ADA to CMS: Adopt standards for electronic health records that are compatible with dentistry

The ADA is commending the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for adopting standards for health care attachments transactions and electronic signatures but would like to see the agency promote standards that are compatible with dentistry.

In a letter dated March 20 , ADA President George R. Shepley, D.D.S., and Executive Director Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., said “the potential savings for the dental industry will not be actualized unless electronic dental record and practice management systems are required to adopt standards to facilitate electronic data interchange.” They also asked that any changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Administrative Simplification Standards include requiring the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature, also known as CDT, for dental procedures.

“The ADA is concerned that the standards proposedfor adoption by CMS have yet to be assessed for suitability to the dental industry,” Drs. Shepley and Cohlmia wrote.

The letter also included other requests:

  • CMS move forward with a version of the standard that identifies CDT as an applicable vocabulary standard.
  • Consider adopting the standards specifically tailored to orthodontics and periodontics that the ADA worked with HL7 to develop. HL7 is a standard development organization which produces standards for exchanging health information.
  • Provide technical support and incentives for the dental industry in piloting and validating the standards named in the final rule as well as consider the adoption of industry specific standards.

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