Medicare Physicians Alert!

To Avoid the Medicare e-Prescribing Penalty in 2012,
you must
act by November 1, 2011


There’s something called Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA). Those unaware of the term MIPPA, refer to this electronic prescription program as the Medicare eRx incentive program or Medicare e-prescribing incentive program

What MIPPA means to you, the Medicare physician is that you can get MONEY from the government if you write electronic prescriptions / engage in e-prescribing. MIPPA is a 5 year program providing eRx incentive payments for e-prescribing until 2013.


What about the e-Prescribing Penalties?

Along with the incentive payments there are also penalties. I wrote about this in my June 30 article “Electronic Prescriptions: Is Medicare Slapping You With An E-Prescribing Penalty?

June 30, 2011 was significant because that was the last date to avoid the Medicare penalty in 2012. You needed to use e-prescribing for 10 prescriptions by that date. If you didn’t, you’re due for a penalty.

Medicare MIPPA Explained
Here’s the whole deal …

  • 2011 e-prescribing is the basis for the 2012 & 2013 e-prescribing Medicare penalties (e.g. adjustments under MIPPA)
  • ePrescribe on 10 Medicare encounters before 6/30 to avoid a 1% reduction in 2012 Medicare rates
  • ePrescribe on 25 Medicare encounters by 12/31/2011 to avoid a 1.5% adjustment in 2013
  • By ePrescribing 25 times, with G-code G8553, you can also earn the 1% ePrescribing incentive in 2011
  • Eligible physicians can participate in both the eRX incentive program and the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) incentive program.,
  • MIPPA rules do not allow you to collect the e-prescribing and EHR incentives in the same year.

See ‘Understanding the basics of Medicare’s Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program‘  for more details

How do I get incentive payments?

Since you cannot get MIPPA and EHR incentive money in the same year, not qualifying for the HITECH Act EHR incentive program will work for you in 2011. You still have 2012 to qualify for the full HITECH ACT electronic health record incentive payment of $44,000 for adoption of EHR software. So, collect the MIPPA incentive in 2011 and start pursuing meaningful use in 2012.

What you must have to get the MIPPA year end e-prescribing quota, is either e prescribing software or certified EHR / certified electronic health record software (which will have e-prescribing capability).

How can e-Prescribing penalties be avoided?

Many Medicare physicians were blind-sided by the MIPPA penalty for not writing 10 electronic prescriptions by June 30. Too late to fix the fact that you are liable for the 2012 penalty. You must adhere to MIPPA requirements to avoid the future penalties associated with that program.

How to apply for the e Prescribing exemption?

You must apply for the e Prescribing penalty exemption by November 1, 2011.

Step 1 Get NPI Number and password.
Access the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) to get an NPI number. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) mandated the NPI number as the unique identifier for health care providers.

Click the NPPES link

Step 2 Register in PECOS

(Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System) at

You will need your NPI number and password to login to PECOS. If you need assistance with your NPI password, .call 888-734-6433


Step 3 Determine your electronic health record software ID

If you do not have electronic health record software, skip to step 5.

The first exemption option is:
“ I registered to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for 2011 and have adopted Certified EHR technology”

If you are claiming an exemption because you have purchased an electronic health record software, you will need the EHR software certification ID.

Note: There are references to a requirement to register your EHR software by October 1, 2011. But, the exemption form does not ask for the date.
To find the CMS EHR Certification ID number

1) Go to
2) Select ambulatory
3) Enter part of product name, e.g. Waiting
4) Click “Add to Cart”
5) Click “Get Certification ID”
6) Copy this CMS Medicare EHR Certification ID for use in the incentive program registration and the eRx exemption process


Step 4 Register for the EHR Incentive Program
and get your registration number:

Step 5 Apply for e Prescribing Hardship Exemption

Here’s the exemption link:

You will need to make a justification statement in addition to filling in the form. See “Applying for the eRx Hardship Exemption Step-by-Step Guide for sample hardship statement verbiage.

Now that you’ve handled the penalty, you can enjoy the benefits of e-Prescribing.

Got questions?
about the HITECH Act, Electronic Health Records or the
Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS)
EHR incentive program

I invite you to claim free access to an informative interview audio titled

How To Convert To Electronic Health Records,
When I’m Completely Technology Adverse,
And Don’t Know Where To Start!


Is electronic health record adoption a mystery to you?

Don’t have the time or expertise?

Want to take advantage of EHR incentive money?


Call Sandra Noble at 404-374-3384 today to schedule a

FREE Consultation!

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MUSICMeaningful Use System Implementation Consulting MUSIC
Meaningful Use System Implementation Consulting)


EHR Software, HITECH Act, and Meaningful Use assistance!

Sandra Noble