Should Health Care Providers Get EHR Software in 2011?

Electronic health record / EHR software is mandated by the HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act). The HITECH Act includes an EHR incentive program as well. EHR Software

To avoid forfeiting part of the HITECH Act incentive money, Health care providers need to get started with electronic health record adoption and demonstrate the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services / CMS meaningful use criteria by 2012.

Should health care providers wait until 2012?

No. Although the initial costs and implementation challenges are considerable, the investment in EHR software will result in financial rewards and savings now.

Why EHR Software this year?

Attracting New Doctors:• The 2009 Future Physicians of America survey found that 90% of medical students consider it important or very important to have an EHR where they choose to practice.

The fifth annual Future Physicians of America survey conducted by Epocrates, Inc. revealed that medical students not only believe in the value of electronic health records (EHRs), but expect availability when they practice medicine.

Having an electronic health record is a very important factor for 70 percent of medical students in deciding where they will practice medicine.

taken from “Today’s Medical Students are the Most Technology-Savvy Yet

Successful Participation: EHR software is critical to your successful participation in initiatives such as Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH).

Medicare Penalties: Starting in 2015, physicians and other eligible professionals who have failed to meet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) meaningful use criteria, face escalating penalties in the form of reduced Medicare reimbursements.

Pay for Performance: Use of certified electronic health record systems are needed to qualify for performance compensation programs.

Payer Requirements: Medicare and Medicaid are now requiring EHR software. Private payers will increasingly require electronic health records and meaningful use activities as well.

The availability of an EHR may soon be a “minimum standard” for new physicians, public and private payers and patients.

Patient Engagement: Surveys have shown that 42% of consumers are interested a personal health record that is integrated with their physician and physician’s records

Consumer Demand: 55% of consumers want the ability to communicate online with physicians.

Evolving Standards: With HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10 on the horizon, physicians with EHR software can rely on their electronic health record system / EHR vendors to lead these transitions and guarantee compliance.

Practice Valuation: Physicians planning to sell their practices want to get the most money for their practice. Physicians can maintain their practice value by implementing electronic health record technology.

If you sell in 2015 or beyond, the buyer would be hit with immediate penalties if EHR software is not in place with the ability to demonstrate meaningful use. EHR software can
#1 enhance your ability to attract a buyer and
#2 increase your profits from the sale of your medical practice.

Cash Flow: Medicaid eligible professionals only need to attest to A/I/U in order to receive incentive payments the first year. A/I/U means Medicaid health care providers must Adopt, Implement or Upgrade an electronic health record system.

Medicare health care providers must demonstrate EHR meaningful use criteria for 90 days to qualify for incentive payments. Getting your EHR software now means you’d be ready to begin the Medicare qualifying period at the beginning of 2012. Then after 90 days, you can apply for your money.

Incentive Programs: Apart from the electronic health record adoption that is mandated by the HITECH Act, there are other physician incentive programs. The MIPPA e-prescribing incentive program and PQRS requirements can be met with electronic health record software as well. In fact it behooves you to use the certified EHR software e-prescribing capability by the end of 2011 in order to avoid penalties.

Use your EHR software to get MIPPA e-prescribing incentive payments in 2011. Then begin qualifying for CMS meaningful use incentive payments in 2012.

E-Prescribing and MIPPA explained in article “How Can Medicare Physicians Get MIPPA e-Prescribing Incentive Payments?” for more details

Tax Savings: Section 179 of the tax code allows up to a $500,000 deduction in 2011 for expenses related to electronic health record adoption. Consult your tax professional for the details.

Access to Data: The issue of lost patient records can be eliminated. And with it, the task of chart pulling will be eliminated as well. This means labor and cost savings for your medical practice.

Better Decisions: Electronic health records include rule based clinical decision support, templates and protocols to help health care providers make better decisions.

Patient Safety: Immediate access to pertinent data and system alerts enhances care coordination, better outcomes and patient safety.

Did these 14 reasons convince you that you need electronic health record software in 2011? The time is now. Get started with EHR software today.

Got questions?
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!



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