Top 5 Reasons To Automate Your Healthcare Practice In 2012

There are many reasons to automate your healthcare practice. We feel these are the top 5:

1).HITECH incentives. If your practice regularly bills Medicare or Medicaid for your patient services, HITECH is easily the number 1 reason to move to an electronic healthcare system. Under HITECH, doctors can qualify for up to $44,000 in Medicare EHR incentives if they demonstrate significant use of a certified electronic medical record (EMR) system. In a practice with three qualified physicians, the incentive could total $132,000 across five years. Incentives for adoption are reduced after 2012. Doctors whose practices feature a large volume of Medicaid patients can qualify for as much as $63,750 in incentives. Providers are only eligible for one HITECH incentive at any one time and can switch incentive programs only once after the 1st incentive payment is initiated. As early as 2015, physicians who elect not to use an EMR will be penalized, starting with a 1% Medicare charge reduction. Medical professionals who don't adopt an EMR after 2017 will face a 3% Medicare penalty reduction and 5% Medicare fee reduction in 2019. Because the HITECH incentive is included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act package and not a part of Medicare Reform, it's not under review or subject to possible repeal at this time.

2).Reducing Administrative Costs. In pretty much every country, administrative costs are a computed 10 to 15 p.c of medical care outlays. Reducing costs and finding new opportunities to grow profitability are fundamental to stemming the constantly increasing tide of healthcare costs. The changing industry landscape is causing medical professionals into new directions concerning partnership, diversification and consolidation. Healthcare IT solutions allow medical facilities and their professionals to use data in new ways for more effective, efficient and cost-effective medical care. From shared services to business process outsourcing, there are a selection of IT services to help quickly deliver continuing clerical efficiencies and cost improvements.

3).Reducing Healthcare Costs. The main goal for today's health care facilities is to increase service to patients while substantially eliminating costs. Delivering evidence-based healthcare service and rethinking care management are crucial to this goal. By making use of clinical information in new ways - collecting, examining, aggregating and sharing health data - healthcare providers can turn ready information into action. Medical care IT systems allow you, the physician to make better conclusions faster while improving patient safety and containing or reducing the financial burden of care.

4).Improved Record Keeping. In order to reduce medical care costs, improve health outcomes and respond to government health care reform incentives and penalties, healthcare providers must be digital. The world is capturing and evaluating patient data in a selection of new ways from electronic medical records (EMRs) to medical imaging devices. By integrating automated records into the workflow, facilities can improve clinical and financial outcomes. In the U.S. alone, it is thought that just about 90 percent of large medical institutions over the next three years will invest to install or upgrade their EMRs to meet significant use requirements for government mandates.

5). Sharing health infromation with a world community. Health facilities are making an investment in Healthcare IT as a means toward transforming their individual practice or facility and the care they provide. But implementing and leveraging Healthcare IT in the global context is what will truly change medical care. To provide better care for their patients, medical professionals must look past standalone systems and find more techniques to communicate with other health care facilities. This will allow the never before seen ability to provide the right care at the right time, revolutionizing healthcare altogether. The end result is better diagnosis, more accurate treatment, improved care and saved lives, with unprecedented opportunity to identify and eliminate fraud and abuse.

Although this list isn't exhaustive, it should give the average medical professional with adequate reason to think about a move into the next century of healthcare.


Michael Ritsema, Owner/Manager of i3 Business Solutions, in Grand Rapids, Michigan providing managed IT solutionsfor companies in Western Michigan.