Learn how this practice is increasing efficiencies and is prepared for MIPS by using the intuitive, orthopedic-specific EHR system, EMA™
Putting it in Perspective: Some Background
Lemak Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, located at six locations throughout Alabama, had been using a combination of paper and an EHR system for their clinical documentation. Unfortunately the EHR system was selected by their affiliated hospital and was not orthopedic-specific and lacked customer support; therefore they opted to use this system at only one of their locations.
When the practice went private in 2015, they knew they wanted to be rid of paper charts so their team used this as an opportunity for positive change and began researching other EHR systems.
We had some time to talk with Jordan Estus, Director of Clinical Operations, Lindsey Ray, Vice President of Revenue Cycle Management and Dr. Lawrence Lemak who all shared their experiences on how EMA has increased efficiencies in their practice and how they are prepared for MIPS by using the intuitive, orthopedic-specific EHR system.
Modernizing Medicine: What sparked you to consider switching your practice’s EHR system?
Jordan Estus: With our previous EHR system, our biggest complaints were that it wasn’t orthopedic-specific and they provided terrible customer service. The fact that the system was geared towards primary care required our team to spend numerous hours customizing templates. We are a busy practice comprised of 12 providers and over 80 staff members. We could not waste any more time building templates.
Modernizing Medicine: How did you hear about EMA and make your decision?
Jordan Estus: After hearing about EMA through a colleague, it made our list of top three systems to explore and it quickly became the favorite. In addition to the wealth of built-in orthopedic-specific knowledge, we really enjoyed the way EMA adapts to preferences along with having the ability to easily tap and touch through an exam. Our doctors were instantly impressed as EMA performed better than anything they had seen.
Modernizing Medicine: Can you share a bit about the implementation process?
Jordan Estus: When it came time to implement EMA, we were a little apprehensive about how challenging it might be to learn a new system, especially since most of our doctors had been using paper. First, we took our IT and billing team to the Modernizing Medicine headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., followed by a second workshop at our office for all staff members. We then participated in two onsite trainings, which were really beneficial because Modernizing Medicine’s trainer could observe our workflow and suggest the best ways to incorporate EMA into it, rather than us having to change our workflow to accommodate new technology. We had a great transition and when we would hit a bump in the road, our questions or issues were always handled.
Next Up: Automated Documentation
EMA is so intuitive because it is programmed by practicing orthopedic surgeons who understand the unique workflow specific to orthopedics. The providers at Lemak Sports Medicine & Orthopedics no longer have to spend hours customizing templates or dictating notes because EMA automatically adapts to their preferences and learns their most common diagnoses.
Modernizing Medicine: How has EMA improved the efficiency of your physicians?
Jordan Estus: EMA has improved the efficiency of our doctors because when they select a specific diagnoses, they no longer have to search and click through numerous plans; their top used plans are presented to them. It has really enhanced their workflow, especially when they are busy and need to complete a chart before the next patient.
Modernizing Medicine: What is one of your favorite functions with the automated documentation?
Jordan Estus: We love the Protocols functionality, which enables us to keep combinations of impressions, plans, prescriptions, etc., because it saves our providers so much time. For example, we administer at least 20 viscosupplementation injections a day. With one click, we can select the Protocol for that procedure and the detailed documentation is automated. We can also add in additional notes if needed. One of our physicians sees 40 patients a day and because he has Protocols in place, he can click through his notes quickly and complete them prior to going home. In the past, we’d be waiting on dictation for weeks.
On to How EMA Codes Like an Expert
EMA collects actionable, structured data which is leveraged to automatically generate ICD-10, CPT and modifier codes in real time. This not only saves the providers at Lemak Sports Medicine & Orthopedics time, but also helps them get paid at the level they deserve.
Modernizing Medicine: Compared to your past experiences and past EHR systems you have used, how is EMA’s coding different?
Lindsey Ray: I have been exposed to a lot of EHR systems, especially those geared towards orthopedics, and what sets EMA apart is the coding it generates. Practices don’t always have certified coders on staff. Having EMA’s specialized coding makes a big difference in comparison to other EHR systems.
Prior to EMA, we manually coded everything. One physician in particular received level one office visits every single time. Because EMA requires you to enter certain fields, he now receives level three’s and four’s, which has definitely increased his revenue. Also, with paper charts, if we needed an addendum from a doctor we would have to send them a spreadsheet, which would take hours out of their day. Now, we have reduced these circumstances because EMA ensures that everything is documented for that plan, which has really helped our workflow.
And Last But Not Least, Superior Support Services
Modernizing Medicine: How has our support services including MIPS advising benefited the practice?
Jordan Estus: The biggest benefit in selecting EMA is the customer support. If we ever need anything, I get a response immediately. We enrolled in their MIPS Advisory program, which provides us with assistance in ensuring we do not receive a negative Medicare payment adjustment or our money back. Our advisor is so knowledgable and thorough in explaining what we need to do. Also, EMA’s MIPS automation keeps us on track because all of the data is accessible and we can view our score along the way. Now, I feel confident and prepared for MIPS thanks to Modernizing Medicine and the amazing team.
Lindsey Ray: Modernizing Medicine has been great at evolving with our needs. Anytime we have a question or request an update we are always accommodated or it’s looked into. They are always improving the product and we look forward to the future and growing with Modernizing Medicine.
And to Sum It all Up
Lawrence Lemak, MD: When we elected to move to EMA, we started experiencing the benefits almost immediately. Shortly after go live, we increased efficiency while rationalizing overall labor expense. The amount of detail you can enter into a note versus an over simplified template is incomparable. EMA also makes it easy to educate patients along with new staff members. I receive a new group of fellows every year and the ease of tapping through an exam makes it simple to train a new group yearly.
- Orthopedic-specific electronic health records (EHR) system
- Intuitive functionality adapts to preferences enhancing workflow
- Automatic coding saves time and increases revenue
- Superior support and MIPS automation prepares for the future