John Labban, M.D., has a very busy solo ob/gyn practice in Bloomington that ran out of space for paper charts. In May, he learned about web-based clinical messaging through HealthLINC and told his staff, “Let’s go for it.” They are still discovering the pros and cons of technology; however, Dr. Labban says the good things are he can work from anywhere and access patient information online any time of day. He greatly appreciates the speed of e-prescribing and definitely does not miss the pile of charts on his desk!
In south-central Indiana, 107 providers have contracted with the Tri-State Regional Extension Center (REC) to receive assistance with electronic health records (EHR) adoption and achievement of meaningful use. If you are not yet moving in that direction, it’s not too late. Even if your practice is paper-based, your local REC can still help you succeed.
Several practices working with HealthLINC, one organization that comprises the Tri-State REC, are already close to meeting meaningful use and receiving their incentive from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Those practices leading the way have been designated meaningful use “MUvers.”
Why make the effort? Eligible providers who achieve meaningful use of an EHR can earn up to $44,000 in incentive payments from Medicare or up to $63,750 in incentives from Medicaid. The incentive payments will bring the region up to $7 million in additional funding.
But there are more than financial motives. “By helping us reach our goals through use of electronic medical records, the REC is helping us improve patient safety and increase communication with patients and other health care providers,” said ISMA member Hayley Wible, D.O., of IU Health-Southern Indiana Physicians.
“HealthLINC has been invaluable in our effort to meet these goals by educating our office managers about the process and assisting our users with Medicare registration,” said Dr. Wible. “They have also done a gap analysis for us, which has been a big advantage to working with them.”
If you have an EHR or you don’t
The Tri-State REC offers specially designed tools to help physicians evaluate and select an EHR system, implement that system as efficiently and smoothly as possible, and then make adjustments to achieve meaningful use and collect the maximum incentive funds. The REC charges paper practices $1,000 – with $250 due at the start and $750 due to the REC upon achieving meaningful use.
The Tri-State REC also serves practices that have already selected and/or implemented an EHR system, by coaching them on how to use their systems to their fullest capabilities and helping the practices meet meaningful use. This service is offered at no charge.
“It has been a personal pleasure to work with so many providers throughout Indiana with the regional extension center. We work hard to ensure primary care providers thrive in the era of electronic health care and emerging health care reform,” said Todd Rowland, M.D., executive director for HealthLINC.
The Tri-State REC with its HealthLINC partner serves south-central Indiana, southwestern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky. Learn more about how they can help your practice here, email or call (513) 469-7222, option 3.
South-central Indiana EHR MUvers
Offices attesting to meaningful use – so far
Heartland OB GYN – Washington
Southern Indiana Family Practice – Linton
Offices planning to attest to meaningful use in 2011
Family Medical Center – Seymour
Southern Indiana Community Healthcare – Paoli
Legacy Primary Care Physicians – Seymour
John Labban, M.D. – Bloomington
IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians – Bloomington
Stephen Glaser, M.D. – Batesville
Internal Medicine Associates – Bloomington
Charles McGovern, M.D. – Batesville
Southern Indiana Pediatrics – Bloomington
Switzerland County Nurse Managed Clinic
Philip Crooke, M.D. – Bloomington
Indian Creek Family Health Center – Brookville