Tips for Getting the Most from Your EMR in 2022

Electronic health or medical record software comes with a hefty price tag – but many agencies never reap the full value of their significant investment in information technology.

Until workflow processes have been customized and staff has been trained for optimal use, no EMR can offer optimal performance, and post-acute care providers won’t see the full ROI, according to SimiTree Director of IT Consulting Aldin Fauni.

“An EHR isn’t an out-of-the-box asset,” Fauni says. “It can’t be, because no two agencies are exactly alike, and the EHR needs to function in a way that makes the most sense for that particular agency.”

Fauni, who works with agencies to integrate technology systems that include adaptations for optimal workflow and customized user training, says it has never been more important for post-acute providers to ensure that an EHR is fully meeting agency needs.

“In heavily-regulated fields such as post-acute care, where change is constant, agencies need to make certain their EHR is fully optimized to handle those demands,” Fauni said.

User satisfaction is an equally important consideration, Fauni said.

“Ongoing staffing shortages in post-acute care underscore the need for greater employee engagement and overall job satisfaction,” he said. “Technology plays a big role in that. Employees want to feel supported by technology that enables them to work more efficiently. In a nutshell, overall user satisfaction with an EHR comes down to being able to work smarter, not harder.”

Ensure success with these tips

SimiTree consultants liked this helpful and thorough list our friends at KanTime compiled in a recent blog post titled, What Should You Expect from Your EMR to Position Your Organization for PDGM Success in 2022 and Beyond?

With KanTime’s permission, we’ve reprinted a slightly tweaked version of the list here, and added a few pointers from Fauni.

1. Foolproof setup. The automated configuration of traditional Medicare payor rules should have a foolproof setup to avoid any workflow issues.

“The EMR solution should be able to implement a role-based system permission to avoid accidental payor setup misconfiguration,” Fauni said.

2. Variance allowances. Configurations by payor should allow for likely variances in adopting these requirements by non-Medicare payors who can choose when and if they will change or how much of this they will adopt. Configurations should include zero pay and prior RAP processes.

“Your EMR should also provide a detailed guide for non-Medicare payor set-up to ensure smooth adjustment,” Fauni said.

3. RAP to NOA transition support.

Now that CMS has replaced the no-pay RAP with a new Notice of Admission, or NOA, there are several ways in which an agency’s EMR should support the transition.

  • RAP configurations in Dashboards and Reporting for Medicare should be modified to consider RAP and NOA in the overlap, then just NOA.
  • Dashboard alerting should be available for NOA/RAPs due, grouped by the timeline in days – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and due now, as well as overdue and associated aging within reporting.
  • Upon transmission of a late NOA/RAP, agency level configurations should be available to require documentation of code and reason code(s)/request for exemption notes to be automatically included in subsequent pay period claims before allowing submission of NOA/RAP.
  • Validation that orders have been received and first visit completed before allowing transmission of NOA/RAP. “Your EMR should be able to provide support and guidance to address any validation errors,” Fauni said.
  • Automated inclusion of a valid HIPPS if Assessment and/or POC are not yet locked and automated inclusion of that same DX code on subsequent pay period claims.
  • If a NOA has been submitted and the user attempts to change the SOC start date, the system should block that action. The NOA will have to be canceled first; then a new NOA will need to be submitted with the new SOC date.
  • For MSP & Demand Claims Filing, a NOA should be required and mandated during the MSP/Demand Claim flows.
  • Validations to ensure NOA submitted, OASIS submitted, Assessment and POC locked, and all orders signed before submission of pay period claims

4. Reporting changes.

New NOA changes should also be reflected in the EMR’s handing of reports.

  • Financial Reports. MER, WER & Late RAP/NOA should consider and show NOA transactions (Billing & Late Penalty calculations & applications just as No-Pay RAPs)
  • Other Reports such as those listed below should be enhanced to filter and list NOA.
    • Episode Listing Report
    • PPS Pricer Report
    • Unbillable RAP should be changed to Unbillable RAP/NOA
    • Unbilled Final Claim
    • Days to RAP should be changed to Days to RAP/NOA
  • PDGM Statistics. This Report should provide a new counter and filter to view “Average number of days to NOA by Early and Late Status,” similar to data required for RAP.
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicator) Reports. These reports should be provided with the below set of new counters to filter and view NOAs; the logic should be similar to its predecessor when focused solely on RAP.
    • NOA Billed
    • NOA Approved
    • Average Days to Bill NOA

How SimiTree can help

“A fully functional and optimized EMR system can help your agency avoid pitfalls that can result in financial losses,” Fauni said. “It can also help sustain and improve operations across business and clinical care delivery.“

SimiTree brings extensive knowledge of all major EHRs to its IT consulting services, working with clients to analyze processes and set up optimal workflow solutions. We provide full support services during integration, including project management and interim staffing.

Use the form below to contact us today to start the conversation about how we can help your agency optimize its EMR, improving efficiency and productivity.

How KanTime can help

KanTime’s enterprise-based software solution allows agencies to have peace of mind when using their EMR. Executive Vice-President Kristen Duell said KanTime works for agencies by streamlining from intake to discharge, allowing agencies to focus on what they do best: delivering quality patient care around the clock.

To learn more about KanTime and how its solutions can suit your EMR needs, click here.

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Let's work together to improve the health of your organization. At SimiTree, we balance financial expertise and clinical excellence to help our clients grow. How can we help you? Call us at 800.949.0388 or complete the form below.