Many practices have made the switch from paper to electronic health records (EHRs). Yet, the applications and benefits of an EHR for dental practices often go unnoticed. In fact, the use of electronic dental patient history forms, dental health history forms, and other dental forms and records can be a determining factor in how well a dental practice does, especially in an increasingly digital world. Take a look at three considerations for EHRs in the dental setting.
How Do Electronic Patient Forms Benefit Dental Practices?
Electronic dental records help practices improve “care quality and patient safety,” asserts the American Dental Association. The electronic record allows practices to capture detailed information, which may include electronic dental patient history forms, without any potential for errors from manual data entry. As a result, dentists can more rapidly identify which patients will require more time, lessening the wait time and increasing patient satisfaction rates.
After the completion of the dental visit, an electronic dental record ensures patients are scheduled for future visits or check-ups as needed, insurance and patients are billed appropriately, and data is reported to authoritative entities for public health concerns.
Are Dentists included in the Medicare Incentive Program?
The Medicare Incentive Program, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), allows practices to receive a stipend-like payment for demonstrating “meaningful use” of an electronic health record in a practice. As the terminology, “eligible professional”, indicates any professional may be included in the program’s benefits, dentists are included in the Medicare Incentive Program. However, these dentists must be currently receiving payments for services to Medicare-enrolled patients. Unfortunately, the opposite side of this coin, the potential penalty, may also apply to dentists who do not use electronic dental forms.
Will Dentists Incur a Penalty For Not Implementing an EHR?
Some dentists may not participate in Medicare, but dentists who participate in Medicare-Advantage programs or who prescribe Part D medications to patients must comply with the electronic records mandate or opt-out of the program, asserts the CMS: Frequently Asked Questions. Furthermore, dentists who opt out of the incentive program cannot continue to receive any payment for Medicare-Advantage patients. Essentially, the program and participation in either form of Medicare is an “all-or-nothing” option.
Dental practices are not required to participate in Medicare. However, dental practices who do participate in any form of Medicare must meet Meaningful Use objectives of the EHR. Otherwise, the practice will incur the penalty of a reduction (up to 5 percent) in Medicare reimbursement payments. To learn more about implementing an electronic dental record for your practice, schedule a Practice Sense-demo, or contact us at 1-800-619-2955.
Did you know dentists who prescribe Part D medications are required to participate or actively opt-out of the Medicare Incentive Program? Find out more about how electronic dental forms can improve dental practice efficiency and meet the demands of the incentive program now.
Dentists may fall into in the Eligible Professionals wording of the Medicare Incentive Program. Find out more now.
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