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EMR transition planning: Complications continue but Cross Country Staffing can help.

EMR transition planning: Complications continue but Cross Country Staffing can help. June 24, 2014 by Vickie Anenberg

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health & Human Services recently switched its position on a system that was put in place by electronic medical record (EMR) vendor athenahealth, and this decision could impact EMR transition planning at some healthcare facilities.

The OIG had originally approved athenahealth’s plan that gave a discount on monthly EMR service subscription fees to physicians who purchased through the company’s Coordination Service Package. However, when the physicians would use that service to make a referral to what the company calls a “non-trading partner,” the discount was reduced by $1, and trading partners paid a fee for each test order the vendor transmitted.

This arrangement was meant to help implement a sustainable economic model for health information exchange, according to athenahealth. While the OIG agreed with this assertion and approved the system in 2011, it has come now to a new conclusion.

The OIG believes that although the efficient exchange of health information is a “laudable goal,” it must also consider whether this arrangement would “present more than a minimal risk of fraud and abuse under the anti-kickback statute” of federal regulations. The concern is that this arrangement may play a role in influencing which trading partner an ordering health professional chooses.

If this sounds complicated, it’s because the bureaucratic red tape that often surrounds EMR transition can be a nightmare to wade through. Unforeseen obstacles and hurdles are part of the challenge, which is why many hospitals choose to enlist the services of an EMR implementation and upgrading provider.

EMR implementation and upgrade services such as those offered by Cross Country Staffing (CCS) help alleviate the stress placed on hospital and healthcare facility clients during the transition. CCS brings an established and successful plan that ensures there is adequate, planned, quality staffing to meet the demands brought about by EMR implementation.

You do not need to face the difficulties of EMR transition planning alone. Contact Cross Country Staffing to learn more about solutions that can help.