An EHR can be a scary purchase for you and your practice. Picking the one that best suits your needs, including your budgetary requirements, can be a daunting task. However, while it can seem costly upfront, the right EHR will reduce your overall operating costs and help increase revenue.
The Right EHR for Your Practice
The first question you should ask is, “What do I need in the right EHR?”
Establishing a list of requirements makes the searching process more manageable. There’s no need to look at a dermatology-based EHR if your practice’s specialty is endocrinology.
The more detailed the list of requirements, the more likely you will find the perfect EHR. Questions to consider:
- Is it easy to use? How often is the software updated?
- Does the EHR have all the required certifications? Is the company committed to meeting new requirements in the future?
- How long will it take to get up and running? Is training included?
- Is this a PM/EHR integrated solution?
- Is a patient portal included?
- What about interfaces?
- What are the software/hardware requirements?
- Does the software vendor support other customers in my specialty?
The Investment and Returns of an EHR
Of course, cost is always a concern. Even with a budget-conscious bundle, the price of buying and setting up a new system can cause sticker shock.
The fact is an EHR is an investment in your practice. Just like any investment, there are upfront costs. That’s why, when purchasing an EHR, it’s vital to perform an ROI and cost-benefit analysis.
The analysis will help you justify your investment and lessen the blow of the initial expense. There are quantifiable and non-quantifiable benefits to consider:
- Improve the efficiency of your business operations: With the right EHR, you can streamline scheduling, billing, and patient/provider communications.
- Increase revenue flow: Your new EHR can help you more accurately bill and code medical claims. The more accurate your billing, the more likely you’ll get reimbursed for your services.
- Enhance provider productivity: An easy-to-use EHR allows you to streamline clinical documentation, chart faster, and spend more time focused on your patients.
- Improve staff and physician loyalty: Streamlined workflows make it easier for your team to do their jobs, which keeps them happy.
- Improve patient satisfaction: More time with patients means better quality of care, better health outcomes, and increased satisfaction.
By investing in the EHR software that works best for you, you will see an increase in efficiency in your practice. With a software solution that enables you to do more, you can treat patients faster and more thoroughly than ever before.
Incentives for EHR Adoption
Need help making an investment that will increase your practice’s efficiency and generate more revenue?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a program to promote interoperability in practices that helps offset the costs of getting an EHR.
CMS established this program to “encourage eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals to adopt, implement, upgrade, and demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT).”
To qualify for this program, your practice must meet the requirements of three different stages.
The first stage is to “set the foundation for the Promoting Interoperability Programs by establishing requirements for the electronic capture of clinical data, including providing patients with electronic copies of health information.”
Stage two involves meaningful reporting. With an EHR, your practice can implement plenty of value-based care programs. These include:
- Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
- Value Modifier (VM), also known as Physician Value-Based Modifier (PVBM)
- Home Health Value-Based Program (HHVBP)
- Alternative Payment Models (APMs)
- Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model
- Primary Care First (PCF)
By adopting the right EHR, your practice can easily report the data needed to improve patient health through these value-based care programs.
The third qualifying stage focuses on using CEHRT to improve patient outcomes. Use your new EHR to offer better services, promote wellness visits, and schedule routine preventative care.
Moving to an EHR can be a daunting task—especially when practices only look at the numbers. However, as we’ve seen, there is help available and the benefits offset that cost in multiple ways.
Ready to get started? Learn more about how an EHR can bolster your practice today.