Even though stage II of the Meaningful Use program is well underway, many myths regarding certification, attestation and receiving the EHR incentives are floating around. Many dental practices have delayed participation in the program due to concerns surrounding eligible criteria, fulfillment of objectives and cost of implementation.
A few dentists are still under the mistaken assumption that they are not eligible for participation in the EHR incentive programs for two main reasons:
1. They use an EDR system in their office instead of an EHR,
2. Some core and menu objectives are not applicable to dental surgeons/dentists such as immunization records.
EHR stands for Electronic Health Record and as such includes both dental and medical records. Dental professionals using an EDR software are fully eligible to participate in the program. Practices do have the option of implementing a complete EHR but are likely to end up with a system that is not tailored for the particular requirements of a dental office. You may end up paying for features that you do not use or need.
Although the certification process does not include a separate channel for EDR software, there are a few vendors who have MU certified EDR modules specifically for dental practices. Purchasing and implementing such certified EDR software will not only help you get the incentives now but also improve productivity and efficiency in the long-term.
Some MU objectives are not applicable to all practices such as E prescribing for chiropractors or a podiatrist that does not see any patients below the age of five. Participating professionals can exclude such objectives from the list of requirements to meet for attestation. So dentists who do not perform immunizations do not need to attest for that particular measure.
It is also important to note that practices are not eligible to receive the incentives. Rather it is individual dentists who can apply for and receive the payments, even if the practice paid for the purchase of the EDR software. However physicians who provide the bulk of their services (more than 90%) in a hospital setting – inpatient or ER – are not eligible for participation.
Dovetail 1.4 is 2014 ONC certified for participation in the meaningful use program. It is specifically designed to accommodate any dental practice from solo practitioners to large multi-speciality clinics. Not only is the software certified, the expert Dovetail team will work with providers throughout the implementation to ensure that they receive incentive payments. For more information, visit our Meaningful Use resource center.