July 15, 2013
Meaningful use wasn’t exactly designed to make office workflow more efficient; its main goal is to encourage doctors to use their EHR software in ways that will increase interoperability and population health. A good goal, but it’s not without its challenges.
A few years into the program, though, medical practices across the country have found ways to make meaningful use meld with their workflow. In fact, with a usable EHR, meaningful use shouldn’t slow you down much at all.
Most of the tips outlined below should take place before you attempt meaningful use, but they’re still good tips to keep in mind even if you’re on your second or third year of meaningful use reporting.
Train staff on meaningful use
Meaningful use is a practice-wide effort, and involves more than just recording data. Knowing how to find the right data is also important. It’s worth the time to conduct a few training sessions to get everyone on the same page with meaningful use. Your vendor is usually a good resource to turn to for training.
Decide who will enter meaningful use data
Meaningful use data must be entered correctly to ensure you’ll qualify for incentive payments. Most of the data collection can be done by the front office staff, but some of it needs to be done by the physician or PA. Make sure it is clear throughout your practice who needs to record what.
Run reports regularly
Rather than waiting until you need to attest, I’d recommend running reports weekly to make sure data-entry requirements are being met. This way, if something is missing or incorrect, you’ll have plenty of time to correct the issue before it’s time to attest.
Remember that to receive the maximum incentive (the first year), EPs must bill at least $24,000 to Medicare during their 90-day reporting period. If your practice doesn’t already bill at this level during a normal 90-day period, then plan on scheduling extra Medicare patients to meet the goal. Also, in order to be eligible for incentives, a physician must file at least 90 percent of Medicare claims as outpatient visits.