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How Much Is Your OBGYN EHR Software Really Costing You?

Gloved hands holding a piggy bank

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

What has your OBGYN EHR 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 OBGYN 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 OBGYN 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 hardware that will eventually require replacement
  • IT support and maintenance, either in-house or outsourced
  • Risk management and redundancy planning
  • Adding more physical servers when it’s time to scale
  • Possible interoperability and mobility issues

Access devices including iPad, smartphones and Apple Watch Cloud-based OBGYN software is housed on a virtual server that has these potential cost-saving benefits:

  • No physical EMR hardware to buy, rent or replace
  • Automatic updates
  • Little to no IT support required
  • Scalability, with new virtual servers added in minutes 
  • Improved interoperability and mobility

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

Your OBGYN 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). Those new ICD codes and proposed rules that govern interoperability? It wasn’t prepared for those either. And now, neither is your software.

Many practices were faced with these very situations, or they lost practice management or billing support before becoming clients of ModMed®. 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.

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 OBGYN EHR company you consider should be financially solvent and forward thinking. You want a company that’s committed to making its software better — continuously — with regular updates.

Your OBGYN EHR System Is a Solo Act

You may be satisfied with your OBGYN EHR software, but 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 logins are possible, but how many windows do you want to have open during a single patient visit? 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 ModMed, we offer an all-in-one OBGYN-specific software suite to help eliminate frustrations — without excessive clicking and multiple logins. It brings together OBGYN-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 could put more of the focus back on your patients.

You’re Adding Physician Notes, After Hours — Again

If you’re adding notes into your OBGYN software after hours, your system probably could be working more efficiently.

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 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 it is 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 the worst-case scenario). Switching to that new EHR vendor 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, it’s not really 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 OBGYN 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 OBGYN EHR Software Isn’t Setting You Up for MIPS Success

We’re several years into MIPS quality reporting. So, how’s it going? As you’re probably aware, there are four performance categories that make up your MIPS score:

  • Quality
  • Promoting Interoperability 
  • Improvement Activities
  • Cost

So, what do these categories have to do with your bottom line? Consider this: Adjustments began in 2019, based on 2017 performance. In 2021, the adjustments were up to 9%, and in 2022, they are expected to be the same.

If you bill Medicare $1 million in 2022, your MIPS performance could make up to a $90,000 difference to your income in 2024.

In other words, failing to do MIPS reporting could land you a negative adjustment, unless you can claim an exemption. 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 OBGYN 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. Even if you do have the data, but it isn’t structured in a way that is meaningful and actionable, it will be difficult to see where you stand.

At ModMed, 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 every stage of your revenue cycle.

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

You Aren’t Working With an OBGYN-Specific EHR

Many specialists sign up for one-size-fits-all 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 ModMed, we had OBGYN-specific medical knowledge coded into our solution from day 1. Not only does that ensure your practice can get up and running quickly but also it makes the system as a whole much easier to use. After all, it was built by OBGYN physicians for OBGYN physicians. That means many of your workflows, choices and frustrations may already be taken into account.

If your OBGYN system is infused with adaptive learning technology, like EMA® from ModMed, all of that OBGYN-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 some time back for yourself.

Patient Engagement Equals Another Form

The number 1 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 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.

In this case, what’s good for the patient is also good for the physician. Patient surveys are opportunities 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 patients to accomplish, before they even get to the office. When patients are actively involved in their own care, you don’t have to spend as much time (and money) making sure they are taking their medications and doing what they need to stay healthy.

No Way to Track or Prevent Patient No-Shows

When your OBGYN EHR software is seamlessly connected to your front office (i.e. 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 mean time (and money) that you can reschedule but can’t get back.

For example, ModMed Practice Management makes it easier to:

  • Send appointment reminders by email, text or phone
  • Identify frequent no-shows and send additional communications
  • 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 OBGYN EHR money pit, or is your OBGYN 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 EHR that doesn’t need to be your first, but wants to be your last.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice. Please consult with your legal counsel and other qualified advisors to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards.