What Is the EMR Mandate?

The Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Mandate requires healthcare providers to convert all medical charts to a digital format. Additionally, it’s a condition under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), whose objective is to incentivize and fund healthcare professionals using EMR.

Since the EMR Mandate was put into action, the use of electronic health records (EHR) has increased worldwide and advanced health organizations in patient care, care coordination, and the security of patient information.

The EMR Mandate ExplainedMedical Records Storage Services

Within ARRA, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) motivates health care organizations to implement EMR. Additionally, the government’s push toward the use of EMR was created to make health records more accurate and accessible.

The HITECH Act includes incentives to purchase certified EMR systems and create privacy standards and regulations. Also, it authorizes Medicare and Medicaid to provide payments to hospitals and physicians who demonstrate “meaningful use” of electronic health records.

Penalties of Non-compliance

Healthcare organizations that do not implement EMR systems and/or demonstrate their “meaningful use,” will see a reduction in Medicare reimbursements up to 5%.  They will also miss out on incentive programs for eligible professionals and hospitals that adopt, implement, and use EHR technology.

Without an EMR system in place, records are illegible and incomplete. It is difficult for specialists to update a patient file for a general practitioner, interrupting continuity of care for patients. You can’t access records outside of the office. Therefore, this makes it impossible to monitor hospital patients from home overnight.

Additionally, EMR systems streamline the creation and use of health records and increase the efficiency and quality of care overall.

How to Demonstrate “Meaningful Use”Background photo showing medical record changing from paperwork to electronic medical record.

Healthcare providers that meet “meaningful use” criteria will receive their portion of incentive payments set forth by ARRA and avoid penalties from Medicare reimbursement.

To get a better understanding of the concept of “meaningful use,” the CDC outlines five pillars of health outcomes that result from the use of EMR. Also, the five pillars include:

  1. Improving quality, safety, efficiency, and reducing health disparities
  2. Engage patients and families in their health
  3. Improve care coordination
  4. Improve population and public health
  5. Ensure adequate privacy and security protection for personal health information

The EMR mandate has many benefits for the healthcare industry. Additionally, it helps inform providers, empower patients, and has even spurred growth in the health informatics field of study.

Ready to Covert to an Electronic Medical Records System?

Record Nations is here to connect you with an expert in EMR software today. Our trusted providers will help you convert to an EMR system with medical records scanning services and more. To get started, give us a call at (866) 385-3706 or fill out the form. Afterwards, you will receive free, no obligation quotes within minutes.