Category Archives: Meaningful Use

“EMR” vs. “EHR”… what’s the difference?

Electronic Health Records and Electronic Medical Records are used across the healthcare IT industry seemingly without much differentiation in meaning. However, they do have their own definitions

According to Wikipedia, “The terms EHR, EPR (electronic patient record) and EMR (electronic medical record) are often used interchangeably, although differences between them can be defined. The EMR can, for example, be defined as the patient record created in hospitals and ambulatory environments, and which can serve as a data source for the EHR.  It is important to note that an EHR is generated and maintained within an institution, such as a hospital, integrated delivery network, clinic, or physician office, to give patients, physicians and other health care providers, employers, and payers or insurers access to a patient’s medical records across facilities.

“A personal health record (PHR) is, in modern parlance, generally defined as an EHR that the individual patient controls.”

Nearly all organizations across the healthcare industry recognize the interchangeable use of these terms, using the term they most prefer.

Stage 2 meaningful use: New EMR/EHR definitions

From our friends at The Kelzon Group.

Here are a few more observations about the recently released Stage 2 proposed requirements:

Evidently ONC decided there was too much confusion about the definition of an EMR/EHR in Stage 1. So now in Stage 2 they have proposed these definitions:
Base EHR (formerly referred to as a ‘Qualified EHR)
1) includes; patient demographic and clinical health
information, such as medical history and problem lists;
2) has the capacity:
i. to provide clinical decision support;
ii. to support physician order entry;
iii. to capture and query information relevant to healthcare
quality; and,
iv. to exchange electronic health information with, and integrate
such information from other sources.
3) Meets the certification criteria adopted by the Secretary at:
§ 170.314(a)(1) through (8); (b)(1) and (2); (c)(1) and (2);
(d)(1) through (8); and (e)(1).  These cover – care coordination,
clinical quality measures, and privacy and security.

Complete EHR – can be setting-specific and must meet all adopted mandatory certification criteria for a setting.  While a certified Complete EHR (under the proposed revised definition of CEHRT) will likely have more capabilities than are necessary for any single provider to achieve MU, CMS believes the “Complete EHR” designation still has significant market value. They state: “it provides purchasing clarity and assurance to EPs, EHs, and CAHs that the EHR technology they have meet the regulatory definition of CEHRT(Certified EHR Technology); it can support EPs, EHs, and CAHs if they attempt to achieve all MU objectives and measures; and it ensures all the capabilities the Complete EHR includes have been tested and certified to work properly together”. As mentioned repeatedly, CMS is counting on the competitive marketplace to push vendors deeper into certification.

These definitions make little difference to Best of Breed (BoB) vendors who still have to get certified on all parts of your chosen criteria (such as Vitals requiring growth charts), while the health provider in his/her MU attestation can skip these elements if the task is not part of their normal practice or health delivery program.

But CMS also made this important point in the definition of a Complete EHR:
“…that a stand-alone, separate component of a certified Complete EHR
      cannot derive “certified” status based solely on it having been included
      as part of the Complete EHR when the Complete EHR was certified. This
      same principle applies to certified EHR Modules with multiple
      capabilities in that the components of the EHR Modules cannot be
      separately sold or purchased as certified EHR technology unless they
      have been separately certified.”

This means that a full EMR vendor who gets all their modules certified under one certification test, cannot sell a component of that full product as a ‘certified’ product. For example a lab system, that was certified as part of a full EHR, then sell the lab system as a standalone, would not be considered a certified lab system. However, if the provider previously purchased the full EHR, but did not initially install the lab component, but at a latter date latter did install the lab – that would be considered a certified lab system.

CMS Fact Sheet: Stage 2 Meaningful Use

In a recent publication from CMS.gov, CMS proposed requirements for Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive program.

Here is the information as posted in this fact sheet. You may find it lacking in detail, such as the 17 new core criteria and 5 new menu criteria (of which 3 are required), but it gives an overview nonetheless. Physicians  will have an additional year – through 2014 – to meet requirements for Stage 2.

CMS PROPOSES DEFINITION OF STAGE 2 MEANINGFUL USE OF CERTIFIED ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD (EHR) TECHNOLOGY

 

Medical Mastermind now ONC-ATCB certified for Meaningful Use

Medical Mastermind Practice Management Software
Certified for Meaningful Use

Software Unlimited, Inc.’s premier offering, Medical Mastermind Practice Management, has received the federal government’s “meaningful use” stamp of approval by earning EHR Module Certification.

The designation officially deems the software capable of enabling providers to qualify for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Tested and certified under the Drummond Group’s Electronic Health Records Office of the National Coordinator Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) program, the software is 2011/2012 compliant in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“This certification is critical for our physicians to achieve meaningful use by helping meet key ONC criteria” says James R. Milligan, CEO of Software Unlimited, Inc. “This means our Healthcare providers can be secure in using Medical Mastermind as part of the solution to meeting full EMR attestation.  In combination with our certified EMR offering, our customers can be assured of receiving ARRA reimbursements after attesting to Meaningful Use.”

Medical Mastermind is certified for privacy and security criteria, which supports HIPAA, as well as a number of other ambulatory criteria such as smoking status and demographic information.

The Medical Mastermind Practice Management software qualifies as an “EHR Module” for compliance certification. This EHR Module is 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

Software Unlimited, Inc., Certified on March 8, 2012, Medical Mastermind version 15.12, ID: 03082012-1490-5, CQMs: 170.302 G, O-U, 170.304 C; Additional software used: TrueCrypt.

About Drummond Group
Drummond Group Inc., the trusted software test lab, provides effective and efficient electronic health record (EHR) testing to healthcare information technology vendors and hospitals. As an Office of the National Coordinator Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB), Drummond Group works closely with healthcare software vendors and hospitals to certify EHRs that are looking to qualify for incentive funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Drummond Group is approved to certify both complete and modular EHR for both ambulatory and inpatient.  Leveraging more than a decade’s worth of interoperability, conformance testing and certification experience in multiple industries, Drummond Group delivers what’s needed in healthcare: highly reliable and readily affordable software testing services. For more information, go to http://www.drummondgroup.com.

Medical Mastermind Practice Management Software Certified for Meaningful Use

ONC-ATCB certificationSoftware Unlimited, Inc.’s premier offering, Medical Mastermind Practice Management, has received the federal government’s “meaningful use” stamp of approval by earning EHR Module Certification.

The designation officially deems the software capable of enabling providers to qualify for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Tested and certified under the Drummond Group’s Electronic Health Records Office of the National Coordinator Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) program, the software is 2011/2012 compliant in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“This certification is critical for our physicians to achieve meaningful use by helping meet key ONC criteria” says James R. Milligan, CEO of Software Unlimited, Inc. “This means our Healthcare providers can be secure in using Medical Mastermind as part of the solution to meeting full EMR attestation.  In combination with our certified EMR offering, our customers can be assured of receiving ARRA reimbursements after attesting to Meaningful Use.”

Medical Mastermind is certified for privacy and security criteria, which supports HIPAA, as well as a number of other ambulatory criteria such as smoking status and demographic information.

The Medical Mastermind Practice Management software qualifies as an “EHR Module” for compliance certification. This EHR Module is 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

Software Unlimited, Inc., Certified on March 8, 2012, Medical Mastermind version 15.12, ID: 03082012-1490-5, CQMs: 170.302 G, O-U, 170.304 C; Additional software used: TrueCrypt.

About Drummond Group
Drummond Group Inc., the trusted software test lab, provides effective and efficient electronic health record (EHR) testing to healthcare information technology vendors and hospitals. As an Office of the National Coordinator Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB), Drummond Group works closely with healthcare software vendors and hospitals to certify EHRs that are looking to qualify for incentive funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Drummond Group is approved to certify both complete and modular EHR for both ambulatory and inpatient.  Leveraging more than a decade’s worth of interoperability, conformance testing and certification experience in multiple industries, Drummond Group delivers what’s needed in healthcare: highly reliable and readily affordable software testing services. For more information, go to http://www.drummondgroup.com.

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Two Important Meaningful Use Stage 2 Requirements!

If you are barely getting your mind around Stage 1 meaningful use criteria, you’ll need to sit down for Stage 2! There are many additional changes, but from the detailed article in emrandehr.com, these two changes in particular stand out as a “heads up” for planning ahead:

  1. True interoperability is required—Stage 2 no longer asks providers to test their ability to exchange clinical data, but rather requires them to successfully exchange information on an ongoing basis across organizational and EHR vendor boundaries.
  2. Providers will be accountable, to some degree, for actions by patients. For example, it will no longer be sufficient to make clinical information available to patients online—in Stage 2, a percentage of patients will have to actually access this information.

Read the list of proposed Stage 2 rules here.

How to Attest for Meaningful Use by CMS.gov

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!

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 cms.gov 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.

Use Leasing to Help You Meet Meaningful Use

Today, leasing is a $200 Billion + industry annually. Eight out of 10 American companies rely on leasing to acquire assets.

The ability to leverage purchasing power and take advantage of tax deductions makes leasing a viable option for physicians looking to invest in an EMR and qualify for reimbursement money under the ARRA stimulus program, or any other business improvement need.

Rather than borrow from your credit lines or liquidate investments, consider the benefits of leasing equipment or financing software and move sooner rather than later toward where your practice needs to be.

Consider this scenario: Your EMR will cost $15,000. Once implemented, your practice stands to receive $18,000 in stimulus money in the first year of use.

Meaningful Use criteria for year one attestation requires 90 days of EMR use, meaning your EMR must be operational no later than October 1st, 2012.

Allowing for implementation time of up to 90 days, you need to act sooner rather than later to make the deadline this year.

So, rather than invest $15,000 cash up front, with just one up-front monthly payment, a lease might look something like this:

Equipment/Software Cost: $15,000.00
1st year tax savings*: $2,625.00
Cost of new equipment/software: $12,375.00 (after tax savings*)

Select your preferred payment and term: 

Lease term and payments

*Consult with your tax adviser.

Lisa Hartley, Vice President of Univest Capital, explains that “Most of our customers lease for one or more of these reasons.  In addition, for applications of $100,000 or less, no financial information is required by our firm.”

Reason 1: CASH FLOW MANAGEMENT
Why outlay cash that you might need for something else? Financing lets you match revenue with expenses through a lease/purchase.

Reason 2: LOW MONTHLY PAYMENTS
With a financing program, payments stay the same no matter what happens to inflation over the life of your lease. Plans can be customized to meet your monthly budget so there are no surprises.

Reason 3: LEVERAGED PURCHASING POWER
Many companies make the mistake of thinking they should only acquire the equipment they can afford at a particular time. This leads to cutting corners in quality or not getting what you really need for long-term growth. By evaluating your true equipment needs, leasing will provide an effective vehicle to secure exactly what will help your business today, tomorrow and in the future.

Reason 4: PRESERVE CREDIT LINES
Quick access to leasing lets you leave your existing bank credit lines alone, making it available for potential short-term needs like marketing, payroll, inventory and supplies.

Reason 5: CONVENIENT 100% FINANCING
It is not unusual for a customer to bundle project costs into a lease. This means you can take the software you need financed, and then add any hardware, maintenance, training, installation, even the shipping, all into one payment plan. You may even finance the sales tax.

Reason 6: TAX ADVANTAGES
Some leases allow customers to treat monthly payments as a fully deductible operating expense. Your tax advisor can best help determine your eligibility for this tax benefit. Section 179 of the IRS tax code illustrates an example of this advantage.

Univest approves leases in just hours. For more information on leasing, contact Lisa Hartley at Univest Capital, Inc., 866-604-8160 ext. 127.