Can Your EHR Keep up with Allergy Season?

The workflow in allergists’ offices can get hectic, and if you’re in the allergy business, a new round of seasonal allergic rhinitis is poised to bring even more patients through your door.

Roughly 24 million adults and children were diagnosed with allergic rhinitis in 2012. (Leaving aside the primary care doctors who steped in to treat them, that works out to about 4,400 per US allergist!) As we head into September, when ragweed pollen typically reaches its highest levels across the country, a lot of patients will be looking for relief for their congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes.

As an allergist, you know how to help your patients breathe more easily. But is your office software doing all it can to help you manage their sometimes complicated diagnostic tests and treatment?

An EHR designed for an allergy practice’s particular needs

AllergyEHR is Meditab’s specialty solution for allergists. We were recognized as the top ambulatory allergy and immunology EHR vendor in 2013 by Black Book Rankings. The AllergyEHR system is part of our line of intelligent medical software (IMS).

At its heart is the AllergyEHR Shot Lab, which helps allergists manage two mainstays of diagnosis and treatment: skin testing and immunotherapy shots.

This feature allows the provider to document patients’ skin test reactions – using wheal and flare or scores — to dozens of molds, grass and tree pollens and other allergens. This feature is customizable, allowing you to add or remove entries with ease.

The AllergyEHR Shot Lab also provides a comprehensive shot management solution. With this system, you can:

  • Track vials with bar-coded labels.
  • Rapidly create vials with different dilutions.
  • Generate lot numbers to track diluents and antigens.
  • Manage your inventory and track lot numbers.

Click here for more info on AllergyEHR’s unique features.

These tools tie in with other Meditab products and services that will help your practice analyze its productivity, manage e-prescribing, handle revenue cycle management, and encourage patients to become more engaged in their health care through a portal. You’ll also find round-the-clock support by phone, and agents are also available to help you within the IMS system.

Allergists who use this solution have found that it’s associated with:

  • 95 percent average collection ratio.
  • 15-day average commercial turnaround.
  • 12-day average Medicare turnaround.
  • 7-day average Medicaid turnaround.
  • 3 percent accounts receivable over 90 days.  

As we know well, you have many choices for software that supports your practice. However, cookie-cutter systems built for a general medical practice don’t necessarily match an allergy practice’s specific needs.

Whether you’re outfitting your practice for the first time or switching out a disappointing EHR (like many of our allergist customers have done), you don’t have to settle for a system that slows down your workflow or interrupts your patient care.

Many Physicians Seem Unprepared for ICD-10. We Can Help!

Compared to hospitals and health plans, relatively few physician practices appear to be ready for the Oct. 1 switch to ICD-10 coding, according to a new survey from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI).

The survey, which included more than 600 providers, health plans and vendors, found that:

  • Nearly 90 percent of hospitals and health systems reported that they were currently ready for ICD-10 or would be ready by the deadline. Roughly 75 percent are engaged in external testing or have already finished it.
  • Roughly 75 percent of health plans have started or completed external testing, and 100 percent said they were prepared for ICD-10 or would be prepared by Oct. 1.
  • Among vendors, 75 percent said their products were fully developed, and none noted that their products wouldn’t be ready by deadline.

However, when it comes to physician practices, only 20 percent have started external testing or completed it. Less than 50 percent said they were ready for Oct. 1 or would be ready by that time.

What to do with the little time left?

If you’re a medical practice that still hasn’t fully prepared for ICD-10, the American Medical Association (AMA) recommends that you test your readiness in August.

To get started, you need to upgrade your system. Meditab, the developer of Intelligent Medical Software (IMS), guarantees that it will be fully prepared to support ICD-10 coding, and no additional hardware is required for its ICD-10 implementation. A crosswalk feature is also added to help you view the mapped codes. All these essential updates come for free for clients using IMS version SP1.

Other factors that will help you optimize your transition time include taking up the right training for your staff and providers and working on ICD-10 testing.

As part of its ICD-10-readiness program, Meditab offers ICD-10 webinars, implementation assistance, and 24/7 support so that practices will be fully prepared for the ICD-10 switch. We also offer assistance to clients who want to conduct external testing. Visit our website for more information & to download our white paper.

So … what is ‘external testing’?

External testing is a type of ICD-10 testing that measures how well you can send and receive ICD-10-based transactions with your billing service, clearinghouse, payers and other partners.

Other types of testing, according to the AMA, include content-based testing (in which your practice codes a clinical scenario with ICD-10) and internal testing (which checks that your practice can appropriately use ICD-10 at numerous points throughout a patient visit).