Thanks to continuous mandates like Meaningful Use and other government regulations intended to keep patient information safe, healthcare organizations around the nation have slowly and steadily made the conversion to electronic health records. With more and more providers requiring EHR systems, many vendors have stepped up to the plate and are vying for business.
EHR Numbers at a Glance
In 2013 the CDC released the findings from their National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), part of which took a look at how office-based physicians (a sample of 10,302) have been adopting and using EHR systems. The following were some of the key findings of that survey:
• Between 2010 (the earliest date trend data is available) and 2013, physician adoption of EHRs increased significantly.
• 78% of office-based physicians used an EHR system. That number was way up from18% of physicians in 2001.
• Nearly 13% of respondents reported that they planned to participate in Meaningful Use incentives and had EHR systems that were capable of supporting MU2 objectives.
• Roughly 56% of all physicians surveyed intended to participate in the EHR incentive programs but did not have systems with enough capabilities to support all of MU's core objectives.
• Adoption increased 12% for the objective recording patient demographics and increased 80% for the objective sending prescriptions electronically.
The Top 5 EHR Vendors to Partner with in 2016
As you can see from these numbers, it's very important to partner with the right vendor whose EHR system can fully support incentive programs. The following 5 vendors are very popular among physicians and their staff because they offer proven technology solutions that maintain compliance along with incredible customer support.
Kareo offers a cloud-based suite of products and services for Electronic Health Record (EHR) management, practice management and Revenue Cycle Management (RCM). It was reported in 2014 that over 30,000 healthcare providers were using Kareo's EHR system and medical billing services.
Kareo's EHR achieved Meaningful Use 2014 Edition Stage 2 certification in March of last year, and in March of 2015 the company acquired DoctorBase, a mobile-based patient engagement platform. In 2013 the company was awarded the "2013 North American Physician Practice Management Customer Value Enhancement Award" by global growth consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
Athenahealth, Inc. provides physicians with cloud-based solutions and point-of-care mobile apps. Cofounders Jonathan Bush and Todd Patrick started Athena Women's Health back in 1997 and experienced firsthand reimbursement problems because they had no real way to track insurance claims.
The partners officially formed athenahealth, Inc. with the intent to develop practice management systems and solve common billing problems. Today the company offers a suite of "patient engagement services" that include a cloud-based EHR system, population health campaign tools, financial solutions for rural hospitals, a patient portal, scheduling tools and an answering service.
Practice Fusion offers advertising-supported free web-based EHR and medical practice technology solutions including scheduling, medical billing, MU certification, charting, training and support. Founded in 2005 by Ryan Howard, an IT billing integration consultant and engineer Matthew Douglas, the platform connects medical professionals, patients, labs, imagining centers and billers, which streamlines services and allows for better quality of care and improved patient outcomes.
Their EHR system supports Meaningful Use, PQRS, and ICD-10 incentives and all of their products and services are HIPAA-compliant. With Patient Fusion, patients have access to their personal health records (PHRs) that contain test results and diagnoses as well as prescriptions. When physicians update patient records and charts, their patients can easily retrieve this new information.
NextGen Healthcare Information Systems develops and sells EHR software and practice management systems to healthcare providers nationwide. The company was first formed in 1973 under the name Quality Systems, Inc., (QSI) an Irvine, California-based dental software company.
In 1996, QSI purchased Clinitec, a company that sold software which converted paper medical records into electronic medical records. In 1997, QSI merged with Micromed, a company that offered front- and back-office practice management solutions. And finally in 2001, QSI combined Micromed and Clinitec to create NextGen Healthcare Information Systems.
Besides electronic health records, NextGen also offers practice management solutions, revenue cycle management, data protection, inpatient clinicals and financials tools, health information exchange (HIE), health quality measures, and patient portals.
CureMD provides an all-in-one cloud-based solution that integrates EHR with practice management, patient portal, and iPadapp for healthcare providers. The company's focus is on specialty content and workflow customizations that make their offerings ideal for practices of any size.
One of the fastest and most comprehensive implementation services in the industry, CureMD assigns each practice a dedicated account manager to ensure a smooth running of the practice even beyond the go-live stage.
Their products and services include:
• Certified EHR
• Practice Management
• Patient Portal
• Medical Billing Services
• Population Health
• Avalon-EHR for iPad
Founded by Bill Hashmat and colleagues back in 1997, CureMD was selected by Cuidamed, the leading HMO in Venezuela, for improving the health delivery operations in the region. This made CureMD one of the first US-based Practice Resource Systems selected for implementation by a leading HMO in another country.
In 2015, CCS Oncology, a cancer care conglomerate based in Buffalo, NY picked CureMD as their EHR of choice to use in all of its facilities because of CureMD's advanced chemotherapy management modules, evidence-based chemotherapy regimen libraries, automated drug dosage calculations, drug utilization forecasting, therapy flow sheets, DICOM/PACS imaging, patient engagement and population health management.
Voted the most Usable EHR by KLAS, Black book Rankings and other third party analysts, the company recently rolled out a free training tool for physicians to help them with the daunting ICD-10 transition. They have also reported that 98% of their clients attested for Meaningful Use last year.
With 2016 right around the corner, if you haven't yet partnered with an EHR vendor who is an industry leader, you'd do well to look into any of these five companies who are helping their clients be compliant while providing the best possible care to their patients.
Alex Tate is a health IT Consultant at CureMD who provides perceptive, engaging and informative content on industry wide topics including EHR Vendors, EMR, practice management and compliance.
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