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A Message from AZCOMP Regarding COVID-19

As the Coronavirus outbreak continues to expand and news continues to develop, many organizations are considering plans should employees be unable to travel to work.

We at AZCOMP stand by ready and willing to assist. We are mobilizing to serve our customers and fellow businesses. There are various tools available that make working remotely secure and relatively easy to setup. AZCOMP can consult with you on what might work best for your business, to be successful and work off-site.

Our purpose is to empower our customers and we take this very seriously. We will have technical resources on standby should you have questions. We are ready to help and assist any way we can in these times of uncertainty.

If you need anything, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do to help.

AZCOMP Technologies – the #1 eMDs reseller since 2005.

We are the ultimate source for all things Medisoft & Lytec. Whatever your question or problem or need with Medisoft & Lytec, we can help you. AZCOMP can help with sales, training, coaching, installation, support, EHR, add-on tools such as preferred clearinghouses, or patient statements, patient payments, appointment reminders and more.

For more Medisoft information, visit our website here: http://www.azcomp.com/medisoft/

For more Lytec information, visit our website here: http://www.azcomp.com/lytec/

Be sure to call us at (877) 959-8292 for all your network and healthcare technology needs.

Five Facts about ICD-10 from CMS

quick fix icd-10 conversion team cartoon

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently talked with providers to identify common misperceptions about the transition to ICD-10 in order to help dispel some of the myths surrounding ICD-10.  Some of the most common questions and concerns about ICD-10 are covered in these five facts written by CMS.

The Five Facts about ICD-10 & CMS comments about them

1. The ICD-10 transition date is October 1, 2015.

The government, payers, and large providers alike have made a substantial investment in ICD-10.  This cost will rise if the transition is delayed, and further ICD-10 delays will lead to an unnecessary rise in health care costs.  Get ready now for ICD-10.

2. You don’t have to use 68,000 codes.

Your practice does not use all 13,000 diagnosis codes available in ICD-9.  Nor will it be required to use the 68,000 codes that ICD-10 offers.  As you do now, your practice will use a very small subset of the codes.

3. You will use a similar process to look up ICD-10 codes that you use with ICD-9.

Increasing the number of diagnosis codes does not necessarily make ICD-10 harder to use.  As with ICD-9, an alphabetic index and electronic tools are available to help you with code selection.

4. Outpatient and office procedure codes aren’t changing.

The transition to ICD-10 for diagnosis coding and inpatient procedure coding does not affect the use of CPT for outpatient and office coding.  Your practice will continue to use CPT.

5. All Medicare fee-for-service providers have the opportunity to conduct testing with CMS before the ICD-10 transition.

Your practice or clearinghouse can conduct acknowledgement testing at any time with your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC).  Testing will ensure you can submit claims with ICD-10 codes.  During a special “acknowledgment testing” week to be held on June 2015, you will have access to real-time help desk support.  Contact your MAC for details about testing plans and opportunities.

What this means for smaller independent practices (from our perspective)

First – if you feel you aren’t prepared, there is no time like today to get started.

What do you need to do to get prepared?  That answer is different for each different practice, but we have some resources available for you.  Use the ones that fit best with where you are at.

ICD-10 Planning Tools

ICD-10 Webinar Series – A few months back we hosted a series of ICD-10 webinars.  You can access the recordings now by clicking here.  In these 4 short webinars (each recording is between 30 to 45 minutes) we provide a lot of information to help with planning, to help you learn how to use the ICD-10 tools that are built into Medisoft v20/v19 and Lytec 2015/2014, how to conduct testing with your clearinghouse, and give other tips on how to become ICD-10 ready.

Quick ICD-10 Planning Checklist – This 1 page (front and back) checklist summarizes in simple terms what you need to consider for your practice to get ICD-10 ready.

ICD-10 Impact Summary – This 1 page (front side only) info sheet summarizes how ICD-10 might impact different aspects of your practice to help you understand what changes you might need to make.

Roadto10.org – They have some videos you can watch, a “Build Your Action Plan” tool you can use and many other articles and other resources.

Second – you need to upgrade to the ICD-10 ready version of your software.

Your software is not ICD-10 ready if you are not on Medisoft v20/v19, or Lytec 2015/2014.  Medisoft v18 or any other earlier model is not ICD-10 ready.  Lytec 2013 or any other earlier model is not ICD-10 ready.

Call us today at (888) 799-4777 to get your ICD-10 ready software.

Third – consider additional software solutions to help make the transition easier.

In addition to upgrading to Medisoft v20 or Lytec 2015, there are additional tools that can help make things easier.  Fact number 3 above provided by CMS states that electronic tools are available to help you with code selection.  Here are the tools that we have to offer.

Codes on Disk

If your time is valuable then you are going to truly appreciate this simple tool.  Import the latest CPT-4, ICD-10, and HCPCS codes for your specialty into Medisoft or Lytec to assist you with implementing the standard code set requirement for HIPAA.  Save yourself hours of manual labor entering all those procedure and diagnosis codes.  This tool can be used by existing Lytec and Medisoft users alike.  It will not erase your existing codes.

Encoder Pro

Encoder pro enables users to simultaneously search across ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS codes to get integrated search results, code details, and descriptions.  This will save so much time compared to searching a physical code book by hand.  If you have Google or Bing at your fingertips, would you ever go pick up a phone book or encyclopedia or dictionary?  Take advantage of Encoder Pro the way you use Google to find things out.

EMR

Has your practice implemented an EMR yet?  If you are not using EMR yet, let ICD-10 be another reason to consider it.

How can EMR help with ICD-10?  The short answer is that we cover 5 ways an EMR can help make the transition to ICD-10 easier in our webinar series mentioned above.  Feel free to watch the webinar recordings.

Still not really a direct answer, but here are two questions to consider to get you started thinking about it.

Question 1: What is your paper superbill going to look like with the expanded list of codes you will use in your practice?

Question 2: With an increased need for documentation, how are you going to retrain yourself or your staff to be better at documentation?

With the transition to ICD-10, even though you won’t need to use all 68,000 codes, you will definitely see an increase in the number of codes you are using on a regular basis.  This could significantly increase the size of your superbill.  If you are seeing patients with a four or eight page superbill, how fun will that be to manage?

By implementing an EMR, you will make the switch to an electronic superbill which will be so much better for managing all those codes.  Additionally, the documentation needed with your ICD-10 claims will be taken care of for you while using the EMR program.

There are several other ways an EMR can help with ICD-10, which are covered in our webinar replay you can watch.  And of course EMR helps in many other aspects with amazing tools like e-prescribing, lab-interfaces, eliminating paper charts and helping to improve patient care to name just a few.  To learn more about our Medisoft and Lytec EMR options or to schedule a demo, just give us a call!

Lastly – practice using ICD-10 codes starting ASAP!

Practice!  Practice!  Practice!

Even if you have all of the tools that you need, if you wait until October 1 to start using everything, then it will be a rough transition.  If you haven’t worked out your own kinks, then you could see significant delays in getting your claims paid and you will be frustrated with the process.  Don’t do that to yourself.  You can start practicing today!

Here are a couple tips to help you start practicing.

Our second webinar recording shows you how to put your software (either Lytec or Medisoft) into “testing mode” so that you can submit test claims.  In our third webinar, we outline how you can test your ICD-10 claims with your clearinghouse.  We provide specific information from Relay Health because that is our preferred clearinghouse, but we give you the info you need so you can enquire with your own.

There is also a feature in your ICD-10 version of the program that allows you to just start coding everything in ICD-10 right now, but your claims will still be submitted in ICD-9 right up until September 30th!  In the program, you can set a date for when to start submitting your ICD-10 claims.  Set that date right now so you don’t need to worry about making any changes on the morning of October 1.  

Doing all this will allow you to practice coding in ICD-10 now and so that you and your staff can get comfortable with the changes, but without the added stress of potentially delayed payments.

That’s it for now.

If you’ve been working on getting ICD-10 ready at your practice – feel free to share your successes or your failures with the community so we can learn from each other.  Share with us in the comments below!

CMS Listens To Input From Health Care Providers

CMS Announces Intent to Engage in Rulemaking for EHR Incentive Program Changes for 2015

***(This is a repost of an email we received from CMS January 29, 2015)

ehr incentive program logoThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) intends to engage in rulemaking this spring to help ensure providers continue to meet meaningful use requirements.

In response to input from health care providers and other stakeholders, CMS is considering the following changes to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs:

  1. Shortening the 2015 reporting period to 90 days to address provider concerns about their ability to fully deploy 2014 Edition software
  2. Realigning hospital reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and to better align with other quality programs
  3. Modifying other aspects of the programs to match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burden

These proposed changes reflect the Department of Health and Human Services’ commitment to creating a health information technology infrastructure that:

  • Elevates patient-centered care
  • Improves health outcomes
  • Supports the providers who care for patients

While CMS intends to pursue these changes through rulemaking, they will not be included in the pending Stage 3 proposed rule. CMS intends to limit the scope of the pending proposed rule to Stage 3 and meaningful use in 2017 and beyond.

To read Dr. Conway’s blog on this announcement, go to: http://blog.cms.gov/.
 

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

CQM News Flash for Medisoft Clinical, LytecMD, & Practice Partner Users!

McKesson released the following letter on January 16, 2015:

This letter provides information regarding the current capability of Practice Partner® v11.0 as it relates to submission of the following reports:

  • Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) 
  • Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQM) reports 
  • Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCI) reports

McKesson certified Practice Partner v11.0 with the Office of the National Coordinator for HealthCare IT (ONC) is using a tool called Cypress. Cypress is one of the rigorous and repeatable testing tools used by ONC to certify Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and EHR modules in calculating performance metric reports and Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) for Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently indicated the Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) file format certified previously with Cypress is not the layout they accept. The QRDA format that CMS accepts is the combined format for CQM, CPCI and PQRS. Therefore, McKesson needs to make modifications to Practice Partner v11.0 to allow for the required format that CMS will accept for PQRS reporting.

McKesson is working diligently with CMS to understand the changes needed in Practice Partner v11.0 in order to provide our customers the ability to report on PQRS measures via CEHRT. To date, we have successfully registered for QualityNet and we are conducting focused testing and certification on the QRDA file format to help ensure that the changes made meet CMS requirements.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Until this testing is complete, customers will not be able to submit CQM data electronically.

There are 64 possible Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) reports required for Stage 2 certification. These same measures are valid for PQRS submission. Practice Partner currently provides 38 of these reports, with another five that will be released in January 2015, bringing the total number to 43. These 43 measures should cover the majority of primary care and specialty requirements. Additional measures will be considered in the future road map based on request, but currently there are no additional CQM reports slated to be added.

For practices participating in the CPCI program, please watch for future notification on how to attest manually for this incentive program.

We will continue to provide updates with our progress as it relates to the above information.

Sincerely,

Tom Reinecke
Director – Product Management
Business Performance Services

———————————————–

What does this mean for Medisoft Clinical / LytecMD / Practice Partner Users?

Users that are participating in the EHR Incentive Program can meet the requirements for Meaningful Use by selecting to report CQM data through attestation. This will satisfy the requirements for Meaningful Use, however it will not satisfy the requirements for the PQRS program.

With this announcement it is imperative that Practices that have not already submitted PQRS data for 2014 make proper arrangements to do so.

Facts about PQRS:

  • Providers can earn a Bonus payment of 0.5% of their total estimated Medicare Part B allowed charges by reporting PQRS data for 2014.
  • There is a 2% payment adjustment/penalty that will be deducted from all Medicare Part B payments for services provided in 2016 if providers do not satisfactorily report PQRS for 2014.
  • The deadline to submit PQRS data for 2014 is February 28, 2015.

There are several ways to report PQRS data for 2014 including:

  1. Claims Based Reporting:
    Requires appropriate G codes for 9 individual measures to have been billed on Medicare Part B Claims for 50% of applicable patients for the entire calendar year of 2014
  2. Qualified Registry Reporting: 
    Option A: Choose 1 Measure group to report 20 applicable patients
    – 12 Month OR 6 Month Reporting Period)
    – At least 11 patients must be Medicare patients
    Option B: Choose 9 Individual Measures aross 3 NQS Domains for at least 50% of Medicare patients to whom the individual measures apply.
    – 12 Month Reporting Period
    List of 2014 Qualified Registries
  3. Direct EHR Reporting:
    Report on 9 Individual Measures across 3 NQS Domains for applicable patients for a 12 Month Reporting Period.
    – In 2014 CMS is allowing providers to single report quality measures to PQRS for the entire year (12 Month reporting period) and have it qualify for the CQM requirement under Meaningful Use. However, because the 2014 CEHRT versions of Medisoft Clinical/LytecMD/Practice Partner (v11) were not released until after the start of the year, and due to the fact that many of the measures require configuration or changes to documentation in order to capture the data in a manner that will produce numbers on the CQM reports, it is unlikely that any providers will have a full year’s worth of data in their CQM reports. In addition, the announcement cited above from McKesson confirms that direct EHR Reporting is not available at this time.
  4. EHR Reporting via Data Submission Vendor:
    Report on 9 Individual Measures across 3 NQS Domains for applicable patients for a 12 Month Reporting Period.
    – McKesson is not currently partnered with any Data Submission Vendors, however, there may be Data Submission Vendors that are compatible with Medisoft Clinical/LytecMD/Practice Partner as a third party solution. Providers are responsible for working directly with third party vendors to report via this method.
    – Data Submission Vendors require the applicable data to be recorded in a structured manner for the entire 12 month reporting period in order for them to accurately export and report the data on the providers behalf.
  5. Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR):
    Report on 9 Individual Measures across 3 NQS Domains for applicable patients for a 12 Month Reporting Period.
    – McKesson is not currently partnered with any QCDRs, however there may be QCDRs that are compatible with Medisoft Clinical/Lytec MD/Practice Partner as a third party solution. Providers are responsible for working directly with third party vendors to report via this method. 2014 Certified QCDRs List

For practices that did not report PQRS data through claims in 2014 we are recommending Qualified Registry Reporting. While AZCOMP has no direct experience with any of the Registries, and therefore cannot endorse any specific registry, we have found sites such as MDInteractive.com that have made the process for reporting PQRS simple. For example, if providers qualify to report under a measure group then MDInteractive.com has a worksheet (usually 1-2 pages with 9 or fewer questions) that only need to be filled out for a total of 20 applicable patients (11 must be Medicare). We have heard that the entire process generally takes an office 4-6 hours to identify the patients, fill out the worksheets and enter the information into the registry. For specific questions regarding registry reporting please contact the registry of your choice directly as AZCOMP does not directly support registry reporting.

For Questions Regarding the PQRS program contact the QualityNet Help Desk

  • Available Monday – Friday; 7:00 AM–7:00 PM CST
  • General CMS Physician Quality Reporting System Incentive Program information
  • Portal password issues
  • Feedback report availability and access
  • PQRI-IACS registration questions
  • PQRI-IACS login issues

Phone: 1-866-288-8912

TTY: 1-877-715-6222

Email: Qnetsupport@hcqis.org

 

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

Basic Patient Inquiry Instructions

How to meet Stage 1 (Menu Objective) and Stage 2 (Core Objective) for List of Patients by Diagnosis:

In this example we will run an inquiry to find any patients that have Asthma (ICD-9 493.90) on their major problem list.

Step 1: Go to Reports/Patient Inquiry

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Step 2: When the Patient Inquiry window opens, hit the drop down for “Selection Criteria” and Choose “39. Problem Code #1”

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Step 3: Enter the ICD-9 you are searching for.

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Step 4: Select the operator value “equal to”

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Step 5: Enter Provider ID or leave it blank

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Step 6: The Patient Inquiry window should now display the item you are searching for. To add additional items to the inquiry, select either “And” or “Or” on the right hand side of the window under “Report Logic” and then hit the “Add” button at the bottom and repeat the process. (You can have up to 16 items per inquiry.) When all the selection criteria has been filled in, hit Run.

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Step 7: Enter a name for the report file and hit Open. (Make sure you browse to a location where you can find the report. We recommend making a folder on the P Drive called “Patient Inquiry.”) Note that you do not want to put an extension on the file name as the program will assign .sel also note that you cannot use any spaces in the file name.

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Step 8: Depending on the size of your database and resources available on the computer you are running the report on, it may take some time to run. When the report has finished you will get a message indicating the number of patients that match the criteria, and the percent this represents of your entire practice.

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Step 9: Hit OK and it will print the report.  (This may also take a minute)

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Download the pdf instructions here:  Patient Inquiry Instructions

 

Meaningful Use Well Check

Time for your end of the year Meaningful Use Well Check 🙂

Meaningful Use Well CheckAs 2014 is drawing to a close the window of opportunity is also closing for meeting Meaningful Use requirements in 2014.  This year we have seen changes to the EHR Incentive Program as well as updates released for the software.  Missing any of these changes could put your practice in jeopardy of not qualifying for meaningful use.  Please take a few moments to review some of the basics to make sure your practice is still on track to successfully attesting for 2014!

Review the Flexibility Rule:

CMS is allowing practices that have not had sufficient time to fully implement the 2014 Certified Electronic Health Records Technology (CEHRT), due to delays in availability, the options to attest using 2011 CEHRT. If you qualify for the CEHRT Options under the flexibility rule, determine which Stage you will attest for this year:

  • Stage 1 2013 Definition
  • Stage 1 2014 Definition
  • Stage 2

For an overview of how to determine if you are eligible for the flexibility rule review: Meaningful Use 911 Webinar

Run your Performance Metric Reports

Run your performance metric reports regularly to ensure you are meeting the thresholds! Remember in v11 you can use the drill down capability in the reports to identify which patients are not included in your numerators. In many cases it will not be too late to make corrections in the patient’s chart to ensure that the data is captured properly so that it can be reflected in your performance metrics report.

Review Menu Objectives

Review Menu objectives to ensure you have the right number to report! CMS is no longer allowing users to claim an exemption and have that count towards their total required menu objectives. If you have claimed an exemption in the past make sure you have selected an additional menu objective to attest to this year. For providers in Stage 1 that may find they are short a measure, it is not too late to send out patient reminders and we have a free webinar you can watch to teach you how to do it!

Patient Reminders Webinar

Providers attesting for Stage 1 2014 Definition or Stage 2 must have a patient portal (Webview)

For more information on changes effective this year, view the following CMS document: 2014 Changes Tipsheet

Review CQM Reports

Providers attesting to Stage 1 2014 Definition or Stage 2 must report 9 CQMs this year. Many CQMs require configuration. Some issues have been identified with the CQM reports in v11, please make sure you are on the latest update of the report so you can ensure you are getting the most accurate numbers, contact support right away if you need updates.

For more information review our recent blog post: New Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) Manual Released!

Ensure that you have supporting documentation for the Yes/No Attestation measures

Ensure that you have supporting documentation for the Yes/No Attestation measures. Not all measures have a threshold and therefore there is no performance metric the system can produce on a report to indicate whether the provider met the measure. CMS recommends keeping supporting documentation for each of the Yes/No attestation measures that the provider attests to. Providers should keep copied of supporting documentation for 6 years post attestation in case of an audit. Yes/No Measures include:

ObjectiveAudit ValidationRecommended Supporting Documentation
Drug-Drug/Drug-Allergy Interaction ChecksFunctionality is available, enabled, and active in the system for the duration of the EHR reporting period.One or more screenshots from the certified EHR system that are dated during the EHR reporting period selected for attestation.
Clinical Decision SupportFunctionality is available, enabled, and active in the system for the duration of the EHR reporting period.One or more screenshots from the certified EHR system that are dated during the EHR reporting period selected for attestation.
Protect Electronic Health InformationSecurity risk analysis of the certified EHR technology was performed prior to the end of the reporting yearCopy of a completed security risk analysis that was conducted during the calendar year the provider is attesting for. It can be performed outside of the reporting period but must be completed no earlier than the first of the year, and no later than the last day of the year.
Drug Formulary ChecksFunctionality is available, enabled, and active in the system for the duration of the EHR reporting period.One or more screenshots from the certified EHR system that are dated during the EHR reporting period selected for attestation.
Generate Lists of Patients by Specific ConditionsOne report listing patients of the provider with a specific condition.Report from the certified EHR system that is dated during the EHR reporting period selected for attestation.
Immunization Registries·Data Submission, and Syndromic Surveillance Data SubmissionOne test of certified EHR technology’s capacity to submit electronic data and follow-up submission if the test is successful.
  • Dated screenshots from the EHR system that document a test submission to the registry or public health agency (successful or unsuccessful). Should include evidence to support that it was generated for that provider’s system (e.g., identified by National Provider Identifier (NPI), CMS Certification Number (CCN), provider name, practice name, etc.).
  • A dated record of successful or unsuccessful electronic transmission (e.g, screenshot from another system, etc.). Should include evidence to support that it was generated for that provider (e.g., identified by National Provider Identifier (NPI), CMS Certification Number (CCN), provider name, practice name, etc.).
  • Letter or email from registry or public health agency confirming the receipt (or failure of receipt) of the submitted data, including the date of the submission, name of parties involved, and whether the test was successful.
ExclusionsDocumentation to support each exclusion to a measure claimed bythe provider.Report from the certified EHR system that shows a zero denominator for the measure or otherwise documents that the provider qualifies for the exclusion.

Preparing for Attestation

A few tools that can help you prepare for your attestation are the CMS attestation worksheets and the attestation calculators that allow you to practice attesting to see if you are passing before submitting your actual attestation:

Stage WorksheetCalculator
Stage 1 2013 DefinitionAttestation Worksheet Stage 1 (2013)Stage 1 Calculator
Stage 1 2014 DefinitionAttestation Worksheet Stage 1 (2014)Stage 1 Calculator
Stage 2Attestation Worksheet Stage 2Stage 2 Calculator

Look Ahead!

Just a reminder, as it stands today the reporting period for 2015 is a full calendar year for all providers that have previously participated in the EHR Incentive program. All providers are required to be on the 2014 CERT for the entire reporting period. If you are scheduled for Stage 2 in 2015 please ensure that you have taken proper steps to configure your EHR for the new objectives and requirements.

We are here to help!

If you need assistance with any of the checklist items above please contact us immediately to schedule time with a trainer. The timeframe is limited and schedules are filling up so do not delay!

We know the amount of work each of you have put into making changes to your practice in order to meet meaningful use objectives, and congratulate each of you for taking the steps to ensure your patients are receiving the BEST care!

 

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

Meaningful Use 911 Webinar Follow Up

Meaningful Use 911 Webinar Follow Up & Resources Used

Meaningful Use, EHR, Medisoft Clinical, Lytec MD, Practice Partner

Our Meaningful Use 911 event last Friday was packed with useful information on the latest changes to the EHR Incentive Program.

If you want to watch the replay you can click here to view it.

The Power Point is also available here: Meaningful Use 911

For those of you that want to take a deeper dive into all the resources that were used we’ve put together links to the source documents for each of the main topics that were reviewed in the webinar.

Flexibility Rule:

This includes all the details on the proposal that passed allowing more options for providers that could not fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability. During the webinar we discussed a number of questions and concerns that providers had regarding the flexibility rule as well as CMS’s responses. These comments and responses from CMS offer great insight and clarification and are well worth the read if you have any questions regarding what would qualify a provider to use the CEHRT Options in 2014.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/09/04/2014-21021/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-modifications-to-the-medicare-and-medicaid-electronic-health-record

CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule Decision Tool:

This tool provides an easy way to find out what options are available to you for reporting in 2014. Answer a few simple questions:
1) What CEHRT Edition are you currently using?
2) What stage of meaningful use are you scheduled to meet for the 2014 reporting period? (You can determine your scheduled Stage for 2014 by using the EHR Participation Timeline Tool)
After answering the questions it kicks out the options that are available to you for your 2014 Meaningful Use Reporting.
https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/CEHRT_Rule_DecisionTool.pdf

Stage 1 Changes Tipsheet:

For providers that have the option of either reporting Stage 1 2013 Definitions versus Stage 1 2014 Definitions it is important to understand what the differences are between the two options. The Stage 1 Changes Tipsheet provides an outline of the changes that went into effect in 2014 for all providers (such as no longer being permitted to count an exclusion toward the minimum of 5 menu objectives) as well as an outline of the differences between Stage 1 2013 and Stage 1 2014.
https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/stage1changestipsheet.pdf

McKesson Practice Partner/LytecMD/Medisoft Clinical 2014 Clinical Quality Measures User’s Guide November 2014:

The latest CQM User’s Guide for v11 was just released. The guide includes some new measures as well as modifications to some of the existing measures. In the webinar we discussed the importance of reviewing the guide to make sure that you are configured appropriately for the changes so that the reports will capture the information your practice is tracking. CQM Report User’s Guide Nov 2014

EHR Incentives Program Supporting Documentation for Audits:

The reality of Meaningful Use Audits is that they are a matter of “When” not “If”. In the webinar we discussed the importance of retaining supporting documentation for 6 years post-attestation and took a look at some of the recommendations for supporting documentation for the “Yes” objectives (objectives that have no denominator and numerator and therefore no report that providers can generate from the system to support their attestation.)
http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/EHR_SupportingDocumentation_Audits.pdf

Clinical Decision Support Tipsheet:

Providers are required to implement “clinical decision support” in both Stage 1 and Stage 2 and to keep supporting documentation on how they met this objective. CMS has provided further clarification that clinical decision support is more than just “alerts”, and they have gone on to provide examples of clinical decision support is and what it is not.
http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/ClinicalDecisionSupport_Tipsheet-.pdf

Guide to Privacy and Security of Health Information:

We discussed the Meaningful Use requirement to complete a Security Risk Analysis each year, reviewed the myths and facts, and what a security risk analysis entails as outlined in this guide. AZCOMP Technologies Inc. feels that it is in a providers best interest to do a thorough and professional risk analysis that will stand up to a compliance review. If your practice needs assistance on this measure please contact us for a referral to a proven Security Risk Analysis Professional!
http://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/privacy/privacy-and-security-guide.pdf

Recent Change to the Security Risk Analysis Requirement:

In the webinar we discussed the recent change that allows providers to complete a security risk analysis any time during the EHR reporting year, as opposed to the old requirement that stated that the provider must complete it before or during the reporting period for the reporting year. We believe this will offer more flexibility for providers that, in light of the new flexibility rule, may consider reporting for an earlier reporting period in 2014 that may not have completed their Security Risk Analysis yet. Under this change providers could still complete the risk analysis by the end of the year regardless of which quarter they choose to attest under. https://questions.cms.gov/faq.php?faqId=10754

EHR Program Incentives and Penalties:

During the webinar we reviewed the incentives for participation and penalties for non-participation in both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Including the last years to begin participation.
http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Basics.html

Payment Adjustments & Hardship Exceptions Tipsheet for Eligible Professionals:

This document discusses the scheduled penalties that begin in 2015, how they are calculated, who is eligible, and how to apply for hardship.
http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/PaymentAdj_HardshipExcepTipSheetforEP.pdf

Re-Opened Hardship Application Period for 2015 Payment Adjustment:

Eligible professionals that have never met meaningful use before may apply during this reopened hardship exception application submission period if they were unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability AND could not attest by the early attestation deadline for new participants. The new application deadline is November 30, 2014.

EHR Payment Adjustment Page: http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/PaymentAdj_Hardship.html

2015 HARDSHIP EXCEPTION APPLICATION – due 11/30/2014: http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/HardshipExtension_Application.pdf

We closed the webinar with a look ahead, reviewing what you should know about Stage 2:  

  • The reporting period for anyone scheduled for Stage 2 in 2015 is for the entire calendar year.
  • There is a proposal to adjust the 2015 reporting period to a 3 month reporting period.
    http://ellmers.house.gov/uploads/Flex-IT%20Act%20FINAL.pdf
  • As it stands today, Providers must be on a 2014 CEHRT prior to January 1, 2015.
  • Many of the new measures require configuration and training.
  • Some add-ons may be required and they take time to implement- don’t wait!
    (Webview, Lab Interfaces, Immunization Interfaces, direct email accounts)

http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/Stage2Overview_Tipsheet.pdf

Thanks again to everyone that joined us, and remember if you have further questions or would like a personal review of your Meaningful Use readiness please contact us to schedule a meaningful use assessment or one-on-one training today!

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Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

Two new webinars with critical updates about Meaningful Use

Two Free Meaningful Use Webinars

Have you studied all of the recent changes in Meaningful Use?  Have you read through and do you understand all of the changes with the “Flexibility Rule”?  There are things that may have been true yesterday but because of recent changes they are no longer true today.

We are hosting two new webinars to go over these changes and help you understand what you need to know and what you need to do differently.  There are two different webinars covering different topics at different times that both are there to get you up to speed when it comes to the EHR Incentive program and Meaningful Use.

You may register & attend one or both for FREE.  Here is the info…

Webinar #1: Meaningful Use 911

There have been some recent changes to meaningful Use – do you know what they are?  Find out what every practice needs to know about the latest changes in the ever changing world of Meaningful Use, and much, much more.

Click here to learn more and register now for Webinar #1

Webinar #2: Patient Reminders For Preventative & Follow Up Care

Did you know that in 2014 if you are reporting Stage 1 and are exempt from both of the public health options (reporting immunization, and reporting syndromic surveillance (SS) data to a registry), then you much choose 5 additional menu objectives to report?  Don’t get caught short handed when you go to attest!

Join us to learn how you can meet Stage 1 menu objective #4, and Stage 2 core objective #12 – Send patient reminders per patient preference for preventive/follow-up care.

Click here to get the details and register for Webinar #2.

Even if you can’t make it to the webinar at the specified times, register anyways and we’ll try to send you the recording.  If you are able to make it to these live webinars, then you will be able to ask questions if you don’t understand some things.

So join us!  You are invited!  Register Today!

It is free and will be extremely valuable information to help you with meaningful Use and improve your practice.

Your Chance To Submit Your Opinions To CMS & ONC

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) And The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Invite The Public To Submit Comments On Recently Released Notice Of Proposed Rule Making

On May 20th, 2014, the Health and Human Services Department and CMS issued a proposed rule that would allow providers participating in the EHR Incentive Programs to use the 2011 Edition or 2014 Edition of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for the 2014 reporting  year.  The proposed rule would also allow for practices that would be reporting Stage 2 in 2014 to have the option to either report Stage 1 or Stage 2 this year.

Here is a graph produced by CMS to help explain the options, and here is the initial press release.

2014.05.20 npr mu matrix

 

Providers that will be participating for the first time in 2014 under Medicaid should be aware of the fact that they will be required to be on a 2014 certified version.  The proposed rule states, “In order to avoid inadvertently incentivizing the purchase of an outdated product that cannot be used to demonstrate meaningful use in a subsequent year…a provider would not be able to qualify for a Medicaid incentive payment for 2014 for adopting, implementing, or upgrading to 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT” (CMS Proposed Rule, 2014)

You Can Comment About This Proposed Rule

CMS.gov has published information that summarizes the proposed rule, and also provides information on how you can submit comments about the rule (click the blue button that says “comment now!” on the right side of the page of the link provided).  All comments are welcome but need to be submitted by July 21, 2014.

We are encouraging all providers that will be attesting for Medicare for the first time this year to be up and running on the 2014 certified version of the software prior to July 1st. In order to avoid the 1% payment reduction in 2015 providers must attest by October 1, 2014, or apply for a hardship exemption by July 1, 2014.

If passed, this proposal would give providers a lot more flexibility. Keep in mind that for providers that have attested in prior years, they will have to attest for one quarter in 2014. (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, or Oct-Dec) If your practice has continued to meet Stage 1 requirements and this proposal passes it may be possible for your practice to attest for one of the first two quarters using Stage 1 objectives and measures. If this is a possibility for your practice then you would want to ensure that you have completed your security risk analysis before the end of June.  Also ensure that you have completed all other applicable measures that you attest yes or no to such as running a patient list by diagnosis, or having an immunization interface in place.  These objectives would have to be done during the selected reporting period.  According the proposed rule, “Providers who choose this option must attest that they are unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT because of issues related to 2014 Edition CEHRT availability delays when they attest to the meaningful use objectives and measures… A provider’s ability to fully implement all of the functionality of 2014 Edition CEHRT may be limited by the availability and timing of product installation, deployment of new processes and workflows, and employee training.” (CMS Proposed Rule, 2014)

Due to SureScript requirements Medisoft Clinical and LytecMD users that ePrescribe must be upgraded to the 2014 certified version prior to October 1, 2014 in order to continue ePrescribing. This means that users that plan to continue e-Prescribing and that haven’t upgrade already will be forced to upgrade during the third quarter (Jul-Sep). This will likely mean that users will be looking at reporting on 2014 measures. The proposed rule would still allow some flexibility for users that would be in Stage 2 this year, allowing them to either report on Stage 1 or Stage 2 measures this year. Since 2014 was an exception to the reporting period rule, providers would still need to be prepared for Stage 2 PRIOR to January 1, 2015 as they will need to report for the entire calendar year for 2015.

Does Your Practice Need A Meaningful Use Assessment?

We recognize that the EHR Incentive program can be complicated and that there are lots of variables and things to consider. Unfortunately, there is no room for error as one little oversight can cause a provider to fail to meet meaningful use, which can result in loss of incentive funds as well as Medicare penalties in following years. For this reason we are encouraging all providers regardless of which stage they are in this year to complete a meaningful use assessment with an AZCOMP trainer.  Our Trainers can properly assess where you are now and what it will take to ensure you are properly prepared to navigate the sometimes difficult waters of meaningful use!

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/05/23/2014-11944/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-modifications-to-the-medicare-and-medicaid-electronic-health-record

http://www.cms.gov/eHealth/ListServ_CommentsCEHRT_NPRM.html

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=CMS-2014-0064-0002

http://www.azcomp.com/blog/are-you-currently-e-prescribing/

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the Medicare/Medicaid programs are constantly changing, and it is the sole responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of  program requirements by consulting the authorities and documentation found directly at cms.gov.

Are you planning on attesting for Stage 1 or Stage 2 of Meaningful Use for 2014?

If you are planning on attesting for Stage 1 or Stage 2 of Meaningful Use for 2014, you may not be able to with your current EHR / EMR software.

azcomp tech sells medisoft and lytec

Empowering Small Practices To Deliver The Best Care

Medisoft Clinical and Lytec MD users that are using v9.5.2 or earlier will not be able to attest in 2014.  That’s right, you will not be able to attest for any stage of Meaningful Use on v9.5.2 or any earlier version.  The reason behind this is that CMS has new requirements for 2014, and in doing so has required all EHR/EMR programs to be re-certified.  Unfortunately there are many EHR programs out there that have not been able to re-certify.  The good news is that Medisoft Clinical and Lytec MD has version 11, which as been certified to be able to attest for any stage of Meaninful Use in 2014.

Important Dates for Attesting To Meaninful Use in 2014

July 1, 2014 – If you are beginning your first year of Stage 1 Meaningful Use, you must begin collecting data by July 1, 2014 to avoid penalties.  This means that you must upgrade to v11 prior to July 2014.

October 1, 2014 – If you are planning to attest for Stage 1, or Stage 2 Meaningful Use, you must upgrade to v11 prior to October 1, 2014 (beginning of last quarter reporting period).

This is a link to a previous post that will help better understand the dates and deadlines and requirements of Meaninful Use.

Important Information Regarding E-Prescribing

Are you currently E-Prescribing?  Do you plan to continue doing so?  In order to stay compliant with the 2014 Surescripts mandates, you must also upgrade to v11 of Medisoft Clinical or Lytec MD.  If you do not do this prior to October 1, you will see your Surescripts account be disabled, causing interruptions in E-Prescribing services.  Don’t let this happen to you!

If you find that you need to upgrade, please contact your current AZCOMP EMR sales professional by calling 888-799-4777.  We are certainly happy to help you meet your software and implementation needs.