The EHR incentive program was developed in large part with a focus on the solo health care practitioners. There is much consensus that moving to an EHR system can be instrumental in improving patient health care quality on the grand scale. However, it was well acknowledged by legislators, consumer groups and others that without a serious incentive program, many providers just wouldn’t find it worth their time to invest in an EHR and integrate the system into their practice. The EHR incentive program is an attempt to give providers an additional incentive to make the transition.
It is accurate that the meaningful use criteria and program requirements are not simple. Just purchasing an EHR will not mean that a provider will obtain an incentive bonus. Providers will have to demonstrate that they are using their EHR system to benefit the patient and meet the many requirements delineated by the Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, the program requirements will become more intensive in the coming years. However, much of the responsibility for keeping up with these changes will fall to the EHR vendors.
Many health care providers have found that electronic health records (EHRs) help improve medical practice management by increasing their practices efficiency and cost savings.
A national survey of doctors who are ready for meaningful use offers important evidence:
- 79% of providers report that with an EHR, their practice functions more efficiently
- 82% report that sending prescriptions electronically (e-prescribing) saves time
These savings are primarily attributed to automating several time-consuming paper-driven and labor-intensive tasks that normally you the physician or your office staff have to take care of.
- Reduced transcription costs
- Reduced chart pull, storage, and re-filing costs
- Improved and more accurate reimbursement coding with improved documentation for highly compensated codes
- Reduced medical errors through better access to patient data and error prevention alerts
- Improved patient health/quality of care through better disease management and patient education
EHRs can reduce the amount of time you the provider spends doing paperwork. EHR-enabled medical practices report seeing improved medical practice management through integrated scheduling systems that link appointments directly to progress notes, automate coding, and managed claims
Administrative tasks, such as filling out forms and processing billing requests, represent a significant percentage of health care costs. EHRs can increase practice efficiencies by streamlining these tasks, significantly decreasing costs.
In addition, EHRs can deliver more information in additional directions. EHRs can be programmed for enhanced communication with other clinicians, labs, and health plans through:
- Easy access to patient information from anywhere
- Tracking electronic messages to staff, other clinicians, hospitals, labs, etc.
- Automated formula checks by health plans
- Order and receipt of lab tests and diagnostic images
- Links to public health systems such as registries and communicable disease database
By having electronic health records set up in your practice, you can save time and money by
- The reduction of time and resources needed for manual charge entry resulting in more accurate billing and reduction in lost charges
- Enhanced ability to meet important regulation requirements such as Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) through alerts that notify physicians to complete key regulatory data elements
- Reduction in charge lag days and vendor/insurance denials associated with late filing
- Charge review edits alerting physicians if a test can be performed only at a certain frequency
- Alerts that prompt providers to obtain Advance Beneficiary Notice, minimizing claim denials and lost charges related to Medicare procedures performed without Advance Beneficiary Notice
It’s time for you and your practice to take advantage of the government incentives that are out there and switch over to EHRs that not only benefit you as a provider, but your patients as well giving them better control over their health care. Give EHR Funding a call today and a government funding specialist will be able to get your practice on the right track to compliance and incentive funding to pay for these upgrades, as well. Call 866-203-3260 today.