Denville, NJ (PRWEB) September 24, 2013
“An integrated EMR can cost up to $45,000. The good news is that there are less expensive systems designed specifically for physical therapy practices and HITECH can help defray the costs. Many therapists still aren’t aware of the funding programs or that incentives are only offered until 2015. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) is a federal program that has allocated funds to help practices transition to an EMR and facilitate their usage,” said Chhoda.
He added that HITECH has set aside billions in funding to assist clinicians with infrastructure, hiring IT professionals, and repair and renovate health centers. As meaningful users of EMR, money is also available to facilitate Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Administration and other medical billing claims, and the exchange of information between medical providers. Practitioners can also apply for grants to establish training centers for IT professionals to support infrastructure.
Many of the accessible funding and grant programs require practitioners to demonstrate meaningful use to qualify for funds. Established as a three-stage system by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the term meaningful use encompasses a variety of criteria and a set of core requirements that must be met.
According to Chhoda, the deadline for stage one funding has passed, but clinicians can still apply for money to accommodate the needs in stages two and three. Stage 2 takes effect in 2014, incorporating the electronic transmission of health-related data and providing patients with electronic access to their health information with the use of physical therapy software. He said stage three launches in 2016. It requires therapists to demonstrate an improved quality of healthcare and that they continue to meet requirements in previous stages.
Although many clinicians aren’t aware that federal funding is available, implementing an EMR that meets specifications is still a major responsibility. While installation of an EMR is required, there’s no need for small practice owners to bankrupt their clinics when monetary assistance and opportunities are available through HITECH. Each funding program has its own set of requirements and applications deadlines, and it’s critical that clinicians examine their options now.
Chhoda’s office can be reached by phone at 201-535-4475. For more information, visit the website at http://www.emrnews.com.
About Nitin Chhoda
Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT is a licensed physical therapist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and an entrepreneur. He is the author of "Physical Therapy Marketing For The New Economy" and "Marketing for Physical Therapy Clinics" and is a prolific speaker, writer and creator of products and systems to streamline medical billing and coding, electronic medical records, health care practice management and marketing to increase referrals. He has been featured in numerous industry magazines, major radio and broadcast media, and is the founder of Referral Ignition training systems and the annual Private Practice Summit. Chhoda speaks extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia. He is also the creator of the Therapy Newsletter and Clinical Contact, both web-based services to help private practices improve communication with patients, delivery better quality of care and boost patient retention.