Consider the possibility of earning $44,000 per physician in government incentives by demonstrating meaningful use with your certified EHR system. Is demonstrating meaningful use important to you? Or are you concerned about decreased levels of productivity and being forced to change your normal workflow?
There still remains a misconception that if you purchase an EHR, you will automatically be eligible for the EHR incentive payments. This is not true—you must use your EHR and demonstrate meaningful use by following the government’s guidelines. Therefore, it is important to understand both the mandatory requirements and the exemptions ahead of time.
A lack of knowledge about or understanding of the meaningful use requirements can have a negative impact on your workflow—decreasing your efficiency, impacting the way you practice medicine, and ultimately driving your revenues down. Be cognizant of the value of your time. Know which requirements you can be exempt from and prioritize your time effectively. The more productive and efficient the physician, the more revenue your practice can generate.
Make sure to review our meaningful use suggested workflows to learn the most effective approach to achieving meaningful use that will allow you to earn the EHR incentives and simultaneously increase productivity and efficiency throughout your practice.
Make sure to consider the following:
- Does your EHR vendor have a complete understanding of the meaningful use regulations and requirements?
- How does your vendor keep current with all the changes and increasingly stringent requirements?
- Does your vendor have a solid and coherent plan for your practice to successfully demonstrate meaningful use and earn the EHR incentives?
- Does your vendor have a developed process in place for training support staff on meaningful use so they can properly advise and guide you?
From the Field
By Amanda Nelson, Corporate Analyst
I have just returned from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) conference. The atmosphere was bustling and exciting as ophthalmologists learned, networked, and investigated new methods and products. One of the major focuses of the conference was electronic health records (EHRs)—what ophthalmologists should be looking for in a system and how to satisfy meaningful use.
It was immediately apparent that ophthalmologists as a whole are ready to take the plunge with EHRs. I was particularly impressed by those physicians who had done their homework and spoken with colleagues. Far from asking basic questions, these physicians were deeply concerned with issues of usability and functionality. They were concerned with the seemingly daunting task of balancing patient satisfaction with the demands of meaningful use. Most felt a traditional point-and-click-intensive EHR system would get in the way of the patient-physician relationship, leaving patients feeling that they were losing touch with their doctors.
Many other attendees I spoke with expressed the fear that traditional EHR systems would severely cripple their productivity. In fact, the administrator of a large, multispecialty group asserted that it was the highest volume specialists in her practice who were most hesitant about adopting an electronic health record system.
Clearly, there’s a demand for good EHRs out there, but savvy physicians won’t be buying until they’re convinced that they won’t have to sacrifice either their productivity or their treatment style. It’s time now for the EHR industry to deliver the goods.