A Career in Health IT: What it means to be Meaningful
Healthcare organizations across the country are in a race against time to ensure they have functional and interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems by the year 2015. Why you ask? The answer is simple; higher standards of care, and of course, the bottom line. You see, if they don’t have said systems active by 2015, they’ll have to pay fines and face reduced medicare reimbursement rates. Healthcare organizations are often thin on resources as it is and as such, having to deal with another revenue reducing obstacle and further strain reimbursement rates is an issue most healthcare organization would want to avoid. On the other hand, if they do have a functional and interoperable EHR system in place, the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) will reward Eligible Providers and Hospitals a set amount depending on the healthcare setting as well as the type of program the hospital participates in.
How many type of programs are there?
Hospitals can participate in either the Medicare or Medicaid program.
To be eligible for the Medicare program, hospitals must be any of the following:
Paid or reimbursed under the inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS)
Medicare Advantage Affiliate Hospital
Critical Access Hospital
Any of these hospitals can qualify for the Medicare program, beginning with a base $2 million pay out upon being able to demonstrate the “Meaningful Use” of a certified EHR technology.
To be eligible for the Medicaid program, hospitals must be any of the following:
Acute Care hospitals with a minimum Jobs Hiring In Medical Field 10% or more Medicaid patient volume
Any/all Chidlren’s Hospitals, regardless of how many Medicaid patients are treated
The Medicaid program reimburses hospitals upon upgrading or implementing a certified EHR system and successfully demonstrate it is being used in a meaningful way.
Meaningful use focuses on the following measures/objectives and is delivered in three stages:
Stage 1: Data capture and sharing
Stage 2: Advance clinical processes
Stage 3: Improved outcomes
Each respective stage is defined by a set of core and quality indicator measures that mandates an achievable standard for both hospitals and eligible providers. Some examples of these core measures include:
Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)
Patient’s allergy profile
Record medication history (active)
These are just a few of the complex elements that define whether or not a hospital and/or eligible provider is using health information technology in a meaningful way. Healthcare institutions across the country have come to realize that the challenge to implement an interoperable EHR system isn’t only defined by the elements mentioned above, but to also have the necessary resources as well as the Alternative Careers For Pharmacists credible staffing to take on these major projects. The problem they’re running into however, is that there simply is not enough qualified professionals who are both tech savvy and understand medicine. Think of it this way, would you hire a plumber to handle the electric wiring of your home? Probably not – the plumber simply isn’t qualified to take on tasks best suited for a skilled electrician.
The above concept is what the healthcare industry is facing on the path to achieving Meaningful Use, and those that have both clinical knowledge and tech skills are benefiting from the high paying job opportunities. Not only are Health IT Careers paying well, they also give the candidate the flexibility of working in any region of the country, as often employers will cover the cost of relocation. Not to mention that the healthcare industry is arguably one of – if not the best industry to work in; great stability, security and an even better outlook – the time really has never been better to pursue a career in Health Information Technology!