How an EMR Can Lead to Your Personal Freedom

How an EMR Can Lead to Your Personal Freedom

Implementing the EMR technology is essential in the 21st century for clinicians to convert to digital records, submit reimbursement claims and get paid.

EMR expert, Nitin Chhoda, was one of the first to use the software and is sharing his expertise on the many ways an EMR contributes to a practitioner’s personal freedom.

EMRTime is money and an EMR provides savings for clinicians on both fronts.

Verifying Insurance Coverage

From the moment a client makes an appointment to the moment the patient encounter is completed, an EMR is on the job, increasing efficiency and boosting productivity.

An EMR has the tools to verify insurance information prior to the client’s visit, providing practitioners with the information needed to formulate a treatment plan based on insurance limitations, coverage and eligibility.

Fewer Hours and More Money

A fully integrated EMR includes a secure patient portal where individuals can complete a health history online. That information is available prior to the client’s visit, allowing clinicians to familiarize themselves with the patient’s problems before they arrive. The data can decrease the wait times for patients and practice owners by up to 47 percent and reduces time spent gathering information in the exam room.

The information gathered with an EMR allows practice owners to see more patients during the normal work day and manage treatment options, without the need to stay late or conduct extended hours.

Clinicians have more free time and the funds to enjoy personal activities with friends and family.

Anytime Access

Patient records are updated instantly with an EMR, anytime the client’s information is retrieved. The systems provide a single resource for all aspects of a practice’s management needs. The records can be accessed from multiple locations and by numerous medical professionals to coordinate care.

If a patient requires treatment in an ER, the on-call physician has all the information needed to assess and treat the patient, without the need to contact the client’s physician.

Space and Time

Office supplies represent a major expense for practices. An EMR saves everything digitally, eliminating the need for paper documents, files, folders and all the related products needed to manage a mountain of paperwork.

EMRs require a fraction of the space needed for file cabinets to house paper records. There’s no need to search and sift through dozens of documents to locate a specific paper and the technology eliminates misplaced files.

Errors and Reimbursementselectronic medical records

With an EMR, reimbursement claims are submitted electronically, in real time. The technology contains the ability to identify errors, mistakes and potential difficulties with claims before they’re transmitted.

A complete record of each transaction is maintained, along with patient balances, and payments can be received in as little as 10 days.

Electronic medical record provides the tools for clinicians to work smarter, not harder. They save time through increased efficiency and productivity within all departments, and work to identify errors and mistakes that can virtually eliminate denials and rejections. The result is that clinicians have increased revenues and the freedom to reap the benefits of their labor.

Reimbursement Using EMR System — The Secret to a Low-Delay Claims

Reimbursement Using EMR System — The Secret to a Low-Delay Claims

As insurance companies scrutinize reimbursement submissions more closely, clinicians are enduring longer turnaround times to collect money on claims.

The simple installation of an integrated EMR can transform those extended waits for funds into a low-delay reimbursement system and Nitin Chhoda explains it here, in this article.

reimbursementEMRs enable faster reimbursements and can detect claims with potential problems before they’re submitted, virtually eliminating denials.

The majority of denials and contestations can be traced to simple human errors in data entry and by preventable problems that can be avoided by verifying a client’s insurance coverage before services are rendered.

An integrated electronic medical record submits claims electronically to arrive almost instantaneously at the intended destination and can detect an extensive array of errors and notify practitioners prior to submission.

Human Data Entry Mistakes an EMR Can Help Avoid

Mismatched, incorrect procedure codes and improper patient information that doesn’t reflect the information for the client’s complaint is a common cause of denials. An example would be listing a procedure for a male when the client is female.

Each insurance provider has its own set of rules for reimbursement submissions. That includes specific claim forms. An infraction results in an automatic denial until the correct forms are submitted.

Health insurance providers are requesting prior authorization for an increasing number of treatments and procedures. If the clinic fails to obtain authorization, the insurance company can refuse to pay clinicians anything.

It happens infrequently, but a patient may need to see their healthcare professional twice in the same day to receive the same or similar treatments. Practitioners encounter difficulties when submitting these types of claims. Insurance companies view this as a duplicate reimbursement request and will reject it automatically.

It would seem like common sense, but clinicians who don’t file reimbursement claims in a timely manner will forfeit payment. Practitioners have one year to file their claim and such oversights can cost clinics thousands of dollars.

Check the Facts Before Treatment Begins

In a time of high unemployment and loss of benefits, it’s essential for practices to verify insurance coverage and client information before the patient ever reaches the clinic. An EMR provides the means to accomplish these and other tasks with alacrity, reimbursement claims included.

Insurance coverage that has lapsed, been terminated, wasn’t in force when the patient received services, and clients not eligible for coverage represent a major reimbursement problem for practitioners. All of that information can be ascertained easily prior to the patient’s appointment.

Many healthcare insurance providers are offering basic or minimal services and few patients understand their coverage or limitations. It’s imperative that clinicians determine the type of treatments covered under each insurance plan.

What constitutes a reasonable fee for practitioners and insurance companies varies widely. Each insurer has its own guidelines on the amount that can be reimbursed for specific treatments and reimbursement claims that exceed which will be rejected for unreasonable fees.

reimbursement claimsClinicians and insurers also differ on procedures. Ordering a CT scan instead of a less expensive x-ray can result in a determination of not medically necessary by the insurance company and loss of income for the practitioner.

An EMR represents the best solution for a low-delay reimbursement system. It has the tools to identify an extensive array of human errors that will delay or prevent claim payments.

An integrated EMR is the key to verifying patient information and insurance coverage to ensure practitioners receive the reimbursement to which they’re entitled.

HITECH Act – Economic Stimulus for EMR Adoption

HITECH Act – Economic Stimulus for EMR Adoption

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act helps physicians to cope with the EMR transition by providing financial assistance.

Nitin Chhoda elaborates on the importance of the HITECH to practices that are just starting to use electronic medical records.

HITECHImplementing electronic medical records system is an expensive undertaking, but assistance is available to defray the cost as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

Federal funds were allocated in the act to help ease the cost of transitioning to an EMR and to facilitate an increase in their usage.

The portion of the act that deals with financial assistance is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH).

HITECH Act

Depending upon the vendor, an EMR can easily cost $45,000 or more, an amount that takes a big bite from the budgets of smaller practices. Through HITECH, physical therapists can apply for financial aid as “meaningful users” of EMR systems.

The act makes provision for $18 billion through Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement systems, $2 billion for necessary infrastructure, and $1 billion for acquiring IT professionals, along with repair and renovation of health centers.

HITECH also sets aside $550 million as an incentive to purchase equipment and services, and $400 million for research on the impact of EMRs. In addition, $300 million has been earmarked towards health information exchange among providers and $40 million to facilitate the submission of disability claims to the Social Security Administration.

EMR Implementation

Implementing an EMR requires training of authorized users and grants are available for training centers for IT staff needed to support necessary infrastructure. Practice owners that can exhibit meaningful use of EMR-certified technology are eligible for a variety of HITECH funding, but many clinicians still aren’t aware the money is available, or that incentives are only being offered until 2015.

Many incentives hinge on the HITECH’s “meaningful use” clause and it’s a term that’s been confusing to many clinic owners. Meaningful use is a three-pronged approach to the incentive program established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Stage One

Stage one encompasses 25 criteria and consists of 15 core requirements. Of the remaining 10, therapists have the option of choosing five to comply with requirements.

In stage one of HITECH Act, therapists must adopt an EMR by Dec. 2014 that meets government requirements to qualify for federal funding. To qualify for the maximum amount of HITECH incentive money, clinicians have to attain meaningful use standards at least 90 days before the end of Sept. 30, 2012.

Stage Two

HITECH stimulusStage 2 of meaningful HITECH use launches in 2014 and is a continuation of stage one.

It includes increased demands for electronic transactions, the exchange of health information electronically, and online access for patients to their health data.

Stage Three

Stage three activates in 2016.

Therapists must continue to meet the requirements in previous stages and demonstrate that the quality of client care has improved.

With all that clinicians must keep in mind when implementing a qualified EMR, it’s easy to fixate on the cost and lose sight of the federal incentives available.

Therapists must implement an EMR, but they don’t have to shoulder the burden of expense by themselves.

Federal funding is available through the HITECH Act to assist practice owners purchase, equip and implement an EMR, install the needed infrastructure and obtain training for staff members. Deadlines are attached to federal dollars, making it essential that clinic owners begin evaluating their options as soon as possible.

Medical EMR Can Simplify Healthcare

Medical EMR Can Simplify Healthcare

Medical EMR can simplify healthcare in many different ways. The best part is that it can streamline the whole physical therapy documentation process from start to finish without consuming too much time from the staff. Nitin Chhoda explains how this is all possible.

medical EMR healthcareThere are many ways that an integrated medical EMR system can help a practice to save money and become more efficient. But one benefit of EMRs that is often overlooked is the way a good system can simplify healthcare in general.

There are benefits to patients as well as clinicians that can help even the most confused patient to get the care they need at a better price, without costing the practice more money.

Billing Advantages

Healthcare providers already know how an integrated electronic medical record can make billing more accurate and efficient.

If everyone in the practice is using the same system, and all data are available through that system at any time, medical billing staff can pull the data they need and bill on a timely schedule.

Coding can also be easier, with a specific set of billable tasks and diagnoses, clinicians can provide medical EMR coding staff with the precise information they need to get the medical coding done more quickly and easily.

The billers can then take the information and file claims with the insurance companies and bill patients for their share of the cost. The improvement in efficiency that medical coding and billing departments are experiencing has been exciting for those practices that have implemented a medical EMR.

So how does this simplify healthcare and understanding the healthcare and insurance system in the United States? First of all, if the billing system requires specific information from patients, the billing department can implement procedures for determining what a patient will owe even before services are provided.

Patients Need Help

The fact is that the majority of patients who come into a medical practice do not quite understand how the healthcare system works in the U.S. They probably don’t know what their own deductible and co-pay will be, and it is likely that they will not expect a bill a few weeks or a month after their appointment.

So rather than taking the time to bill the insurance company, only to be rejected or denied based on a co-pay or deductible issue, the medical EMR billing staff can find out the details before billing.

medical EMR simplicityNaturally, this can be done even without a medical EMR, but to set up a system would be more of a challenge than purchasing it as part of an integrated medical EMR.

In fact, because medical EMRs companies are set up to handle exactly this sort of adjustment to a biller’s workflow, the transition is made smooth and simple.

Improving Outcomes

Additionally, a medical EMR can help improve patient outcomes. It may sound funny to say that a computer program or software will have an effect on how well patients respond to treatment.

But the fact is that with a medical EMR, it is possible to track treatments and outcomes much more closely. Reports can be generated quickly. The results of certain treatments are better than others, and at the practice level it is possible to identify advantageous treatment decisions with a medical EMR.

Physical Therapy EMR Checklist For Your Practice

Physical Therapy EMR Checklist For Your Practice

You have made the decision to convert your documentation into a physical therapy EMR software, now what?  How can you be sure that you’re getting the best product at the best price, and one that will help maximize your documentation process? 

Nitin Choda provides you with a checklist that outlines key areas you will need to consider in order to choose the best and the right software for your practice.

physical therapy EMRPhysical therapy electronic medical records solution is sometimes hard to find. The same is true when picking a restaurant to eat at. We need help in finding the right product.

If you are feeling a little lost and confused by all the options available for a physical therapy EMR products, don’t worry: picking a good solution isn’t as hard as it might seem.

Just keep your eye on the goal, and your hands on this checklist.

Find a decent price.  Price is important. A lower price doesn’t always mean a worse product, and a low price also means you will have more money in your bank for other things. Try to find the cheapest physical therapy EMR that you are comfortable with, and that does everything you need, but not at the expense of inefficiency.

Does it fulfill your needs?  Physical therapy EMR has different requirements from other electronic medical records. After all, you are dealing with physical activities more often than drug dosages. Look for a product that makes documentation simple because much of what you will be doing is documentation.

You need to make sure that the physical therapy EMR you picked is actually capable of doing what you need it to do. That means getting your hands on a copy and simulating the activities you would do throughout the day. If you find that part of your process has been left out by the solution, well, you know it isn’t for you.

Is billing integrated?  This might seem like a minor thing, but keeping billing integrated with patient information is the best possible way to ensure that you handle billing as efficiently as possible.

Billing is never fun, but you shouldn’t have to keep an extra database just to deal with it. Make sure that physical therapy EMR billing is integrated with your documentation software. And you will be glad you did.

Can you document your patients quickly?  The fewer clicks, the better. How quickly can you document what is happening with your patient? The tool should be capable of handling rapid note taking.

It should be able to handle you recording your every observation, and archive those observations in a way that you can get to quickly. In short, your physical therapy EMR solution should be ready to handle your patient load.

Can you schedule new appointments easily?  Appointments are the bread and butter of your practice. Without them, there would be no physical therapy. You won’t even need to use your physical therapy EMR tools. Make sure that your tool is prepared to schedule and manage appointments.physical therapy EMR checklist

What does your staff think?  Let your staff try out the physical therapy EMR software. If they don’t like it, or they can’t use it, then it doesn’t matter how many features it has. A piece of software is only as good as its user interface, especially when it comes to something used every single day.

Is it mobile?  Physical therapy involves moving around. You shouldn’t be constrained to a desktop computer when using a physical therapy EMR solution. It should support iPads, so you can carry a single, lightweight computer with you at all times, documenting everything as it happens in real time.

Electronic Medical Records System Top Five Benefits

Electronic Medical Records System Top Five Benefits

There are many benefits that an electronic medical record system can give. In this article, Nitin Chhoda emphasizes on the top five most important benefits that EMR can provide so that practitioners who have not adopt the EMR system yet will understand its importance.

electronic medical records

Electronic medical records are the next big thing in physical therapy management.

When EMR systems are fully adopted by all facilities, you are going to see a major change in how medicine is practiced.

Here are the top five benefits of using an electronic medical records system if you are a physical therapist.

BENEFITS OF ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS

Easy Access to Records.  With electronic medical records, keeping track of your patients’ records is simple. Your database should be easily searchable, so you can instantly pull up all the information you have on the patient from exercise and appointment schedules to the medications they are taking.

That means no paper records to flip through, the ability to instantly search the documents for information, and no unintelligible hand-written notes.  Electronic medical records is really the ultimate physical therapy management solution.

Document Completely.  With electronic medical records, you can easily document everything that a patient does in real time. From arrival to billing to the appointment itself, all information can be listed in the database to give you a complete record of everything about the patient.

And, because of the easy access to records, all that information is immediately available on the database to anyone who might need access.

Send Records Easily.  Sending electronic medical records using your physical therapy management software should streamline inter-office communications.  Most EMR solutions integrate seamlessly with online cloud storage, and through these cloud storage solutions you can get the records to any other healthcare provider that the patient is working with.

It doesn’t even matter if the other facility has fully integrated electronic medical records for physical therapy services.  You can still access the files as long as you have a computer connected to the internet. Relying on physical therapy management software with full EMR will help bring physical therapy into the next century, ridding practices of outdated technology and wasted energy and effort.

Easy Billing.  Physical therapy billing can be a pain.  As with all forms of accounting, keeping the information synced to the patient is difficult. Electronic medical records and physical therapy documentation can make the process far more comfortable.

electronic medical records benefitsWith physical therapy scheduling software, you can time alerts for when your patients are coming, keep track how much they owe, how long it took for them to pay last time, and where to send the bill.

Physical therapy software makes billing patients an incredibly simple procedure and reduces the chance of mistakes.

No Chicken Scratches.  This might be the most important one.  In the medical profession, a remarkable number of doctors have terrible handwriting.

An electronic medical records solution means no chicken scratches. 

All information is entered in on a computer screen, whether it is an iPad for a mobile solution or a desktop office computer for a more stationary one.  That means that all the information is nicely organized, printed cleanly, and is easy to understand.In other words: you won’t have to worry about others not being able to read your handwriting.