Closing Out 2012 Meaningful Use

MSMU VerticalAs 2012 comes to a close, many of you, who are participating in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, are going to be attesting to meaningful use for the first time. While attesting or reporting your meaningful use might seem like a daunting and nerve-wracking process, it only seems that way because it’s a new experience.

Here are some things to keep in mind and links to additional resources where you can find complete information about meaningful use, attestation, and the EHR Incentive Programs.

Attesting on Time

You must attest to meaningful use after your reporting period, and not during your reporting period. If your attestation period continues through December 31, you may then complete your attestation beginning January 1. For the Medicare EHR Incentive Program you must complete your attestation by February 28, 2013. If you are participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, check with your state’s Medicaid for applicable deadlines.

Even if you can’t officially attest until January 1, you will want to perform steps 1 and 2 below to head off any potential shortcomings.

Navigating the Attestation System

Each doctor must attest individually, you cannot attest as a practice. Follow these steps to ensure your attestation goes smoothly:

  1. In ExamWRITER, click the Reports menu and run the CMS Meaningful Use Reporting and CMS Quality Reporting. For complete instructions, press F1 for help.
    – The meaningful use report lists only those measures that require percentages. The unlisted measures require a simple yes or no answer.
    – If your percentages are low in some of the menu measures, don’t fret. You only need to report on 5 out of the 10 menu set measures, provided one of them is menu 9 or 10.
    – Many of the measures may be satisfied by claiming an allowable exclusion.
    – The clinical quality measures may show low percentages. That’s okay. They don’t have minimum thresholds.
  2. Practice your attestation using CMS’ Meaningful Use Attestation Calculator.
    – If your numbers are low review the “Achieving Meaningful Use with OfficeMate/ExamWRITER” or “Tracking CMS Quality Measures in ExamWRITER” documents, which can be found on our Meaningful Use Starter Kit page. If your attestation period has not ended, there may still be time to correct some shortcomings.
    – If didn’t realize that you were short in a measure until after 2012 was over, look for allowable exclusions. If no exclusion applies to you, it is too late to correct any shortcomings.
  3. Attest to your meaningful use through the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System.
    – Use the Attestation User Guide for Eligible Professionals for visual, step-by-step instructions.
    – Attestation is self-reported. You do not need to furnish documentation when you attest. Documentation may be required later (see “Surviving an Audit,” below).
    – If you are asked for your EHR Certification Number, refer to this knowledge base article.

Surviving an Audit

Since the EHR incentive programs are government-funded initiatives, audits are an important part of abating fraud and waste in the program. CMS will not release specific information about the nature of the audits, but they have posted some general guidelines on their Frequently Asked Questions page. While OfficeMate/ExamWRITER users have nothing to fear from these audits, we encourage you to save a printed or electronic copy of your meaningful use calculations and any communications that you have had regarding meaningful use. For example, you’ll want to save copies of the following:

  • Meaningful use report calculations
  • Clinical quality report calculations
  • Email showing that you transmitted a CCR to a colleague (core 14)
  • Checklist or documentation from your security audit (core 15)
  • A full screenshot of OfficeMate or ExamWRITER with the About window open (showing the date and the practice license information)
  • Any other documents or communications you have regarding meaningful use

Getting Paid

In theory, you can expect to see your check between six to eight weeks after attesting to meaningful use.

In reality, there are a number of factors that could delay your payment:

  • If you have not yet reached $24,000 in Medicare Part B billings, your payment will be held until you do. Your incentive payment for 2012 is based on 75% of your Part B billings up to a ceiling of $24,000, making the maximum payment $18,000.
  • If you do not bill $24,000 in Medicare Part B billings in 2012, your payment will be sent six to eight weeks after the final day to bill for 2012, which is February 28. So, you won’t see your check until April.
  • If you participated in a state Medicaid incentive program, the payment timeframe varies drastically.

Payments are made on a per-provider basis, and not per practice. Payments are based on a percentage of your allowable Medicare Part B billings. Even if your practice bills under one NPI, the incentive is determined by the rendering provider’s NPI on the CMS 1500.

Continuing Meaningful Use

For 2013, you will once again attest to stage 1, but for the entire calendar year.

For 2014, you will attest to 90 days of stage 2 meaningful use (we’ll be communicating with you about that throughout 2013 and 2014).

Planning to Qualify for a 2012 Federal Incentive Payment?

You must begin 90 days of meaningful use by October 3, 2012! Follow this step-by-step checklist to ensure you’re on track.

Upgrade

Visit myinstallcenter.officemate.net to upgrade to OfficeMate/ExamWRITER® v10, the certified, complete EHR system.

Upgrade as soon as possible to ensure you’re up and running well before the October 3, 2012, deadline to start demonstrating meaningful use.

Review the Hardware & System Requirements to ensure you meet or exceed the minimum hardware and system.

If your hardware doesn’t meet software requirements, contact trusted OfficeMate Certified Partners, North Shore Computer or Think Smart to assist.

Register

Register on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) website by October 3, so you’re ready to demonstrate meaningful use.

Train

Visit the Meaningful Use Resource Center for intuitive resources to quickly get you up and running with v10, and help you understand how to achieve meaningful use.

Don’t miss our Ask the Expert session on meaningful use this Thursday, September 27. Submit your meaningful use questions and listen to what other people are asking. Register now!

Fulfill

Fulfill the mandatory 90 days of meaningful use (October–December 2012).

Use the Meaningful Use Reporting Calculator in ExamWRITER, under the Reports menu, for real-time calculations, and to measure and obtain feedback on your progress.

Collect

Check the Attestation User Guide on the CMS website for the complete attestation process.

Be one of thousands of ODs in the country to qualify and receive your stimulus payment—by using the industry leading EHR system.

#1 for Most ECPs Receiving EHR Incentive Payments

Qualify for EHR incentive money by October 3More than 1,300 eyecare providers (ECPs) have demonstrated meaningful use and collected thousands of dollars in EHR incentive payments—with OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10, the certified, complete EHR.  That’s almost half of all eyecare professionals who have received payments to date!

Eyefinity is proud to provide the industry’s leading product that has helped the most ECPs receive incentive payments.

See how OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 helped these two doctors fulfill meaningful use and secure incentive payments.

Amanda Schmidt, OD, Northwest Optometry Associates, Fresno, California

“I wanted software that would seamlessly integrate our back office with front office billing. I also wanted to be sure that the software company I selected would be around for awhile. It was satisfying to know that Eyefinity was a stable, well-established company with reliable technical support. The most challenging part was understanding what meaningful use was. But the Eyefinity meaningful use resources did an excellent job explaining it. I’m just one doctor with one office, and I received more stimulus money than I thought I would!”

James Hertzog, OD, Hertzog Family Eye Care, Cabot, Arkansas

When asked what he considered most important when selecting a certified EHR system, Dr. Hertzog required “ease of use, cost, and a comprehensive product.” OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 topped the list.

“The Meaningful Use Report in ExamWRITER is helpful in reminding me what information needs to be collected to demonstrate meaningful use. If you haven’t upgraded to a certified EHR and fulfilled meaningful use, do it now. It’s easy and the longer you wait, there will be less stimulus funds available to offset any costs to implement EHR.”

Find out how you can qualify for incentive payments using OfficeMate/ExamWRITER. The last day to begin meaningful use if October 3.

Meet FOCUS 2012’s keynote speaker Dr. Daniel Kraft

Ready to grab the mobile tech revolution by the horns and transform your practice? Wondering where to start? A great place to begin is by attending FOCUS 2012, presented by Eyefinity on September 5th atVision Expo West.  Take a minute and watch FOCUS’ keynote speaker Dr. Daniel Kraft preview his address: “The Future of Health: Where Can Technology Take Us?”

Looking for more info on FOCUS 2012? Find it here.

There’s Still Time to Reach Your Full Potential

James Kirchner, OD

2012 is a very important year from an EHR meaningful use incentive perspective. A year that should not be ignored if you have plans to move into a certified EHR system and get the most incentive money possible from Uncle Sam. Under the HITECH act, 2012 is that last chance to get the full $44,000 under the Medicare meaningful use program. Here’s how it works.

The HITECH incentive plan began January 1, 2011. On that date, CMS began the meaningful use program under the first of three stages. In Stage 1, which is the easiest of the three stages, an eligible provider (both optometrists and ophthalmologists are EPs in the Medicare program) can fulfill meaningful use for 90 days in their first year. If that is accomplished in either 2011 or 2012, an eyecare professional is qualified to receive a potential $44,000 (depending on your annual Medicare Part B allowable billings) over the length of the incentive program, with the first year check of $18,000.

If for whatever reason, you fail to get your first year accomplished in 2012, you will automatically lose $5,000 in potential incentive money. Realize this means that you must start your 90 days of meaningful use no later than October 1, 2012. If you miss that date, you have missed fulfillment in 2012 and must wait for 2013.

Another HITECH bonus for getting it done in 2012 is that CMS has just announced that Stage II meaningful use will not begin until 2014 rather than 2013. That means you will have two years to fulfill meaningful use under the easier Stage I. For those of you who were successful in 2011, you have three years of fulfillment under Stage I.

There is no reason to wait. At Eyefinity, we have our certified suite of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 ready for you. In fact we already have thousands of offices using the certified version and we are proud to say that in 2011 nearly 1,000 of our customers fulfilled meaningful use, almost twice as many as our competitors. We have a full training program and a powerful meaningful use knowledge base on our website at eyefinity.com.

So don’t wait any longer. Do yourself and your practice a favor by moving into the modern world of EHR. You will never regret the move and your pocketbook will be the proof. Don’t run the risk of someday looking back and saying, “if only I had…”

– James K. Kirchner, OD
Chief Professional Officer, Eyefinity

OfficeMate and ExamWRITER User Documentation Wins New Awards

Carrie and Michael display the awards that they won for the Eyefinity documentation at the awards banquet.

Did you achieve meaningful use in 2011 and receive stimulus money from the government as part of the HITECH Act? Are you working to achieve meaningful use in 2012? If meeting the government’s requirements for the EHR Incentive Program is a part of your business plan, then you probably are probably using a document written by Carrie Chambers, the Director of Documentation at Eyefinity, to help you complete the required steps in OfficeMate/ExamWRITER to achieve meaningful use. This document, “Achieving Meaningful Use with OfficeMate/ExamWRITER” recently won an Award of Excellence in the 2011–2012 Society for Technical Communication (STC) Southern California Technical Documentation Competition.

In addition to the meaningful use documentation, the “Backing Up & Restoring Data” document, written by Michael Opsteegh, Senior Technical Writer at Eyefinity, won an Award of Merit in the competition. Hopefully, you have a proven backup solution in place for all of your OfficeMate/ExamWRITER data files! When you set up your solution (or, if, unfortunately, you had to use your solution to restore your files), you probably read this document to ensure that you always backup (and restore, if necessary) your OfficeMate/ExamWRITER files correctly.

These two pieces of Eyefinity documentation were recognized for their excellence in technical communication. The judges commented that the “Achieving Meaningful Use with OfficeMate/ExamWRITER” document is comprehensive, consistent, professional, and visually-appealing. They noted that the “Backing Up & Restoring Data” document is engaging, well written and organized, and very easy to understand.

The Southern California STC chapters sponsored the technical documentation competition to recognize and encourage excellence in communication through printed and online media. The competition honors technical writers and editors who set the standard for published technical communication.

If you are working to achieve meaningful use, be sure to refer to the “Achieving Meaningful Use with OfficeMate/ExamWRITER” document as you work in OfficeMate/ExamWRITER. And, if you need help backing up and restoring your OfficeMate/ExamWRITER data files, read the “Backing Up & Restoring Data” document. In addition to these documents, the Documentation team at Eyefinity has published an ever-expanding library of helpful information – check it out at OfficeMate.net!

New “Measure by Measure” Meaningful Use Videos Available

Meaningful Use Resource Center

Many of our OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 users who are working to achieve meaningful use during the last 90 days in 2011 and who are ramping up to achieve meaningful use in 2012 have contacted us with questions about how to meet the specific core and menu set measures that are part of the EHR Incentive Program. We have recently developed and published 24 new, short videos the detail the following information:

  • Measure objectives
  • Explanation of how to achieve the measures
  • Specific, detailed instructions that show you how to achieve the measures
  • Practical insights and perspective from Dr. James Kirchner, Eyefinity Chief Professional Officer, on how to achieve the measures

Doctors and staff members can now click to view to these short videos on the Meaningful Use Starter Kit and Meaningful Use training web pages. Although longer meaningful use overview videos have been available since last summer on the Meaningful Use Starter Kit, these new videos allow you to more quickly find the information that you need about specific individual measures. You can spend only a few minutes watching a video and then you can complete the tasks demonstrated in the video in OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 to achieve meaningful use. After you have achieved meaningful use, you simply need to complete the attestation process to receive your incentive money!

Eyefinity is your trusted partner as you work to achieve meaningful use. Visit the Meaningful Resource Center for information to guide you through the meaningful use objectives to help you qualify for federal stimulus dollars. You’ll find educational tools and videos, including the 24 new videos, that provide practical strategies to help you achieve meaningful use and take full advantage of stimulus money through the use of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER. Eyefinity is dedicated to supporting you with the resources you need as you implement a certified product and walk the path towards meaningful use.

View these new videos today!

Technology for today and tomorrow…thoughts from Dr. Kirchner

James Kirchner, OD

Technology’s impact on our lives is increasingly evident. The recent passing of Steve Jobs caused the world to reflect upon these advances and how rapidly they’re happening. Four years ago we hadn’t heard of an app—now there are thousands. It’s hard to realize the first iPadwas delivered to us less than 24 months ago! The entire global technology community appears to be moving at the speed of light. Great companies not only keep up, but as Apple, Microsoft, and Google demonstrate, they lead. Aggressive innovation is the hallmark of technology leaders. At Eyefinity®, we clearly understand and embrace this role.

As the leader in technology services and products for the eyecare industry, Eyefinity is driven to provide a steady stream of new tools providers need to meet the demands of an evolving, competitive, opthalmic market. Our mission is to assist you, our customer, in achieving success in your business.

Eyefinity is committed to empowering the eyecare professional through personalized service and innovative e-business solutions. Our e-business solutions enable you to expand and promote your practice in the most cost-effective manner, so you can focus on your service for patients. Eyefinity offers the widest spectrum of e-business management resources: from product ordering, to insurance claim processing for government and commercial carriers, to developing marketing strategies.

Recently, Eyefinity rebranded Business Essentials as eyeVantage. The online collection of key learnings, proprietary tools, and best practices in eyeVantage lay the foundation for successful practices. This is just the beginning of the business resources that will become available on eyeVantage.

The recent release of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10.5 is the newest version of our CCHIT-certified Complete EHR. Our v10 software series enabled a large number of users to receive stimulus payments in 2011, and we anticipate an even larger majority to receive incentive payments in 2012. We’re adamant about our commitment to continually strengthen and improve our OfficeMate/ExamWRITER software. This product serves more practices in the U.S.than all competitors combined, and it’s here to stay. We are serious about our responsibility and commitment to provide and support OfficeMate/ExamWRITER, both now and in the future.

As the technology leader in our industry, we understand our critical role in developing innovative solutions. We’re in the midst of developing many new resources to meet the demands of the evolving ophthalmic market. Watch for announcements about developments in AcuityLogic, our complete, cloud-based EHR suite that allows practices to run their business through the “cloud,” or Internet. We’re committed to leading the industry in this realm.

Eyefinity is here for you today. As an innovative technology leader and your partner, we’ll continue to provide you with the resources for your success tomorrow. This is our mission and our sole reason for existence.

– James K. Kirchner, OD
Chief Professional Officer, Eyefinity

Ophthalmic Office interviews Eyefinity President Steve Baker

Steve Baker, president of Eyefinity, recently sat down with Ophthalmic Office for a one-on-one interview. Click on the image below to read what Steve had to say about Eyefinity’s recent rebrand, how we are helping doctors become meaningful users of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER, and what EMRs of the future might look like.

Looking for a hosting solution for OfficeMate/ExamWRITER? Meet our newest certified partner, iManaged Solutions!

Many clients have asked if there is a way to avoid investing in servers and hardware as they prepare to use OfficeMate/ExamWRITER version 10 and 10.5.  For those of you who are interested in a hosting solution, meet iManaged Solutions—Eyefinity’s newest “Certified Partner.”

The advantage of this service is that they manage your program and data from their secure data centers.  This means that you do not need to purchase a server for your office and can let the hosting service manage your programs for you.  Your data is backed up automatically, your costs for IT server support are eliminated and time and expense associated with upgrades is completely eliminated.

With iManaged Solution’s hosted offering, OfficeMate and ExamWRITER will be compatible with multiple operating systems and devices such as the iPad® and Android™ tablets.  Office data is backed up twice daily and resides in multiple secure data centers for added protection.  As an Eyefinity Certified Partner, you can work them with confidence.  Contact them directly for pricing and additional details: sales@imanagedsolutions.net