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Why Doctors DO NOT Need eMRs?

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Why Doctors DO NEED Patient Collaboration Tools!

By Shahid N. Shah MS

As a doctor, it seems as though you’re being told by everyone that you need to jump into electronic health records and electronic medical records software; that’s like telling you that you need to manage patients’ records and is so obvious as to be useless advice.

Focus on Patient Care

Of course, it’s true you need tools to manage records but that’s just the first step. Try not to think about or talk about EMRs; instead, focus on patient care collaboration tools. Here are the kinds of collaboration you need to do on a daily basis and where EMRs and EHRs usually do not help you:

Collaborative Tools

  • Reach out and market to new patients and communicate with existing patients that you may have lost touch with; you need tools that will promote you and your practice so that you can convert visitors to your website into paying patients and clients.
  • Register new patients and maintain patient data – find and work with tools that make the patient fill out major portions of your EMR for you; think of it as “self-service” EMR with tools that can be exposed on your website so that patients can do it themselves.
  • Help cover your medical risks by presenting medical liability coverage information to patients via your website using tools that can prove that they read the materials like informed consent, surgical prep, preparing for a procedure, etc.
  • Allow patients to see their schedule and help manage their appointments directly; if airlines can coordinate and manage aircraft and seats you should be able to get a system that allows patients to schedule an appointment with you.
  • Encourage the use of personal health records (PHRs) and make sure you review and link to the patient’s PHRs. This allows you to be ready to pull data from the PHRs in the future and get out of daily data entry when possible.
  • Get feedback about your practice and patient satisfaction using online surveys.
  • Be able to and receive send secure e-mails and documents to colleagues instead of playing phone tag or faxing constantly.

Assessment

As you can see from the simple list above, when people tell you to use EMRs they forget that the EMR is not only not enough but may be the wrong thing to focus on if you’re looking to streamline operations.

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Conclusion

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To PAR or Not to PAR?

The Essential Question for Most Medical Providers

By Staff Reporters

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Ever since 1992, doctors are paid per resource-based relative value unit (RBRVU) and according to the lesser of the actual billed charges or the fee schedule amount. But, there are two types of providers. 

  • Those who accept Medicare assignment only bill the patient for the co-payment, which is usually 20%. 
  • Those who do not accept Medicare assignment are offered a lower fee schedule of 95% of the approved schedule, which is a 115% maximum fee limit of the approved schedule.

So, how does this work in real life?

Example:

A participating physician’s approved fee schedule charge of $100 would yield $80 from Medicare and $20 from the patient.

A non-participating (Non-Par) doctor with charges of $200, and with an approved fee schedule of $100, would yield: $109.25 = (.95 X $100) X 1.15 entirely from the patient. If the Non-Par doctor selects payment type on a case-by-case basis, Medicare will pay its portion of the bill directly to the physician, but the doctor must accept the Non-Par fee schedule.

Assessment

Continuing our example yields: (.8 X $95) plus the patient’s co-payment of (.2 X $95), OR $76 plus $19 = $95.00.

Conclusion

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