Monthly Archives: February 2012

Stage 2 Meaningful Use guidelines are drawn

I just got a very eye-opening email from Frank Poggio, our go-to MU guy at The Kelzon Group, on the new draft for Stage 2 criteria.

I’ll just share one of the “Zingers” as Frank puts it…

“Most of Stage 2 are increases in percent utilization by providers, such as; use of electronic prescribing for more than 50% of prescriptions issued, vital signs in more than 80% of patient encounters, and recording smoking status for more than 80% (currently 50%).”

But here’s where it gets interesting:

“Stage 2 would require that more than 50% of patients be provided online access to their health information and demonstrate that more than 10% had actually accessed that information.”

That means that if you do not already have a Patient Portal, you better get one, and soon! While this might not be a terribly complex technical issue – you just need the software – the real complexity is in the time and effort it takes to get to the 50% use, and 10% PROOF of use!

In my doctor’s office, they are adamant about having you use their portal to make appointments and send repeated emails reminding me to do so. I know it’s actually easier to do things online, but it takes time to get around to doing this, and if I have an urgent issue, forget the web site – I’m calling!

So, your patients will need extra time and education to deal with this change. The sooner you implement your Patient Portal, the better.

If you have PrognoCIS EMR, it’s easy. Contact your sales rep, or call us at (800) 747-9099. And remember to allow time for any customization you might want!

“I’m a [insert your title here] and I don’t want to change!”

“I’m a (insert your title here) and I don’t want to change!”

Software systems never stop growing and neither should you. That’s not to say you need better software or the latest iPhone.  I would rather you think about growth when it comes to efficiency and the proper use of what tools you have and plan to have.

We have all met that one person in life completely unwilling to change the way they do things. This outlook on life is fine for some industries. That said it does not work so well in industries that are in a constant state of change, growth and new compliance/safety standards. Our society enforces regulations and compliance standards so it’s our duty to follow them or work to change them.

Imaging if you will a Healthcare Provider from the past working in the present that won’t stop recommending cigarettes for stress relief? There are hundreds of examples that change is a much needed and a necessary part of life. So embrace it and learn to control it before it controls you. Healthcare IT systems are one of the biggest changes to healthcare in the last 100 years.  You are the founding members of the EMR so help set the standard.

Below I will outline a few simple tips to make any Healthcare IT “change” a better and more profitable experience.

  1. Slow down and give yourself the proper “learning experience”.
    1. Just like a diagnosis takes a certain amount of time to treat, IT systems take a certain amount of time to install and learn.  Both treatments and IT systems require different amounts of time for different people.
    2. You would not want a patient to rush treatment by taking all there medicine at one time so don’t expect to speed up the process of installing or learning new systems.
    3. In the end listen to the professionals that do the work every day they know what they’re talking about.
    4. Learn a new IT system just like you would learn a new treatment plan. Don’t skip ahead or simplify processes.
  2. Never assume anything “take a clinical approach to IT
    1. Ask lots of questions don’t expect to just get what you want magically.
    2. Take notes and use email to communicate so you have a record of your questions and answers. (just like a patient chart.
  3. Always pay your dues “put in the time required to become (or hire) a pro or super user”
    1. Take time away from work to learn. Healthcare products can affect patient safety if not properly used so look at your healthcare IT systems like you would any clinical tool. Learn it to the last drop, or hire someone who will.
  4. Remember there are two IT worlds. The “home computer world” and the “office computer world”.
    1. Just because a system works great at home doesn’t mean it’s meant for your office.
    2. Search online to make sure a product is HIPAA complaint or certified for healthcare use before using it in your office.
    3. Remember because of the strict healthcare guidelines your IT systems will always seem to be a few years behind the latest greatest technology. Think of it like clinical trials for IT systems.
  5. Make change fun and stay positive.
    1. Every person working in a healthcare setting is affected by change. It is very important that every team member from Provider to assistant keep negative comments to a minimum and instead bring up concerns at a time that they can be managed. A person in the front lines of a battle does no good complaining about the gun fire the same is true for new IT systems. Complaining takes you off task and should be saved for meetings and leadership.
    2. As a healthcare trainer I have kept a smile through some of the worst times any company could go through on a new system and I have always been told how much it helped to see me calm and happy.
    3. Most of all make sure your patients see happy workers. There is nothing worse than walking into a healthcare building and being welcomed by bad attitudes. Don let computers get the best of you at the end of the day patients and promoting healthy living are all that matter.

Remember no matter how good your computer system it will only be as useful as its operators.

Adam Siedel
Level Input, LLC

The ABCs of Meaningful Use

So many people we talk to ask us, “what is meaningful use anyway?” So, we tell them. But they invariably have more questions, so we end up in a discussion explaining the whole ARRA stimulus program, how to qualify, and how is their go-to web site for just about everything.

This usually takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how detailed we go.

So, we thought we’d gather the most important elements, and present them in a 15 minute webcast, in plain English. Just the basics, and the most important information on these 3 things:

1. What is it?
2. How do I qualify?
3. How do I get paid?

That’s it.

You’re invited to attend an upcoming live session, or you can request a link to one of the recordings, by visiting the Events page on our web site.

The end of the session offers contact information to ask more questions if you like. Hopefully, this clears up those three little questions you feel you should know, but just haven’t gotten around to finding out yet.

Level Input IT Services

Level Input IT Services

Our friends Adam Seidel and Tracey Young at Level Input had worked with many of our customers, even before we knew who they were. These go-getters are smart, helpful and reliable. They will travel nearly anywhere in the mid-Atlantic area, and often beyond that. You will love working with them – they communicate well and show up on time. Oh, and they are getting married! Contact Level Input for EMR/EHR, Consulting, Training, Work Flow and IT for single docs, small practices, and medium sized or multi-location practices. 
Service area: Entire mid-Atlantic region
Web site:
Adam’s cell: (301) 717-1895
Tracey’s cell:  (410) 596-7888
Office: (717) 81409693


SelTec IT

Brian Knauff is one of our most reliable, trusted resources. He’s worked with our customers for more than 17 years, and knows his way around any type of IT problem. Brian specializes in Healthcare IT, and is as comfortable working with hospitals as he is with single docs. Always cheerful and ready to help, Brian comes highly recommended for our Medical Mastermind and EMR customers.

Contact Brian for: Computer Sales & Service, Networks, Document Imaging, EMR and Practice Management Implementation.
Service Area: MD, PA, VA
Phone: 410-552-9836

The Computer Guy IT consultants


We’ve been working with Charlie Muller and his crew for nearly a year, and our
customers just love him. The thing about Charlie is, you really get more than you pay for. He’s an obsessed computer junkie, ever since he could reach the keyboard of his Commodore 64. (He doesn’t look as old as he is!)
Contact Charlie for: Consulting, Upgrades, Networking, Programming, Web Sites, Setups, Troubleshooting, Teaching, Medical Mastermind PM and EMR Implementation.
Serving: MD, PA, VA, DE
Phone: 443-995-1538

Who Qualifies for the Maryland State-Regulated Payor EHR Adoption Incentive?

Beginning October 21, 2011, EHR adoption incentives are available to both hospital owned and non-hospital owned primary care practices in Maryland who adopt an EHR that is certified by an Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) – Authorized Testing and Certification Body (yes, the Medical Mastermind EMR solution qualifies).  Primary care practices include family, general, geriatric, internal medicine, pediatric, or gynecologic practices.  To determine if your EHR system and version is certified, please visit ONC’s Certified Health Information Technology Products List.

What Incentive is Available?

The State-Regulated Payor EHR Adoption Incentive is a one-time cash incentive or an incentive of equivalent value agreed upon by the primary care practice and payor that an eligible primary care practice can receive from each payor. Practices are eligible to receive a Base Incentive up to $7,500 and an Additional Incentive up to $7,500 for a total maximum monetary value of $15,000 per practice per payor. Incentives of equivalent value include: specific services; lump sum payments; gain-sharing arrangements; rewards for quality and efficiency; in-kind payments; or other items or services that can be assigned a specific monetary value.

Base Incentive

The Base Incentive is calculated by the number of payor members treated by the practice based on a per member amount. Incentives are calculated at $8 for each Maryland resident on the practice panel who is a member of the payor at the time a practice makes a request for the incentive payment.  In cases where the payor does not assign a primary care provider, the patients enrolled with that payor who have been treated by the practice in the last 24 months will qualify.

Additional Incentive

An Additional Incentive may be available to practices that have achieved one of the following in the immediate 90 days prior to submitting the payment request:

1) Contracts with a State Designated Management Service Organization (MSO) or MSO in Candidacy Status for EHR adoption or implementation services,

2) Demonstrates advance use of EHRs, or

3) Participates in the payor’s quality improvement outcomes initiative and achieves the performance goals as established by the payor.

The payor to which the practice applies will determine a practice’s eligibility for additional incentives based on the information provided by the practice within an application and payment request.

How do Practices Apply for the State-Regulated Payor EHR Adoption Incentive?

1. Submit an Application

Eligible practices can submit the State-Regulated EHR Adoption Incentive Application (download this application below), including required documentation, between October 21, 2011 and December 31, 2014.  The practice should submit an application to each state-regulated payor with which it does business.  State-regulated payors required to participate include:  Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna HealthCare Mid-Atlantic, Coventry Health Care, Kaiser Permanente, and United Healthcare, Mid Atlantic Region.  The payor will issue an acknowledgment letter to the practice within 90 days of receiving the application.

State-Regulated Payor EHR Adoption Incentive Application

2. Requesting the Base Incentive and Additional Incentive

In order to request the EHR adoption incentive, eligible practices can submit the State-Regulated EHR Adoption Incentive Request Form (download this payment request below), including required documentation, to each payor it submitted an application.  Eligible practices may submit the payment request no earlier than six months after submitting their application, and no later than December 31, 2014. Practices have the option to request the Base Incentive and theAdditional Incentive at the same time or request the Additional Incentive in a subsequent payment request. Payors must process and pay in full the payment request within 90 days of receipt and will notify practices of the incentive amount, and indicate the method and over what time period the incentive will be provided to the practice.

State-Regulated Payor EHR Adoption Incentive Payment Request Form

The 2011 Shoe Contest…

From left to right: Michelle’s Winner: Best Overall Shoe, Delrina’s Winner: Best Dress Shoe, Karen J’s CBNC (Close But No Cigar) Shoe, and Nia’s CBNC Shoe. What did we win? See the second picture…

ImageThat’s right – rockin’ the Coach bags!!! (from left: Rene, Delrina, Michelle)

Our fearless leader bites the dust…

(Turn up your speakers.)


Some practices can get more money from Maryland for EHR adoption.

Beginning October 21, 2011, EHR adoption incentives are available to both hospital owned and non-hospital owned primary care practices in Maryland who adopt an EHR that is ONC – ATCB certified.

Primary care practices include:

  • Family Practice
  • General
  • Geriatric
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatric
  • Gynecologic

Find out what incentives are available to your practice. You may be eligible for up to $15,000 from the state of Maryland, just for implementing an EHR (yes, our EMR qualifies under this program).

But, there are deadlines. Read more.