Physicians and healthcare provides across the country are slowly but surely adopting EHRs or Electronic Health Records as a part of the recent health reforms in the United States. Moreover, it has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that there has been a substantial increase in the adoption rates across the country and this trend is gaining momentum as the financial and health benefits of Health IT are understood and implemented successfully however some states still lag behind in “Basic” EHR adoption.
The adoption of EHRs may be increasing but some of the statistics are misleading. “Basic” adoption of EHRs is not considered as qualified for the ‘Meaningful Use’ (MU) incentives, there are time restrictions and this was apparent in the Stage 1 of MU when a lease was given to numerous physicians to fully start implementing their EHR systems. Moreover, the costs of implementing a fully functional EHR or EMR System is so high that it is financially cumbersome for providers and staff to handle their core job aspects as well as train on EHRs and maintain these systems.
The cost of IT services can be very high and since it is a recurring fixed cost, it can form a dent in a physician’s revenue. The stage 2 timelines are also of concern since those who do not implement Health IT would fall behind and find financial as well as policy hurdles. However, this can be counterbalanced by the incentives offered in the long run due to increased revenue because of EHRs and HIT implementation. The costs of IT in health care come in the form of continuous IT support for services not just in the core aspects of the medicine but also in the other departmental processes involved in getting paid. However, some relief in the form of incentives is providing financial relief to private practices as well as hospitals.
The deadlines for the implementation of Stage 2 of MU have also been extended to the year 2014 instead of 2013 due to hurdles such as costs and the skill required along with the learning curve to fully implement both the stages of MU. The need to cope with such costs and pressures is not limited to the core aspects of medicine. The effect of exhaustive changes in Medical Billing and coding procedures, handling the costs associated with IT maintenance, dramatically increased interaction with payers, and increasing your revenue at the same time is a process that needs dedicated professionals who are not just HIPAA compliant but also ensure the accurate and timely delivery of reimbursement for providers. Medicalbillersandcoders.com is the largest consortium of medical billers and coders in the United States that can carry out all these departmental processes in an efficient and timely manner.