January 31, 2011 – MedInformatix is working to enable radiology practices that use its Radiology Information System (RIS) with electronic health records (EHR) to achieve stage 1 meaningful use goals and objectives. The move comes under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for health information technology.
Participating radiology practices over the next five years can receive incentive payments of as much as $44,000 per provider when their facilities implement certified technology by 2012. The vast majority (90 percent) of radiologists are categorized as non-hospital based, and therefore eligible for ARRA stimulus funds.
Those that wait to implement certified technology until 2013 or 2014 receive lower incentives, while those that fail to comply with meaningful use provisions by 2015 face financial penalties of up to 5 percent in the form of CMS reimbursement reductions.
Radiologists who achieve stage 1 meaningful use goals and objectives also improve safety while lowering overall IT costs.
"We consider Stage 1 a top priority, and are committed to allocate the required time and energy not only to achieve the financial benefits, but because we believe some of these measures can in fact improve overall operations and yield better patient outcomes," said Alberto Goldszal, chief information officer of University Radiology Group, East Brunswick, N.J.
The stage 1 provision focuses largely on electronic data capture. A modification to Stage 1 requirements that went into effect after the provision's original comment period simplifies logistics by allowing first year reporting to be accomplished through attestation. This significantly eases the potential impact on a practice's daily operations.
"Our RIS provider, MedInformatix, is able to seamlessly and quickly implement a solution to achieve stage 1. Not all vendors offer a single package. Modular systems from multiple vendors require more set up and integration, which translates to more time and expense," Goldszal said. "MedInformatix is working with our team to best incorporate stage 1 measures into our practice's workflow. The potential financial, operational, safety and outcome benefits, combined with the ability to capture multiple data points for each patient, far outweigh the related grunt work involved in collecting and analyzing data."
All forthcoming versions of MedInformatix' RIS/EHR software will include the required features and capabilities for meaningful use certification.
For more information: www.medinformatix.com