Archive for September, 2010

Sep
30
2010

Over the course of the last few weeks, we’ve reviewed a variety of facets concerning Meaningful Use and what it all means to many medical practices in the United States.

In short we now know:

  • Beginning next year, eligible physicians who see Medicare and/or Medicaid patients will be compensated from $44,000 to $65,000 over a 5-year term for fulfilling defined ‘Meaningful Use’ criteria.
  • Patient registries are critical as they fulfill many of the main components of the Meaningful Use requirements with their ability to take compiled data and provide alerts and decision support; and because they are a stable source for data mining.
  •  The primary means of demonstrating Meaningful Use will be via an attestation through a secure CMS website.
  •  There are 15 Meaningful Use requirements as well as 5 menu items (which include the required Immunizations data to registries) that must be met.
  • There are many questions to consider when contemplating going paperless.
  • Stage 2 promises to bring more aggressive requirements.

Knowledge is power and we hope that the MU101 blog series has been helpful in guiding you through this groundbreaking incentive program which promises to help physicians get back to being doctors first and benefits patients with continuity of care.

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Sep
29
2010

As you may know, the Health IT Policy Committee created a Quality Measures Work Group to produce initial recommendations on prioritizing quality measures as part of the Stage 2 criteria slated for fiscal 2013 and 2014.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is now beginning to do “early reconnaissance” around development of stage 2 meaningful use requirements, according to Dr. David Blumenthal, the national health IT coordinator. At a recent event, he was quoted as saying that the industry “should look forward to a much more robust set of requirements around health information exchange, an exchange that consciously ignores economic relationships, geographic relationships and political jurisdictions. We want information to follow patients.”

It’s anticipated that all the current menu items will become part of the core requirements. In addition, the requirements of Stage 2 will be based on results reported for Stage 1. Health IT Policy Committee member Richard Chapman put it well when he said  “We’re going to have to ride our bike and fix it at that the same time here, which is, we’re going to get feedback, but only so much of it we’ll be able to be put into Phase 2. Some will have to be staged later, even into (Stage) 3 or whenever we get there because I think we’re going to find out there could be a showstopper along the way.”

The Meaningful Use Work Group recently met this month and reported the following timetable for Stage 2:

  • Workgroup will present their recommendations to the HIT Policy Committee on October 20
  • Issue an RFI for comments from the public in November or December of 2010
  • Monitor Stage 1 submissions during the Q1 and Q2 of 2011
  • Draft recommendations to HIT Policy Committee by Q2 2011
  • Final recommendations to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT  by late Q2 2011

By all accounts, an aggressive plan is in place to launch Stage 2 standards. Watch this blog for updates on the ever-changing status of this next phase of Meaningful Use.

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Sep
24
2010

Some Barkingly Good Questions to Ask                               

Are you searching for an EMR that will ensure you meet Meaningful Use requirements and reap the incentive benefits? Making your selection will be easier — and keep you out of the doghouse– if you pose the following questions to vendors you might be considering.

  • Is the EMR certified? Eligible providers must implement a certified product to be eligible for MU incentives. As of the date of this post, there are three firms approved by the government to test and certify EMR systems:   The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT); the Drummond Group; and InfoGard Laboratories.
  • Is the EMR connected to a patient registry? Patient registries fulfill many of the main components of the Meaningful Use requirements because of their ability to take compiled data and provide alerts and decision support. Also, sending immunization data to registries is a required MU menu item.
  • Can the EMR actually demonstrate that its system meets Meaningful Use requirements? Ask for a demo to ensure the product will make your practice eligible for the Federal government’s incentive payments by satisfying the Meaningful Use Requirements. 
  • Does it allow you to e-prescribe? Does it provide drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks, clinical decision support and tracking and drug formulary checks?
  • Does it enable you to provide required reporting electronically?
  • Does the EMR protect the privacy and security of patient data? It’s the invisible fence that also satisfies HIPAA requirements.

If you and Fido aren’t ready to go paperless but want to meet Meaningful Use requirements, there’s a way to receive your first incentive payment (as soon as May 2011) with minimal financial outlay. Check out the Rcopia-MU video to learn more.

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Sep
21
2010

Going paperless is a lot easier than you think! The question is not whether to go paperless or not, it is a matter of WHEN! There are many factors to consider when determining whether your practice will be successful at taking the leap to 100% electronic. There are some important questions to honestly ask yourself to avoid rushing into a bad situation down the line.

Here are a few questions to consider.

Am I primarily interested in getting the incentive money?

Am I primarily interested in going 100% electronic, and the incentives are just a nice bonus?

Do I have the upfront capital to invest in an EHR? Or do I need the Federal incentive money to fund my investment?

Do I have the buy-in from my staff to make the switch? Are they tech savvy?

Would my staff benefit from taking a slower, more measured approach to adding technology piece-by-piece into our practice?

Am I prepared to scan in all my patient folders to include in my EHR and devote staff time for EHR training?

Am I far enough along in the process of selecting an EHR, that I won’t miss the 2011 window to meet the requirements?

DrFirst is able to assist you in tailoring a solution for your practice based on your responses!  For example, Rcopia-MU, can quickly and inexpensively help you achieve Meaningful Use requirements and obtain incentive money for your practice. DrFirst guarantees that all eligible physicians who use Rcopia-MU will meet Meaningful Use requirements. This enables you to convert to a fully paperless practice at your own pace and receive incentive money that can help you fund your eventual transition to an EHR.

Learn more or sign up to see a webinar! If you are ready to take the step to an EHR, DrFirst is partnered with over 115 vendors, of which we are sure one will be the right fit for your practice!

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Sep
16
2010

We’ve reviewed a lot of what Meaningful Use is, the financial incentives, eligibility and patient registries. The $64,000 Question is: “What data points must be reported to meet Meaningful Use requirements?” Here they are:

15 Meaningful Use Requirements

√       Record Patient Demographics

√       Record Vital Signs and Chart Changes

√       Problem List of Current and Active Diagnoses

√       Maintain Active Medication List

√       Maintain Allergy List

√       Record Smoking Status

√       Clinical Summaries

√       Electronic Copy of Health Information

√       Electronic Prescribing

√       Computer provider order entry (CPOE)

√       Drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks

√       Export Patient Summary (CCD/CCR)

√       Clinical decision support and tracking

√       Protect Privacy and Security of Patient Data

√       Reporting to CMS/States

5 Menu Items (Select 4 plus Immunization Data to Registries)

√       Drug Formulary Checks

√       Lab Integration

√       Generate Lists by Condition

√       Summary-of-Care Record

√       Immunization Data to Registries (REQUIRED)

√       Patient Reminders

√       Patient Access

√       Perform Medical Reconciliation Between Care Settings
 

Remember: In 2015, physicians who do not meet the Federal requirements will be faced with fee schedule reductions from 3 to 5 percent.

Want a quick way to meet these requirements so you can take advantage of the government incentive program? DrFirst has a Meaningful Use solution that’s ideal for offices that are not ready to go paperlessl View our new video to find out more.

For more details about Meaningful Use requirements, logon to https://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/30_Meaningful_Use.asp

Next Time: How to Know if Your Office is Ready to Go Paperless

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Sep
14
2010

Remember Edith Ann on “Laugh-In?” She ended her ruminations by declaring “And that’s the truth.” It’s a bit like the attestation that will be required by CMS for eligible providers to receive payments for showing meaningful use of EHR.

In 2011, CMS will not be prepared to accept feeds from certified EHRs, so the primary means of demonstrating meaningful use will be via an attestation through a secure CMS website. An attestation is a legally binding representation of the accuracy of the statement.  Making a false attestation could be considered fraud under the Medicare/Medicaid programs.

The provider will need to supply the results of each of the measures, as well as the certified EHR in use. Payments will be made on a per eligible provider basis, not by practice. This means each EP will need to demonstrate the full requirements of meaningful use to qualify for the EHR incentive payments. Stay tuned to our blog for a list of the clinical measures that will need to be provided.

As of the date of this posting, CMS has not confirmed what form its attestation procedure will take. What is clear is that even small practices can take advantage of the meaningful use incentives CMS is offering by adopting cost-effective modular systems.

For the latest information about the EHR Incentive Program, check out the CMS Question and Answer database.

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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