible for them to attest by the deadline, is available at by contacting the CMS' EHR information center at (888) 734-6433.
"Qualifying eligible hospitals will be able to enter their complete attestation data using the online CMS attestation system in spring of 2013 and receive their full fiscal year 2012 EHR incentive payment thereafter," the CMS said.