You may have heard rumors about a federal mandate that requires dentists to begin utilizing electronic health records (EHRs) or have "paperless" offices by 2014. These rumors are not accurate. There are no mandates that require electronic health records in 2014. However, dentists who accept Medicare patients and are eligible for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will face a payment reduction in their Medicare reimbursement for failure to implement “meaningful use” of EHRs starting in 2015.
The payment reduction starts at 1 percent and increases each year that a Medicare eligible professional fails to demonstrate “meaningful use” through the implementation of EHRs, with a maximum reduction of 5 percent. If you are dentist accepting Medicare patients, click here for information on the Medicare EHR Program. If interested in registering for the program, click here.
WSDA is not aware of any mandates for EHRs in Washington state at this time. However, there are incentives in place to encourage health care professionals to transition to EHRs.
If you are interested in learning more about the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please check our blog on Monday, December 23, 2013 for more information about the program and how to get started.