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Meaningful Use Success Stories

July 27, 2011

Is your practice planning to attest for Stage 1 Meaningful Use of an EHR? Read these success stories for to find out how other practices found success implementing Electronic Health Records and adapting to the requirements of the Meaningful Use measures.

Patrick Golden, MD: A 24-year veteran, Patrick Golden, MD, practices medicine in Fresno, CA. Recently, he successfully steered his solo practice through Stage 1 Meaningful Use attestation. Having purchased his EHR, the Sage Intergy EHR, in 2009, he offers guidance to other physicians hoping to receive federal incentives through Meaningful Use.

Old Hook Medical Associates: Edward Gold, MD, practices at Old Hook Medical Associates (OHMA), a 20-physician multispecialty practice in Emerson, NJ. Over the past several months, he has successfully led the practice’s efforts to achieve Stage 1 meaningful use, using the Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition. He speaks of his experience as a user of EHR technology and the process of preparing for meaningful use attestation, as well as the value of EHR for both the practice and its patients.

Dr. Moore and Associates: Donald E. Moore, MD, operates a solo physician practice in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past few months, he has led his clinic and staff through Stage 1 meaningful use attestation using the Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition, a certified solution that includes integrated EHR, practice management, patient portal and clinical quality measures reporting. As an early adopter of EHR technology, he offers this insight for all physicians looking to achieve State 1 meaningful use attestation.

Backup One Square or Back to Start? Strategies for Protecting Your Data.

July 25, 2011

By David Stout
Sage Advanced Tech Support Team

A computer system consists of a variety of components:

    • Hardware, which is composed of its own modular parts such and disk drives and power supplies
    • Application software such as Sage Medical Manager or Sage Intergy
    • Operating system such as Red Hat Linux or Microsoft Windows that provides the platform between the hardware and the application
    • Data, which is of course the reason to have the system in the first place

In the event of a system failure, all of these components are packaged, can be purchased and replaced with relative ease save one, the data. More accurately, your data because you created it, people in your organization entered or caused it to be entered into the system. If the system fails or is damaged in such a way that it cannot be retrieved, the one thing you can’t buy at any price from anywhere is your data that you’ve created over the life of the system.

But, you can protect your data by backing it up to a storage resource from where it can be retrieved. That resource can take a number of forms ranging from flash drives to a complete duplicate server depending on need, but for this discussion, we’ll be focusing on cartridge-based storage such as tape or removable drives.

A strategy for backups should include a cartridge for each day of the week that data is normally changed in the system, which is any day you enter or calculate data. You should rotate those cartridges daily throughout the week. This makes it unlikely that you would lose more than the data entered since the last backup at the end of the previous day and gives the added benefit of being able to go back through several days of backups in the event it may be helpful or necessary. Another pair of cartridges should be used for month end closings and rotated from month to month so you always have the last close available if needed. It’s a good idea to have a spare cartridge or two on hand in case one fails or one is needed for a support issue. That way it can be used and set aside without altering your cartridge schedule.

In addition, there should be some method of providing a report on the success or failure of creation and verification of those backups. For better security, consider where your backup cartridges are stored. Storing cartridges off-site from where the system is housed is the best protection from a fire or natural disaster. At the very least, a fireproof and watertight safe or other container should be used if they are stored at the same site as the server.

These measures will help you to be able to restore your precious data to a replacement disk drive or entire system in the event of a failure to reduce down time and greatly reduce the chances of having to hand-key your data back into the system.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Forums?

July 12, 2011

Forums (a.k.a. Communities) are a great way of expressing your opinions and interacting with other users. A forum allows you to start new topics and post your opinions on existing ones. You can post whenever you like, meaning that you can post an opinion and keep dropping in to see how the topic has progressed. Forums are also good as you can start-up topics related to your interest, and get people to post their opinions about the interest as well

Online forums can be powerful communication tools and offer many strong benefits to the forum users. Getting feedback from multiple sources and with different outlooks can be a great benefit of using the forums. The Intellectual exchange between users can greatly benefit both sides. A forum is like a virtual round-table conference, where you can virtually sit next to each other and bounce ideas and views across the room. The knowledge that can be offered could be beneficial to all who participate in these forums. The more participants you have contributing to that interest, the more well-rounded everyone can be moving forward.

You obviously can learn new ideas and refine old ones that you have and even make new business contacts. Your input can influence the forum’s evolution by making it a place others want to come on a regular basis to participate further by contributing to others. Maybe there is something you have overlooked, another user might have experienced the same exact thing and can offer guidance to a resolution or resource.

Keeping up with current events can be found by doing a quick search on the forum for that particular point of interest. You can also learn about new opportunities that present itself and are made public.

  • Has there been a new release?
  • Are you meeting system requirements?
  • Are changes just for my state?
  • Has anyone else experienced this?

Staying well-informed can be greatly beneficial to all. Online forums can be a powerful productivity tool for business as well. You can invite visitors’ to express their views on topics related to your business. You can get the feedback that will put your business out in front of all the rest. Use it to find out what your clients are saying, needing, and wanting from you.

The biggest advantage of forums is that good forum topics can weave a strong community around it, and you too can benefit along with other visitors who take part in such forums. 

Sage healthcare customers can access the new customer forum today!  Ask questions about workflows, share knowledge, provide product tips, and network with other Sage users. Please note: The forum requires a login to Sage Support Center.

What is RMS and why should my practice use it?

July 7, 2011

By Bonnie Johnson
Customer Support Technician, Sage

The Remote Monitoring System (RMS) is a free monitoring and management tool available as a value-added benefit from Sage. This service provides proactive support and software updates to customers using Sage products.

RMS monitors your system’s health and performance. The system can provide Sage support personnel with important system status information, diagnose system problems and help prevent issues before they affect your system, such as:

  • Available space on your system’s hard disk
  • CPU usage, allowing Sage to alert you if there are “runaway processes” slowing down system performance
  • Rx EDI errors for ePrescribing customers, warning you if there is a problem with transmissions
  • Backup errors and failures

RMS can also automatically provide software service pack updates to keep your system on the most current version of your software with minimal downtime. You have complete control of when the RMS Automatic Update process is performed. Example updates are:

  • Software patches for known issues
  • EDI formats for new insurance requirements

Who should sign up for RMS?
All Sage customers can benefit from RMS, however practices must have a secure, broadband internet connection in order for RMS to work. Contact Sage at 877-932-6301 to discuss having this valuable product installed on your server(s) or learn more about it on the Sage Support Center.

Sage Healthcare clients achieve meaningful use – receive EHR incentive payments

May 26, 2011

Several medical practices that use Sage’s electronic health record system are included in the first group to attest to meaningful use and receive payment under the federal government’s health IT incentive program.

Multi-specialty practice Old Hook Medical Associates in Emerson, New Jersey, attested that its implementation of the Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition of EHRs met the government’s criteria on April 19, a day after the option was opened.

“Old Hook Medical Associates has been using technology to enhance the satisfaction of our patients and providers and to assist us in delivering quality care for several years,” said Dr. Edward Gold, a physician at OHMA and the group’s president. Gold added that the meaningful use program built on the practice’s efforts, helped providers see improved outcomes across the healthcare system and raised the bar for the early adopters of EHR systems. “That’s the goal and it’s very positive to see progress being made toward reaching it.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the incentive program as part of the national push to increase health IT use under healthcare reform. The meaningful use program – which aims to encourage adoption and increase quality and coordination of care – is currently in the first stage of the three-stage process.

The EHR version used by OHMA, the Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition, is on the government’s list of certified products, and offers all the required functions neccessary for meeting Stage One under meaningful use: electronic health records, reporting capabilities, practice management and a web-based patient portal that enables patients to securely communicate with their doctors and access health information and lab results, schedule appointments and request prescription refills.

Dr. Donald E. Moore, a physician running a primary care practice in Brooklyn, New York, also recently received an incentive payment, after attesting on May 4.

Moore said that meaningful use gave direction for providers and software vendors alike as they try to improve system functions and achieve interoperability. “As a physician that meaningfully uses an electronic medical record, I have become a more knowledgeable clinician and communicate more effectively. As a result, I can better serve my patients,” he added.

Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition
The Meaningful Use Edition is a comprehensive suite of technology, services, and support delivers everything needed to make your transition to EHR successful. Learn more about it by:

Lottery ticket worth millions lost in Medical office. Check online to see if it might be in yours.

May 20, 2011

Written By: Dave Corbeil
Sage Customer Support Technician

If you saw that headline, you would probably check out the website to see if it could tell you where money might be hidden in your office. So why not check payer websites to see if there is information that could improve your billing, or identify lost revenue.

Many large and some small payers have a web page with informational alerts as well as tips to make sure your billing goes through smoothly. On many, you can even sign up to receive any alerts through email. And getting ahead of any payer changes may help your practice avoid the additional cost and time delays associated with resubmitting rejected claims.

Some payers have even added online chat to check on claims or easy web forms to fill out and ask questions.  “Time is money,” as the old saying goes. Sitting on hold may help with your understanding of classical music but wouldn’t it be easier to ask the payer that same question through email or chat.

When you purchase a lottery ticket it only costs one dollar but it could reap millions. Reviewing some of the payer’s websites will only take a minute but could provide you with valuable insight, so start with your bigger payers (jackpot size.) Then move on to make sure all of your payers are optimized. Good luck!

CMS issues more incentives for ACOs

May 19, 2011

New initiatives aimed at encouraging healthcare providers to join Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) were recently announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The ACO proposal was introduced in March, and CMS says the program will help Medicare achieve up to $430 million in savings over a three-year period by increasing collaborative care among providers.

Dr. Jeremy A. Lazarus, speaker of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates, said in April that in order to achieve the CMS’ vision, barriers such as the required large capital investments and certain federal policies will have to be addressed.

With the introduction of three new options for providers, the CMS hopes to remove some of these challenges so more doctors and hospitals will work to create a coordinated care system.

“Over and over again, we have seen that improving how care is delivered to patients is key to reducing the growth in healthcare spending,” said CMS administrator Dr. Donald M. Berwick. “When we improve the coordination of care between providers, reduce duplication of services and avoid medical errors, we can get better outcomes for patients at less cost.”

The first initiative, the Pioneer ACO model, is designed with mature provider organizations in mind. The model will be available to advanced organizations that have already launched some form of collaboration within their systems. It creates a faster path for those groups ready to participate in the program by implementing alternative payment processes, and aims to foster greater partnering with private payers in order to realize the improved care quality and cost reductions.

To enroll in this model, providers must send a letter of intent by June 10 and submit their full applications by July 18.

Another initiative is an advance payment ACO model, which will give some groups access to their shared savings in order to bankroll the needed investments in extra staff members and added infrastructure – such as electronic health record systems.

The final proposed initiative is a series of four free information sessions directed toward providers that are not yet ready to join an ACO but that are interested in learning more about the process. The first two-day session will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, beginning on June 20, and will also be available for viewing via webcast.