By: John V. Pellitteri, CPA, Partner and Healthcare Practice Leader
Take a look around your office. How much of your office space do you devote to storing your patient records? How much time does your admin staff spend filling, correcting, and filing various forms? How often does substandard penmanship result in incorrect data entry? How much money are you spending on record storage units, labels, paper, ink, and folders? If you’re like most offices, the answer to all of this questions is “too much”. These are just a few of the many reasons why many physicians are increasingly considering electronic medical records (EMRs) as viable alternatives, especially in a cash-strapped economy.
One of the biggest advantages to EMRs is that they take up a very, very small fraction of physical space than paper records do. Switching to EMRs can allow you to utilize more office space for patient care, or maybe even move to a smaller, more functional office with a lower rent. In addition, EMRs can significantly cut down on the cost of storage media, inaccuracies due to misreading or penmanship, and wasted administrator time.
It is also worth noting that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act added several financial incentives to encourage physicians to switch to paper records to the tune of up to $44,000 per physician under Medicare or up to $65,000 per physician under Medicaid (paid over 6 years). Furthermore, Medicare and Medicaid will be decreasing payments to physicians who have not made the switch to EMR by 2015.
Now is a perfect time to look at your options for moving to EMRs and start saving money.