Considering EHR vs. Paper Documentation in Your Chiropractic Practice?
Here are some pros and cons of each to think about when making your decision. Look at the following topics when formulating your decision about EHR vs. paper for your chiropractic documentation. You must weigh the cost of setting up your system, accessibility, chiropractic documentation ease, documentation templates, legibility, customization, practice management metrics tracking, billing and scheduling ease, storage requirements, human interface experience and time required to both produce and maintain your chiropractic documentation records.
Many Chiropractors Wonder, Is Paper Charting Still Permitted?
It is, but there’s a penalty applied by Medicare. At this time, there are no current laws prohibiting you from using paper charts for your chiropractic documentation. Keep in mind, the same chiropractic documentation requirements exist for both paper and electronic health records.
EHRs Are Not a Requirement at This Time
However, Medicare is enacting a reduction of payment for providers who have not yet adopted EHR and demonstrated Meaningful Use. As of January 1, 2016, if you had not satisfied the requirement for 2015, you began seeing a 1 percent reduction in reimbursement of your Medicare claims; this percentage will increase yearly and peak at 5 percent. Each chiropractor must decide if that penalty is enough to make the change to their chiropractic documentation processes. Keep in mind, this is just the beginning of using a penalty for those doctors and practices who have not converted to EHR for their chiropractic documentation.
Choose Wisely if You Choose EHR for Your Practice
Simply purchasing an electronic patient file system does not qualify that system as a certified EHR. And purchasing a certified EHR without fulfilling the Meaningful Use Attestation process will also leave you with a payment reduction. With the MACRA legislation, and the shift towards reimbursement for quality care rendered in your practice instead of the quantity of care rendered, the choice to shift to EHR might make sense. Because how you produce your chiropractic documentation will become a more important part of your practice reimbursement in the very near future.
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