One Group’s Meaningful Use JourneyDate: March 19th, 2014Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Regional Extension Center
Colorado’s Regional Extensional Center helps multispecialty group turn around a disappointing denial of their Medicaid EHR Incentive Program attestation.
Two groups of physicians in the Denver area, IMMUNOe Health Centers and Horizon Pediatrics and Primary Care, were looking forward to earning incentive money for their Greenway EHR purchase. They had gathered all the necessary paperwork and submitted their attestation to the first stage of the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program called “Adopt, Implement, or Upgrade (AIU).” The attestation for this multispecialty group of allergy, asthma, immunology, pediatrics, and primary care physicians was a bit complex, but they felt confident they had done it right.
“We initially gave it a shot, got all of our reports in, and everything seemed to be in order,” says Roni Mushovic, general counsel for IMMUNOe and Horizon. “Then we learned we were denied due to the ineligibility of Physician Assistants*, and we were really frustrated. We were initially informed that PAs could participate, but after learning they were ineligible, our group numbers were no longer sufficient to meet the AIU thresholds. We were hesitant to move forward.”
IMMUNOe and Horizon Take Advantage of Free Help from Regional Extension Center Expert
After regrouping and reaching out to some colleagues for help, Mushovic decided to personally delve back into the process, and learned about the Regional Extension Center. She was put in touch with Erin Dormaier, an EHR and Meaningful Use consultant who works for the Regional Extension Center. “We turned to Erin after our original attestation for the first phase of the incentive program had been denied. We were feeling frustrated and confused,” says Mushovic.
“It was an unfortunate situation where IMMUNOe and Horizon heard incorrect information that resulted in their entire attestation being denied despite them being qualified,” says Dormaier. “The EHR Incentive Programs can often be confusing.”
To get the group back on track, Dormaier began meeting with them weekly and guided them through resubmitting their AIU attestation and eventually their Meaningful Use attestation. Dormaier also provided information about the measures, new changes/deletions, exclusions, deadlines, how to pull reports, and potential pitfalls. “Our attestation was complicated, and Erin took the time to walk me through the process and give me tips on specific measures that could trip us up. As we were getting closer to attesting, she literally sat with me to pull reports,” says Mushovic. “She knew her way around the system, how to fill out certain areas, and avoid common problems.”
Successful Outcome: Attestation of 10 Providers
IMMUNOe and Horizon Pediatrics and Primary Care successfully had 10 providers attest to Meaningful Use stage 1 and receive incentive funds. “I was able to guide IMMUNOe and Horizon in the right direction so they could provide the correct information in order to re-attest and receive their incentive dollars. It was an exciting day when we submitted the attestation, knowing that this one would be approved,” says Dormaier. “I’m glad we found IMMUNOe and Horizon before they gave up and were able to turn their attestation around. The rules to qualify are complex and always changing so it was nice to be able to guide them in the right direction.”
“We were so pleased to learn we had this free resource. I was surprised and skeptical at first -- actually I couldn’t believe I could get this kind of help for free,” says Mushovic. “We could not have done this without Erin.”
The group is starting their Meaningful Use Year 2 attestation at the end of March and their first call was to Dormaier to schedule a meeting and get her expert guidance.
Regional Extension Center Receives Grant Extension to Continue Meaningful Use Assistance
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently granted the Colorado Regional Extension Center with an extension award, which will allow their important consulting work to continue. The extension allows our partners and consultants to continue assisting providers with adopting EHR technology and achieving Meaningful Use. This continuation will be particularly helpful for providers who are struggling with Meaningful Use requirements and organizations at risk of payment adjustments in 2015.
To inquire about free services to help your organization purchase or implement a new EHR system or attest to the EHR Incentive Program, please contact Kelly Meade, program director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-285-3251.
To directly contact IMMUNOe and Horizon Pediatrics and Primary Care, please call 303-773-9000 or visit http://www.immunoe.com.
*Physician Assistants are not eligible under any circumstances in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and only eligible in the Medicaid program if they work in a Rural Health Clinic or Federally Qualified Health Clinic that is led, managed or owned by a Physician Assistant.