Scan Your Way Towards “Meaningful Use”

June 28th, 2010

In order for medical practices to receive federal stimulus funding in order to partially subsidize a purchased EMR system, AND comply with current mandates to eliminate fiscal penalties later on, practices will need to demonstrate “Meaningful Use”.  The question is: How?  Here is what we know today:

  1. The Government will begin stimulus payouts for eligible practices demonstrating “Meaningful Use” with certified EMR systems in 2011?   EMR systems must be certified by a  ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).
  2. As part of the criteria to receive this funding, you must actually demonstrate USE of an EMR system for a percentage of your Medicaid OR Medicare patients to receive funding for a consecutive number of days? For more information on activity requirements reference https://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/ .

Take a look at the stimulus funding table below:

Amount You will Receive Each Year
Year You First File 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total
2011 $18,000 $12,000 $8,000 $4,000 $2,000 $0 $44,000
2012 $0 $18,000 $12,000 $8,000 $4,000 $2,000 $44,000
2013 $0 $0 $15,000 $12,000 $8,000 $4,000 $39,000
2014 $0 $0 $0 $12,000 $8,000 $4,000 $24,000
2015 or Later $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

Table Information provided by Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions, Inc.

Based on the information in this table, the longer you wait to implement an EMR system and demonstrate “Meaningful Use”, the less funding you will get.

How Digitizing Can Help You Achieve “Meaningful Use”

While exact requirements for “Meaningful Use” are still not clearly defined, one of the most crucial aspects of achieving the criteria for stimulus funding is your practice’s ability to demonstrate USE of the system for a consecutive period.  As a pre-requisite the EMR system must be pre-loaded with basic patient info and pertinent historical data.

Scanning can make your transition significantly easier.  With specialized high-speed scanner equipment critical historical sections from the practices legacy medical charts can quickly be digitized and linked to images to the electronic patient record in the EMR system.   By doing this, practice staff/physicians will have digital images of the physical chart one click away and linked to the electronic patient record.

OptiScan has a proven methodology for leveraging practice patient databases with barcode technology assisting with batch processing of paper-charts, digitizing the paper, and linking digitized chart to EMR quickly and completely with full-tracking and monitoring along the way. We’ve worked with large Arizona practices such as Pima Heart Cardiology, Digestive Disease Consultants, Mesa Gastroenterology, Tri-City Cardiology and many others.

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