In 2011, the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program began and eligible healthcare professionals could achieve up to $44,000, if they participated in the program beginning in the year 2012. The incentives will be awarded through 2016.
These incentive payments are based on allowed Medicare charges that are submitted yearly. As incentive payments count for 75 percent of allowable Medicare charges, a chiropractor will have to submit a minimum of $24,000 in allowable charges in order to receive the entire $18,000 for the first year.
"If we’re only talking $20 or $30 a visit, it’s going to take a lot of visits to reach $24,000," Dr. Leo Bronston told reporter Rebecca Jones from the American Chiropractic Association. "So, no clinician should be looking at doing this simply by virtue of the stimulus package. Rather, they should be looking at doing this as a way to better serve their patient population."
If a medical provider does not demonstrate meaningful use by 2015, it will receive a penalty through a lowered Medicare reimbursement. In 2015, the reduction in Medicare reimbursement will be 1 percent and will increase to 5 percent over subsequent years.
In order to meet these policies, a chiropractor needs to know the requirements. Meaningful use criteria include demonstrating the utilization of certified EHR in a meaningful manner, employing electronic exchange of health information to better patient care and using EHR technology to submit clinical quality measures, according to the American Chiropractic Association. The three stages of meaningful use will focus and expand upon electronic data capture and sharing information technologically.
When attempting to meet meaningful use requirements and receive incentives, a chiropractor should look to implement useful chiropractic EHR such as web-based medical software.