Physicians and other eligible professionals will now have until March 20 to attest to meaningful use of electronic health records for the 2014 reporting year and avoid a Medicare penalty for 2016.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it was extending the deadline from Feb. 28. Eligible providers must attest to meaningful use every year to receive bonus payments under the EHR Incentive Program. Those who fail to attest by March 20 for the 2014 reporting year will see a 2% reduction in Medicare payments in 2016.

During this extension period, providers can make a one-time switch between the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.