EMR Benefits


Our interview software enables patients to enter their own information into digital systems, saving physicians from the bulk of data entry. Studies have shown this can save physicians as much as six minutes per encounter, while delivering increased documentation. EMRs that use Instant Medical History(IMH) enable physicians to increase their productivity while obtaining the benefits of the electronic medical record. Physicians manage the subjective history, without having to use templates, pick lists, or cumbersome data entry. Patients use a secure website, or a secure feature of the practice's website, to access Instant Medical History and complete their medical information from the comfort of their home. The information is then securely messaged to the office. This greatly expedites patient flow in the office. This feature differentiates marketing websites from powerful clinical tools.

Open-ended messaging struggles as physicians and patients exchange volleys to communicate information. A complete interview in advance of the physician's review of the e-visit gives physicians the information they need to process the e-visit with the first communication - and the richness of information needed to practice quality care. Numerous e-visit vendors have incorporated Instant Medical History to differentiate themselves from limited text messaging systems and to facilitate the transfer of the information into the EMR, saving the physician redundant data entry.


Assumptions:


  1. EMR EHR Electronic Health RecordsPhysicians are seeing 25 patient visits per day

  2. Electronic Medical RecordsPhysicians are under-coding their visits by one level due to lack of documentation

  3. BulletPhysicians are currently employing dictation of records as a part of their workflow

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Using these assumptions, potential impacts from Instant Medical HistoryTM (IMH) are as follows:


Documentation savings

When patients use the EMR for IMH to enter their own medical history, the documentation is completed for the subjective note before the exam begins. Since two thirds or more of a medical record is the history, having it completed saves time. 4 minutes saved in documentation time per patient X 25 patients per day results in 100 minutes saved. At 15 minutes per appointment, this would increase productivity by 6 visits per day. At 4 days worked per week per physician this would be 24 visits per week, or about 100 extra visits per month. Using IMH the physician can spend more time seeing patients. At $50 per visit, the net increase would be $5000 per month per physician.


Transcription Reduction

Dictation costs per physician were estimated at $2000 per physician per month. Since using Instant Medical History(IMT) eliminates about 60% of dictation, the savings would be about $1200 per physician per month.


Getting Paid for Work Done

Under-coding visits costs about $10 per visit. Recovering this lost revenue would result in $250 per physician per day, or $1000 per 4 day week, or $4000 per physician per month.


Summary:

The net benefit of using the Instant Medical History(IMT) is about $10,200 per physician per month. Assuming that not all visits are under-coded, not all time saved can be used productively, not every physician is spending $2000 per month on dictation, and not all dictation savings would be realized, you may wish to think about how these factors might apply in your personal situation.


Other Benefits:

Additional Billings – The Instant Medical History(IMT) employs standardized psychological scales from the medical literature as part of the interview. This patient provided data can be billed under CPT code 96103, psychological testing by a computer, including time for the interpretation and reporting when the results are discussed with the patient and the scoring recorded in the medical record. The additional revenue varies in different practice situations, but Medicare reimbursement for this service approximates $140.00 per hour. You should consult with your own resources before submitting this code to verify your individual situation.


Miscellaneous Positives - This estimate ignores other cost savings and revenue enhancement from the use of the Instant Medical History(IMT), which may be substantial depending on whether they can be realized in a given setting. Better documentation of patient complaints is helpful for liability defense and preventive care monitoring. Preventive measures are often missed in acute care. With a detailed history, visits can be planned and some patients triaged rapidly. The cost of withstanding documentation audits is substantial even if no pay-backs to Medicare are required. Some examples of other savings are:


  1. BulletReduced malpractice exposure

  2. Bulletimproved ability to negotiate and monitor the performance of care delivered under contract

  3. Bulletthe ability to deliver less costly non-visit care under captivated contracts

  4. Bulletbetter HEDIS scores for negotiating higher fee schedules with third parties

  5. BulletImproved patient retention and satisfaction


There is substantially more guess-work involved in estimating savings from these factors, although the dollar amounts are substantial and might easily match the amounts related to the three factors above.


                             

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