Summer Vacation and Meaningful Use

For those practices that have not completed Meaningful Use (MU) attestation, we have compiled some helpful advice.  Those that are just starting the process can learn from other’s mistakes and misadventures.  Yes its summertime, but we have work to do!

We offer our customers certified MU advisers that have completed a course on how to achieve health and efficiency goals for practices.  Many doctors have not been subject to this level of expertise so I urge you to seek out trained professionals to help you along your MU journey.  The goal is to be able to achieve these standards and receive financial incentives for doing so.

Your practice has adopted new technology.  The effects of these new changes are radically different from previous workflow and require staff to adapt to the resulting cultural shift.

Background

The focus of the incentive program has two primary goals: move physicians who have been slow to adopt electronic health records to a computerized environment, and ensuring that patient data no longer remains in traction but instead is actively and securely exchanged between health care professionals.  The vast majority of funds within the HITECH Act are assigned payments that will reward doctors and hospitals for using a connected EMR system.  There are programs that are designed for providers that see large volumes of Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Meaningful Use Criteria

To qualify for incentive payments, doctors must demonstrate that they meet MU criteria.  All the incentives include payments for up to five years but provide the largest payments early in the program.  This is the last year that providers can get the full incentive.  Those that do not demonstrate MU of an EMR under the Medicare component will eventually be penalized through lower payments.

Stage 1 Objectives

ePrescribing

CPOE (Computerized physician order entry)

Clinical Decision Support

Interoperability

Public Health Reporting

Quality Reporting

Stage 2 Objectives

EMR use will transition most of the objectives into the core set of objectives and the percentage of use will increase.  CMS will follow similar protocols and will more than likely have the following:

ePrescribing refills

Electronic transmission of orders entered using CPOE

Electronic transmission of diagnostic test results

Electronic summary record, including physician visit notes

Greater emphasis on health information exchange

Health alerts from public health departments

Quick Tips

*  Providers can register in advance for the incentive program.  This will ensure that your are up to date and have all the information necessary.

*  If your EMR is not able to show the percentages for measures that have thresholds, try doing the math yourself to verify your data.

*  Have documentation for each provider with registration IDs, password, and EMR certification number.  Make sure to have reporting period dates (90 days) and your clinical quality measure report.

*  Double check your data before you hit the submit button.  Verify that you have said “yes” to all yes/no measures and that your numbers are accurate.

*  Have someone check your work.  This is not a one man job.

*  Do a practice run that allows you to clarify issues and make adjustments to avoid surprises.

One last recommendation is to put together an Audit checklist to ensure that all the information is in good order.

 

Iron Comet Consulting is a Mckesson Platinum certified reseller, medical IT firm and medical billing service based in Stockbridge, Georgia. Our products combine the clinical with the financial to improve workflow and revenue capture. Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical is a complete physician practice optimization solution. For more information, please visit http://www.ironcomet.com

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