For those of you who aren’t aware, there is a federal incentive program that awards up to $63,750 per dentist for use of certified electronic health record (EHR) software. In fact, having integral knowledge of this through assisting dental practice clients who are eligible for the program, I have spoken at conferences on the subject and have written numerous pieces about it. The issue some dental practices have with the program though is that it is run by individual state Medicaid and, in order to be eligible, either the individual dentist or practice must average at least 30% Medicaid-eligible encounters for a 90-day period. With that in mind, dentists who are not eligible ask me all the time, “Why should I care about certified dental software if I’m not eligible for the Medicaid based incentive dollars?”
Well, I can tell you with certainty, having personally assisted dental software vendors in preparation for the federal EHR certification process, that I believe that features and functionality required by the federal testing bodies for certification actually make certified dental software better in many areas. Therefore, even if a dental practice is not eligible for the incentive money, it just might be beneficial to look at certified dental EHRs as part of the evaluation process.