How to Choose eMR and HIT Consultants

Seeking Unbiased – Not Vendor Driven – Advice

By Shahid N. Shah, MS

www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com

When you choose to implement your medical records technology, you’ll want to be sure that you get sound and unbiased advice. If you think the selections and decisions are too complicated to do by yourself so getting help is prudent. After you’ve learned more about RECs, which can give you free advice and help, look at some paid consultants as well because most RECs will simply choose a few local consultants that marketed themselves well to the RECs and not because the consultants are necessarily good at their jobs.

Consulting Types

The kinds of consultants you will need include:

  • Meaningful Use (MU) Consultant. An MU consultant should only be needed if you’re going after government stimulus funds. This is a person that knows how a medical practice works, inside and out, and all the legal and regulatory details about Meaningful Use. This is not a typical IT contractor or technical consultant; it must be someone who is focused on MU. Because you will not get increased government reimbursements unless you meet MU, the MU Consultant is probably more important than your IT consultant. The MU consultant should help you figure out whether or not you qualify for incentives, how to take advantage of incentive program, how to use RECs, how to ensure that you can qualify for MU without disrupting your practice and losing money, and finally whether you should even care about MU.
  • A good MU Consultant will tell you when to walk away from MU and not implement certain technologies just as readily as when to implement it.
  • Another major thing to focus on when choosing an MU consultant is to be sure that they know your local area’s rules, regulations, and technology providers (not national).
  • Try to make sure that your MU Consultants are paid very little upfront and will share the risk with you as you try to achieve success. They should get paid when you get paid and should not be paid full price unless you get incentive payments from the government. 
  • EMR Consultant. If you’re ready to buy an EMR the MU Consultant can help you pick products but getting advice from an EMR Consultant who knows all the hundreds of packages (and doesn’t just know 1 or 2 that he’s seen before) and which one will be best for you may be worth investing in. Be careful if your EMR Consultant is coming from a REC or a vendor side – ask them to disclose any ties to the products they are helping you select. Some EMR consultants are business focused and others are technically focused; you should pick the one based on what your needs are: for example, if you’re great at technology, choose a business-focused consultant (and vice-versa). 
  • IT Consultant. This is something that’s obvious but you need excellent advice on hardware, software, inter-office networking, Internet connectivity, bandwidth analysis, and a whole host of other technology needs. 
  • Integration Consultant. Most people forget this consultant because it’s not obvious but in order to make sure that all the medical records data you’re collecting can be shared in between your systems, your hospital, and with the government you need an integration consultant. Their job is to know all the relevant standards like HL7, DICOM, CCR, CCD, XML, etc. along with things like HL7 routers and tools that can share medical data records between your EMR, practice management system, and health information exchanges (HIEs).

Assessment 

Front Matter BoMP – 3

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. How do you select an eMR consultant? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com and http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Health Dictionary Series: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko 

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826105752

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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Thinking Beyond Portfolio Asset Allocation

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Don’t Forget Your Spending Policy – Doctors

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

[Publisher-in-Chief]

If you are economically literate – or read the ME-P regularly – you may be tired of hearing the familiar saw, “the single most important determinant of investment results over time is asset allocation.”

But, as most of us realize, this glosses over critical obstacles to building personal wealth—taxes, inflation, and spending policy. A doctor’s spending policy itself is as critical as asset allocation in preserving wealth, as well as for all investors who understand the trade-offs: there are both allocation and spending strategies that stand to preserve wealth and insulate against excessive equity risk at the same time.

Income versus Security

In proving his point a decade ago, the author—Roger Hertog in “Income Versus Security”— traced the growth of a $1 million portfolio during the period of 1960–1994. He showed that while an all-stock portfolio would have experienced a compound growth rate of 10.1%, an all-bond portfolio of 7.4%, and an all T-bill portfolio of 6.1%, these growth rates dropped to 8%, 5%, and 3.7%, respectively, after taxes and conservative transaction costs. When further reduced by inflation, they dropped to 3.1%, 0.2%, and -1%, respectively. Stocks still nearly tripled in real value after taxes.

Next, Hertog factored in spending. He showed that the greater the equity exposure, the more likely investors will preserve or increase their levels of real spending and wealth. Also, he demonstrated how a spending policy of a fixed percentage of the portfolio; or of spending all the income is ill-suited to estate building. He arrived at an optimum allocation of 60% stocks and 40% bonds with a policy of spending all stock dividends but only spending interest to the extent it exceeds inflation. This latter spending policy adjusts for the fact that in – unlike today but perhaps again in the near future – an inflationary environment a portion of bond interest is a return of principal. This type of asset allocation and spending policy resulted in the greatest amount of growth over the years and gained on inflation. Hertog contends that the 60/40 allocation provides an appealing combination of growth and protection.

IOW: It gives investors a milder ride.

Assessment

Over the 35-year period studied, a 60/40 mix returned almost as much as the all-stock portfolio both before taxes and after taxes and achieved some 75% of its real after-tax growth. Also, the portfolio’s worst year was only half as bad as the all-stock portfolio. Hertog believed that balancing with bonds softened the downside. But – what about the “flash-crash” of 2008-09?

Note: “Income Versus Security: Do You Have To Choose?” Roger Hertog, Trust & Estates, March 1997, pp. 44–62, Intertec Publishing Corporation.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Is the bull market in bonds over? Do you believe Hertog? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com and http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Health Dictionary Series: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826105752

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed: And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

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