Regulatory burdens on small practices and solo providers have never been greater, including MIPS/MACRA, HIPAA, patient-centric engagement, as well as the need to comply with fee-for-service and value-based care contract requirements.
In today’s demanding environment, a small practice needs an information technology partner that can keep up with market trends, and offer integrated features and extensions that address real problems. In recent years the EHR has become the centerpiece for practice automation, and as such the EHR vendor has a pivotal role in the success of any small practice. The good news is that vendors like Kareo are laser focused on the needs of small and growing practices. By understanding the needs today and anticipating future needs as healthcare evolves, Kareo is constantly improving their offerings and adding extensions to meet the demands of a changing world.
Recent updates to the Kareo EHR include a fully integrated telemedicine module which allows providers to schedule tele-visits, and seamlessly engage patients using a landline phone as well as mobile and desktop browsers. While telemedicine is in its early stages of acceptance and reimbursement, it promises to be a significant mode for care delivery in the next five years.
We encourage all our practices to start with a few telemedicine appointments per week to get a feel for the process and gain confidence in their ability to go virtual. Practices that have taken advantage of this new feature have been delighted by customer feedback and how easy it is to extend their practice via telemedicine. Here's a story from a mental health provider who recently implemented telemedicine for patients dealing with disorders that make it difficult to come into the doctor’s office.
Kareo has also recently released a new feature to simplify medication history by pulling past prescription data from the cloud. This is the first in a set of new features designed to improve interoperability and exchange of useful clinical information. As a central tenant to connected and coordinated care, our team is actively working to make data interoperability simple and consistent with emerging standards. If you're interested in learning more about EHR features designed to streamline workflow and reduce workload, feel free to contact a Solutions Consultant.
As a progressive partner with small practices, our customer’s success ultimately dictates our success as a company. This should give our customers peace of mind as they navigate the changes ahead and face new challenges. Kareo is also involved with efforts on behalf of CMS to better understand the challenges of MIPS/MACRA and work to reduce provider burden. We encourage you to follow the development of the 2018 Burdens Associated with Reporting Quality Measures study to support this effort. According to CMS, the aim is to:
- Study clinical workflows and data collection methods using different submission systems.
- Understand the challenges you have when you collect and report quality data.
- Recommend changes to try to lower your burden, improve quality data collection and reporting, and enhance clinical care.
Although CMS has closed applications for this study, you can request more information at MIPS_Study@abtassoc.com.