Education is a Lifelong Journey

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Maria Davenport, OD, Vicksburg Optometry

Earlier this year, we sat down with Maria Davenport, OD, an OfficeMate and Eyefinity EHR user who runs a single-doctor practice in Vicksburg, MI to talk about the value of education. Because Dr. Davenport is always looking for ways to work smarter and not harder, she has attended four Education and Training events in the last three years to learn how to use her Eyefinity products to their fullest potential.

“Success for my practice is to stay lean by doing things more efficiently,” Dr. Davenport explained. “[Eyefinity EHR] makes it so I can focus on doing more, like attesting for Meaningful Use, MIPS, and MACRA. This is the first year I attested for Meaningful Use. It went well and I passed. The icon in the system made it easy to track my numbers daily to see how I was performing against the goal.”

Eyefinity EHR is designed to help ODs easily succeed with Meaningful Use, and that makes it an even bigger priority at our Eyefinity Education Conferences. Vice President of Professional Relations, Masoud Nafey, OD hosts breakout sessions on MACRA and MIPS at Education Conferences in addition to helpful webinars throughout the year. A portion of the Eyefinity website is also dedicated entirely to MIPS, hosting a variety of resources to help doctors succeed.

These are just a few ways you can educate yourself with Eyefinity.  Everyone learns differently, and there are more educational resources available to customers, such as on-site training, online tutorials, and in-product messaging. If you use social media, there are private Facebook groups for each Eyefinity product containing helpful tips and peer-to-peer advice. And, of course, Eyefinity Training Support is available to assist you in your learning journey every step of way.

If you want a chance to connect with industry leaders and learn from professionals like yourself, consider attending the next Education Conference in Boston, MA, June 9-10. In the meantime, catch up on the MIPS webinars available in the MIPS Resource Center.

90-day Meaningful Use Reporting Period for 2016 and 2017

Meaningful_Use_sticknoteEarlier this month, CMS quietly finalized the 90-day reporting period for meaningful use in 2016 and 2017. This means participants have the option of reporting only 90 continuous days of meaningful use. This should come as welcome relief for eligible providers who are in danger of not meeting certain thresholds. The 90-day reporting period gives the provider the ability to report the 90 days in which he or she performed well.

The 90-day reporting period in 2017 should come as no surprise as meaningful use morphs into the Advancing Care Information category in the Quality Payment Program. CMS has given eligible clinicians (ECs) the option to pick your pace. This means ECs can choose minimal reporting, reporting 90 days, or reporting the full year of MIPS in 2017.

CMS press release (look for “Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program”)

 

New Videos Available on the Meaningful Use Resource Center

To help users in the daunting process of Modified Stage 2, Eyefinity has put together a resource center dedicated to achieve meaningful use in any practice.

“Users will have a choice of using the written documentation, or watching the videos when they move through the meaningful use process,” says Rebecca Johnson, Director of Education.

The resource center includes videos and written documentation that explain each measure, describe any available exclusion, and give you step-by-step instructions on how to achieve each measure using Eyefinity software.

The training videos and documentation that are available on the resource center are useful for doctors who may be low on a particular measure as well as for training new staff to help them participate in helping the practice achieve its meaningful use goals.

Eyefinity offers these additional solutions to ensure that practices have everything they need to run a successful and thriving business.

Useful Links:

Meaningful Use Resource Center: https://www.officemate.net/mu_resources.aspx

Eyefinity Training & Education: https://www.officemate.net/training.aspx

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Upcoming Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Deadline

Summer’s here, and the July 4 holiday weekend is around the corner. Before packing your bags or lighting up the grill, take a moment to review the meaningful use hardship exception guidelines. The deadline to apply for a hardship exception and avoid a 2017 payment adjustment is July 1 at 11:59 pm ET.

You do not need to file a hardship exception if any one of these scenarios applies to you:

  • You successfully demonstrated meaningful use in 2015;
  • You’re a hospital-based provider; or
  • You’re a new eligible professional who began filing Medicare or Medicaid claims in 2015.

A hardship exception could exempt you from Medicare payment penalties in 2017 if you failed to achieve meaningful use in 2015 and you met one of the following circumstances:

  • Insufficient internet connectivity
  • Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (a natural disaster, practice closure, bankruptcy, failure of your certified EHR)
  • Lack of certified EHR availability
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction or follow up

There’s no hardship exemption for not knowing about the Modified Stage 2 meaningful use changes that were published in October.

The timeline for hardship exceptions and payment adjustments can be confusing since the payment adjustments occur two years after the participation year.

If you failed to participate in this calendar year… File for a hardship exception by this date… To avoid a payment adjustment in this year…
2015 July 1, 2016 2017
2016 TBD 2017 2018

For more information, refer to the following resources:

Meaningful Use Registry Deadline: February 29

blog_stopwatchAn important meaningful use deadline is approaching. February 29 is the last day to register with a specialized registry and fulfill the public health objective for meaningful use in 2016. Eyefinity recommends the following registries:

You must register with a specialized registry by February 29 to demonstrate “active engagement” with a specialized registry in 2016. Your registration fulfills your specialized registry obligation for the year. Depending upon the scope of your practice, you may be required to register with a second registry.

Eyefinity is actively working with AOA to develop an integration between AOA MORE and ExamWRITER and Eyefinity EHR. Through this integration, you’ll be able to meet the public health objective, submit your clinical quality data, and electronically report your PQRS data. This integration will be available later this year. Continue reading

CMS Extends the Deadline for Reporting 2015 Meaningful Use

Last week, CMS pushed the deadline for attesting to meaningful use (MU) from February 29 to Friday, March 11. This extension applies only to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for the 2015 reporting period. Eligible providers who are participating in their state’s Medicaid EHR incentive program should check with their state to determine their attestation deadline.

This 12-day extension will come as welcome relief to many providers who haven’t yet attested to their 2015 meaningful use performance. A successful MU attestation is required to avoid a 3% negative Medicare payment adjustment in 2017.

MU Attestation Resources

To help you complete your MU attestation by March 11, we’ve compiled these helpful resources:

Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)

This MU extension does not affect the February 26 deadline for Medicare Part B claims-based PQRS reporting.

Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Requirements Announced

CMS has released the requirements for filing hardship exception applications for the 2015 reporting year. The good news is that CMS has reduced the amount of detailed information needed to complete the application. Additionally, CMS is allowing groups of providers to file a single hardship exception application. Hardship exception applications are due by March 15.

A hardship exception could exempt you from Medicare payment penalties in 2017 if you failed to achieve meaningful use in 2015 and you met one of the following circumstances:

  • Insufficient internet connectivity
  • Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (a natural disaster, practice closure, bankruptcy, failure of your certified EHR)
  • Lack of certified EHR availability
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction or follow up

There’s no hardship exemption for not knowing about the Modified Stage 2 meaningful use changes that were published in October.

While this isn’t the blanket hardship exception that many had hoped, the application requires less information than in years past, which will make the application less burdensome. Additionally, the Modified Stage 2 requirements lowered the bar on many of the more onerous measures, which should make it easier for eligible providers (EPs) to attest to meaningful use rather than applying for a hardship exception.

If you’re able to successfully attest to meaningful use for 2015, you do not need to file a hardship exception. New EPs who began submitting Medicare claims in 2015, hospital-based EPs, and EPs in five specialties unrelated to eyecare automatically receive an exemption and don’t have to file an application.

For more information, refer to the following resources: