6 Tips to Prepare for a Meaningful Use Audit

Mike Murphy, implementation specialist and Meaningful Use team leader for Meditab Software, recently joined the Healthcare Insider radio show to share some of his expertise.

Mr. Murphy has over 25 years of experience administering government incentive and grant programs. He is responsible for managing and mentoring a multinational team to provide all around quality assistance for clients dealing with attestation and compliance of incentives and regulations. Additionally, Mike is involved in all aspects related to MU, from software development to employee training programs.

Mr. Murphy explained that in a five-year program, there is a guarantee to be audited at least once. However, the auditing is pretty simple, Mike explains: “As long as you did what you said you did, and you kept proof that you did it, you will be fine.”

Additionally, six strategies were discussed for how physicians need to prepare for Meaningful Use audits.

  1. Put someone in charge of the effort – most likely not a physician unless it is a small practice.
  2. Look at the reports carefully before you submit.
  3. Retain your supporting documentation – screenshots must be retained for up to six years.
  4. Perform a risk analysis – Mike explains how CMS provides the templates for this.
  5. Prepare to share screen shots and have them available.
  6. If you get notified of an audit – consult your vendor (exactly like you would call your CPA if you get word of a pending IRS audit).

While great progress has been made, the bulk of the market appears to be behind on implementing Meaningful Use. Murphy explained in order for Meaningful Use to be successfully implemented, doctors need to embrace the learning curve; they need to understand that until they master the software they will have a slow-down during which the service to patients is a little delayed.

Mike finally remarks: “embrace the change, don’t fight it”- if you don’t participate in Meaningful Use, you will have to pay penalties.

Meditab is committed to helping its clients meet all of their Meaningful Use goals when using IMS, providing clients with the reporting tools they need and personalized assistance they deserve as they work toward compliance. You can visit http://www.meditab.com/company/ehr-meaningful-use/ for more information.

To hear the full interview, visit: http://thehcinsider.com/mike-murphy/

Helping Clients Achieve Meaningful Use

Many organizations are beginning to move into Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program following Stage 1 success. On top of demonstrating Stage 1 Meaningful Use, Stage 2 requires more focus on patient engagement. It retains the core and menu structure of Stage 1 objectives, but the threshold that providers must meet has increased.

Meditab is committed to helping its clients meet all of their Meaningful Use goals when using IMS. One of Meditab’s clients, Colorado River Pediatrics, led by Dr. Alan Barton, Health IT fellow, received its first incentive payment from the Meaningful Use program when it transitioned from another EHR system to IMS.

Over the years, Dr. Barton tried multiple EHR systems in vain until he came across IMS from Meditab. Two of its biggest selling points were the affordable price and simplified systems involving billing and patient care.  The transition from a different system to IMS was a smooth one – data conversion was easy, making the staff’s job less stressful.

Dr. Barton came to love the simplicity of the system when it came to patient care. He found that the customizable tracking for each patient made his job easier and increased face-to-face time with the patients.

“I like that it helps me stay focused and thorough and really saves me a lot of time in the exam room,” says Dr. Barton

The quality of patient care at Colorado River Pediatrics increased after the implementation of Meditab’s IMS, leading the practice to receive its first incentive payment for the Meaningful Use program. Additionally IMS showed tangible results by improving workflow, increasing revenue and creating happier patients and staff.

To learn more about how Meditab is helping its customers achieve Meaningful Use, visit: http://www.meditab.com/company/ehr-meaningful-use/mu-readiness-program/.

For more information about the Colorado River Pediatrics and other client case studies, visit: http://www.meditab.com/client/client-quotes/.

“High” Variability in EHR Use by Individual Practitioners

Every physician uses his or her EHR system differently. According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, this may affect differences in quality and cost outcomes.

The JAMIA study contemplates that the effects of EHRs may depend partly on how they’re used, not just on whether EHRs are available. They analyzed encounters of patients by different physicians and nurse practitioners in the New York City area, and found a high variability among practitioners.

Apparently, personalized approaches for using the EHR system were developed by clinicians; for example how often they updated patient problem lists, when they responded to clinical decision support alerts, and whether the encounter was with a new or established patient.

Additionally, other studies found that physicians don’t pay the same amount of attention to all EHR functions, and that personality and opinions about EHRs also affect the use of such tools.

The JAMIA research revealed a number of reasons for the variability, including the practitioner’s familiarity with the EHR system and familiarity with the patient’s condition, which could affect workflow.

Read more on this topic at: Variability in EHR use by individual practitioners ‘high’ – FierceEMR http://www.fierceemr.com/story/variability-ehr-use-individual-practitioners-high/2014-06-10#ixzz34QyjItLo

VP of Sales, Mike Crider’s Interview with The Healthcare Insider

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We are happy to share Mike Crider’s interview with Healthcare Insider Radio! This is a show about the insiders: The movers and shakers, the innovators; the people, the technology, the organizations; impacting major and significant change in the healthcare industry.

Some of the touched upon topics included:

1. IMSGo: IMSGo™ and how it works with the IMS Clinical™ EHR to provide doctors with access to their patients’ records from any mobile device. This new solution gives providers unparalleled access to critical patient data from anywhere, at anytime.
2. The functions and purpose of IMSGo.
3. Benefits of IMSGo.
4. How IMSGo fits into the changing landscape of the healthcare industry.
5. How is patient care affected when the medical team has access to patient records from ANY mobile device.

The full interview is available to listen to here- http://thehcinsider.com/mike-crider/

Leveraging Post-Acute Care Data to Improve Your Value Proposition

Valued-based care is the foundation for future care delivery.  Providers who can meet the interoperability needs across the healthcare continuum will stay one step ahead of the competition by connecting physician practices, laboratories, clinics and hospitals to produce a seamless flow of information.

EHRs allow acute care organizations to have access to patient information related to hospital stays, but do not typically include post-acute care documentation. One way to address this would be to expand patient records to include home medical equipment, as well as home health and hospice care data, which will give healthcare organizations access to patient information, progress, therapy compliance, and symptom exacerbation.

Proactive development of initiatives to minimize readmissions, management of chronic disease care and patient experiences can be significantly improved if providers have access to a holistic view of individual patients, as well as specific populations.

The three major strategies that healthcare organizations should implement in order to strengthen financial performance for all providers are:

  1. Building strong partnerships with post-acute providers
  2. Supporting relationships with the right technology
  3. Enhancing acute care data for quality improvement

As healthcare continues its transformation from volume-based to value-driven, patient-centric industry, the use of technology to enable collaboration across the entire healthcare continuum is critical.

For more information on how to leverage post-acute data to improve value proposition see the following link- http://www.healthcareitnews.com/blog/leverage-post-acute-care-data-improve-your-value-proposition

CMS Imposes New Rule Stretching Stage 1

Under a new rule by CMS, healthcare providers will be able to use the 2011 Edition software of their EHR for one more year. Providers scheduled to switch to Stage 2 will have another year to stay on the software and attest to the same requirements of 2013.

The head of the ONC, Karen DeSalvo, says the modified timeline will give new options to smaller providers and hospitals that could not make the transition within the original deadline.

For more information on ways Meditab helps its clients achieve Meaningful Use goals, visit http://www.meditab.com/company/ehr-meaningful-use/mu-readiness-program/.

Pros and Cons of ICD-10 Delay

Even with the ICD-10 conversion deadline being extended to October 2015, it is still a tight timetable for providers who have not yet prepared due to the work that goes into the conversion. The main reason for the change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is to increase specificity and accuracy. With over 130,000 codes, the ICD-9 system is not providing the level of detailed diagnoses needed and the current codes do not reflect many new services and technology in CMS payment systems. ICD-10 will provide much more detailed clinical pictures and data, improving accuracy in all aspects of patient care.

Major benefits of the transition include:

  • Ability for physicians to determine the severity of illnesses more clearly
  • Codes will create an electronic trail of documentation, which can help physicians receive proper payment and ensure their reputation remains in good standing

While the delay might be seen as an inconvenience to those who have already made the transition, it is providing that extra preparation time for those who have not. The delay has sparked a controversy over whether it is inconvenient or helpful; below are the pros and cons of the delay, as outlined by our own VP of Sales, Mike Crider.

Pros

  • Directors can work with nurses and doctors more efficiently to improve patient documentation
  • More gradual transition for physicians
  • Additional practice time for coders
  • Testing can be more methodical so that by October 2015, many of the kinks would have been worked out
  • Financial preparations can be made

Cons

  • High costs for hospitals and health groups due to additional investments of time and money
  • As this is the second delay, it may cause physicians to think that the deadline will get pushed again and they will not work to comply timely
  • Students who have been trained in ICD-10 will have to revert back to ICD-9 when they enter the workforce
  • The delay may be seen as discouraging to Industry leaders who were dedicated to moving the transition forward to the point where they change fields or just become inactive

You can read Mike’s complete guest blog post on EMR Daily News here:

http://emrdailynews.com/2014/05/20/icd-10-delays-inconvenient-helpful-or-both/

Quickly Changing Healthcare IT Industry Challenges Professionals

According to the American Health Information Management Association, health information management professionals have a big decision to make – either cling on to the paper and pencil and go the way of the dinosaurs or embrace EHRs, data analytics, and ICD-10 so that HIM wranglers can flourish in the new era of health IT.

Mary Butler of the Journal of AHIMA writes that “The rapid adoption of EHRs, the transition to the ICD-10-CM/PCS code set, and intense focus on information and data governance all demand an upgrade of skills across the HIM spectrum.”

In order to stay on par with the top minds in the field, including nurses with informatics degrees and physicians with clinical informatics specialty certifications, HIM professionals need to invest in their own education if they want to hold their ground.  This is of utmost importance in order for the industry to continue its positive growth.

To read more on this topic, visit http://ehrintelligence.com/2014/05/12/him-pros-must-sink-or-swim-in-new-era-of-ehrs-ahima-says/.

Meaningful Use: Helping or Hurting EHR Adoption?

 

Seven months into the reporting period for Meaningful Use, only four hospitals and 50 healthcare professionals have achieved stage 2, which is raising concerns about whether stage 2 implementation is helping or hurting EHR adoption.

To qualify for stage 2 MU, eligible professionals must meet 17 core objectives and half of the six menu objectives. Eligible hospitals must meet 16 core objectives and half of the six menu objectives. And providers must order at least 30% of radiology, 30% of labs, and 60% of medication through CPOE.

When the CMS launched the EHR Incentive Programs three years ago, the goal was to reward healthcare professionals for adopting EHR and increasing efficiency. However, it has become more of a burden than a gift due to low attestation figures, hardships on execution, and growing EHR backlash.

Because the question of whether this is helping or hurting EHR adoption is so broad and in depth, the infographic included below identifies adoption trends and illustrates the challenges.

NueMD_Meaningful-Use_EHR-Adoption-Infographic

Healthcare Data Increases, Demands Updates for Technical Infrastructure

According to a new issue brief from the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT, the technical and administrative infrastructure that receives EHR data must be updated as the volume of data coming in continues to increase substantially.

More healthcare practices are adopting health IT tools as they realize the vast benefits such as reporting data faster, allowing for better communication, and more efficient recording. As these practices switch over to implementing health IT tools, the surge of data increases and the portals that process the information must be capable to collect all that information, in order for it to be used beneficially.

As things continue to move quickly, there are still some kinks to work out, such as establishing the proper infrastructure to support real-time data collection, making sure physicians are reporting correctly and not using unstructured free-text, and organizing the data in a uniform and structured way.

The goal is to harmonize HIT standards and implementation guides to improve communication between clinical care and public health entities for different types of reporting.