eDoctor, Inc. Encourages Physicians to Act Now to Benefit from Federal Incentives for ePrescribing

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With key deadlines looming for physicians to be able to take advantage of federal incentives for ePrescribing, health IT company eDoctor, Inc. today clarified the rules that medical doctors must follow in order both to receive government bonus payments and to avoid onerous financial penalties.

Ingrid Chung, MD, chair of the Medical Advisory Board for eDoctor, Inc., today clarified key aspects of Medicare incentive programs for electronic health and strongly suggested that ambulatory care offices act now to ePrescribe by June 30, 2011.

“Government money is on the table, waiting to be claimed by doctors who simply start to ePrescribe this year,” said Dr. Chung. “How to collect those dollars might seem confusing, but the rules are very clear: MIPPA incentives kick in this year for ePrescribing.”

According to Dr. Chung, the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 or “MIPAA” sets forth straightforward rules for ePrescribing activity that can result in not only a 1% bonus for a physician in 2011, but also help in avoiding ongoing penalties in 2012 and 2013.

“The mantra for every doctor should be: G-8553,” said Dr. Chung. “Use of that Medicare code for 10 separate patient visits by June 30, 2011, and in 25 separate such visits by December 31, 2011, will mean a one-time bonus payment and avoidance of ongoing penalties.”

Use of the G-8553 code verifies that “at least one Rx was generated and transmitted using a qualified ePrescribing system during the patient encounter.” Without 10 such encounters on the books by June 30, 2011, a physician will receive a 1% reduction on his/her 2012 Medicare rates. This reduction is per physician, not per practice.

Mr. Se Kang, president, eDoctor, Inc., added that separate monetary incentives for electronic health records or “EHR,” available to physicians and hospitals through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or “ARRA,” contribute to confusion over what a physician’s practice needs to do in order claim the ePrescribing incentive payments contained in MIPPA.

“Use of EHRs is far from universal, but certainly will increase greatly due, in part, to ARRA and its Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) ‘meaningful use’ component,” explained Mr. Kang. “However, an EHR is a very big decision, one that a practice will want to carefully review from a financial and operational point of view."

Said Mr. Kang: "The beauty of our eDoctor, Inc. ePrescribing system is that we have built it in a way that is compatible with any of the EHRs on the market. That’s why we like to tell our current and potential customers to ePrescribe now and go to a full EHR later. Otherwise, you really are leaving government money on the table.”

eDoctor, Inc. is a full-service health IT company based in a Johns Hopkins University facility in Rockville, MD.

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Jim Boyle
eDoctor Inc.
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