Here are 5 reasons why you should pick up your pen and sign on that dotted line before 2011 comes to an end:
1) Reserve your spot on the implementation timeline.
For physicians interested in pursuing the full Medicare EHR incentives, the last day to start demonstrating meaningful use is October 1, 2012. Although this may seem like the distant future, it’s important to consider all the steps required to fully implement an EHR in your practice. In addition, you need to consider the EHR vendor’s bandwidth. Because of the timeline crunch, many vendors have a backlog of new clients waiting to begin implementation. Therefore, it is crucial to select an EHR vendor soon so you can be placed on their waiting list and implement in time to maximize the EHR incentive reimbursements.
2) Choose 1% reimbursements and 0% ePrescribing penalties.
In addition to the Medicare reimbursement bonus of 1%, ePrescribing in 2011 prevents physicians from incurring the ePrescribing penalties in 2013. Providers who do not successfully ePrescribe on 25 Medicare encounters between January and December 2011 will be subject to a 1.5% reduction in 2013 Medicare rates. Here’s something else to keep in mind: physicians cannot receive incentives for both ePrescribing (MIPPA) and EHR incentives (ARRA) during the same year. You can maximize revenue from both programs by pursuing the ePrescribing incentives in 2011 and then demonstrating meaningful use beginning in 2012.
3) Give yourself a (tax) break.
Internal Revenue Code Section 179 allows you to deduct the full purchase price of equipment—like your EHR software and hardware purchases—from your practice’s gross income. Take advantage of this tax break and maximize your purchasing power before the year runs out.
4) The fourth quarter is a buyer’s market.
Companies are looking for certainty in sales and implementations as they enter into 2012, which improves your buying power. Take advantage of this and purchase an EHR before the end of the year.
5) Stress free is the way to be in 2012!
A New Year’s resolution list can be either your best friend or your biggest frustration. Choose the better option. Take action now so you won’t be let down later. Purchasing an EHR before the end of the year will leave you plenty of time to implement on schedule, capitalize on your bandwidth, and set up your practice to take advantage of all the added benefits and incentives offered in the coming years. And last but not least, it’ll be one less item on your 2012 to-do list!
The incentives, reimbursements, and tax break make 2011 a good year to purchase an EHR—especially now during the fourth quarter.
Selecting the right EHR for your medical practice takes time—doing research, calling references, and collecting information. These may not rank among your favorites activities, but they are absolutely necessary, especially with the meaningful use deadline just around the corner. You can’t rush a good decision, so don’t wait until the last minute to start shopping.