Have you gotten on board with electronic medical records?
The HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) has mandated electronic health record (EHR) technology, which is electronic medical records (EMR) on steroids.
If you can say “yes” to the electronic medical records software question, then you’ve likely invested money for hardware and software with very little return on your investment – so far.
If “no”, you haven’t invested in electronic medical record software, you probably are missing out on some of the benefits.
December is known for the gift giving and money spending holidays: Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And actually the spending frenzy starts right after Thanksgiving, with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Christmas day sales are a new phenomenon to watch, as people downloaded apps for their new technology gadgets.
Despite the fact that many are still suffering from the effects of the recession in the United States, holiday spending was up over last year.
So come January, many will experience shock and panic as they open their credit card statements. Many Americans will start the New Year with cash flow problems and in debt.
Since physicians “make lots of money”, holiday spending may not have impacted you / them on a personal level. But many medical practices start the year in a cash flow negative or cash poor position.
January is a tough time for independent medical practices for several reasons:
- In private practices, the physicians typically don’t carry over any cash from year to year, so the practice starts in January from a cash position of zero.
- Most deductibles begin in January – if practices don’t collect deductibles at time of service, they find themselves hurting because their revenue goes way down.
- The Medicare debacle every year creates improper (lower) reimbursement as Congress struggles to the last possible minute over physician payments. (Here’s a simple yet helpful exercise for Congress. Congress, close your eyes and think of your favorite Medicare-age person. Is it you, your wife, your mother, your father, your neighbor or best friend? Now think of that person not being able to see a doctor when they need to because all doctors have opted out of Medicare and the only place they can get care is the local Emergency Room. It is a very ugly picture. What other profession is MADE to accept payment that is less than it costs to provide? Who do you love, Congress, who won’t be able to get care?)
- Many annual maintenance contracts come due in January
- Deals on large purchases are good (think EMRs) as vendors try to book revenue in the current year. Practices tend to make commitments to purchases now that will have to be paid for in the new year
How can an electronic medical record system help?
The HITECH Act EHR incentive program requires Medicare and Medicaid health care providers to adopt
Certified EMR software will help with medical billing and collections. One huge cash drain mentioned above, is from not collecting proper co-pays and deductibles. The best electronic health record software systems include automatic insurance checking and notices of coverage, co-pays and deductibles. This give you the information you need to do the right thing.
I wrote an article titled “The People, Process, Technology Puzzle”. Problems are always multifaceted and so is the solution.
The “Is Your Practice Ready to Be Cash Poor For the Next 30 Days? Here’s How to Change That!” article includes several cash flow remedies. Most of the remedies are process related.
Work flow and process changes are key to solving the cash crunch problems in the new year and throughout the year. But electronic medical records is an important part of the solution as well.
about the HITECH Act, Electronic Health Records or the
Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS)
EHR incentive program?
I invite you to claim free access to an informative interview audio titled
How To Convert To Electronic Health Records,
When I’m Completely Technology Adverse,
And Don’t Know Where To Start!
Is electronic health record adoption a mystery to you?
Don’t have the time or expertise?
Want to take advantage of EHR incentive money?
Call Sandra Noble at 404-374-3384 today to schedule a
to find out about our
EHR Software, HITECH Act, and Meaningful Use assistance!
NOBLE & ASSOCIATES CONSULTING, INC