According to the American Chiropractic Association, a small solo chiropractic office can still benefit from adopting chiropractic EHR software, especially when considering the EHR incentive program established by the federal government under the Medicare system.
In fact, these incentives were instituted specifically for small medical practices that would have had a harder time financially when implementing an EHR system as compared to the monetary possibilities at a larger hospital.
"The EHR incentive program was developed in large part with a focus on the solo health care practitioners. There is much consensus that moving to an EHR system can be instrumental in improving patient health care quality on the grand scale," states The American Chiropractic Association's Electronic Health Records Task Force.
A chiropractor who is not a Medicare participating physician, but still submits claims to Medicare for Part B physician fee schedule services is also eligible to take part in the EHR incentive program.
However, it is important to remember that a medical provider will not gain an incentive merely by purchasing EHR software. Another vital target to meet is proving meaningful use of this new technology. Meaningful use criteria involves rather complicated policies and requirements.
Chiropractors will need to establish that their EHR systems are being used in a way that benefits the patient and meets the many requirements set by the Department of Health and Human Services. It seems that EHR vendors will have to keep up with meaningful use requirements more so than medical practitioners, such as the proper certification of EHR systems.
Despite the complications of integrating such software, chiropractors should consider adopting this technology as soon as possible because otherwise their Medicare reimbursement will be reduced by 1 percent as early as 2015.
Along with avoiding these penalties, chiropractors looking to implement EHR could also save money by adopting web-based medical software, which cuts installation costs completely.