How Much Is Your ENT EHR Software Really Costing You?

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Here are the signs that you’re falling into an EHR money pit.

What has your ENT software done for you lately—from a financial perspective? To answer this question, you’ll need to take a look at various aspects of your software—from where it’s housed, to what it can do. However, if you have a system that’s inefficient, or difficult to use, you probably already know your ENT EHR system isn’t holding up its end of the bargain.

Here are a few signs that it may be time to take action:

You’re Working With an On-Premise Server – Not a Cloud-Based ENT EHR

If you have a physical EHR server on your premises, it’s costing you money. The question is—how much? These costs are usually associated with:

  • Renting or buying a physical server (that will eventually require replacement)
  • IT support and maintenance (in-house or outsourced)
  • Risk management and redundancy planning
  • Adding more physical servers when it’s time to scale
  • Possible interoperability & mobility issues

Cloud-based ENT software is housed on a virtual server which has these potential cost-saving benefits:

  • No physical EMR hardware to buy, rent or replace
  • Automatic updates
  • Little to no IT support
  • Redundant EMR storage
  • Virtual servers can be added in minutes—so get ready to scale!
  • Improved interoperability and mobility

Your next step: Add up the costs and compare. You may be surprised at the results.

Your ENT EHR Vendor Has Stopped Making Updates

Didn’t you get the memo? Well, it turns out that your EHR vendor has decided not to do software updates anymore (at least in this hypothetical example). And those new ICD codes and proposed rules that govern interoperability? They weren’t prepared for those either. And now, neither is your software.

Some ENT practices were faced with these very situations, or they lost practice management or billing support before becoming clients of Modernizing Medicine®. Essentially, they found themselves in a situation that wasn’t going to get better. They knew that eventually they’d be paying their staff or outside companies to do what their software couldn’t. And the smaller practices? They’d be faced with the reality of taking on the extra work themselves.

To avoid situations like these in the future, you’ll want to do more research up front. Any ENT EHR company you consider should be financially solvent, and forward-thinking. You want a company that’s committed to making their software better—continuously—with regular updates.

Your ENT EHR System is a Solo Act

Even if you’re satisfied with your ENT EHR software, if it doesn’t play well with your practice management system, or with billing and operations, how efficient can you truly be? Sure, bridges can be built (usually) and multiple sign-ins are possible, but how many windows do want to have open during a single patient visit? And how much extra documentation do you want to do, when you find out your data is moving more slowly across that bridge than expected, creating unnecessary delays and bottlenecks?

At Modernizing Medicine, we offer an all-in-one, ENT-specific software suite to help eliminate frustrations—without excessive clicking and multiple logins. It brings together ENT-specific clinical knowledge, scheduling, document management, billing, coding, claims, patient payments and collections, to improve inter-office communications and increase practice efficiencies. With all the time you could save, you can put more of the focus back on your patients.

You’re Adding Physician Notes, After Hours – Again

If you’re adding notes into your ENT software after hours, there’s a reason for that. You’re probably working less efficiently than you could.

To find out why you’re spending so much time documenting after hours, why not put together a list? Fill it with all of the things that are literally keeping you up at night. Then, set up a call or meeting with your EHR vendor.

Best case scenario: You and/or your office need additional training on an EHR feature that could save you time. Hey, it happens, and your office will be better for it.

Best case scenario #2: Your EHR vendor needs to add functionality to your system, and they are able to provide a timeline for doing so.

Worst case scenario: You need to switch EHR vendors to get the kind of user experience you want and deserve.

Best case scenario (after dealing with above worst-case scenario): Switching to that new EHR vendor that has your office up and running with a seamless experience in no time.

You Keep an ICD-10 Coding Manual on Your Night Stand

Ok, hopefully it’s not on your night stand, but if it is, you know that your ICD-10 struggles have finally gotten a hold of your practice’s proverbial pocket book. Now that ICD-10 codes have been out for a while, any claim submitted with inaccurate or unspecified ICD-10 codes can be denied or audited. So instead of under-coding to minimize the risk of getting denied, or supplementing your ICD-9 system with an ICD-10 guide, why not choose ENT EHR software that’s ICD-10-ready (and one that’s already preparing for any new changes). The future may not feel like it’s coming fast in healthcare, but when it’s here, you’ll know. So, get ready!

Your ENT EHR Software Isn’t Setting You Up for MIPS Success

We’re in the fourth year of MIPS quality reporting. So, how is it going? As you’re probably aware, there are four performance categories that make up your MIPS score:

  1. Quality
  2. Promoting Interoperability (PI)
  3. Improvement Activities
  4. Cost

So, what do these categories have to do with your bottom line?

Consider this: Adjustments began in 2019 (based on 2017 performance). And in 2022, they are expected to increase. How much? Up to 9%.

That means if you bill $1,000,000 per year in Medicare, your MIPS performance could make up to a $180,000 difference in your income beginning in 2024.

In other words, failing to do MIPS reporting could land you a negative adjustment. About 5% of eligible clinicians received a maximum negative adjustment of -4% in 2019. And, as you can see from the above example, the negative adjustment adds up quickly.

If MIPS reporting feels like just one more thing to add to your mounting to-do list, fear not, the right ENT EHR can automate much of the reporting process. After all, don’t you deserve to get the full amount for the quality of care you provide?

Your Full Financial Picture is a Mystery

You won’t know where you’re spending money, making money, and losing money—if you don’t have the data. And even if you do have the data, if it isn’t structured in a way that is meaningful and actionable, it will be difficult to truly see where you stand.

At Modernizing Medicine, we offer an advanced analytics platform that can give you a bird’s eye view into your practice’s financial health. From here, you can use advanced filtering capabilities to view structured data and reports that cover almost virtually every stage of your revenue cycle.

After all, otolaryngology isn’t just your passion, it’s your business.

You Aren’t Working With an ENT EHR

Many specialists sign up for one-size-fits-all ENT software thinking that a fully customizable solution is what they need. Then, they uncover the hard truth: there is such a thing as too much customization.

At Modernizing Medicine, we have ENT-specific medical knowledge coded into our solution from day one. Not only does that ensure that your practice can get up and running quickly, it makes the system as a whole much easier to use. After all, it was built by ENT physicians for ENT physicians. That means many of your workflows, your choices and your frustrations may already be taken into account.

And, if your ENT system is infused with adaptive learning technology (like Modernizing Medicines’ EMA®) all of that ENT-specific content is only going to get better with time. It will learn to suggest the options you use most, adapt to your workflows and recall your personalized protocols. With all of these efficiencies built-in, you may be able to see more patients—or take time back for yourself.

Patient Engagement = Another Form

The number one goal of many medical practices is to make the patient experience the best it can be. Many modern practices are moving away from paper surveys and mailers, and empowering their patients to take a more proactive approach to their care. Patient surveys, portals, apps and alternate check-in options give patients choices and make them feel valued and heard.

And in this case, what’s good for the patient, is also good for the physician. Patient surveys are an opportunity to see what your practice is doing right and what can be improved. Patient apps and portals take time-consuming tasks like check-in, and make them easy for the patient to accomplish, before they even get to the office. And, of course when a patient is actively involved in their own care, you don’t have to spend as much time (and money) making sure patients are following up, taking their medications and doing what they need to stay healthy.

No Way to Track or Prevent Patient No-Shows

When your ENT EHR software is seamlessly connected to your front office (ie. practice management), both sides of the business can work together to make sure patients are following up and making it to their appointments. Because as every physician knows, missed appointments is time (and money) that you can reschedule, but can’t get back.

For example, Modernizing Medicine’s own Practice Management system makes it easier to:

  • Identify frequent no-shows and send out additional patient communications
  • Send appointment reminders by email, text or phone
  • Educate patients about no-show policies and procedures
  • Charge fees for missed patient appointments

So, now that we’ve neared the end of this blog, it’s time to consider: Have you fallen into an ENT EHR money pit? Or, is your ENT EHR software setting you up for success? We hope it’s the former, but if it’s not, you have options. One of them involves switching to the #1 EHR for Otolaryngology.*

Here’s what one Modernizing Medicine ENT client had to say after making the switch:

“We quickly saw that the doctors could really see more in smaller amounts of time. We even switched our schedule to go from 15-minute increment appointments to 10-minute appointment types.That’s an extra 10 patients a day, easily, just with that little bit of time.”

Amanda Hill, Billing Office Manager 

Blue Ridge Ear, Nose, and Throat, Inc.

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