Last Call for EMR Stimulus Dollars

The Choice of EMR systems is so large that many providers I talk with are bewildered, uncertain and confused.  Now that time is of the essence to collect the Medicare and Medicaid incentive money, we would like to clear up a few misconceptions and help physicians and their staff to make reliable decisions.

For over a year the federal government’s program has given eligible providers a window to earn incentive money up to $63,750 for meaningfully using a certified EMR system.  The majority of our customers using Medisoft Clinical, Lytec, and Practice Partner EMRs have been part of this program.  Some providers don’t qualify because they do not have enough Medicare or Medicaid patients.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have set standards to meaningfully use an EMR.  This consists of 25 elements, 15 of which are required and 10 that formulate a menu from which 5 must be chosen.  They range from simple tasks like recording demographic data to those that require a change in workflow, such as distributing clinical summaries to patients seen in the office.

For the Medicare EMR Incentive Program, participants must comply with the meaningful use criteria for 90 days in the initial payment year.  For the subsequent years they require participation throughout the entire year.  Medicaid participants can qualify by giving proof of adopting, implementing or upgrading to a certified system.  Compliance with meaningful use is required in subsequent years for Medicaid.

                                        

       It’s Not Too Late

Time is running out to get the full payment for the Medicare Program.  Providers who begin their program in 2012 have until October to start their 90 day “live” period.  Medicaid participants have until 2016 to join and still gain the maximum payments.

                                    

         Important Terminology

EMRs are essentially electronic replacements of your practice’s clinical record.  Here are some simple reasons that they have been created and are gaining traction in healthcare:

  • Create, maintain and manage patient care records that include:

All patient care and pertinent records created by the practice, (including prescriptions)

Pertinent records created elsewhere (test reports, consults, discharge summaries) that are commonly and routinely used in the clinicians’ medical decision making.

 

  • Exchange important business operations information with Practice Management system                                  

This includes coding assistance and capture as well as patient demographics consistency

 

    • Provide basic intra-office communication or messaging, task management and event management function

 

  • Provide commonly used required outputs that include:

Patient summaries configurable to the practice’s needs (an easily accessible view that summarizes patient’s active and past problems, past histories of patient, medications and allergies.)

Properly detailed and configured encounter notes on demand, electronic or print formats, including appropriate level of associated integrity authentication data.

Frequently used clinical communications outputs (patient summaries, consult requests and reports and Care Quality exports for providers seeking federal incentive programs.

HIPPA Security audit reports and Release of Records outputs

There is no question that some explanation of each of these points is in order.  Iron Comet Consulting is here to serve the medical community and clear up any misconceptions that exist.  We work very closely with our customers to inform them on all the healthcare IT issues that arise in the marketplace.

 

Iron Comet Consulting is a certified Platinum Reseller for McKesson and is located in Stockbridge Georgia.  We are a full service medical IT and billing company.

 

 

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