With the switch to paperless offices, many healthcare providers feel they've had to add "IT management" as a core competency.

And they resent it, quite understandably. It eats into the time, focus and resources of their true calling, the practice of medicine.

Many are ready to be done with the whole ordeal of managing and securing the infrastructure that houses their revenue cycle management solutions and other systems, and looking for cloud-based solutions, instead.

But what exactly is a "cloud" RCM solution? And is it really more secure than one managed in-house by the solution's vendor?

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Even if you and your staff have mastered the ICD-10 codes you’ll use in your practice and the documentation elements to support them, your systems need to be ready to go when ICD-10 begins, too. If you can’t send claims, you can’t receive payment for them.

You’ll want to verify before the Oct. 1 ICD-10 start date that you can generate and submit claims. In addition, make sure you can:

Schedule outpatient procedures,
Perform eligibility and benefits verifications,
Prepare to submit quality data,
Schedule office visits, and
Update patient histories and encounters.

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Are you ready for the ICD-10 transition? That’s the question most healthcare providers loathe, as the October 1st deadline nears and the potential for major problems and productivity loss grows. No one knows how many hiccups and headaches the more than 64,000 codes will create—but having the right products in place can help you prepare—according to eMDs’ Mike Liter.

As Vice President of Account Management & Implementation at eMDs, a leading provider in ambulatory electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management solutions, Liter provides insight as to how the right EMR/EHR solution can mitigate the inevitable growing pains providers will face with ICD-10 transition:

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As rising healthcare costs push more Americans into high deductible plans, patient access professionals are tasked with navigating these patients through an unfamiliar landscape: the actual cost of healthcare service delivery. Patients need insight into which services are crucial for care, where to obtain them, what's covered in their plans and what's not. And they need this information now.

Many old ways of gathering these answers for patients are just that - outdated approaches that are quickly becoming obsolete in the face of new patient needs. As it happens, the market is responding with automated and online tools that practices can leverage in every area of patient access, from verifying insurance coverage upfront to enabling online bill pay.

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The eMDs ICD-10 Code Search Tool offers TMA member physicians and their staff the ability to apply the right ICD-10 coding at the point of patient contact, improving the rate of accepted claims and reducing frustration. Using a combination of keyword filters, anatomical locations, gender, and age, the tool offers a highly intuitive way to build a narrow list of billable ICD-10 codes based on user preferences.

Free access to this new resource is just one benefit of being a TMA physician member. Practices with less than 100-percent membership can still use the tool but at a fee of $1,250 per nonmember.

If you would like to take advantage of this perk but you're not a TMA member, join TMA now, or call the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955 for assistance. TMA members can get started immediately at no cost by visiting the TMA ICD-10 Resource Center and logging in to their TMA account for more information.

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Real-time e-healthcare system is one of the best ways to keep your health records and track it anytime, without any geographical constraint. Patients can always stay in touch with their doctors and communicate with them about any health issue.

They can self-check also for an immediate result without any third party’s dependence. With advanced technology and rapid innovation, these days’ products are being made in such a way that it should be more consumer friendly and easy to use.

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President Obama made this statement about six weeks before the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was signed into law. Under the HITECH ACT, CMS began its EHR Incentive Program. Although that five-year benchmark has been surpassed, of April 2015, CMS paid out more than $30 billion in incentive payments to hospitals and health systems for the adoption and use of electronic health records. These incentive payments, coupled with the looming threat of financial penalties for non-adopters and a need to better coordinate care, have driven providers to rapidly adopt EHRs over the past few years. The EHR market is expected to reach $8.3 billion by 2016.

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Real-time e-healthcare system is one of the best ways to keep your health records and track it anytime, without any geographical constraint. Patients can always stay in touch with their doctors and communicate with them about any health issue. They can self-check also for an immediate result without any third party’s dependence. With advanced technology and rapid innovation, these days’ products are being made in such a way that it should be more consumer friendly and easy to use. Real-time e-healthcare system fulfills all the above criteria and hence, the market is growing at a positive rate.

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Meeting meaningful use criteria may get a little easier for physicians if the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) adopts draft rules that propose to standardize the 2015 reporting period for the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program to 90 consecutive days.  

The rules would also require only one patient in a physician's practice to use technology to download, view, and transmit his or her medical records. Currently, meaningful use requires 5 percent of patients in a practice to participate in the electronic exchange of their records.

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The original revenue cycle management systems were designed to improve the speed and accuracy of claims filing for healthcare organizations and their implementation has, for the most part, succeeded in helping to reach those goals. Yet many providers are still utilizing technology that goes back decades and doesn’t have the functionality for an increasingly complex billing landscape.

It raises the question – are first-generation RCMs ripe for a “rip and replace” treatment? Or can they continue to be used if they show no sign of obsolescence?

Patrick Hall, executive vice president for Austin, Texas-based eMDs, said it comes down to a simple conclusion: “When your current system doesn’t work for you anymore, it is time to upgrade.”

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