CMS: 257,000 docs will receive Meaningful Use penalties

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services revealed Wednesday that roughly 257,000 Medicare eligible professionals (EPs) will be hit with a 1 percent penalty to their Medicare Physician Fee Schedule payments beginning Jan. 5, 2015, for failing to meet Meaningful Use by Oct. 1, 2014.

EPs needed to demonstrate Meaningful Use on or before Oct. 1, 2014, to avoid the penalty.

Starting this week, CMS will mail letters to those EPs affected by the penalty. The letters will contain instructions for the EPs to apply for further consideration; those considerations can be sent to CMS through the end of February. The instructions also will be posted to CMS' website.

"It's possible we could have made a mistake, and we want to give people the opportunity to point that out to us," a CMS official said on the call.