Meaningful Use and Revenue: How EHR Improves Both

Meaningful Use and Electronic Health Records (EHR) are essentially synonymous. Purchasing an EHR without ensuring it can help your practice meet Meaningful Use objectives is a costly mistake.

Simply put, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) encourages physicians and hospitals to ‘meaningfully use’ their EHRs to improve patient care and reporting. Part of that encouragement is a financial incentive program for providers who meet minimum objectives and attest to their EHRs meaningful use. This directly impacts CMS reimbursement of your medical billing.

What does this mean for you? If you choose an EHR that provides the tools to meet these objectives, your practice’s Medicare and Medicaid payments can be reimbursed at a higher rate by up to five percent.

Five percent is a hefty reduction in medical billing payments overall, therefore it’s important to first understand what Meaningful Use is, what objectives you have to meet, and how your EHR can get you there.

What is Meaningful Use?

CMS EHR Incentive Programs provide financial incentives for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology to improve patient care and reporting. To receive an EHR incentive payment on your medical billing (or avoid up to five percent reduction in payment), providers must demonstrate they are ‘meaningfully using’ their EHRs by meeting a number of objectives. These objectives include but are not limited to:

  • Computerized Provider Order Entry
  • Public Health Reporting
  • Secure Electronic Messaging
  • Protect Patient Health Information
  • Clinical Decision Support
  • Electronic Prescribing
  • Health Information Exchange
  • Patient Specific Education
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • Patient Electronic Access (VDT) (Patient Portal)

Essentially CMS’ message is this: a certified EHR system should, at minimum, provide you with the above tools which have been identified to improve patient care and reporting, and you should know how to use those tools effectively to improve your patients’ care. Reviewing how EHRs assist in meeting these objectives can help you choose the right EHR that improves your CMS medical billing reimbursement and overall revenue.

Meaningful Use through Computerized Provider Order Entry

By tracking medication, procedure, lab, and radiology orders the process of scheduling, performing and billing for those orders is streamlined. An EHR can track this data and make it available for reporting purposes. Additional tools provided by some EHRs can also provide warnings or best practice indications related to the orders to ensure they are required and safe.

Public Health Reporting

The U.S. public health system mandates medical providers to report specific disease data as the front line of awareness for public health concerns. EHRs provide access to a specialized registry to ensure quick and accurate reporting of specific cases to improve population and health.

Secure Electronic Messaging

In alignment with HIPPA and security policies, secure messaging safeguards patient and provider communication and data. Secure messaging allows you to receive messages, patient data, and files from other providers and facilities who are also using Direct Messaging.

Protect Patient Health Information

Choosing an EHR that provides access control and encrypted data storage ensures compliance with CMS and HIPPA policies and protects your patient data.

Clinical Decision Support

Clinical Decision Support provides medical professionals with knowledge and patient-specific information that is intelligently filtered. The system identifies best practices and concerns to enhance patient care. A combination of computerized alerts, reminders, and warnings improve patient care through suggestions in care and reduction in medical and care errors. Notices such as contraindications, patient symptoms, a patient’s need for a consultation, immunization, or referral are all part of decision support functionality.

Electronic Prescribing

Electronic prescribing provides tracking of prescriptions that are reportable, auto-check functionality for contraindications, allergic reactions, and checks-and-balances between patient behavior, physicians and pharmacies to improve patient care.

Health Information Exchange

An EHR that provides seamless health information exchange (HIE) functionality allows healthcare professionals and patients to securely access and share a patient’s vital medical information electronically. Whether you need to send patient chart information to a specialist, lab, or emergency room; HIE provides you with the platform to send it quickly and securely to address a patient’s needs when they need it most.

Patient Specific Education

Patient Education functionality identifies patient specific and clinically relevant educational resources to assist in patient recovery and healing. From smoking cessation to after visit care, educational resources provide patients with education and instructions to improve their health.

Medication Reconciliation

The medication reconciliation process can help reduce medication errors that are common among patients who use multiple pharmacies and providers. EHRs that create an accurate medication list is important to patient safety because medication errors can be reduced by using technology to compare a list of a patient’s prescription and non-prescription medications with documentation in the patient’s medical records at ambulatory, ER, and HOD facilities and pharmacies.

Patient Electronic Access (Patient Portal)

The patient portal is a secure platform where you can engage with patients, provide access to their patient charts, permit scheduling, update personal information, allow online bill payments, and secure messaging. This reduces the time spent by patients and your office fielding calls, providing verbal or faxed information, and gives patients access to their information when they need it.

EHR Provides You with the Tools to Achieve Meaningful Use and Improved Revenue

Meeting every objective of the CMS’ Meaningful Use requirements to improve your medical billing reimbursements can be easy: if you choose an EHR that does most of the work for you. Meaningful Use is the core of TriMed Technologies’ EHR.

TriMed provides you with the tools and technology via a single platform to enhance patient care, meet Meaningful Use objectives, and increase your medical billing reimbursements through CMS.

Improve your practice’s Meaningful Use and revenue by contacting TriMed Technologies today at (866) 874-6339.

June 15th, 2016