This coming year will bring many government mandated changes to the practice of medicine. More and more of your health record will need to be transmitted electronically to databases so that it can be analyzed and shared. Effective January 1 Medicare will be lowering reimbursements to practices that do not successfully upgrade to and use “Meaningful Use Version 2” and PQRS (Physician Quality Reporting System). Plus the coding system itself will also be upgraded. Presently there are over 13,000 codes available to assign to your reason for seeing the doctor. Apparently that is not enough so medical staffs in offices and hospitals around the country will need to be retrained to pick from over 68,000 codes. Abdominal pain will no longer be good enough – specifying right sided vs left sided will be necessary.
Now the government line on this is that more specific electronic reporting will make for better accountability by the medical profession and lead to a healthier population while lowering costs. Sounds like a good idea until you understand how much of the physician and staff time will be spent in these endeavors. Personally I feel that better medical care is delivered when your doctor can be looking at you rather than at a computer screen and spending time actually poking around your abdomen that worrying what code to put down; and to get on the phone with a consultant rather than sending an imperfect electronic summary.
So make believe you are my assistant and we need to learn the newer requirements that come with each and every visit. Please accompany me as we listen to a training video explaining all the steps involved by Clicking Here Remember that this is just one small part of what we will be required to be doing on top of all the other things we normally do to make your visits pleasant and productive.
After viewing the video let us know if you find this “Meaningful” or “Useful” to the delivery of your health care! And remember it only gets more convoluted – Meaningful Use Version 3 is just two years down the road! In a future blog I will take a closer look at the PQRS measures that Medicare uses to monitor “Quality” and the accompanying documentation burden on health care providers.
Thanks for reading – Please share with others – Links Below! Click Here to start receiving my health blog summary via email. Until next time…. Dr Ed Taubman, Primary Care Doctor, Olney MD 301-774-5400 Know someone who is looking for a great primary care practice? We are now accepting new patients!