ELKO, Nev., Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For 64 years, The Elko Clinic has served patients in this rural northeast Nevada town of roughly 20,000, providing family-oriented specialty care including internal and occupational medicine, pediatrics, surgical procedures and the treatment of work-related injuries. Committed throughout its history to obtaining the latest in medical technology and equipment toward achieving optimum patient outcomes, a debilitating 2003 accident-related injury to a then-practicing physician prompted the clinic to also automate its paper-based medical records and practice management functions.
"The accident transformed our internist into a paraplegic, requiring our practice to move into a more accessible space which we leased from a local hospital," recounted Tami Kiehn, The Elko Clinic's manager. "We were unable to transport all of our paper-based records, which necessitated the purchase and implementation of a practice management and electronic medical records system. We eventually would have gone electronic; the need for a more handicapped-accessible facility quickened the process," she said.
The Elko Clinic engaged Acermed, a medical value-added reseller (VAR), to install and support the system, which it did until that company closed its doors in 2007. It wasn't until then, when it switched to MedInformatix Inc.'s open architecture SQL-based Practice Management (PM) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solution, when the clinic attained markedly enhanced claims processes and recordkeeping efficiencies that dramatically improved accounts receivable and contributed to sizable cost savings.
More than 30 percent of The Elko Clinic's accounts receivable were 120 days or older before its move to the MedInformatix solution. Only 1 percent of the practice's accounts receivable now fall into that category, Kiehn said. The MedInformatix solution also enables staff to file insurance claims on the same day that physicians treat patients, as compared to days or weeks later. The Elko Clinic therefore now receives most of its insurance and Medicaid reimbursements in one to two weeks, as compared to as long as three months after medical services are provided.
"The system also has a 'tickler' function which automatically notifies us when, and explains why some claims are not immediately paid," Kiehn said.
Another benefit: the MedInformatix PM/EMR solution allowed The Elko Clinic to eliminate 10 full time positions, resulting in substantial cost savings.
In addition to providing regular software updates and enhancements, MedInformatix provides continued support to The Elko Clinic's 23 staff members, ensuring that the practice leverages the robust system to its fullest. For example, at the beginning of its relationship with the practice, the vendor paid a several day on-site visit to make certain that it was in full compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 2007 implementation of the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), now known as the Physician Quality Reporting System.
Similarly, MedInformatix is walking The Elko Clinic step-by-step as the practice upgrades to Version 7.5 from Version 6.2 of the PM and EMR solution. The upgrade will help the practice achieve Stage 1 Meaningful Use objectives under The Federal Government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for Health Information Technology.
"Implementing a combined PM/EMR solution, as we did with MedInformatix in 2007, is the only way to achieve the full benefits of practice automation," Kiehn said. "The initial upfront investment may seem high, but the savings achieved down the road are extremely well worth the cost."
MedInformatix, Inc. (www.medinformatix.com) is a leading national provider of fully integrated Electronic Health Records. The products have been built around MedInformatix's 25 years of workflow expertise. MedInformatix's suite of products is designed on a single database using Microsoft SQL. Whether the client is a single physician who went live in 1994, a 13-location cardiology practice, the busiest radiology practice in Manhattan, or one of 15 other serviced specialties, MedInformatix accommodates their needs. MedInformatix can turn the dream of a paperless, integrated practice into a reality.
MedInformatix Version 7.5 is now certified to meet 2011-2012 criteria supporting Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment act (ARRA) as a Complete EHR by the Drummond Group.
This Complete EHR is 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments."
MedInformatix, October 22, 2010, Version 7.5, 1022201024238, Clinical Quality Measures: NQF0013, NQF0421, NQF0041, NQF0024, NQF0028, NQF0038, NQF0059, NQF0061, NQF0064. Additional software used: TrueCrypt v2.0, email software, spreadsheet software.
SOURCE MedInformatix, Inc.