:dropcap_open:T:dropcap_close:here is no doubt that obtaining $44,000.00 from the government is very enticing. In this hard economy, who would say “No” to such a gift? A gift? Well, not exactly. If you are interested in Electronic Health Record software programs, you already know that doctors will need to meet all the necessary meaningful use objectives in order to receive any incentive payments. On the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) website (www.cms.gov
), there is a section called “Attestation”.
Under that section, the CMS answers a few potential questions you may have. One of them is: “Will CMS conduct audits?” The answer is clear: “Any provider attesting to receive an EHR incentive payment for either the Medicare EHR Incentive Program or the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program may potentially be subject to an audit.” And then they explain how to be prepared for an audit. In the best case scenario, where you do your very best to meet all the conditions, where you keep your documentation at the best of your knowledge and where you keep your office legally crystal clear, an audit is never fun.
And if the auditor finds something wrong, you are the responsible person, not your software provider. You might not be very excited to do all the necessary work to meet all the meaningful use objectives and you probably do not wish to get an audit either. If this is the case, why don’t you create and implement your own stimulus plan? If you decide to compete with the government by creating your own stimulus plan, not only will you not have the hassle of implementing a fully certified software and showing all the meaningful use objectives that the government is imposing, but you may be able to receive substantially more than $44,000.00 over a 5-year period and have much more free time for yourself and your family. One size does not fit all. Many chiropractic doctors do not want to do their stimulus certification and do not want to go through unnecessary audits. Right now, it is only a very small percentage of eligible providers who are registered to do their stimulus certification. But don’t worry, there are some good alternatives for all other doctors. There are many recipes to create your own stimulus package. Planning, organization and perseverance are the keys to success.
In all new projects, good planning is mandatory. What do you want to achieve? How much revenue increase would you like to get? How much growth are you looking for? The $44,000.00 payment the government is offering over 5 years represents only 3.5 adjustments per week (at $50.00 each). This is not much. Don’t you think you may increase your office by 4 visits per week if you are serious about it? I am sure you can. Let’s say, as an example, that you see 100 patients per week. You may set up a goal where you will see an average of 125 patients per week within 3 months from now. Let’s beat the stimulus package by 21 visits per week. Is this realistic? Absolutely.
Not only are these achievable numbers but this will probably be easier than you think to achieve. As a second goal, would you like to spend more time with your patients on each visit? And, as a last goal, recoup 4 hours per week and spend that time with your family. This does not seem to make sense, right? How can you see 25% more patient visits, spend more time with your family and spend more time with your patients? The answer is Organization. By the way, 21 visits per week at $50.00 each, 50 weeks per year for 5 years amounts to $262,500.00. This is almost 6 times the entire government stimulus package.
:dropcap_open:You don’t need to use a certified software program to implement all the meaningful use objectives.:quoteleft_close:
In many chiropractic offices, organization is the weakest part of the entire business. This is where information technology will be your best friend. The best and easiest patient growth is through the actual active patients referral. If you spend less time in administrative tasks and use that valuable time educating your patients, you will definitely increase referrals. Increasing referrals means more patient visits. A full automated system will reduce your administrative tasks, will speed up all your processes and will provide, at a glance, all the necessary information needed to provide the greatest care to your patients, in less time.
Searching for a paper patient health file does not help any patient in his care. If the system you are presently using has a good statistic module, use it. Find out how many patients have left your office without any other appointment and have a list of who they are. Are they really done with their care or are they just on the edge of dropping chiropractic? These are only a few very simple examples of how good organization, using great information technology, will make it easy for you to reach your goal.
There is no use putting anything new in place if you do not persevere. If you implement a new procedure, believe in it and be patient. Success comes over time. Just keep doing it and you will see results. Perseverance is probably the hardest thing to achieve. Implementing something new takes you out of your comfort zone. If you keep persevering, your new procedures will eventually become your comfort zone.
This is a brief description of how to create your own stimulus package and how to succeed with it. You don’t need to use a certified software program to implement all the meaningful use objectives. As an example, you can record your patient smoking status in almost any software program if you think this information is useful to treat and help your patients.
Creating your own stimulus package may have many advantages over the government incentive program. You may be able to generate much more income, without having to go through the CMS registration process, or through any CMS audit, etc. As far as health benefit for the patients, you may exceed the government requirements if you want to. It’s your call!
Claude Cote is an expert in EHR systems, insurance billing and chiropractic clinic management for 22 years. He has installed EHR system in 18 countries over 5 continents and nationwide in USA. He is the President and Founder of Platinum System C.R. Corp (www.platinumsystem.com). For comments or questions, please email to [email protected]