Stimulus for Chiropractic? Promises or Proof? One man's quest for the truth
By now you have probably read an article or two about receiving 44K in stimulus money. Perhaps you are getting phone calls claiming you need to act ASAP to get your 44K, or buy before the end of the year, otherwise you lose your stimulus money. By the number of calls I'm getting from chiropractors asking for guidance, I would imagine you might have some confusion as well.
So how does a Chiropractor qualify?
According to the latest documentation, there are a number of things combined to allow a chiropractor to qualify for the stimulus money.
- Must be seeing more than 30% medicare patients.
- Must be using a â¬Åcertified system (Certification not yet confirmed).
- Must be able to demonstrate meaningful use (whatever that may mean).
Number 1 alone knocks out a large number of chiropractors. The other items might be possible, but you must consider if spending a large amount of money on software is right for your practice - with or without stimulus money. Â Would that be what is best for your business?
When president Obama first announced that stimulus plans would include a push toward electronic medical records, we celebrated.Â Finally, more doctors would start thinking about going electronic and this would be great for our industry. Once the 1500 page stimulus report was released, we reviewed the sections reporting on EMR and discovered it was very vague on the topic of how payment would be made to doctors. Then we started to become confused as well. So what now? What do we tell doctors when they ask us about getting stimulus money?
I challenge other vendors to step up and show your proof instead of promises. Where are the regulations explaining which certification is needed for a product to qualify?
Where is their certification certificate? Does certification mean anything if you'll never qualify? A recent search on the CCHIT* (most common certification at this time for large EMR products) website, indicated there are no Chiropractic products with the certification.
A big point on certification: Today the certification is the same cost and has the same feature requirements whether your software is designed for a large hospital or a small specialized practice. Anyone reading this probably realizes the needs of those two softwares are very different and the certification requirement process and cost for vendors should also be different. Our hope is that the certification groups/organization also realizes that specialty software, like chiropractic EMR, is very different and must have a unique set of rules and regulations to accommodate.Â After all, a major benefit for having â¬Åcertified software is to help with compatibility between systems (being able to import and export records between doctor's EMR/EHR systems). Without a unique certification it may mean many of the specialty products won't become certified and we will have incompatibility with patients' primary doctors' EMR/EHR systems for years to come.
Another thing to consider about this program is funding. Will there be any money left once the other programs are done getting funded today? For example the â¬ÅCash for Clunkers program burned through 1 billion dollars already and was recently allocated an additional 2 billion. Auto dealers are predicting the additional funding may run out by the end of the year.Â So 3 billion will have been paid out to consumers,Â Our research shows that doctors have yet to receive any money for EMR/EHR purchases from the stimulus package.
Our company has always been from the old school mindset of â¬Åthe truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and that is how we operate everyday. Until we receive more information on which regulations/certification is selected, and if there are other certification rules for non-MD software, we are in a holding pattern.
Moving forward, my best advice is to do your homework and keep up with the latest news about this topic. Keep in mind upon review of new software, on the most basic level a sales person's job is to sell you. Find a record keeping product that works for your practice. Don't get stuck with one that may be compliant or certified butÂ won't really contribute to the flow of your practice. Best patient care (meaning more time with the patient talking about their needs) should remain you goal.Â And finally, great software doesn't have to be expensive.
Disclaimer - Although this article is written by the owner of Chiro QuickCharts, it is based on bringing you the truth about stimulus package and not about our product.
Thank you for reading and we will update as we know more.
Here are a few sites you may want to keep up with:
* CCHIT is the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology and you can read more on their website: http://www.cchit.org