In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) revealed that on an average 44,000 to 98,000 individuals lose their life each year in the US due to avoidable medical blunders. Though there are many causes to these medical errors, experts were of the opinion that the inability to access appropriate medical records in time was the main causative factor for all these mishaps. The experts were of the opinion that converting all the paper-based medical records into electronic records could help avert this prevalent mess. Fast forward 4 years and you’ll acknowledge that they were right. Today you can see greater and more seamless flow of healthcare information. And thanks to EMR, healthcare information is available whenever and wherever it is needed. All this has helped healthcare providers to provide higher quality and safer care for patients while creating tangible enhancements for their organization.
In spite of all these benefits a very few doctors seem to be in love with EMR. And many patients even tell stories of how their recent visit to the physician turned more or less into a typing extravaganza where the doctor spent most of his time documenting the engagement. The reason for all this typing is the mandatory need for doctors to provide extensive documentation to get reimbursed in time.
Doctors say that although EMR has made it easy to transfer and retrieve medical records, they can’t flip through them like they did before. Also the process implementing EMR itself is a costly affair. In fact as per a recent survey, physicians can lose $44,000 up front when they install an EMR system. And yes, the government will give you subsidies with regards to this implementation, but it isn’t good enough for making it a financially win-win situation for most practices. This is because nearly two thirds of the physicians still lose money on EMR even after receiving government assistance, reveals a report.
You can’t even stay away from embracing EMR. This is because if your practice doesn’t illustrate meaningful use of this system by the 2015 deadline, you will face a 1% reduction in your Medicare reimbursements. And this figure will rise each year that you fail to adopt the required technology.
How, then, can your practice successfully move to electronic record-keeping without the overhead burdens—and without risking reimbursement?
The answer lies in outsourcing. Yes, just as a multinational company opts for a technical consulting firm to provide virtual IT services rather than building their own IT infrastructure by hiring dozens of new IT staffs, medical practices that want to get the most of their EMR implementation should engage with a third party medical service provider. A good third party medical billing service provider will understand your unique medical needs, navigate through tricky EMR interfaces, and help you get reimbursed in time. Not just that! They will also reduce the burden of back-office tasks and enhance your profitability by reducing administrative costs. Furthermore, with their valuable services you can adhere to the stringent electronic data entry requirements of ACA
Opt for an outsourced medical service provider and pay for services that you need, rather than making significant up-front investment in buying software, building infrastructure or training staff. This is will not only assist you to focus on providing the best care for your patients, but also help you generate more returns on your EMR investment.