We also know that, in order to be eligible for participation, clinics must submit over $24,000 for the year 2011 in Medicare Part B claims under a certain set of chiropractic treatments. These treatments are narrowed to include only the treatment of spinal subluxations. These treatments must be submitted using the AT (Active Treatment) modifier to ensure that they fall under the umbrella of medical necessity.
The stimulus plan also requires a "meaningful use" of a "certified EHR system." This verbiage is subject to a wide range of interpretation and, therefore, the implications are still pending:
• Meaningful use will require the record-keeping and distribution of prescription medications, interoperability with other certified EHR systems, electronic exchange of medical records, and the provider’s submission of clinical quality measures. The specifics of these requirements have not been decided upon in any clear form, and so we will have to rely on future clarification to understand the extent of this term.
• A certified system will most definitely require the software system to be reviewed and accepted by a formal certification panel, surely either the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT®) or the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST®).
The Secretary of Health and Human Services has a deadline of December 31st, 2009, to solidify a set of standards for meaningful use and EHR certification. It looks as though we may have to wait patiently until then to learn the full requirements for participation in the stimulus package.
So why buy an EHR system now?
If you research and make an educated decision about your EHR system now, while you have the time, you can ensure a boundless return on your investment before a mandated switch causes you to scramble for a system that may not meet the specific needs of your office. Selecting the right software for your practice is an important decision, and not one to make hastily when penalties for non-compliance are creeping up behind you, and you’ve missed your chance at a sizable stimulus payout.
Choose your EHR system carefully, and go with a progressive company that has its finger on the pulse of American healthcare. Select a company that is informed, responsive, and dedicated to keeping on top of the latest information. If you take the time now to choose wisely, your investment will be in place and ready to carry you effortlessly through the inevitable changes that are hovering on the horizon.
Dr. Michael Failla is the President and Co-owner of Integrated Practice Solutions, the makers of ChiroTouch. Dr. Failla graduated from Life University College of Chiropractic in Atlanta, Georgia and went on to run a highly successful chiropractic office in Seattle, Washington for 25 years. Dr. Failla sold his practice in 2007 and continues to promote health and wellness by helping chiropractors run streamlined and successful practices with more time for their patients and less time with their paperwork.