Dr. John McLaughlin among state’s first doctors to reach this milestone in healthcare quality and reform
Collaborative efforts between Physician Health Partners and the Colorado Regional Extension Center (CO-REC) are proving successful at helping Colorado physicians implement electronic health record (EHR) systems to improve patient care and qualify for special federal government incentives for adopting health IT.
EHRs reduce or eliminate the need for paper medical charts, and improve access to patient-specific health information. Health care policy makers believe the widespread use of EHRs will play an important role in improving the quality and affordability of health care services. Special Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement payments provided by the federal stimulus bill incent physicians to invest in EHRs by partially subsidizing their cost. To qualify for the government incentives, they must demonstrate Meaningful Use by meeting a set of requirements, as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). To achieve Meaningful Use, it takes months of process changes and implementation by the physicians and staff.
Dr. John McLaughlin, a family physician in Aurora, Colo. is among the first physicians in the state, and one of few in the country, to complete this process and make strides toward seamless healthcare delivery for his patients. McLaughlin began using the Ingenix CareTracker EHR system in August 2010. Physician Health Partners (a partner organization with CO-REC), along with Ingenix, provided essential training and one-on-one support to McLaughlin and his staff until they successfully met Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria on May 1, 2011.
“Physician Health Partners and Ingenix provided me with the support and advice I needed to leave paper records behind,” said McLaughlin. “EHRs were created to support physicians in improving healthcare for their patients, but many physicians have legitimate concerns about the cost and disruption of making the switch. With the right technology, Ingenix CareTracker, and the support from Physician Health Partners and CO-REC, we’ve completed our transition in less than one year. I’ve seen how the EHR helps me to provide better care to my patients.”
Through federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, CO-REC services are designed to help more than 2,200 eligible primary care providers in Colorado qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments now through 2012. CO-REC assists primary care providers in adopting, implementing and becoming meaningful users of EHR systems to qualify for federal stimulus funds. While the primary goal of CO-REC is to serve health care providers in Colorado, the ultimate goal is to improve the quality of health care for all Colorado patients. Physician Health Partners is one of six partners with CO-REC working to educate and implement EHRs in medical practices.
To learn more about the Meaningful Use criteria, visit www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms
About Ingenix CareTracker
Ingenix CareTracker is a family of cloud-based services that enable physicians to enhance patient care and manage their practices more efficiently. The Ingenix CareTracker system includes a CCHIT Certified 2011 Ambulatory EHR and ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certified solution that saves physicians time and money by helping them access clinical information and patient medical history at the point of care. Ingenix CareTracker features connections to thousands of labs, hospitals, pharmacies and commercial and government payers. The system helps physicians conduct medication and allergy verification and interaction checks, electronic prescribing, and quality measurement and reporting. Ingenix CareTracker also fully integrates with all of the operational functions of a physician practice, simplifying administrative tasks such as billing, scheduling and documentation.
About Physician Health Partners
Physician Health Partners (PHP) is an integrated team of physicians and healthcare professionals committed to supporting effective patient care throughout the healthcare continuum. Founded in 1996 as a management services organization, PHP believes physicians and other providers have the capability and responsibility to drive high quality, cost-effective healthcare for patients. Through our robust Clinical Quality Improvement Services and diverse medical management solutions, PHP works tirelessly to support primary care physicians in improving clinical outcomes for the benefit of the patient. By improving clinical outcomes, enhancing provider performance and developing practice efficiencies, patients’ health status is improved and overall healthcare costs are reduced. For more information, visit www.phpmcs.com
About CO-REC and CORHIO
CO-REC, an initiative of CORHIO, received ARRA funding to create the Colorado Regional Extension Center (CO-REC), to assist primary care physicians in small practices, and other safety providers across the state with achieving meaningful use. Nearly 1,800 providers and 24 hospitals are actively engaged with a CO-REC partner today to meet the Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria. CO-REC’s six partner organizations, dedicated to healthcare improvements in Colorado, include: Colorado Foundation for Medical Care, Colorado Rural Health Center, Colorado Community Managed Care Network, Health TeamWorks, Physician Health Partners, and Quality Health Network. For more information on CO-REC visit www.co-rec.org.