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Is your chiropractic EHR software prepared for the upcoming changes in healthcare?
America is at the beginning of a historic transformation in the care delivery system. There’s been no better opportunity than today for chiropractors to demonstrate the value of chiropractic care. However, to take advantage of this opportunity, chiropractic physicians must set out to redesign their practice to accommodate incorporating into their clinical workflows those measures and activities that reflect value in the new payment system.
It’s the value-based practice model that will allow your practice to grow into the future, translating your skills and expertise into profitability and prosperity.
Here’s what you need to know: central to the success of a value-based practice is electronic health record (EHR) technology.
As a critical business investment, should you expect your EHR technology to give you a return on investment? The answer is a resounding yes, because getting paid on value in the new payment system heavily relies on an EHR that will collect, process, and report quality measures and clinical activity data to the appropriate payers for reimbursement.
So how do you go about determining the effectiveness of your EHR system? With the advent of Medicare’s new Quality Payment System upon us (January 2017), now is the time to assess if your EHR is an anchor that will be holding you back or if it is an engine that will be propelling you forward towards more profitability.
Here are seven key performance indicators that measure and define a robust, high-performing EHR:
Is a server-based or a cloud-based EHR system the better option?
Your initial costs to get into a system and also your ongoing investment financially after your purchase should both be weighed. Will the system you choose expose you to the adverse impact of the proverbial “nickel and dime you to death” syndrome; through upgrades, add-ons, support, etc.?
As a general rule of thumb, server-based systems usually have higher upfront costs of the software and hardware, with higher maintenance, support and upgrade costs. Cloud-based systems charge a monthly subscription that typically are all inclusive of upgrades and support costs with the hardware costs in the practice being less.
Is your EHR helping you stay compliant with coding, documentation, and HIPAA requirements? Does your EHR provide ICD 9 and ICD 10 codes?
The EHR system should help guide you through a process which helps you meet documentation guidelines. Does your EHR protect your password? Or does it require you to share your password with others in the practice? An EHR must follow HIPAA rules and not encourage sharing of passwords by clinical personnel.
Does it give you robust financial reporting? Ever wonder where the money went?
Some practice management systems (PMS) have “black holes” whereby you lose the financial tracking of some patient accounts. An effective technology system should consist of a robust interface between your PMS and EHR for an effective electronic medical record (EMR) system that monitors every aspect of the practice’s revenue cycle for every patient account and circumstance.
Is your EHR saving you time in your practice to see more patients? Initially an EHR system will not save you more time. But as you become more proficient, it will save you time if the processes the EHR is built upon are designed around efficient workflows.
Is your EHR interoperable – meaning can you share information with other EHR systems?
It’s not just a nice thing to have, it is required. An EHR must be able to share information with other providers – securely. In addition, in 2016 EHR’s and eligible clinicians must agree to not block interoperability.1
6. Population health management
Will your EHR help you manage your patient population towards better health? Providers are seeing increase prevalence of chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, chronic pain, and diabetes.
Doctors of chiropractic have an opportunity to play an important role in an integrated team-based care approach providing natural care services for this patient population, through a well-being care model. By data-mining your records and building systems of care around quality measures and activities you can provide additional patient care services and opportunities for improving the overall health of your patient population.
7. New payment system
Will your EHR provide all of the measures needed for you to be paid in the new payment system? Are the measures available under advancing care information (formerly meaningful use) and quality measures (formerly PQRS) available to report from the EHR system? Check out EHR measures capabilities at the ONC-ATCB Product Certification site.
Will your EHR achieve status as a 2015 CEHRT by 2018? Does your EHR have a dashboard providing a real-time assessment of how you are doing in your reporting? Does your EHR provide monthly oversight for you in this area as well? In addition, it is critical your EHR is able to interface into a qualified clinical data registry (QCDR) to provide you opportunity to report on all performance categories of the new payment system, rather than through the limited capabilities of claims-based reporting.
Many DC’s are finding that the EHR they initially chose has not met their needs. If this is the case, can you trust it to meet your future needs? Regardless of whether you presently have an EHR or not, it’s important to understand this: getting yourself prepared for practice success and making the transition to a value-based practice model has to be a central goal in your mind.
And when you begin to look at technology, if you currently have an EHR and it’s not meeting the litmus test of these seven key performance indicators, then it’s time to look for a different solution —before it costs you the future of your practice.
Timothy S. Wakefield DC, DACBSP, CSCS, CCST, eChiroEHR Director of Development for Best Practices Academy, has been in full time clinical practice for 27+ years. He has assisted with clinical content development for EHR systems and has taught multiple programs and written books and manuals on chiropractic clinical procedures, clinical documentation, CPT coding, sports injuries, physical fitness and other health related topics. He enjoys researching and learning about the new demands of healthcare and then developing systems and procedures to increase efficiency and profitability for the entire chiropractic profession. He can be contacted through bestpracticesacademy.com or 877-788-2883.
About Best Practices Academy
Providing leadership in practice growth, risk management, quality performance, and certified EHR systems since 2006. Best Practices Academy (BPA) will be sure your practice is ready to migrate from fee-for-service-based to a value-based system, and help you grow the practice of your dreams. BPA studies your practice’s statistics such as CPT codes being utilized, most common ICD-10 code selections, random review of documentation, capacity analysis, and financial account reports to determine if the practice is healthy or sick.
Best Practices Academy prides itself in having some of the best people in the industry to evaluate practices. A team approach is taken to find out what areas of concern are. This is usually an eye opener for many DCs.
1 Medicare Program; Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive under the Physician Fee Schedule, and Criteria for Physician-Focused Payment Models. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Parts 414 and 495. Published May 2016. http://federalregister.gov/a/2016-10032