Have you considered upgrading to an EHR/EMR system that is certified for Meaningful Use so you can qualify for incentive payments? Have you already qualified for Meaningful Use Stage 1, and now you’re struggling to attest for Stage 2? Wherever you are in the process – just getting started or halfway to attestation for Stage 2 – we can help you get where you need to go.
Just Getting Started?
This (2014) is the last year you can start the process, so you’ll want to take action right away. If you wait until 2015, you will miss out entirely. If you need help getting started, take the following steps:
- Determine if you are eligible or not for incentive payments. You can check out the official guidelines on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid site here, using an online tool to determine your eligibility. In summary, you will need to serve a certain percentage of patients who are covered by Medicare or Medicaid and use certified electronic medical records software for at least the specified minimum percentage of your patients.
- Invest in an EHR/EMR system that is Meaningful Use certified.
- Register with CMS for the attestation process.
- Begin working towards attesting to the Meaningful Use of your certified EHR/EMR such that you meet the designated core and menu set objectives. You will also need to report on Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs).
Your software vendor should be able to guide you through the process, helping you figure out how to meet the required number of milestones to attest for Stage 1.
Trying to Attest for Stage 2? Running Into Problems?
Since the bar is set even higher for Stage 2, some practices and physicians are struggling to meet deadlines and requisite benchmarks. You may find out that your EHR/EMR has been certified for Stage One, but you may need to upgrade or switch to software that is certified for Stage Two and get help from your vendor to get your clinic or practice in line with the new requirements. For example, you should make sure your software has the following capabilities:
- Interactive, secure patient portal
- Problem list creation
- Clinic note documentation
- Display of lab and imaging results
You will need to make sure your EHR/EMR has more than the most basic capabilities. To attest to Meaningful Use Stage 2, you will need to also invest in staff training and practice so that your staff learns how to make use of the many features and capabilities of the software in a measurable way.
Overcoming Staff Resistance
In many cases, physicians are finding their staff presents the problem, getting in the way of complete adoption of the new EHR/EMR. You may need to work with your employees to help them recognize the fact that the achievement of Meaningful Use Stages 1 and 2 will result in more than just incentive payments. It will also help your office:
- Operate more efficiently
- Reduce the number of errors and human hours required to accomplish tasks
- Improve patient-provider communication
- Remain compliant to health industry regulations
- Save money in the long run
A good EHR/EMR can also:
- Attract better physicians and staff to your office
- Improve overall quality of care
- Enable providers to spend more time with patients and less time dealing with office and documentation tasks
Of course, those incentive payments aren’t anything to sneeze at. Since 2009, Medicare, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage have paid over $6.8 billion in incentive payments to 330,000 medical professionals. Those incentive payments can help offset the cost of upgrading to a state of the art EHR/EMR, making the cost savings more tangible in a shorter period of time.
How MediPro, Inc. Can Help
We can help you choose the right electronic medical records for your practice. We’ll guide your staff through comprehensive training, dealing with resistance to adoption for you. Schedule a demo or contact us to get personalized information via our contact form. We’ll help you identify exactly what you need to do to meet Stage 1 and Stage 2 benchmarks so you can attest to Meaningful Use in time to receive incentive payments.