picture of a laptop and a stethoscope for medical health records

What is EMR/EHR compliance about?

The Federal government, through the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) and ARRA (the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) has put together a nationwide mandate to create electronic health records (EHR) using electronic medical record (EMR) software for each person in the U.S. by 2014.  In order to speed up and assist the industry with this massive conversion, the mandate includes substantial incentive payments for participating Medicare and Medicaid practitioners who meet certain qualifications, deadlines and “meaningful use” compliance standards.

Who qualifies for these incentives?

Medical professionals and hospitals eligible to accept Medicare or Medicaid payments with the following specialties: [wpcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]

  • Doctor of medicine
  • Doctor of osteopathy, podiatric medicine
  • Doctor of dental medicine or surgery
  • Doctor of Optometry
  • Chiropractor
  • IPPS, CAHs or Medicare Advantage hospitals[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]
  • Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Certified nurse-midwives
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physicians Assistants
  • Hospitals with at least 10% Medicaid[/wpcol_1half_end]

What are the deadlines for participating?

Incentives began in the calendar year 2011 with annual payments over time to qualifying participants:

  • Practitioners who implement EMR systems and demonstrate “meaningful use”, that is meeting certain core requirements such as EHR for patient records and electronic medical billing, can receive up to $44,000 in incentive payments over 5 years.
  • Beginning in 2013, incentives are reduced annually over the next several years.
  • In addition, since this conversion is mandatory, beginning in 2015, practitioners who are not in compliance will be subject to penalties and will see their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement payments reduced.

Planning your EMR conversion for maximum reimbursement

Once you’ve evaluated and selected an EMR system, planning, configuring and installing your system will normally takes from 2-3 months.  In addition, there will be training required of physicians and staff in order to use the new tools.  There will also be a compliance implementation period to achieve and complete the attestation requirements of the “meaningful use” standards.

For eligibility for incentive payments at the 2012 level, we recommend practitioners select and begin the implementation process on an EMR system no later than September 30, 2012.

What functions and standards will my new EMR system need to meet?

For an in depth look at the process, benefits and compliance standards that your EMR system conversion will need to meet to qualify for incentive payments, we recommend this excellent introductory guide.  Our staff is experienced with helping practitioners meet the standards required to achieve compliance so you can be confident that your system installation and configuration will meet the requirements outlined in the regulations.

EMR Software implementation solutions

Integra offers a select group of EMR/EHR solutions that offer the highest quality performance and compliance in the industry.  Now is the time to address your EHR/EMR conversion, improve and upgrade your record keeping and billing and benefit from government incentives.  If you have any questions call or contact us today.  Don’t delay!