Think Meaningful Use (MU) is gone for good? Think again. Contrary to popular belief, MU is not going to become extinct; rather, it is receiving a refreshed approach and being rolled into Merit-based Incentive Payment Systems (MIPS). Simply put, MIPS is based on the principle that if you demonstrate higher quality and/or lower costs than your peers, you have the chance to make more money. If you perform below the threshold of your peers, you can lose money.
Outlined is a checklist of 6 capabilities your electronic health record (EHR) system should have in place to put you and your practice on the right path when it comes to the new rules of value-based healthcare.
- Real Patient Engagement Tools: Increased access to patient portals, mobile-functionalities, store-and-forward telemedicine for post-operative care, patient reported outcomes and wearables are some of the tools that bring the focus back to the patient. All of these tools will factor in and can help increase your MIPS score and has the potential to improve patient outcomes.
- Automated Quality Data: Implementing an EHR system that currently automates for PQRS and MU, again neither of which are being extinguished with MIPS, should continue to automate as the industry shifts. As a physician, you should not lose productivity on data entry or have to hire more people to work on inputting and reporting such measures. Your EHR system should not increase the staff needed but rather make your current team more efficient.
- Innovative Analytical Tools. Look for an EHR system with analytics tools that will 1) document real-time comparative benchmarking of quality and cost and 2) illustrate financial visibility to help improve your bottom line and operations. It is essential to have access to this real-time comparative benchmarking of both quality and cost. It should not only show individual physician performance and practice performance, but where you stand when compared to other physicians in your specialty. Having access to financial visibility will aid in improving the bottom line and operations which go far beyond a MIPS score. It will give you the chance to make changes if necessary before it’s too late and better operationalize your practice.
- Population Health Registries. Be sure to fully understand how a company is defining population health. Access to population health tools and working towards disease specific registries for your specialty are key for practice improvements with MIPS. It is important to understand that true population health should be built upon outcomes, not just claims.
- Pledge to Interoperability. With the future of care coordination, working with a company that is a contributing member of CommonWell Health Alliance is a distinguishing factor. Data sharing is the future and this is made even easier with a company using cloud-based solutions versus a server. Patients want their records to be accessible anywhere and CommonWell helps to move this data around more safely and securely.
- Professional Support. Having access to an educated and responsive support team is another factor to consider. You want a company that provides advisory and coaching services that will personally alert you if there is something to improve on in real-time, before it is too late. You want an expert on hand to keep you well-informed with the ever-changing aspects. Ask to speak to current clients to better understand the company’s services and client support provided.
Having the right EHR system in place will help you achieve financial success under MIPS and will let you focus on what you do best — providing quality care for your patients.