Complying with Meaningful Use regulations can earn additional revenue for your practice through the Medicaid or Medicare Stimulus programs -- but it also can change the way your office operates and the way you interact with patients. Over the next few weeks, GroupOne will look at 5 important ways that the Meaningful Use criteria will alter the future of your practice.
As hospitals and practices prepare for Meaningful Use attestation, many convened at the 2011 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annual conference in February in Orlando, Fla., to learn what they can expect after switching to electronic records.
“Those changes are expected to trickle down even to those who have no plans to seek the incentives,” said Natalie Berger, PhD, chair of the HIMSS Ambulatory Information Systems Committee. So physicians need to prepare. "Right now it's only Medicaid and Medicare providers ... getting those reimbursements. But eventually [private] payers are going to follow those guidelines. And then I think patients are going to demand it. It's no longer going to be OK to go to a doctor's office that doesn't have your records or doesn't know you are allergic to those medications."
Some of the changes EMRs bring will be for the better, some for the worse, depending on how the change is managed. Much of the 2011 HIMSS conference focused on those changes, and how physician practices and hospitals could prepare for them. Many discussions revolved around five basic themes:
- Patient engagement
- Security and privacy
Over the next few weeks, GroupOne will look at each of these five themes that the Meaningful Use criteria will alter the future of your practice. Stay tuned for the next post regarding patient involvement.