In 2019, it was reported that the global healthcare industry was expected to be worth roughly $11.9 trillion by 2022. While the healthcare industry is continuing to grow, it has changed with the introduction of the EMR mandate.
But, what is EMR and how does it affect healthcare providers?
One serious policy that is being introduced by governing bodies in the US is the EMR mandate. The mandate applies to healthcare practices and healthcare organizations.
If healthcare practices fail to comply with the mandate, then it can cause problems for them. The thing is that not everyone is aware of what it is or how it works.
However, if you aren’t sure what it is, don’t panic because we are going to be covering exactly what the EMR mandate is and what you should know about it.
So if you would like to learn all about the EMR mandate and how it can affect healthcare professionals, then keep reading.
What Is EMR?
The electronic medical record (EMR) mandate is legislation that has been made mandatory by the Health Information Technology For Economic and Clinic Health Act (HITECH Act). This act was first introduced in 2009 and it had one clear intention.
The act assures the usage of electronic medical records and it encourages the use of electronic records.
The EMR mandate states that all medical healthcare records must get converted into digital medical charts.
In addition to this, the EMR mandate also states that healthcare providers must demonstrate ‘meaningful use’ with the records they have for medical patients.
This means healthcare providers must ensure that patient records get used properly. If healthcare providers take care of records in the appropriate way then there are incentives for them.
These incentives are given by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
However, if healthcare providers fail to comply with the EMR mandate, then they can receive penalties from Medicare reimbursement.
How Does It Affect Healthcare Providers in the Long Term?
Both allied health professionals and healthcare providers can be impacted long-term by the EMR mandate. There are several ways that it can do this and we have covered a few of the top outcomes below.
One of the ways that healthcare providers are affected is that governing bodies may ask them for proof of what they are doing with patient information.
If a healthcare provider does not comply with the digital record-keeping guidelines, then they will see a reduction in reimbursements of up to 5 percent.
While this may not sound like a lot, 5 percent can add up over time. Also, many healthcare providers rely on reimbursements. If their budgets are already stretched, this may have a big impact on how they deliver their healthcare services.
In some cases, this lack of funding will affect the quality of care that healthcare services can provide.
Penalties can be removed in some cases if healthcare practices do comply. However, this is a decision that the governing bodies must make.
In addition to this, health organizations that don’t implement the mandate may also miss out on incentive programs.
These incentive programs may give resources or funding to healthcare providers. However, healthcare professionals must adopt, implement and use EHR technology.
How to Ensure That You Comply With Regulations
When complying with regulations, there are a few things that healthcare providers should keep in mind. The EMR mandate has set out some quite strict guidelines on what they expect, but this can be broken down into a few different sections.
Before switching over to the EMR mandate, it is important to be aware that making the switch can be expensive in some cases. The reality is that if your healthcare organization hasn’t got much technological equipment, then you can expect to pay for it.
This can be costly depending on the organization’s budget. However, it seems like the EMR mandate isn’t going anywhere so switching over is something to consider.
One of the first things you will need to remember is that the EMR mandate isn’t just about switching over to electronic medical records. It’s also about providing meaningful use.
Before you switch over to electronic records you need to show that you have meaningful use of records. This is because electronic records are comprehensive and need to be shown that they are being used properly.
Knowledge in Technology
Another point to consider is that there is a certain technological ability that healthcare providers must demonstrate. They must show that they have skills and knowledge in information technology so that they are competent enough to receive EMR access.
If healthcare professionals aren’t competent in using technology, this can be a problem. This is particularly true when they are dealing with private and confidential records on patients.
So, it may be worthwhile for healthcare providers to get some extra training or courses to advance their skills if they do not already possess them.
How Iinsight Makes Switching to Electronic Medical Records Simple
While many healthcare providers were wondering ‘what is EMR?’ we hope this guide has helped to remove any confusion. The good news is that at Iinsight, we have a simple and easy system that you can use to make your medical records electronic.
All of our services are centered around making your electronic records easy to manage. We also have many features to assist allied healthcare practices when recording patients’ information.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, or for some friendly expert advice, contact us today.