There's been a lot of talk about EHR solutions and concerns about how it's expected to completely overhaul the medical field. It is true that these systems will impact practices, especially orthopedists that face unique challenges seeing a high-volume of patients. It would be unacceptable for an EHR to slow you down resulting in lost patient volumes and revenue. If you partner with a system that understands your specialty and has a proven track record in Orthopaedics, you may see the overall benefits of implementing the right EHR in three main areas.
- Enhanced Workflow
A smoothly functioning office is the backbone of a successful practice. EHR solutions are fundamental in achieving efficient workflow because they enable users to automate routine tasks. Office administrators can easily schedule appointments, send faxes and use instant messaging to communicate with doctors. Orthopedists can send and receive orders and results directly via their computer. The more effective the workflow, the more efficient the practice becomes allowing more patients to be seen and revenues to increase.
- Increased Physician Productivity
Many doctors who use paper charts assume that an EHR system will slow them down, resulting in seeing fewer patients everyday. Physician productivity actually improves with the right EHR solutions because it enables faster, more effective charting. No more staying at the office late to finish off notes, and no taking charts home. Hospital rounds don’t require the physician to lug around all patient records for the day. Doctors can easily write a prescription and send it electronically to the pharmacy of the patient’s choosing.
- Eligibility for Government Incentives
Even though there are the advantages of increased productivity and an efficient office, financial incentives are a great motivator. The federal government has enacted the HITECH Act, which encourages doctors to implement EHR solutions. This is achieved through Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements made to practices. Of course, the government makes us jump through hoops; for HITECH Act purposes, the key term is “meaningful use.” An orthopedist who is meaningfully using EHR technology is entitled to a maximum incentive payment of $144,00 while those who do not will be subject to a penalty or "adjustment" which starts at 1% of medicare payments and increases by 1% per year to a maximum of 5% after five years.
All of these advantages of implementing EHR solutions contribute to the overall success of a practice. More efficient work-flow and increased physician productivity ultimately helps to make the practice more profitable; and taking advantage of financial incentives and avoiding negative payment adjustments also serve to strengthen the bottom line. However, at the end of the day, what is most important to orthopedists is better patient care. We at HIS share this goal as well.
We are happy to be able to make available to you the recordings of a webinar we presented concerning 8 Revenue Cycle Concerns for Orthopedic Practices & How to Fix Them. We hope that you will find them to be helpful to your practice.
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