CDA Practice Support has received an increase in calls regarding the so-called “paperless mandate.” The calls are coming from dentists who were told by other dentists that the deadline to switch to dental electronic health records (EHR) is coming in 2015.
CDA reminds dentists that there is no requirement for dental practices to go paperless. There is an incentive program for Medicaid/Medicare providers to convert to electronic health records, however. Dentists who bill Medicare and who do not convert to EHRs will eventually see reduced payments for services.
Those Medicare payment reductions will begin in 2015. This will happen for most providers who are eligible but choose not to participate, according to the ADA. The ADA says, “The reductions will be enforced at the rate of 1 percent beginning in 2015 and will increase by 1 percent per year to a maximum of 5 percent.”
Dentists who do not participate in Medicare and are not eligible to participate in the incentive program.
EHRs are changing practices rapidly as related to benefits and clinical operations. There are many options in terms of vendors and software offerings in addition to the federal EHR incentives, new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules and the push to move everything to the cloud.
For dentists who are making the transition to EHRs, CDA has the following resources available: The Dental Software Evaluation and Selection Checklist, Dental Software Contracts Checklist and Dental Software Implementation and Training Checklist. These resources prompt dentists to consider how they may address issues that arise during the software implementation phase. A veteran in the information technology profession and several electronic health experts developed the checklists.
Member dentists can find these resources by typing in the names of each resource in the Search Resources box on cda.org/practicesupport.