Critical Changes to Stage 2 Meaningful Use for the 2015 year

On Oct 6th of this year (2015), CMS proposed its file rule change for the EHR Incentive Program which impacts both Stage 2 and Stage 3 of Meaningful Use. While the rule does have a 60 day comment period and thus has opportunities for further change, we wanted to let you know the most immediate changes that affect 2015. While we are planning on hosting webinars on Stage 2 for 2015, the lateness of the rule change has put pressure on all involved parties to respond as quickly as we can. Critical Changes for Stage 2 Below is a short summary of the most critical changes that impact the 2015 reporting year. All providers now have to report on a single set of 10 objectives which replaces the original 17 Core and 3 Menu set measures division. For 2015, the EHR Reporting Period for all providers will be any 90 day period during the calendar year. Patient Electronic Access, Measure 2: for 2015, this measure has been changed from a 5% minimum to a single patient that views, downloads, or transmits to a 3rd party their Clinical Summary Information via the Patient Portal. Secure Electronic Messaging: the 5% minimum threshold has been changed to a YES/NO question on whether the EP has the capability for patients to send and receive secure messages that was enabled during the reporting period. Public Health Reporting: rather than separate measures for Immunization, Public Health, and Specialty Registry reporting, these have now been consolidated into a single objective.   Modified Stage 2 Objectives The 10 objectives for Modified Stage 2 are now: Protect Patient...

Benefits of an Electronic Health Record System

Running a family practice can be an incredibly difficult job. With different patients comes unique situations, and you need to be able to efficiently serve them. Electronic health record (EHR) systems can help with that. About 55% of all physicians had upgraded to an EHR system in 2011, and nearly 50% more are planning to upgrade in the next year. In addition, three-quarters of those who use EHR systems say that it meets the federal “meaningful use” criteria. Read on for how these great systems can help you take your practice to the next level. Easy Updates From appointment software to a medical billing system, you need to be able to update a patient’s file easily. Rather than having a ton of different papers in a folder from each visit, you can easily update their electronic file. It makes it easy to see their medical history and easy to make updates with each appointment they come in for. Great Security EHR systems come with great support and security. You will never have to worry about patient confidentiality because the support team with your EHR system will work tirelessly to ensure the security of your files. Both you and your patients can rest assured! Organization Things in a doctor’s office can be incredibly hectic. You have numerous patients with different needs and schedules. With an electronic system, you have medical appointment scheduling, medical billing systems, and patient files all in one place. This keeps each patient’s file organized, so you can find whatever you’re looking for efficiently.   Is your medical practice looking for a new EHR vendor? AntWorks is the...

Electronic Health Records Improve Outcomes and Increase Efficiency

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) were originally designed to recreate paper medical charts. And, just like paper charts,  early EHR software was only meant to capture basic medical information. But, just as our medical care has developed, so have our electronic health records. In addition to recording basic medical information and notes, electronic health records now offer a multitude of benefits to both healthcare professionals and their patients, helping to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare services.   What Electronic Health Records Offer More than a just a digital version of the paper medical record, modern electronic health records now record all medical information from every encounter with a patient, ensuring that healthcare professionals have access to the most updated information before determining treatment options. In addition, many medical compare are actively working with hospitals, healthcare professionals and government agencies to ensure that EHRs are also capable of sharing this updated patient information securely. Not only does this allow for increased efficiencies in-office, it also allows for quicker communication between offices. Modern EHRs can also provide patients access to their personal health record (PHR), allowing them unlimited access to their medical information. This is particularly important for patients with chronic diseases that require close monitoring and follow-up, but can also helpful for other patients as they visit their primary doctors, specialists, and other healthcare professionals.   In addition to the benefits listed above, electronic health records also offer the following: Quick access to patient records More reliable prescribing Legible, complete documentation Accurate, streamlined coding and billing Improved office productivity and efficiency Cost reduction For those who are more interested in the software offerings of an EHR, modern electronic health record systems may also offer: Patient messaging Customizable dashboards...

CMS Has Released The Final Rules for Stage 3 Meaningful Use

On October 6, 2015, after much anticipation, CMS released the final rules for the Stage 3 Meaningful Use incentive program and the corresponding certification requirements for EHR vendors. The final rules for 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria (2015 Edition) and final rules with comment period for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Programs will help continue to move the health care industry from a paper-based system, where a doctor’s hand-writing had to be interpreted and patient files could be misplaced.     Sculpting the ‘Final’ Rules CMS heard from numerous physicians about the challenges and burdens they face making electronic health records work well for their practices and their patients. In recognition of these concerns, the final rules for stage 3 are reported to ‘make significant changes to current requirements by easing the reporting burden for providers, supporting interoperability, and improving patient outcomes.’ Additionally, the stage 3 ‘final’ rules were sculpted to enable the development of user-friendly technology, allowing individuals easier access to their information so they can be engaged and empowered in their care. In addition to the ‘final’ rules, CMS is also encouraging providers to apply for exemptions if they had difficulty with, or need to switch, their EHR vendor. This exemption also applies to those who have experienced challenges due to the timing of the rules and EHR implementation.   An Overview of the Rules After receiving some 2,500 comments from industry stakeholders on the two proposed rules, CMS made some big changes to the regulations: Give providers and state Medicaid agencies 27 months, until Jan. 1, 2018, to comply with the new requirements and prepare for the next...

Recent EMR Software Upgrade in Georgia Hospital a Growing Trend Across the Country

One of the fastest growing trends in the healthcare industry is the move to electronic medical record, or EMR software. In fact, as of 2011 55% of all physicians have adopted an electronic health record (EHR) system of some kind. In the wake of ever-rising prices people in the industry are constantly trying to find better and more efficient ways of providing care and services. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Georgia is one of the latest facilities to make upgrades to their electronic medical record software features, according to the Albany-area ABC affiliate WALB.com. The Phoebe Putney Health System announced earlier this month that they have implemented new EMR software from MEDITECH, a Massachusetts-based medical software company, in their hospital. The organization is in the process of improving the overall efficiency and application of their EMR software through their ProjectONE plan. ProjectONE is basically an effort to streamline regional healthcare systems to provide better and more convenient care to patients. Their ultimate goals are expressed in a statement on the company’s website, Phoebeputney.com. “ProjectONE aims to improve patient safety, enhance quality of care, and maximize efficiency through standardization. It will create a single experience for our patients and staff across Phoebe Putney Health System.” It’s a great move considering electronic medical records improve overall efficiency by about 6% every year. In layman’s terms, EMR software are platforms that store digital copies of a patient’s healthcare records. Instead of having a physical copy that needs to be carried around or faxed from one doctor to the next, they allow for an easier, convenient, and more efficient way for medical...