How can ASCs help eligible providers
attest to Meaningful Use despite the 50% rule? 


Main Line Endoscopy Center knows from experience.

The Meaningful Use 50% rule requires that at least half of patient encounters take place at facilities with certified EHR technologies (CEHRT), so doctors primarily encountering patients at ASCs face serious reimbursement challenges. Main Line Endoscopy Center, an AmSurg ASC serving 14,000 patients annually, took a proactive approach and leveraged the enhanced workflow of ProVation® MD Gastroenterology to help its 21 physicians successfully attest as eligible providers (EP).

Because ASCs aren’t eligible for EHR Incentive Program funds, they often don’t acquire the certified EHR systems required of hospitals, leaving their physicians who want to participate as EPs in the lurch. Main Line Endoscopy Center overcame this challenge at their three facilities by implementing new workflows to input key procedure data from ProVation MD remotely into the CEHRT used by its physicians in their practices.

Click here to download the Main Line Endoscopy Center case study and find out how ProVation MD helped 100% of the ASC’s physicians qualify for EHR reimbursement.

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To learn more about ProVation MD Gastroenterology and the benefits it delivers to ASCs, visit our website.

I like passing stuff like this along once in awhile so readers will have a better feel for why so many physicians are opting out of Medicare and increasingly refusing to deal with third parties altogether.  There are several things I should point out.

1)”Meaningful Use:” The Unaffordable Care Act required physicians and hospitals to acquire EHR’s(electronic health record) systems or face draconian cuts in their reimbursement from Medicare.  This was, in essence, a mandate and an expensive one, doctors not uncommonly spending $100,000 or more on these systems.  As a carrot, the government promised to pay “incentives” to partially (if not fully) reimburse the physicians and hospitals for buying these systems, but only if they met certain criteria, “meaningful use” being the catch all phrase for these criteria. Meaningful use has several parts, culminating in the transmission of confidential patient data (without the patient’s consent) to the federal government.  There you have it.  ”Doctor, buy this or else. Now that you have bought it, you can have your money back if you betray your patients.” That is “meaningful use” in a nutshell.  

What the monsters in the D.C. lagoon didn’t count on was the giant number of physicians who would simply walk away not just from Medicare but from their medical practice altogether.  This is the flaw known I think as a static analysis, where a central planner makes one giant change expecting no other changes or consequences to occur.  This is why tax increases frequently result in less government revenue, dashing the predictions of those creating the charts and graphs.  More and more doctors are quitting and certainly quitting Medicare.

2) Notice also that ASC’s (Ambulatory Surgery Centers) do not qualify for reimbursement of the purchase of these systems, although they do qualify for the punishment for not having a system.  This is not very subtle, is it?  Think the hospital lobby had anything to do with this?

3) The rest of the gunk in the ad I can’t explain, partly because I lose interest as I read this stuff and in the end know the punchline:  how to more effectively fleece the taxpayer by using our service.

The EHR lobby, led by Newt Gingrich, very effectively created a purchase mandate for their product, always a money-maker.  The demand therefore far outstripped the supply and many systems which were trash were sold and were replaced with new ones almost as fast as they were installed.  None of the systems effectively “talk” to each other as the companies all claim their software as proprietary and will not cooperate or play well with others.  Hospitals use this tool to gouge even more effectively, making lab tests and nutrition consults part of the admission orders, rather than discretionary when needed.  Medical records are now an unintelligible cut and paste mess, with pertinent patient information impossible to find.  

While many physicians I know like an EHR for their office (primarily so they can access patient data from home on nights or weekends) all of the physicians I know hate the record systems in the hospitals, designed it appears, only to enhance revenue.  Indeed, EHR companies always include this “revenue enhancing” feature of their software when contrasting themselves with their competitors.

I promise to keep blogs like this to a bare minimum.  There is so much that is positive that market power is bringing to health care (particularly here in Oklahoma City!!) that I could write nonstop about just that.  It is good, however, to be reminded from time to time of what is wrong with health care and who is responsible.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

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