Does the 2009 ARRA Bill Include Stimulus Incentives to Dermatopathologists For Implementing EMR?

The adoption of Electronic Medical Record or EMR in the niche of Dermatology is underway. Various governmental incentives have been initiated as a part of the 2009 Bill to stimulate Dermatologists and Dermatopathologists to establish "meaningful use" of Electronic Medical Records which in turn ensures that they are eligible for receiving the incentives extended for adopting EMR methodologies. Such healthcare providers need to understand that they are eligible for receiving these incentives irrespective of whether they are providing healthcare services as a part of Medicare or Medicaid programs.

Dermatology EHR/EMR—Medicare & Medicaid

As per the regulations of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Stimulus Incentive, incentives extended as a part of the 2009 Bill are valid for both, Medicare and Medicaid healthcare providers. This includes incentives for providers who are exclusively Medicare or Medicaid healthcare professionals and those who provide both, Medicare and Medicaid services. However, providers who are providing both kinds of healthcare services need to choose one of the incentive programs, i.e. Medicaid or Medicare. The application for receiving incentives is also subject to the qualification of the healthcare provider.

Dermatology EMR & Non-Hospital Services

Medicare healthcare providers who provide non-hospital services are also eligible for such incentives as long as they are able to establish meaningful use of adopting EHR. Similarly, Medicaid healthcare providers who provide non-hospital services are also eligible for the incentives. However, there are certain stipulations for such Medicaid healthcare providers. For instance, Paediatricians should have at least 20% of their patients seeking healthcare through Medicaid and other Medicaid providers should have at least 30% of their patients seeking healthcare through Medicaid.

Adopting Dermatology EMR

Dermatopathologists who wish to receive EMR incentives should be familiar with the standards set forth as a part of the EHR technology norms.. All the eligible professionals seeking incentive payments under Medicare or Medicaid should adhere to the benchmarks established set for EMR Technology. Any electronic health record technology should follow the guidelines issued during June 2010—45 CFR Part 170 (subpart D) wherein standards for establishing purpose of EMR use and certifying health information technology have been described.

Thus, an ideal Dermatology EMR system is one which follows these regulations and the outlines set by the ONC's interim final rule. This rule essentially outlines some of the technical standards that EHR systems should present to receive interim certification. This rule is rather precise in what criterion should be fulfilled and emphasizes upon:

• Standard formats that should be used for preparing prescriptions and clinical summaries
• Standard terminology that should be used in describing clinical problems, medications, procedures and laboratory tests
• Standards set for ensuring secure transmission of online patient data

Example of one such EMR system is the web-based EHR & Practice Management System that is specifically aimed at Dermatologists. This rather efficient EMR tool combines handy features like:

• Dermatology CPT Codes
• Dermatology ICD-9 Crosswalks
• Easy importing of dermatological images
• Integration of Before & After Photographs
• Dedicated templates for dermatology medicine
• Inventory management tools for various skin-care products
• Detailed clinical content that helps in quick charting of patient records