Embracing Change

Embracing Change

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Dr Masoud Nafey, OD

Masoud Nafey, OD

Have you been considering moving to a cloud-based Electronic Health Record but it just feels too scary, too hard on your staff, too much change for this moment in time? As optometrists we can all agree changing anything we are used to  — or something that works because it has become an auto-pilot endeavor – is a difficult decision to make.  When I joined Eyefinity as VP of Professional Relations I had day-to-day interaction with the team who was developing and promoting the product, answering customer calls, and working with new clients as they learned our software.  I realized early on that as doctors, we learn best from each other; we want the truth and nothing but the truth; we’re ok with a little pain, but we want to know what to expect and then we’ll jump in feet first.

It doesn’t take an OD with 30 years of experience to know what might help you process the idea of embracing change. Of course, who better to share their journey than one of our most loyal Office Mate/ExamWRITER users who has decided to take a leap of faith. Enter April Jasper, OD, owner of Advanced Eyecare Specialists in West Palm Beach, Florida, a Vision Source practice. Dr. Jasper has been using OM/EW for years. Only recently has she decided to move to Eyefinity EHR.  She intends to write a weekly blog chronicling her experience.  We’d love to hear your comments as you walk the path with her.

Dr April Jasper, OD, FAAO
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April Jasper, OD, FAAO

With the start of a new year I am looking forward to deploying a new EHR. As a long-time OfficeMate user, I adopted, ExamWRITER in 2006. I worked diligently, as many of you have, to integrate my equipment and reduce as much paper in my practice as possible. When I was faced with Meaningful Use, ExamWRITER took me through that challenge easily. Now we are faced with MIPS.

As we look at the future of healthcare one thing I know we all can agree on is that change  will take place rapidly. It is imperative that we find ways to improve our processes in the office, speed up our data entry while eliminating errors and stay HIPAA compliant. And of course, keep costs to a minimum.

When I began looking for a solution to all these challenges in an EHR system, I looked at several options. I consistently came back to the company that I have built a solid relationship with over time and that is Eyefinity. I am impressed so far with EHR. Not just the software solution but also the process of getting started and onboarding with a team who sees my success as a requirement for their success.

As I move through this process of implementation I look forward to sharing with all of you my experiences and helping you to see what the process will look like as you start down this path to the future. Let’s work together to make it easy. After all we are all in this together!

Read Dr. Jasper’s next post here

Upcoming ICD-10 Changes

oct1CMS is making some changes to the ICD-10-CM codes, effective October 1, 2016. In some cases, CMS added new codes and retired others. In other cases, only the description associated with the code changed.

Although these changes are not nearly as sweeping as the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 last year, there are some similarities:

  • October 1 is the so-called “cutover date.” The updated codes apply only to claims with a service date of October 1 or later. Claims with a service date of September 30 or earlier will continue to use the current codes.
  • Eyefinity has your back. We’re currently updating Eyefinity EHR and ExamWRITER to properly code your exams based on the selections you make during the exam and the date of service. In other words, keep coding the way you always have, and we’ll take care of the rest. We’re also updating the ICD-10 codes in our practice management systems for billing and reporting.
  • Billers should familiarize themselves with the changes. Billers should be prepared to verify that the correct codes are appearing on claims

Eyefinity has identified over 400 ICD-10 changes that apply to eyecare. Code changes to the following areas take effect on October 1, 2016:

  • Diabetes
  • Retinal vein occlusion
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Primary open-angle glaucoma
  • Amblyopia
  • Postprocedural hematoma or seroma

We anticipate that CMS will modify ICD-10 codes slightly every year.

We’re adding the ICD-10 changes to OfficeMate/ExamWRITER now, which will be available in a service pack in September. You’ll need to download and install the service pack before October 1 to avoid any disruption in billing.

Eyefinity EHR, Eyefinity Practice Management, and AcuityLogic updates are scheduled in September and will include all of the ICD-10 updates.

To read more about the ICD-10 changes taking effect on October 1, check out CMS’ ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines.

Eyefinity Making Strides in Practice Management AND Customer Service

When it comes to practice management, Eyefinity “solutions work for you;” when it comes to customer service, Eyefinity people are there for you.

Let’s meet Rachel Meyer, EdD, CPO, Rhonda Reguinti, CPO and Marissa Struve, CPO – three of 45 employees who have received training and certification from Miller Heiman Institute (M.H.I.) Global, the world’s most powerful sales and service performance company. Moving forward, “these three fabulous women will expand the training they received to all our teams and locations in the coming months” says Rebecca Johnson, Director of Education.

Rachel, Rhonda and Marissa in Chicago

Rachel Meyer, Rhonda Reguinti and Marissa Struve at the 2016 M.H.I. Global Certification Classes in Chicago

What does that mean for you?

Being customer centric and working from the foundations of respect, simplicity, solutions and responsibility are key aspects that these ladies have learned in the M.H.I. Global curriculum. “Keeping [you] in mind with these focal points will help us continue to pursue excellence in customer care” says Rachel Meyer. This enables the staff to quickly assess your problem, provide a solution and meet your needs.

Delivering a strong personalized customer experience is exactly how Eyefinity is making strides in the EHR and practice management industry while also benefiting the needs of you, the customer.

Taking the Show on the Road

ExamWRITER Educational Event logoWhat do Orlando, Phoenix, Houston, Pittsburgh, Boston, and San Francisco have in common? Give up? They are all destinations for ExamWRITER Educational Events in 2012. That’s right, we’re taking the show on the road, and we’re coming to a city near you!

It can be difficult at times to focus and fully engage with online training with the competing priorities that arise in the office. Sometimes it’s better to schedule time outside of the office where you can focus on training and learn how to get the most out of your ExamWRITER software. The ExamWRITER Educational Events are a great way to escape the distractions of the office and learn the advanced features of ExamWRITER in a hands-on setting. These interactive, in-depth workshops offer valuable face-time with experienced corporate trainers and industry experts.

These advanced courses for experienced ExamWRITER users are two days (Friday and Saturday). If you’re new to ExamWRITER, we strongly encourage you also to take the Thursday course for a total of three days (Thursday–Saturday).

In addition to the ExamWRITER training, we’re now also offering concurrent OfficeMate training in Orlando and Pittsburgh. This Friday–Saturday hands-on training will enable office staff to learn how to better manage the practice with the advanced features in the latest version of OfficeMate.

It is becoming increasingly important that your office harnesses the full power of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER. The ExamWRITER Educational Events are a great way to invest in the productivity and profitability of your office.

For dates, locations, and costs go to officemate.net/ossu_extension.aspx.

Putting OfficeMate/ExamWRITER to the Test

At the beginning of May, Eyefinity conducted a new and interesting test on its OfficeMate and ExamWRITER software. The outcome of this test will be a positive influence on the release of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER 10.5 this summer, which will improve the experience for all OfficeMate/ExamWRITER users.

SeeLia Mobile Eye Clinic

The SeeLia team helped out in the examination part of the practice simulation test.

Typically, the OfficeMate and ExamWRITER software undergoes a rigorous three-tiered testing regimen before the software is released to our clients. The three tiers include our internal quality assurance (QA) team, alpha test practices, and beta test practices, and each group vigorously looks for flaws and inefficiencies in the software. Alpha and beta practices communicate their evaluations of the software via conference calls or emails at the end of their work days or on the weekends.

Examination in SeeLia

Eyefinity employees volunteered to be patients.

In May, we took it a step further, by inviting some alpha and beta practices to our offices in Irvine to simulate a high-volume practice. We had additional help from VSP’s mobile clinic team, who brought SeeLia down the freeway to our Irvine office. With everyone assembled, conference rooms converted to front desk, dispensary, and check out areas, and SeeLia set up as an examination room, Eyefinity employees participated by receiving eye exams and moving through the patient workflow. Additionally, various scenarios were interjected into the test so that unusual return or billing situations would arise.

ExamWRITER running wirelessly through Terminal Services

Since SeeLia was outside in the parking lot, ExamWRITER communicated wirelessly with the database.

Our alpha and beta testers included doctors, opticians, and other staff who were closely observed by Eyefinity product managers. Having an in-house practice simulation involving staff members from various practices with disparate business practices presented an engaging and strenuous testing environment. Observing the testers as they worked enabled Eyefinity product managers to receive immediate feedback on new and existing features, allowed them to spot inefficiencies in the patient workflow, and helped them to determine what improvements can be made. The immediacy of the feedback and observations was critical to the success of the test immeasurably beneficial to the product managers.

Check out and Scheduling Stations

In addition to the examination room, scheduling, dispensary, and check-out stations were also set up.

The feedback we received during the practice simulation will help us improve v10.5 before it is released later this summer for the benefit of all OfficeMate/ ExamWRITER users.

Attesting to Meaningful Use: Getting Paid to Improve Patient Care

Today’s entry comes from Robert Bass, OD, FAAO

CMS, the HITECH Act, meaningful use? Oh, no!! Improved patient care and stimulus money? Oh, yes!! How to get it done painlessly? OfficeMate and ExamWRITER!!

Dr. Robert Bass

Dr. Bass recently implemented OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 as his certified EHR and has already qualified for stimulus money.

For me, the HITECH Act was initially difficult to understand, especially all of the requirements for meeting meaningful use (MU). OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 made it easy for me to comply with the requirements and document the necessary information. CMS warns that it may take a doctor 10–20 hours to complete the attestation, but I was able to complete it in less than 45 minutes and was successful in my attesting to meaningful use within the first quarter of the reporting year. The OfficeMate/ExamWRITER software was integral in my successful and prompt attestation.

My practice began using OfficeMate/ExamWRITER a little over a year ago and upgraded to the certified v10 on January 3, 2011. Implementing a certified electronic health record (EHR) for meaningful use has raised the level of attention to detail of my staff and myself because we now have to document specific criteria for every patient. This enforces a consistently high level of care from one patient to the next. We have noticed better recordkeeping in such areas as patient demographics, correspondence, and referring doctors. All of these improvements took shape without our having to drastically change how we use OfficeMate and ExamWRITER.

I am looking forward to receiving my incentive check for my compliance, but even more so, I am looking forward to continuing to provide the utmost care for my patients.

I urge all optometrists to implement an EHR, and I recommend that you start now. Each year of the HITECH Act builds on the next, and the incentive payments are reduced each year. In 2011, you can be eligible to receive incentive payments after 90 days of using a certified EHR in a meaningful manner. In the coming years, the attestation period will be longer, and the payments will be smaller. Act today while the rewards are at their highest.

Dr. Bass is a proud alumnus from the College of William and Mary, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He graduated with honors from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1986, Dr. Bass became a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry. Dr. Bass practices optometry in Manassas, Virginia, where ha has practiced for thirty years. An accomplished professional, Dr. Bass is also an avid fisherman and a dedicated family man.

Attesting to Meaningful Use: A Success Story

Today’s entry comes from Lorie Lippiatt, OD.

Dr. Lorie Lippiatt

Dr. Lorie Lippiatt has attested to meaningful use with the help of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10.

To some, coming back to work after the New Year’s Day always feels like a quiet, somber return to reality after the fun festivities of the holidays. But at my practice, it was an exciting return from Christmas break. The office was abuzz because we were going live with our certified software!

We implemented OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 on January 3, 2011, which was the first day we were eligible to demonstrate meaningful use (MU), and began our 90-day attestation period. After registering on the CMS Web site, we were ready to go!

Although we have used OfficeMate/ExamWRITER for many years, the first couple of weeks were a learning experience for my staff and me. Due to the requirements of the MU objectives, we needed to make a point of more carefully documenting our interactions with the patients in OfficeMate and ExamWRITER to ensure that we were meeting the MU Objectives. Thankfully, the fields were clearly identified throughout the program, which made the process easy and straightforward.

Initially, we ran the MU reports in the software daily. We did this to ensure that everyone on staff was participating fully and to spot any critical areas where our documentation was not meeting the MU objectives. Once we identified and resolved any potential weaknesses and felt confident in our understanding and implementation of the MU criteria, we ran our reports weekly, and then monthly. In the meantime, our quality of patient care was improving!

When the 90-day period ended, and CMS announced we could attest on April 18th, we were ready! In preparing to attest to meaningful use, I took a pretest that CMS offered online to verify our readiness and determine if our reporting would be accepted. It was! So, on April 18, 2011, I logged in to the attestation site, and, using the numerical values provided to me through reporting built into OfficeMate, I successfully attested to meaningful use for 2011 in about 30 minutes.

We should be receiving our check sometime before June this year. I plan to reinvest in my practice with the incentive money, and to incentivize my staff with a bonus for their help in participating in the process!

Dr. Lorie Lippiatt is a 1988 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry; she founded the Salem Eyecare Center, Inc., in 1989. Today, the center is a 5,500-square-foot facility that encompasses a complete children’s vision center.