Improving Healthcare While Lowering the Overall Cost of Care

2016 Alliance sponsor feature article provided by Carolinas IT

Case Study: CureMD’s Program for CHDs

Craven County has been using CureMD for more than 2 years now. Like Craven, 35 other North Carolina Counties have migrated away from the old State solution or other vendor solutions on to CureMD.

Craven County Health Department

Craven County Health Department located in New Bern serves a population of 105,000 across Craven, Jones and Pamlico Counties. With a staff base of 125 people, this center caters to approximately 105 patients a day for services including STDs, Maternal Health, Child Health, Pediatrics and immunizations. It ranks 3rd among North Carolina Public Health Departments in the number of Medicaid patients seen annually.

Craven County was introduced to CureMD through our official partners Carolinas IT who have helped practices and Local Health Departments in successfully deploying and making the most of their EHR technology.

What sets Population Healthcare Management Apart?

An important part of Population Healthcare Management is the capturing of big data. Once the information is collected it is used for identifying disease patterns and trends, which are subsequently communicated to the state. The reporting component is critical, as it is an important determinant of the level of funding each department will receive.

How is CureMD assisting Local Health Departments?

Functionality
CureMD allows CHDs to capture and store population data mandated by the state. Most of this information is stored in discrete reportable format that helps CHDs meet their Meaningful Use requirements.

In addition, the system has a tracking module which sends out an alert when a patient needs to renew their Household Assessment and automatically notifies the front office staff of its status, including expiration of the renewal grace period. This helps maintaining current information, eligibility and compliance deadlines.

Sliding Fee Scale configuration provides County Health Departments the tools to manage poverty guidelines, slide type income thresholds and discounts that meet their region’s needs. CHDs are able to set assessment renewal date reminders, maximum balance limits and adjustment codes per sliding scale. They can choose between a purely discount-based sliding fee scale, a service co-pay-based fee scale, or a combination of the two.

By electronically connecting to multiple internal and external systems including laboratory systems, pharmacies, local hospital systems and Health Information Exchange (HIE), CureMD has eliminated the need of using multiple systems to perform key clinical tasks. Providers are no longer required to chart in one system and order labs or study lab reports in another.

Automated Billing
With CureMD EHR, charge entry is easy as all sliding fee adjustments are computed automatically based on a patient’s sliding fee eligibility. Even if the patient has a primary insurance carrier, sliding fee adjustments will be transferred automatically upon payment. This streamlines billing and improves collections by reducing denials through an intelligent web-based revenue cycle system.

EHR Replacement: Moving forward with CureMD

When we met the officials at Craven County Health Department, they were not happy with their current EHR; however, they had invested so much time and energy in bringing their organization up to speed with electronic systems, coupled with their belief that going electronic was the way forward, that they did not want to go back to the days of paper practice. They were looking for a vendor who would benefit them by:

  • Meeting specific clinical and charting requirements for better public health disease management;
  • Improvements in CCHD’s internal operational efficiencies; and
  • Helping them to successfully attest for Meaningful Use.

In our discovery call with Mr. Scott Harrelson, the Local Health Department Director, he said “We are looking for a configurable solution that can allow us to build-in DHHS clinical visit forms and, at the same time, get us to Meaningful Use certification.”

This is where CureMD, with a track record of serving 30+ Health Departments in NC, stepped in. This case study explores in depth how CureMD in partnership with Carolinas IT is helping Craven County Health Department and other County health departments in delivering better care.

Implementation

CureMD worked in conjunction with the Craven County Health Department staff over the course of three months and built the North Carolina Public Health program from the foundation of the existing award-winning CureMD solution. There was minimal schedule disruption during the implementation process. After the first couple of days, Craven County was back to its full patient schedule.

The end result was a comprehensive yet easy-to-use customized solution which satisfied all of the State’s Public Health clinical and reporting requirements, as well as those of Meaningful Use.

CureMD was able to implement multiple sliding fee schedules along with family household income in a patient’s demographic record so that charges associated with a visit type such as STD or Family Planning, would slide on the electronic super bill according to Federal and State program guidelines.

Meaningful Use Objectives Addressed

Record patient demographics
At CCHD, patient demographic information is entered in CureMD EHR as discrete data during the patient registration process.

Maintain up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses
As a key for providing high quality care, up-to-date problem lists for individual patients are readily available in their EHR, and they are considered a very essential part of patient’s electronic medical record.

Maintain active medication list
Using CureMD’s EHR, CCHD personnel are not only able to track what prescriptions have been written for each patient, but can also update these lists in real time.

Maintain active medication allergy list
Both medication and allergy lists are integrated into CCHD’s clinical workflow using CureMD EHR and are reviewed during patient visits.

Incorporate clinical laboratory test results into EHRs as structured data
CureMD’s EHR incorporates laboratory results received electronically from multiple sources and in different formats and then stores uniform discrete data fields that are functional for the clinical end-users. (Physician and other Providers)

Generate lists of patients by specific conditions to use for quality improvement, reduction of disparities, research, or outreach.
Patient registries generated through CureMD’s EHR allow CCHD to contact patients with chronic diseases and to be more proactive in their patient care.

Training

Providers received one-on-one training while other staff members attended several role-specific trainings. When they were unable to do so, Craven County applied the “train the trainer” method. Using this method, key staff members attended the training sessions, after which they trained the staff themselves.

Improved billing efficiency

Before CureMD, the entire billing process was complicated for Craven County’s clinics. They would create claims using one system, and upload them onto another. Craven County officials found CureMD’s billing process smooth and easy to follow; that in addition to simplified claim tracking within one system has helped reduce claim submission and ERA processes from an hour to just a few minutes. Craven County has also been able to make their billing efficient and reduce their claim denial rate with CureMD’s easy-to-use Practice Management solution.

After switching to CureMD, the savings from software maintenance alone amounted to $16,000. Using CureMD specialized Public Health solution, clinics have been able to cut back on both time and paperwork with built-in electronic forms. Furthermore, implementing digital signatures for devices at the check-in desk speeds up the authorization and compliance process.

With CureMD’s insurance eligibility, Craven County has saved steps in the registration process. “With the click of a single button, we can check a patient’s eligibility as soon as they walk in the door,” says Cox. “That’s a tremendous time saver for us,” she adds.

No additional computer purchases were required as CureMD was compatible with their existing computer devices. And while they did purchase additional peripheral devices such as scanners and ePads, there was substantial cost reduction on paper chart materials including folders, labels, paper, dividers, etc.

Integrated Solution

CureMD’s ability to integrate daily lab orders and results with third party vendors is a key component in enabling Craven County to gain efficiencies in the clinic every work day.

“The lab interface with CureMD and Orchard was amazing. We could not have asked for a smoother transition between systems. The clinics were able to access labs and results immediately. Prior to CureMD our staff was charting in one system and ordering labs in another. It saves staff time being able to do it all in one system,“ said Craven Country Human Sevices Deputy Director Jennifer Blackmon.  “The staff loves CureMD,” she added.

What Craven County loves the most?

“Our providers love the program. The document manager in CureMD is great; they can find patient scanned records quickly and easily. Everything is right at their fingertips,” Blackmon said “One of the best things about CureMD is the functionality. We can schedule appointments, bill, chart, order labs and submit patient prescriptions all electronically with a click of a button,” Blackmon pointed out.

For more information about CureMD’s EHR and Public Health Solutions, contact Carolinas IT at (919) 856 2300.

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