Get Out of the Fog – Solution Models for Every Need

Andrew H. Lee, Senior Product Manager fogblog

Let’s consider the main solution model categories in practice management and how to best accommodate workflow needs.

It’s not one-size-fits-all, so you need the right information to make the right decision for YOUR practice.

  • Paper—Exactly as it sounds, all records are maintained in paper files. This can allow vulnerability to a number of risks, from theft or loss, to disasters such as flood or fire.
  • On-Premise—Software is installed on a server in your office. This provides more efficiency than a paper system, but can be very expensive and it limits access to your data. Plus, it can still leave you vulnerable to theft and disaster, as well as computer viruses, hardware failure, required software updates, and dedicated staff for IT needs.
  • Cloud-Hosted—3rd party hosting can alleviate many of the issues associated with paper-based operations or maintaining software in your office. Vulnerabilities are reduced, but this option can still be expensive depending on the solution.
  • Software-as-a-Service—Monthly subscription-based solutions can provide a highly economical and efficient means of practice management, and allow flexibility to access patient records anywhere, at any time, from any device.

In upcoming posts, we’ll take a more in-depth look at each of the models outlined above, so stay tuned.

Interested to see how easy and efficient practice management can be? Request a demo for Eyefinity Practice Management.

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Meaningful Use Hardship Exceptions Extended

Featured imageCMS has reopened the submission period for hardship exception applications, allowing eligible providers (EPs), like you, one last chance to avoid the 1% Medicare payment penalty in 2015. The new deadline is November 30 at 9:59 pm Pacific. You must complete the Hardship Exception Application and email it to ehrhardship@provider-resources.com.

Chasing Deadlines

October 1 was a frenzied rush as thousands of EPs attempted to attest to meaningful use to avoid the 1% Medicare penalty in 2015. The crushing volume strained the attestation system as well as the call centers of EHR vendors. Frustration increased when EPs attempted to attest to the 2011 Edition criteria under the recent delay because CMS’s attestation system had not been retrofitted to accommodate the revised rules.

Breathing a Collective Sigh of Relief

To alleviate the situation, CMS has decided to reopen the submission period for hardship exception applications after a three-month hiatus. EPs who were stuck in the snarl of October 1 will surely appreciate this extension.

Reading the Fine Print

This extension is not an outright postponement of Medicare penalties in 2015. To be eligible for a hardship exception, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You were unable to fully implement a 2014 Edition certified EHR because your certified software was not available soon enough for you to install, train, and use prior to July 1
  • You were unable to attest by October 1, 2014, using the flexibility options provided in the 2014 Flexibility Rule

Visit the Payment Adjustments and Hardship Exceptions webpage for more information about Medicare EHR Incentive Program payment adjustments.

EHR Optimization: Making the Most of a Disruptive Opportunity

“Physicians that move into the world of EHRs are reminiscent of when Dorothy entered Oz, going from a black & white world into color, says Steve Baker, president of Eyefinity. ‘Moving from paper

Steve Baker, President, Eyefinity

Steve Baker, President, Eyefinity

charts to EHR technologies is a very different world indeed, one that has new and strange things much like what Dorothy experienced.’” Read more for tips and ideas on how to optimize your EHR and make the most of a disruptive opportunity in this The Progressive Physician Article.

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Meaningful Use Incentives and Penalties Made Simple

oct1It’s October 1, and meaningful use is a hot topic. Here are the scenarios that you can expect:

First time Medicare providers who did not attest on October 1, 2014 will be assessed a 1% penalty in Medicare reimbursements beginning January 1, 2015. That penalty will increase by 1% every year, up to a maximum of 5% reimbursement adjustment.

What are your options?

  • Providers can stop the penalty by using a meaningful use CEHRT.
  • Providers who exercised the hardship exemption, which was available earlier this year, will NOT be assessed the penalty in 2015.
    • Those providers can start their attestation in 2015 and still receive an incentive.
      • Up to $8,000 in 2015
      • Maximum of $12,000 for their last two years of meaningful use participation

 

For more information, visit www.eyefinity.com/mu2

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EHR: Streamline Staff Work Flow, Improve Patient Care

cooper

Michelle Cooper, OD

Electronic health records systems can eliminate duplications and streamline the daily routines of your staff—letting you concentrate on improving patient care.

Read the entire article: EHR: Streamline Staff Work Flow, Improve Patient Care

Reprinted with permission from Review of Optometric Business.

Request a FREE demo of Eyefintiy EHR today!

Get Out of the Fog, Stay Safe in the Cloud – Part 2

Andrew H. Lee, Senior Product Managerfogblog_security_150px

You know that cloud-based solutions add greater protection from security risks, but it’s important to consider the correct criteria to be sure you select the solution that best fits your needs.   Here are five key takeaways:

  1. Password Policies –Strict password policy requirements are imperative to protect your data. For greater security, password requirements should include a minimum length, alpha-numeric character combinations, and lock-outs after failed login attempts. Be clever when setting your passwords.
  2. Time-outs when idle – Make sure your system automatically times out if you leave your system idle for more than 10 minutes.
  3. Encryption – Make sure your cloud solution encrypts the patient data. Look for encryption of at least 128 bit.
  4. Enterprise-Grade Hosting –An Enterprise-grade hosting facility such as Amazon is recommended to assure greater security.
  5. 3rd Party Audits – Find a vendor who has taken a proactive approach to security by arranging to be audited to identify areas of risk and has made the investment to secure all backdoor vulnerabilities (i.e.: PLYNT Security Testing Verification & Certification).

While there are no guarantees in protection from hackers, it is important to reduce the risks associated with maintaining patient health information. The right cloud solution can significantly reduce the risk.

Next in our cloud series, we’ll look at cloud models, so stay tuned.

Is your practice management solution living up to your needs for today and beyond? We’d like to hear from you as we shape the future of practice management.
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Last Chance for Meaningful Use Incentives, Avoid Penalties in 2016

Avoid 2016 PenaltiesOctober 1 marks another important meaningful use deadline—especially if you missed the opportunity to begin on July 1 and avoid the 1% Medicare payment adjustment in 2015. October 1 is the last day to begin meaningful use and avoid a larger penalty—a 2% adjustment in 2016.

Additionally, if you begin by October 1 and attest by February 28, 2015, you are eligible for the remaining Medicare incentive payments—up to $24,000 over the next three years based on a percentage of your Medicare Part B billings.

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