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Author Archives: William S. Underwood MPH

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William S. Underwood MPH

Senior Associate, Center For Practice Improvement & Innovation, American College of Physicians

For most medical practices, a local hospital interface that allows patient information to be sent and received can be a great benefit when trying to proactively coordinate and manage patient care. In an effort to improve patient care and reduce health system costs, new care models such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Patient Centered…

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E-Prescribing use has been increasing, especially with the imposition of the Medicare penalty for the failure to e-prescribe under MIPPA, and the Meaningful Use incentive program. For those not familiar with the e-prescribing penalty I suggest that you read Deadline to Submit Hardship Exemptions to Avoid the 2012 e-Rx Penalty Extended. You still have six…

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I have been hearing from an increasing number of physicians and practices that they have been turned down by the EHR vendor of their choice or are faced with a long wait time before the vendor can install the system. All of the practices I have heard from were relatively small (under 10 physicians) and…

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About a year ago, a frantic doctor called me to discuss what steps he should take. Due to a technical malfunction, his practice had lost all of its medical records. During our conversations it became clear that his seven-doctor practice in rural Colorado had been using an EHR system for the past 10 years, and…

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If your front office does not operate efficiently, it has a negative ripple effect throughout your entire practice. The Meaningful Use program, mandatory E-Prescribing, and health system reform initiatives at the state level are taking their toll on many practices. The transition towards Electronic Health Records and adaptation to new workflow processes is creating significant…

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Earlier today CMS extended the deadline for 5010 compliance by 90 days; the original deadline was January 1, 2012. ASC X12 Version 5010 is the transaction used to submit electronic claims to payers. Many of the large clearing houses and state Medicaid options had publicly stated that they were not going to be ready to…

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Big Bang describes an implementation where a practice begins using all of the functions at the same time. A staged implementation refers to a practice that gradually starts using a defined subset of EHR functionality before implementing more functionality; this process is then repeated until all of the functions of the EHR system are implemented….

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The deadline to submit a hardship exemption for the 2012 penalty was November 1, 2011. Due to technical issues at CMS, this deadline has been extended to November 8, 2011. As noted last week in Four Days Left to Submit an Exemption for the e-Rx Penalty, the exemptions for the 2012 penalty are as follows:…

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It is not too late to submit an exemption to the 2012 e-prescribing penalty. The deadline for requesting an exemption is November 1, 2011. For those of you who are not familiar with the e-Rx incentive program, it will impose a one percent reduction on all of your Medicare reimbursements in 2012, if you did…

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One of the questions I frequently get from practices selecting an EHR revolves around the IT hardware they should purchase. The first and most important piece of advice is to talk to your EHR vendor to determine the technical requirements of their system and any recommendations they have regarding hardware for your practice. In addition,…

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Almost every physician I have talked to groans when I tell them they will need to use some form of templates if they are going to use their EHR effectively.  I can’t honestly say that I “know” their pain, as I am not a physician, but I have come across some common threads. To many…

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