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Meaningful Use


into the future. Our industry is rapidly moving to an electronic platform as the expected way of doing business. This not only impacts your ability to get paid – by both government and private entities – but will increasingly impact other important aspects of your practice. As your colleagues adopt automated systems, they will gravitate toward those practices and institutions that are easier to do business with, whether sharing patient records, orders, test results or collaborative communications. Hospitals and ven- dors will also fi nd it diffi cult and costly to interact in a non-automated world.


As physicians become comfortable with modern technologies, such as the software-as-a-service (SaaS)


Calculate your way to incentives


AdvancedMD Software offers three calculators on its Web site to estimate incentives for meaningful use of EHRs based on allowable Medicare charges. Using these tools, you can calculate Medicare volume, time of EHR usage for maximum incentive and Medicare incentives or penalties. According to the site, the first year of meaningful use of EHR technology requires 90 consecutive days of use of that particular EHR technology. To qualify for the maximum incentive for year-one use, you may need to use your EHR technology longer than 90 days.


The company’s “notes and disclaimers” listed on the site’s page apply to all three calculators and contain interesting and useful information: • Incentive payments will be equal to 75 percent of the allowed charges for all covered professional services furnished up to a maximum annual payment determined by the year in which your practice achieves meaningful use.


• Eligible professionals predominantly furnishing services in a health professional shortage area will receive an additional 10 percent increase in their bonus payments.


• There will be no incentive payments for those who adopt EHRs after 2014.


• Penalties will take the form of a reduction in the normal reimbursement schedule for those who are not “meaningful users” of a certified EHR by 2016. Penalties for non-use begin in year 2016 with a 1 percent penalty that year, incrementing 1 percent annually with a maximum penalty of 5 percent in year 2020. Note: Calculations are estimates provided for


informational purposes only and are offered without guarantee by AdvancedMD.


22 December 2010


subscription model, they grow to rely on anytime, anywhere access to their patient data, making the EHR invaluable for signifi cantly improving both productiv- ity and quality of life. These same SaaS EHR-based benefi ts are available to smaller practices that have traditionally been at a disadvantage to larger groups that could afford the high-end applications and high acquisition costs.


Patients will increasingly drive demand for services. They will seek out ahead-of-the- technology-curve practices that make it easy for them to interact, communicate and manage their health.


Patients will increasingly drive demand for services. They will seek out ahead-of-the-technology-curve practices that make it easy for them to interact, communicate and manage their health. On the cost side, better-trained, forward-thinking staff will select practices that support their technology-enhanced productivity and experience. Notably, technology provides a powerful upside po- tential, particularly for smaller, independent practitio- ners in an era of acquisition and conglomeration. Just as the Internet has allowed the smallest of companies to compete on a level playing fi eld with the largest of enterprises, technology can provide the smallest, most-remote practice with the technical sophistication and connectivity to play on equal footing with large, integrated systems.


HMT


NOTE: Shirley Garcia, Product Manager, EHR, AdvancedMD Software, contributed to this story.


HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY www.healthmgttech.com


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