What is the impact of EHR vendor readiness?

As healthcare rules and regulations change, so must the independent physician’s practice management. To ensure the independent physician is ready to meet these changing requirements, the information technology that supports that practice must also be ready. When an independent physician uses electronic health records (EHRs), the EHR vendor is expected to be prepared for changes in billing and reimbursement. When the vendor is not ready, it can significantly impact the physician’s practice.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced a new payment model last year, Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) that “will pay providers a monthly fee for patient care-management services.” Participants in the CPC+ model are required to meet IT requirements “that help them develop patient care plans, including being able to systematically assess patients’ psychosocial needs, document and track patient-reported outcomes, and identify and flag patients with complex medical issues.”

When the EHR vendor is not able to keep up with changes such as these instituted in the CPC+ model, the independent physician faces a number of challenges in not being prepared to meet the demands of participating in the program. Another similar challenge that independent physicians face is their ability to participate in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) when their EHR vendor is not prepared to implement the changes.

Many EHR vendors are generally capable of adjusting to new payment standards; however, “unexpected and sudden CMS rulemakings can introduce many new requirements at once without giving them enough time to implement the changes.” EHR technology is complex and many CMS deadlines for implementing new payment rules can be tight, causing challenges for the EHR vendor as well as for the independent physician.

Elation Health is dedicated to working with independent physicians to ensure they have what they need to provide quality care and to receive prompt and appropriate reimbursement. We continually develop intuitive tools that enable providers to be more productive and deliver better care — we focus on them, so they can focus on their patients.