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When looking for an EHR system you must look for two points, it has to be affordable and flexible. Look for vendors that respond to your questions, concerns and required modifications. The system should be able to adapt and evolve with the passage of time. When purchasing an EHR system, think of collaborating with your EHR vendor where your input and views are welcomed and appreciated.
Look for system that offers flexibility and that can be modified and adapted to preferences of an individual physician. Opt for a web-based system as they are more affordable since there are no hardware costs associated with them and it has additional benefit of being accessible from anywhere and anytime. Your selected system should be ONC-ATCB certified and this should be your minimum requirement. Insist on interoperability; look for system constructed on data exchange with other providers, systems, patient portals and patient themselves. Stay equipped with quality initiatives such as PQRS.
The best EHR system allows you to move on your own pace. Some practices start as single doctor practice and go on to expand themselves when given a chance to build their skills and confidence.
10 most frequently asked EHR, meaningful use questions of 2014
Q1. What is meaningful use?
Meaningful use (MU) means using and demonstrating certified electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to enhance the quality, safety and efficiency of the care process. It also engages patients and their families in process in addition to improving care coordination and enhancing population and public health.
Q2. What is an EHR?
The CMS defines Electronic Health Record (EHR) as an electronic version of a patient’s medical history that is maintained by the provider over time. The EHR automates access to information and has the potential to streamline the clinician’s workflow.
Q3. Can an Eligible Professional (EP) receive incentive payments from both Medicare and Medicaid?
Eligible professionals (EPs) can opt for either the Medicare program or the Medicaid program incentives, but not both. The EP can only switch programs once and that too before 2015.
Q4. What are the main differences between Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs?
Medicaid: Medicaid is a state-run program in which incentive payments will begin from 2016 till 2021. Additionally, there are no penalties in Medicaid.
Medicare: Medicare is administered by the federal government via the CMS. Eligible professionals (EPs) who do not demonstrate meaningful use by July 1, 2014 will face a 1% reduction in on Medicare Part B payments in 2015.
However, further penalties (of 2%) in 2016 can be avoided and they can still receive the government incentive payment if they follow a specified timeline in the next few months.
Attend: CureMD’s “Mastering Meaningful Use” webinar to find out how.
Q5. How to receive maximum incentives in Medicaid?
You don’t require a minimum billing amount for Medicaid. To get incentives, 30% of your patients in any 90-day period (from the previous year) must be Medicaid patients (20% for pediatricians).
Q6. How do the penalties for not utilizing an EHR by 2015 work?
Medicare: EPs who haven’t demonstrated meaningful use by 1st July 2014 will see their Medicare payments reduced by 1% in 2015; 2% in 2016; and 3% in 2017.
Medicaid: There are no penalties in Medicaid.
Q7. To receive incentive payments, the demonstration of meaningful use of certified EHR technology is whose responsibility; the provider or the vendor?
This is the responsibility of the EPs.
Q8. What are the requirements for Meaningful Use Stage 1 for providers who have successfully implemented the 2014 CEHRT?
Providers scheduled to demonstrate Stage 1 in 2014 would use the 2014 Definition Stage 1 core and menu objectives.
EPs must meet 13 required core objectives, 5 (out of 9) menu objectives.
Eligible hospitals and CAHs must meet11 required core objectives and 5 (out of 10) menu objectives.
Q9. What is the timeline for Stage 2 Timeline?
Stage 2 of meaningful use begins in 2014. Providers who began participating in EHR Incentive Programs in 2011 will advance to the Stage 2 criteria in 2014 after meeting 3 consecutive years of Stage 1. All other providers would advance to the Stage 2 criteria in their third year (after meeting 2 years of stage 1).
Q10. What are the core and menu objectives for Stage 2?
EPs must meet 17 core objectives and 3 (out of 6) menu objectives while eligible hospitals and CAHs must meet 16 core objectives and 3 (out of 6) menu objectives.