Can Physicians Ignore the HITECH Act?

HIS The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act is part of the government's overall economic recovery plan. The HITECH act aims to ensure that all medical service providers move toward a system of  EHR by 2014. It also requires the adoption of meaningful use standards. While EHR implementation and meaningful use can present great challenges for any healthcare provider undergoing a transition, ignoring them comes at a serious cost. Bob Chaput of Clearwater Compliance says it's time to "get serious" about following HITECH. Healthcare Information Services has the experience and knowledge to guide your company through compliance with the HITECH Act.

Incentive Payments

According to the CMS Office of Public Affairs, the criteria will be "more robust" than in the past. In order to ensure that all health care providers are in compliance with the HITECH Act, the federal government is offering incentive payments to help businesses offset the costs of EHR implementation. In order to qualify, providers must demonstrate that they meet meaningful use standards. The best way to meet these benchmarks and receive payments is to partner with an EHR provider with experience in reaching these standards. SRSsoft, provided by Healthcare Information Services, is certified is a complete EHR, meaning it meets the criteria to get incentive payments for your company.


Increased Efficiency

While monetary incentives and penalties make it unwise for physicians to ignore the HITECH Act, a successful EHR implementation, in compliance with the law, provides many other benefits that should not be overlooked. One of these is the increased efficiency of your medical practice. If a high-quality EHR system is adopted, you can save time and money. Instead of having to fill out onerous and tedious paperwork or point and click your way through documentation, doctors can document patient information quickly and relatively error-free. The result is more time to spend seeing patients, and less overhead spent on administrative costs.


Penalties

Failing to comply with the HITECH Act can lead to physicians incurring significant penalties. Starting in 2015, doctors that do not comply will see their medicare reimbursements drop by 1%. Each additional year that you ignore the Act will lead to a further 1% reduction of reimbursements. That may sound like a small number, but it can add up to a large amount depending on the size of our practice. In addition, any federal subsidies you currently receive could be in jeopardy. These penalties make it essential to have an EHR implementation that complies with HITECH. 

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