Medicaid and Purchasing an EDR

Selecting the appropriate software, reporting correctly and obtaining meaningful use for dentists involves a lot of current industry knowledge. The Medicaid provision under which most dental practices would qualify requires that the dentist see at least 30% Medicaid patients. But it also has a built-in year where “Adopt, Implement, Upgrade” (A/I/U) year, or simply purchasing and installing an EDR system, would qualify for the incentive payment the first year. If a dental practice qualifies for meaningful use under Medicaid, there are some key factors to consider in selecting an EDR.

A real challenge for dentists purchasing an EDR for meaningful use is the need to purchase a certified one. Few are certified, and of those that are certified, few are usable on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the reporting criteria for clinical information in later stages (after the A/I/U year) are data that few dentists currently collect or need.

In addition, the trends in medical EHRs were to start by purchasing separate EHR systems and connecting them to practice management and other software. However, as the market grew, those interfaces became points of contention and potential breakdown. Dentists may want to take the lessons from medical early adopters to reduce disruption and increase productivity.

What do you need to know? Check out the full interview with Michael Uretz in First Impressions for more information.

Lessons Learned:

  • Dentists can qualify for meaningful use if they (1) see at least 30% Medicaid patients, and (2) Implement an ONC-certified EDR.
  • In the first year of Medicaid meaningful use attestation, implementing software is all that is required to receive the incentive.
  • Certified and usable dental EHRs are still few and far in between.
  • Medical EHRs are more widely available and adopted, and that industry may have lessons to inform dentists and prevent problems.

Uretz, Michael. (2013) On the Record. First ImpressionsFeb, p. 38-43. Last Accessed 2/25/2013: