Today's blog post comes from the WebPT content crew: Senior Writer Charlotte Bohnett, Contributing Writer Erica Cohen, and Junior Writer Brooke Andrus.

CCHIT logo

Recently, we’ve received quite a few questions regarding WebPT’s status with the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT). As a result, we thought we’d take this blog post to address what CCHIT certification means, why we are not certified, and why that is A-okay. Here’s some background:

What’s the HITECH Act?

In 2009, the federal government enacted the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Designed to promote widespread adoption of health information technology, this legislation established government-issued financial incentives for “eligible professionals” who implement electronic health records (EHRs) in their practices and demonstrate “meaningful use.” These eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and up to $63,750 through the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.  

What does this have to do with CCHIT?

Well, to qualify for the incentive program, providers first must implement an EHR that “offers the necessary technological capability, functionality, and security to help them meet the meaningful use criteria.” CCHIT is one of two organizations responsible for certifying that an EHR offers just that. To learn more about demonstrating meaningful use, check out this article.

Why isn’t WebPT certified?

At this point, you might still be wondering why WebPT is not CCHIT-certified. This should clear things up: As of today, the term “eligible professionals” refers to physicians, hospitals, and critical access hospitals—not physical therapists, occupational therapists, or speech-language pathologists. This means that the rehab therapy community is neither required nor incentivized—yet—to adopt an EHR. And in turn, electronic record systems specifically for the rehab therapy industry do not need to qualify for certification because they’re not servicing “eligible professionals.”

And that’s okay?

So, for the above reasons—specifically, that WebPT is an EMR exclusively for rehab therapists—we are not CCHIT-certified. And for all these same reasons, it’s perfectly fine that we aren’t. After all, you don’t need a system that is. All of that being said, if the federal government does decide to revise the HITECH Act so that PTs, OTs, and SLPs are considered eligible professionals and are thus required to use an EMR that qualifies for meaningful use, you can bet your bottom dollar that WebPT will get CCHIT-certified pronto.

How do we get the federal government to recognize rehab therapists as eligible professionals?

We have to make our voices heard. The APTA has sent letters (like this one, this one, and this one) and takes a strong stance in support of EHR adoption and the HITECH Act. Furthermore, they offer a wealth of resources on their website regarding the topic. These same actions—and more!—need to hold true for all our membership organizations, and we encourage you to contact them to learn more about what they’re doing to advocate for their members. After all, it’s these organizations that can lobby in Washington.

Defensible Documentation Toolkit - Regular BannerDefensible Documentation Toolkit - Small Banner
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Reform: 5 Key Healthcare Forecasts for 2017 Image

    webinarJan 5, 2017

    Cloudy with a Chance of Reform: 5 Key Healthcare Forecasts for 2017

    Predicting the weather is tough—just ask any meteorologist who has called for sun on the day of a major downpour. Well, predicting the fate of the US healthcare system isn’t much easier—there’s a lot up in the air, after all. But, even without a healthcare equivalent of Doppler Radar, there are a few key trends that are sure to have a major impact on PTs, OTs, and SLPs in 2017 and beyond. And to keep your practice …

  • Common Questions from our Cloudy with a Chance of Reform Webinar Image

    articleFeb 13, 2017 | 13 min. read

    Common Questions from our Cloudy with a Chance of Reform Webinar

    In our first webinar of 2017 , WebPT’s co-founder and president, Heidi Jannenga, teamed up with CEO Nancy Ham to discuss the current and future healthcare trends that will impact PTs, OTs, and SLPs. (Missed it? No worries; you can view the complete recording here .) As always, we received quite a few questions during the presentation—way more than we could address live. So, we’ve put them all here, in one handy Q&A doc. Scroll through and …

  • articleJan 31, 2011 | 3 min. read

    APTA Provides Snapshot of Regulations under Affordable Care Act

    The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the final rule with comment period that will implement new provider screening and enforcement measures aimed at reducing fraudulent providers and suppliers from enrolling in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The final rule also grants these federal programs authority to suspend payments when a credible allegation of fraud is being investigated. As the federal government continues the process of implementing the Patient …

  • articleNov 12, 2012 | 2 min. read

    What is PQRS and Why is it Important?

    In an effort to improve quality of reporting in the healthcare industry, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) , which mandates that physical therapists, occupational therapists, and qualified speech-language therapists meet the criteria for satisfactory reporting. Beginning in 2013, not complying with PQRS requirements will result in penalties, which CMS will assess as fines (starting at 1.5% of your fee schedule) in 2015 . However, if you are …

  • HHS Proposes Auto-Enrollment Plans for Marketplace Consumers Image

    articleJul 21, 2014 | 2 min. read

    HHS Proposes Auto-Enrollment Plans for Marketplace Consumers

    Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—with help from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners—proposed a new rule that would essentially automatically re-enroll health insurance beneficiaries who obtained their plans via an exchange or marketplace. According to this article , HHS thinks this system could ensure continuity of coverage, reduce administrative complexity, and protect insurers’ market share. However, some, like Elizabeth Carpenter, the director of Avalere Health , believe that individuals may benefit from …

  • Direct Access Laws by State (Alabama-Hawaii) Image

    articleDec 8, 2017 | 10 min. read

    Direct Access Laws by State (Alabama-Hawaii)

    If you’re a physical therapist—and you’re licensed in the United States—then you’re practicing in a direct access state. That’s right: In all 50 states—as well as the US Virgin Islands and DC—direct access to at least a physical therapy evaluation is the law of the land. But, before you start seeing every patient who walks through your door without a physician referral, there are a few things you ought to know. The laws around direct access can …

  • Hot Out of the Oven: Highlights of the 2017 Final Rule for PTs, OTs, and SLPs Image

    articleNov 9, 2016 | 8 min. read

    Hot Out of the Oven: Highlights of the 2017 Final Rule for PTs, OTs, and SLPs

    Halloween may be over, but if you didn’t get your fill of scares, I’ve got the perfect activity for you: reading through 1,401 pages of pure Medicare gobbledygook. Screaming yet? (Or should I check back at around page 500?) I kid, of course; there’s no need for you to slog through this year’s extra meaty Final Rule —which details the Medicare fee schedule and other important Medicare regulatory and reimbursement changes for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and …

  • The Pay-for-Performance Puzzle: 3 Ways PTs Can Get a Piece Image

    webinarMay 1, 2015

    The Pay-for-Performance Puzzle: 3 Ways PTs Can Get a Piece

    There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to payment reform: better access, lower cost, and improved accountability. And when you put ’em all together, you have a model that rewards quality over quantity, which is a great thing for PTs—if they know how to see the big picture and prepare accordingly. In this webinar, hosts Heidi Jannenga and Charlotte Bohnett will assemble the pay-for-performance puzzle and detail three things PTs can do to get …

  • Top Regulatory Changes of 2014 Image

    articleDec 22, 2014 | 3 min. read

    Top Regulatory Changes of 2014

    Ch-ch-ch-changes : We’ve seen a plethora of regulatory changes this year in the PT space—from the ICD-10 delay to the therapy cap increase. Although some of these legislative twists and turns have caused headaches for therapists, others have been hugely positive. For instance, some form of direct access is now available in all 50 states as well as Washington, DC, and the US Virgin Islands. Read on to learn this year’s top regulatory changes. Regulatory Heavy-Hitters of …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.