By Jay W. Henry, OD, MS – It is important for all of us to know that in order to get an incentive payment for the CMS EHR Incentive Programs, you must use an EHR that is certified specifically for the EHR Incentive Programs. To meet meaningful use in 2014, you must be using software that is certified to the new 2014 standards. The 2014 certified software can be used to meet either stage 1 or stage 2 of meaningful use. Remember, that software is always certified by version number and you will want to be sure that your software is updated to the new 2014 standards and that you are using the version that was certified for 2014 before beginning your reporting period to meet meaningful use this year. If you want to see what version of your software is certified, visit http://oncchpl.force.com/ehrcert and click on the 2014 edition.
Most of the software vendors that specialize in optometry are either already certified to the 2014 standards or are finalizing their 2014 certification currently. Don’t panic if your software hasn’t been updated just yet to the new standards. Everyone (stage 1 or stage 2) only needs to have a reporting period of three months in 2014. If you are under the Medicare EHR incentive program, that three months must align with a calendar quarter (Jan – March, April – June, July – Sept, Oct – Dec). If you are under the Medicaid EHR incentive program in Ohio you are not tied to a calendar quarter but may choose any three-month reporting period. If 2014 is your very first year of Meaningful Use you may choose any continuous 90 days as your reporting period, but to avoid penalties that start in 2015 you must begin your 90 days of Stage 1 of meaningful use no later than July 1, 2014,and submit attestation by October 1, 2014!
The OOA has obtained a list of vendors that state they have met the 2014 standards as of writing this article. Those include: Compulink, Crystal PM, Diversified Practice Maximus Elite, FoxFire EHR, MaximEyes SQL, MyVision Express, RevolutionEHR, and VisionWeb Uprise.
Now that ICD-10 has officially been delayed until at least Oct. 1, 2015, we have a little more time to prepare our offices for the change. It is important to know that most EHR vendors are nearly ready to implement and utilize ICD-10 code sets. Many of them have already implemented a system that has the ability to do either ICD-9, ICD-10, or show both code sets at the same time. Oftentimes, in your software you will be presented with both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes allowing you to pick which code set to use when billing. This concept of seeing both will allow you to learn what ICD-10 codes looks like and with the new delay it gives you plenty of time to prepare.
Don’t put off the change until late in 2015 but keep working toward transition with all of your software and billing vendors. It will be an added bonus when you are ready before the change is mandated by law.