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.

Medicare Open Forum - Regular BannerMedicare Open Forum - Small Banner
  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • Senate Repeals SGR in Landslide Vote Image

    articleApr 15, 2015 | 1 min. read

    Senate Repeals SGR in Landslide Vote

    Well, folks, the fix is in—the fix for the sustainable growth rate (SGR), that is. In a 92 to 8 vote, the Senate approved the SGR repeal bill, called HR2. In addition to an SGR repeal, the bill also officially extends the therapy cap exceptions process until December 31, 2017. This result is better than no therapy cap exceptions process at all; however, it’s disappointing to know that we came so close to achieving a full repeal …

  • articleJul 2, 2013 | 6 min. read

    Founder Letter: What I Learned from the ICD-10 Conference

    Note: Congress has passed legislation to delay ICD-10 implementation until October 1, 2015. Read the full story here . The current healthcare system is broken. That’s clear—regardless of your political point of view. To be honest, I’ve been a bit of a naysayer in the past about the government’s capacity to be the driving force in healthcare reform—to improve standardization, which ultimately is the key to providing and scaling quality health services. However, after listening to and …

  • Functional Limitation Reporting: Flowchart and SmartArt Image

    articleMay 13, 2013 | 2 min. read

    Functional Limitation Reporting: Flowchart and SmartArt

    If you’ve been paying attention to our blog posts , our webinars , and functionallimitation.org for the past few weeks, you might think we here at WebPT have gone a little FLR-crazy. And you’d be right. You see, the latest CMS regulation—functional limitation reporting (FLR)—has some pretty severe consequences for noncompliance. Namely, if you don’t comply, you don’t get paid. I don’t know about you, but that seems like an awful lot of pressure. So, we’ve set …

  • 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 …

  • CMS Puts FLR on the Chopping Block in 2019 Proposed Rule Image

    articleJul 13, 2018 | 5 min. read

    CMS Puts FLR on the Chopping Block in 2019 Proposed Rule

    Earlier this week, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2019 physician fee schedule proposed rule . Among other possible changes, the proposal includes a measure to end functional limitation reporting (FLR) requirements for claims with dates of service on or after January 1, 2019. The proposed rule aims to reduce regulatory burden. This measure aligns with the proposed rule’s overall theme of reducing the administrative burden associated with documentation and reporting requirements …

  • This Week in PT News, July 18 Image

    articleJul 18, 2014 | 1 min. read

    This Week in PT News, July 18

    CMS Releases Proposed 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed Medicare physician fee schedule for 2015. You can read highlights of the proposed rule and access a link to view the full version here . CMS will accept public comments on the rule until September 2, 2014, and the organization is expected to release the final fee schedule on or before November 1, 2014. ACL …

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