Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The health Provisions in the stimulus package and what it means to your practice

While I am trying to juggle between getting all my work done, and packing to prepare for our new office move, I had to find time during my non excising lunch and do a quick blog message.

Earlier this week president Obama signed the stimulus bill, so that meant that everything that is proposed for our healthcare is now law. But after spending two nights trying to read the healthcare section of the 1071-page American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, I still had a lot of questions to ask about what are we really getting, and how do the healthcare groups go about getting it. I even had more questions than the ones I started out with.

So, as I googled all my concerns and questions, I found articles that really put a negative spin on the new stimulus bill. I have read things about how the seniors in the US will face rationing, and how doctors will be influenced by the government. These articles could not be more wrong. It was important to really stay positive and make the best out of the assistance that healthcare has long needed to help the adoption of the technology that it most definitely needs. I found many of my answers in the following site Click Here.

The incentives proposed for the health professionals are payments of 15,000 to 18,000 dollars for the first year, 12,000 dollars for the second payment and on until the fifth and last payment of 2,000 dollars.

Things that will be potentially requested from health professionals in order to be eligible for the incentives:

  • Submission of claims with appropriate coding (such as a code indicating that a patient encounter was documented using certified EHR technology) ---This reminds us on how we reported on PQRI.
  • The use of Electronic Prescribing (e-Prescription, and this can be achieved with third party vendors, so you don’t have to change your EMR if it does not support it).
  • The ability to exchange / forward your patient medical data to “data repository” defined by the Secretary ( RHIOs and hospitals have implemented these types of data warehouse and can store any of the following (which one they will request is the million dollar question):

Electronic Referrals and Consultation

Electronic Lab Orders/Results

Electronic Prescription

Electronic Imaging of patients

Electronic medical history

Radiology reports

Discharge reports

  • Treatment plans
  • An attestation
  • A survey response

Since I am still reading the Healthcare section of the stimulus, I will continue on this blog in the next few weeks and describe some of the ways that small to mid practices can utilize to benefit from this.


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