Deadline for Critical Access Hospitals to Submit a Hardship Exception Application December 2

November 12, 2019

In 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) required that all critical access hospitals (CAHs) use either the 2014 or 2015 Edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) to meet the reporting requirements of the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program and successfully demonstrate meaningful use. CAHs may avoid the Medicare downward payment adjustments if they can show that meeting the requirements for being a meaningful EHR user would result in a significant hardship. The law requires that downward payment adjustments be applied to CAHs that are not meaningful users of CEHRT. The deadline for CAHs to submit an application is December 2, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

To be considered for an exception, CAHs must complete a hardship exception application and select the reason for the hardship.

Hardship Exception Application Details

  • You may now submit hardship applications electronically here. If an electronic submission is not possible, you may verbally submit your application over the phone by calling the QualityNet Help Desk at (866) 288-8912.

For more information about payment adjustments and hardship information, click here. For more information on the Promoting Interoperability Programs, visit the Promoting Interoperability Programs website. (Tianna Fallgatter,


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