e-Prescribing, or eRx, is the new method doctors use to submit your prescriptions to payers and pharmacies. Now streamlined into a click of one button, electronic prescription submission replaced a procedure that once required a ream of copy paper and a perpetually busy fax line is Proven to reduce dosage and interpretation errors, e-Prescribing is now required for all certified EMR software that your doctor implements.
As a patient, you may not be aware how e-Prescribing benefits you, but it indeed does. From saving your life to saving time in line at the pharmacy, your doctor’s use of electronic prescriptions increases the quality of care you receive.
Safety First – The number one benefit patients receive from e-Prescribing is the protection from fatal dosage errors. Electronic prescription writing eliminates errors made in dosage calculations and prevents the names of medications from being misread by the pharmacy from doctors’ notoriously sloppy handwriting. Integrated with an EMR, you doctor can check for drug possible adverse reactions from allergies and other medications.
Your Past Meets Your Present – e-Prescribing lists all your medications from the past and present for your doctor to access. Doctors can utilize the informed clinical decision support of EMR based on comparing your medication list with your past treatment notes to devise a new or continued course of treatment.
Saves Time – Prescriptions get filled quicker through e-Prescribing. After your doctor checks for interactions and allergies, they submit the prescription to the payer to check eligibility of coverage and then submit it to the pharmacy. Without having to sit through dial-through menus or wait to speak to a pharmacist, e-Prescribing shaves minutes to hours off of the prescription process, meaning you get your medication faster.
Better Health! – Patients whose doctors use electronic prescribing are more likely to take their medications than those who do not have an eRx system. Did you know that a whopping 20% of paper prescriptions go unfilled? Patients either lose the paper script or don’t take it to the pharmacy because it’s too much of a hassle. e-Prescribing eliminates the patient from the submission process; all they have to do is pick it up. By correctly following the doctor’s recommended course of treatment, you can play an active role in improving the quality of care you receive and the overall quality of your health.
Does your practice’s office staff feel confident with making A/R collections calls?
If your practice staff is squeamish or hesitant about calling patients and soliciting payments from past due statements, perhaps rather than lacking the desire to make the calls, they lack the confidence. Enrolling your staff in a medical collections training regional seminar enables them to fully learn all aspects of the revenue cycle in a relatively short period of time. In face-to-face seminars, the seminar leader gladly answers all your staff’s questions with the intent on bolstering confidence.
Does your staff have a hard time collecting due to difficult patients?
Even if your staff feels confident asking for payments, they may get intimidated by angry patients or those who claim they just cannot pay and give up attempting to collect from that particular person. Medical collections training seminars and webinars offer solutions on how to properly deal with upset patients. Flip-chart desk helpers are another tool; they serve as an in-office reference for making collections calls. Staff can follow the call procedure charts and use the prompts when responding to objections and excuses.
Does your staff know the laws regarding collections in your state?
If your practice office staff has never had any formal training in collections, they are probably unaware of the laws your state enforces in regards to medical debt collections. Collections training helps staff understand what they can and cannot say to patients while attempting to collect based on your particular state. A private consultation may also be set up to address the specific needs of your practice and make sure your collections practices stay within state guidelines.
Implementing an EMR software solution is a serious investment for your practice. With all investments comes a certain level of risk. What if take the risk by putting all your money (and faith) into a certain EMR and it does nothing for your practice? You’re back to square one and thousands of dollars in the hole. Running a cost-benefit analysis study before the purchase tells you whether or not a particular EMR is a worthy investment. An EMR ROI calculator, designed specifically with hospitals and practices in mind, gives doctors and practice managers an idea how much a software solution will either save them (or cost them) per month.
Before using the EMR ROI calculator, ask the vendor the following questions about the product: How much does the EMR cost? How much hardware is required to run the EMR? What is the cost of maintenance? What is the average cost of training the staff? Once you have this information, the calculator will ask for the following information regarding your practice:
Paper Materials – Number per day and cost per unit
• New patient charts
Cost of Medical Record Space
• Size of room
• Monthly rent paid per square foot
Monthly Employee Cost – Minutes spent per action
• Patient Chart Pulls
• Patient Chart Filing
• Chart Transfer to Other Locations
Physician Time – Minutes spent per action
• Record dictation
After entering the data, the EMR ROI calculator generates an immediate estimate. Depending on the work flow of your practice and the particular EMR in mind, the calculation determines whether or not the implementation will result in savings or loss in the following areas:
• Staff Time – The more records converted to electronic means less chart pulling staffing expenses.
• Paper Supplies – Fewer paper charts mean less printing, telephone faxing and less need to purchase paper.
• Additional Patients Seen – An efficient workflow allows the practice to treat more patients in a day that previously possible.
• Financial Savings/Cost Benefit of EMR – This is the number that will really sum it up for you. Are you gaining or losing? If your numbers end up positive, then perhaps this is the right EMR for your practice. If they come out negative, then maybe it’s best to continue shopping around for an EMR that will help your practice attain its long-term financial goals.
Due to the recent economic recession, many people find themselves struggling to pay their bills. As a practice manager, you may be all too familiar with this struggle. Is the amount received each month much less than what was billed? Is your practice struggling to pay its bills as the result of patients struggling with theirs? If this is the case, then a medical collections service is good solution for you.
Are late payments negatively affecting your practice?
If late or lack of insurance and patient payments are affecting the way your practice operates, perhaps you could use a bit of outside help. Medical collections services oversee the prompt collection of past due claims and statements so doctors’ offices can maintain afloat. A collections service carefully performs all the tasks in a revenue cycle, ensuring you receive the full amounts owed and your practice can confidently continue treating patients.
Does your office staff have a heavier workload than they can handle?
With office downsizing, running a doctor’s office can be an arduous task. With less manpower, the remaining staff gets thinly spread out, leaving less time to attend to collections than what your practice needs. Implementing a medical collections service guarantees accounts receivable staff trained in HIPAA and FDCPA. Collections staff devote their time to insurance resolution in case of claims denial, following up with patients during hours where your staff wouldn’t normally be available and finding workable payment plan solutions.
A term that became very relevant in the past year that you’ll start hearing more frequently is healthcare IT certification. What is it exactly and why are we hearing this particular phrase more? Healthcare IT certification involves the inspection and approval of EHR and EMR technology for meaningful use based on the criteria set by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) of Health and Human Services.
The certification of EHR technology is overseen by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT). This independent non-profit organization promotes the advancement of the adoption of health information technology. The commission assists physicians and practices with the transition to electronic medical record systems, as well as ensuring the interoperability of healthcare IT products between facilities. EHR and EMR software receives approval certification by ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCB), in six locations throughout the U.S.
We’re hearing more about healthcare IT certification now because of the commencement of Stage 1 meaningful use attestation in April, 2011. It’s relevant because an EHR software solution needs to be certified by ONC-ATCB in order to thoroughly demonstrate the meaningful use of electronic data for attestation. By certifying the technology, it proves the EHR’s ability to meet the core objectives of meaningful use.