Dental offices may have heard rumors about a federal manadate that requires dentists to begin utlizing electronic health records or have "paperless" offices by 2014. Another rumor is that dentists must be able to create and transmit digital radiographs by 2014. These rumors are not accurate. There are no mandates that require electornic health records or digital radiographs in 2014. These rumors are likely heard in dicussions about health care reform and the affordable care act.
While there are no mandates, there are several incentives in place to encourage providers to begin using electronic health records. For instance, practices where 30 percent or more of the patients are on Medicaid can recieve over $60,000 (total over several years) to install and implement electronic health record systems. Additional information about these incentive programs can be found here.
For more information on electronic health records go to www.ada.org/paperless.