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February 6, 2012 News 4 Comments

2-6-2012 12-48-44 PM

meridianEMR launches meridianMobile, a native iPhone app to complement its meridianEMR system.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) will introduce legislation making it easier for physicians to practice telemedicine in multiple states without the need to apply for separate licenses in each state. The bill would streamline licensure and create an interoperable database of telemedicine providers.

2-6-2012 1-23-18 PM

AAFP drops the $30 per month fee for member access to its Delta-Exchange professional networking site. Non-members will continue to pay.

MGMA sends a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius outlining problems that practices are having with the 5010 transition, urging an additional delay in enforcing the change. MGMA warns that unless the government takes the necessary steps to resolve issues, many practices will face significant cash flow disruptions for practices and operational difficulties, a reduced ability to treat patients, staff layoffs, and even practice closure.

Virginia HIT adds NextGen to its list of affiliated vendors. Its other solution partners include Allscripts, athenahealth, MDLand International, and Pulse.

Several practice consultants offer tips to help practices get the most from the tech support departments of their vendors. It includes questions that should not be sent to the support hotline, such as:

  • Practice-specific questions
  • How-to type inquiries about tasks that should have be covered in training
  • Hardware versus software problems
  • Questions that involve functions outside of the system’s capabilities.


2-6-2012 2-53-31 PM

Confused about the various Medicare penalty programs on tap for the next few years? Note that 2012 is the first year that Medicare will impose penalties for not using e-prescribing. In 2015 the EMR penalties kick in, which is the same year PQRS penalties go into effect. For 2012 and 2013, physicians can earn bonuses for MU, e-prescribing, and participating in PQRS. However, here’s a little “gotcha” about PQRS: physicians who don’t report enough quality measures under PQRS in 2013 may risk a Medicare pay cut in 2015. The AMA and other organizations are urging CMS to remove all PQRS penalties.

2-6-2012 4-08-02 PM

Here’s a new twist on in-store medical clinics. Rite Aid and OptumHealth team up to offer telehealth visits in exam rooms at Rite Aid pharmacies. Patients enter a private room, register on a computer terminal, and respond to a series of questions about their current problem or complaint. They can then be connected to a video chat with a nurse for free or a 10-minute visit with a physician for $45.

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Comments 4
  • Wow, if our support department eliminated practice-specific questions, how-to type inquiries, hardware, and questions that involve functions outside of the system’s capabilities, they’d have NOTHING TO DO. Honestly, those calls make up 90% of our support volume, easy. If your vendor isn’t taking those calls, what are you paying all that money for?

  • Re: Chip Hart “what are you paying all that money for?”. Look at who made the comment. The practice consultant hopes you’ll pay more money to them instead 🙂

  • If your EHR/PMS vendor cannot properly field questions concerning…

    Practice-specific questions
    How-to type inquiries about tasks that should have be covered in training
    Hardware versus software problems
    Questions that involve functions outside of the system’s capabilities.

    …find another vendor who can.

    Many vendors now cater to particular specialties in order to be competitive. Practices shouldn’t deal with a vendor that doesn’t understand how their particular specialty operates.

    The last paragraph of the article sums up my personal feelings on this…

    “He said good service line centers should adopt a Ritz-Carlton view of service: Own every problem. They may not be able to solve every problem, but they can help find someone who can and not immediately pass the caller to someone else. Practices that are made to feel as if they cannot call the support line, or experience frustration each time they call, will only lead to those practices seeking a new vendor.”

  • Zafirex: good point.

    I know too many vendors, however, who already limit their support exposure as much as technically and practically possible. If you’re in the business, you know what I mean.

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