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Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

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Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

New Version 1.1 of Universe mHealth App Platform Released with Family/Proxy Accounts

Family Proxy account mhealth app

Family Proxy account mhealth app

Universe mHealth App Platform, a mobile health technology company who has developed healthcare’s leading mobile app platform and a product for which Medical Web Experts provides development services for, announced their new Version 1.1 of the solution. The new version 1.1 includes a wealth of new features for performance, compatibility and compliance, with the most significant improvement coming from the addition of family/proxy accounts. “Parents are amongst the most active patient portal users. Therefore, providing parents with the ability to easily manage their children’s care from a mobile app is an incredibly powerful feature, and was the most requested feature since the launch of version 1.0”, explains John Deutsch, Founder and CEO of Universe mHealth.

Universe mHealth App Platform is a unique mhealth solution that meets the ever growing need of enterprise healthcare organizations to engage patient populations via their mobile devices. Some of its key features include:

  • Native iOS and Android compatibility
  • Singular app platform for the entire healthcare organization
  • HIPAA compliant app
  • Client-branded
  • Select from a suite of pre-built features, or add your own custom features
  • Support for multiple, concurrent interfaces (Supporting API, FHIR, HL7, XML, CSV)
  • Advanced two-factor patient authentication
  • Family/proxy accounts for parent/caregiver management of dependents/care-receivers

Learn more about the many features of the Universe mHealth App Platform: https://universemhealth.com

Read the full press release here: https://universemhealth.com/new-version-1-1-universe-mhealth-app-platform-released-family-proxy-accounts/

 

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

Bridge Patient Portal Receives 2015 Edition ONC Health IT Certification

DALLASJuly 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Bridge Patient Portal, an enterprise patient portal and patient engagement solution for healthcare provider groups, has achieved 2015 Edition ONC Health IT Certification. Newly released Bridge Patient Portal v2.0 has been certified by SLI, an Office of the National Coordinator-Authorized Certification Body (ONC-ACB) in accordance with the certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The portal helps increase patient engagement while helping provider groups meet requirements for MIPS, MACRA, and Stage 3 Meaningful Use.

Stage 3 Meaningful Use measures, which fall under CMS’ Merit Based Incentive Payments System (MIPS) program, are a part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Stage 3 Meaningful Use requires physicians to report on a series of measures in order to receive funding as per the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The 2015 Edition ONC Health IT Certification recognizes that Bridge Patient Portal can support providers in meeting the measures of Stage 3 Meaningful Use.

Bridge Patient Portal was certified on 16 different EHR criteria, which represents a significant range of functionality for an EHR-independent 3rd party patient portal solution. “The depth of our certification demonstrates an increasing need in the market for patient portals with advanced CCD, interface, and messaging functionality for provider groups and EHR vendor partners alike,” says John Deutsch, CEO and Product Owner of Bridge Patient Portal. Bridge Patient Portal supports interfaces with a variety of EHR solutions via their Application Programming Interface. Together with a certified EHR software solution, Bridge customers can meet all necessary criteria for Stage 3 Meaningful Use.  Bridge Patient Portal v2.0—certification #15.05.05.1947.BRID.01.00.0.180703, certified date July 3, 2018—meets the following certification criteria:

  • 170.315(d)(1) Authentication, access control
  • 170.315(d)(2) Auditable events and tamper-resistance
  • 170.315(d)(3) Audit reports
  • 170.315(d)(5) Automatic Access & Timeout
  • 170.315(d)(6) Emergency Access
  • 170.315(d)(7) End-user device encryption
  • 170.315(d)(9) Trusted connection
  • 170.315(e)(1) View, download, and transmit to 3rd party
  • 170.315(e)(2) Secure messaging
  • 170.315(g)(1) Automated numerator recording
  • 170.315(g)(4) Quality system management
  • 170.315(g)(5) Accessibility-centered design
  • 170.315(g)(6) Consolidated CDA creation performance
  • 170.315(g)(7) Application access – patient selection
  • 170.315(g)(8) Application access – data category request
  • 170.315(g)(9) Application access – all data request

To learn more about our certification: https://chpl.healthit.gov/#/product/9540

Designed for a valuable and engaging user experience, the Bridge Patient Portal solution is completely customizable, interfaces with multiple systems (EHR, RCM, PM, etc.) simultaneously, and operates in both desktop and mobile devices.

Additionally, Bridge offers a rich feature-set, including:

  • Personal health records (labs, medications, conditions, etc.)
  • Patient/provider/staff messaging
  • Appointment requests and self-scheduling
  • Online bill pay
  • Web check-in
  • Custom, integrated patient forms
  • Prescription refill requests
  • Patient self-registration
  • Two-factor authentication
  • SMS-based username/password resets
  • Email, SMS and mobile push notifications/reminders
  • Marketing & recall messaging
  • Patient engagement reporting
  • Care plans
  • Proxy accounts
  • Chronic Care Management
  • Task management
  • Multiple concurrent, bi-directional EHR/RCM/PM/HIE interfaces
  • Private-label branding
  • Mobile-responsive design
  • Multilingual support
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Multi-tenant support (multiple facilities)

About SLI

SLI Compliance is an Independent Test Laboratory and Certification Body.  SLI Compliance has been authorized to perform Conformance Testing and Certification on Health Information Technology by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator as an Authorized Test Lab (ONC-ATL) and an Authorized Certification Body (ONC-ACB). Testing and Certification ensures eligible professionals, practices and hospitals that the Health IT technology they’re considering has the necessary capabilities to satisfy the ONC Health IT Program criteria and CMS incentive program goals and objectives. SLI CERTIFIED® is a registered trademark of Gaming Laboratories International, LLC dba SLI Compliance.

About ONC Certification

The ONC Health IT program accredits laboratories to perform testing and certification of Health IT technology to verify it meets all requirements set forth in the 2015 Edition criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The certifications include Complete EHRs, which meet all of the 2015 Edition criteria for either eligible provider or hospital technology and EHR Modules, which meet one or more—but not all—of the criteria. ONC CERTIFIED HIT® is a registered trademark of HHS.

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

Medical Web Experts to Exhibit at HIMSS 2018; Showcasing Portal & mHealth App Solutions

himss

himss

Medical Web Experts, a leading provider of healthcare web development, mHealth app development, custom portals, and HIPAA-compliant IT solutions for the medical industry, will be exhibiting at the HIMSS 2018 conference from March 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  In addition to their custom development services, Medical Web Experts will also be showcasing their industry-leading patient portal product Bridge Patient Portal, as well as their Universe mHealth app platform, which allows any medium to large-sized provider group to create a singular patient-facing app for their entire organization through a suite of pre-built features.

HIMSS (“Healthcare Information Systems and Management Society”) is an annual conference recognized worldwide for its attendance by many of the most prominent names in healthcare IT.  HIMSS is the largest health IT conference in the world, featuring nearly 1,300 exhibitors and over 45,000 attendees.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to showcase our suite of enterprise products and services at HIMSS this year,” says John Deutsch, founder of Medical Web Experts.  “Our recent completion of several high-profile mobile app and portal projects makes this an excellent year to exhibit for the first time.”

Since 2003, Medical Web Experts has been providing innovative development, design, and marketing solutions for hospitals, health systems, pharmacies, software vendors, and other healthcare organizations.  Medical Web Experts’ service offering includes:

In addition to offering custom services, Medical Web Experts is also the developer of Bridge Patient Portal, an enterprise patient portal and patient engagement solution that offers a superior user experience for healthcare organizations and their patients.  Bridge is a mobile-ready patient engagement solution for secure SMS/email/push notifications, self-scheduling, health information access, patient-provider messaging, bill pay, and more. Bridge is ideal for organizations seeking to replace their existing EHR system’s patient portal, connect disparate EHR environments with a single patient portal, and/or consolidate costly patient engagement tools with a single patient engagement solution.

Medical Web Experts will also be showcasing their Universe mHealth product, a robust, secure, and scalable mobile app platform for iOS and Android. The platform enables healthcare organizations to publish their own branded mobile app with a comprehensive list of pre-built features – including health summaries, appointment scheduling, messaging, urgent care wait times, physician search, patient education, bill pay, and more.  Universe was recently implemented at Westmed Medical Group, a health system in New Yorkwith 46 locations and over 280 practicing physicians across 51 specialties.

HIMSS 2018 will be taking place March 5-9 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Medical Web Experts will be exhibiting at booth 11549.  Registration for HIMSS is available online at himssconference.org.

About Medical Web Experts
Founded in 2003, Medical Web Experts is a leading provider of HIPAA-compliant enterprise healthcare solutions – including mHealth app development, custom portals, web design, marketing, content creation, and custom interface development. By applying unparalleled industry experience, Medical Web Experts helps provider groups, hospitals, health systems, IDNs, pharmacies, medical device manufacturers, laboratories, and healthcare software vendors create next-generation web and mobile technologies.  Learn more at https://www.medicalwebexperts.com/.

About Bridge Patient Portal
Bridge Patient Portal is an enterprise platform that provides a superior user experience for healthcare organizations and patients. It is ideal for organizations seeking to replace their existing EHR system’s patient portal, or connect disparate EHR environments with a single EHR-agnostic patient portal platform. To learn more, visit https://www.bridgepatientportal.com/.

About Universe mHealth
Universe mHealth LLC was founded in 2017 as a collaboration between patient engagement technology leaders Bridge Patient Portal and Medical Web Experts. The platform enables healthcare organizations to publish their own, branded mobile app with a blend of custom features and pre-built features for health summaries, appointment scheduling, messaging, urgent care wait times, physician search, patient education, bill pay, and more. For more information, visit http://universemhealth.com/.

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

Advanced Mobile App Platform Now Available for Bridge Customers

Bridge has partnered with Universe to provide an advanced mobile app platform.

Universe mHealth LLC has launched the first client-branded advanced mobile app platform for healthcare organizations—the Universe mHealth App Platform. The platform offers medium and large healthcare organizations a single iOS and Android mobile app to support all of their informational, clinical, and financial self-service tools. “With many large health organizations already accumulating multiple mobile apps in order to provide self-service tools to their patients, there’s an excellent opportunity to consolidate these apps into a single app, greatly improving the patient experience,” explains founder John Deutsch.

universe mhealth app screen

As a result of strict regulations, antiquated systems, and general lack of innovation, the healthcare industry has lagged in comparison to other industries—such as banking, transportation, and hospitality—in terms of its adoption of mobile app technology. Custom apps currently offered by major health systems feature incredibly low functionality considering their price tags of $500,000 to $1,000,000 and 1+ years of development time per app. Universe mHealth offers more functionality while being significantly less expensive and faster to implement.

The Universe mHealth App Platform comes with a series of pre-built features that health organizations may select from, while also adding their own custom features, developed by the Universe mHealth app development team.

Pre-built app features include:

  • Health summaries
  • Bill pay
  • Prescription refills
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Appointment reminders
  • Secure messaging with providers/staff
  • Lab results
  • Find a provider
  • Find a location
  • Urgent care wait times
  • News

Custom features may include custom variants of the above listed features or new, client-specific features such as:

  • Hospital campus wayfinder
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Video consultations
  • Intake forms
  • Web check-in

The platform’s architecture contains a series of core features designed for maximum security, HIPAA-compliance, and easy interface development. Multiple concurrent interfaces to a customer’s various data sources are supported both via API or traditional HL7, CSV, and XML interface standards. The platform was developed in REACT Native, an open source coding language started by Facebook, which allows Universe mHealth to be published in both iOS and Android, without the need to manage separate codebases. “The combination of the latest mobile app technology, an architecture developed specifically for healthcare, and a library of pre-built features, translates to dramatically lower costs and shorter development time for our customers,” explains John Deutsch. The platform is sold as an SaaS solution with a setup and monthly fee. The platform has already been fully implemented at Westmed Medical Group, integrating with four different client data sources simultaneously.

About Universe mHealth

Universe mHealth LLC was founded in 2017 as a collaboration between patient engagement technology leaders Bridge Patient Portal and Medical Web Experts. The platform enables healthcare organizations to publish their own, branded mobile app with a blend of custom features and pre-built features for health summaries, appointment scheduling, messaging, urgent care wait times, physician search, patient education, bill pay, and more. For more information about the Universe mHealth App Platform, please visit www.universemhealth.com.

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

Bridge Launches Patient Engagement Solution at Westmed Medical Group

Westmed desktop and mhealth app

Westmed desktop and mhealth app

Bridge is proud to announce that our revolutionary patient engagement solution is now live at Westmed Medical Group.

Patients are frustrated with the limited access to their health information online, availability of self-service features and lack of basic mobile app functionality. Today, Bridge Patient Portal, LLC announced the implementation of Bridge Patient Portal Version 2.0 and the Universe mHealth App at Westmed Medical Group, a 500 provider multi-specialty medical group serving the greater Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT areas. Over a year in development, the launch of Bridge Patient Portal Version 2.0 in partnership with Westmed Medical Group, Universe mHealth, IDology and TrustCommerce® is the most advanced EHR-agnostic (Electronic Health Records) patient engagement solution in the market.

This landmark implementation provides Westmed’s patients with a rich set of self-service tools and a consistent user experience, available across multiple user platforms, including their website, patient portal, mobile app and email/SMS communication channels. The solution integrates bi-directionally with Westmed’s GE Centricity Business and Centricity EMR systems to provide patients with real-time financial and clinical information. The solution also integrates with TrustCommerce’s PCI-compliant payment solution to provide patients the ability to pay bills online securely. Secure patient self-registration and username/password resets are facilitated by IDology’s Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) solution. This advanced functionality, paired with the Universe mHealth client-branded iOS and Android mobile app, is now available to other enterprise health organizations seeking a similar level of functionality, using any major EHR and/or Revenue Cycle Management system(s).

This patient engagement platform is the first such solution to market bringing a complete web and mobile experience that, until now, was exclusive to only a few of the largest health systems. “These tools, which are consumer-centric, will provide patients with a way to actively participate in their own health and wellness,” said Merin Joseph, Westmed Medical Group’s chief information officer. “The patient app especially will be convenient, enabling them to communicate with their providers at a time and place they choose, and it will activate high patient engagement levels.” The Bridge-implemented patient engagement solution offers the following rich functionality:

  • iOS and Android native mobile app via Universe mHealth
  • View medical records
  •  Bill pay via TrustCommerce®
  •  Prescription refill requests
  •  Manage appointments
  • Appointment reminders
  • Secure messaging with physicians and providers
  • View lab results
  • Find providers/locations
  • New information notifications (Email, SMS, Push)
  • KBA-based authentication via IDology
  • SMS-based two-factor authentication

According to Bridge Founder, John Deutsch, “The consolidation of EHR and RCM solutions that took place in the past 15 years, is now taking place in the patient engagement and patient portal markets. Westmed’s need to consolidate appointment scheduling, patient portal, patient communication and mobile app solutions, into a single solution is the beginning of a paradigm shift towards richer, more cost-effective and user-friendly patient engagement solutions. At Bridge, we’re excited to be on the forefront of this change, working with an innovation leader, such as Westmed.”

Users can download the app in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-westmed/id1257217365

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.westmed

 

About Bridge Patient Portal
Bridge Patient Portal is an enterprise platform that provides a superior user experience for healthcare organizations and patients. It is ideal for organizations seeking to replace their existing EHR system’s patient portal, or connect disparate EHR environments with a single EHR-agnostic patient portal platform. Bridge’s patient portal truly engages patients with meaningful access to health, financial and appointment information, thus improving patient-physician collaboration, care outcomes and profitability for APM organizations.

About Westmed Medical Group
Westmed Medical Group is an award-winning multi-specialty medical practice, staffed by a team of 500 top physicians and advanced care providers, and over 1,200 clinical employees, who are dedicated to providing patients with comprehensive lifelong care across 13 locations in Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT. The practice, known for the convenience of its full-service medical facilities, has a national reputation for measured health care excellence. Westmed has New York medical offices in White Plains, Rye, Yonkers, Purchase, Scarsdale and New Rochelle, with Connecticut offices in Greenwich, Darien, Stamford and Norwalk.

About Universe mHealth
Universe mHealth is healthcare’s most robust, secure and scalable mobile app platform for iOS and Android. The platform enables healthcare organizations to publish their own, branded mobile app with a suite of pre-built features for health summaries, appointment scheduling, messaging, urgent care wait times, physician search, patient education, bill pay and more. Healthcare organizations can select from existing features, while developing custom features – with the goal of having a single patient-facing app for the entire healthcare organization.

About TrustCommerce®
TrustCommerce, the leading provider of secure payment processing, offers a comprehensive suite of payment solutions with a focus on security, data protection, and risk mitigation. Featuring PCI Validated Point-to-Point encryption (P2PE), tokenization, EMV, and seamless redirects, TrustCommerce solutions assist partners and clients in reducing the cost and complexity of PCI DSS compliance. Whether accepting payments in a card-present or card-not-present environment, TrustCommerce solutions protect transactions and reduce risk.

TrustCommerce provides services to some of the largest  healthcare organizations, insurance companies, state transportation agencies, municipalities, and Fortune 500 companies.

About IDology
IDology offers real-time and on-demand identity verification and fraud prevention solutions for organizations operating in a customer-not-present environment. The IDology platform serves as a collaborative hub for monitoring and stopping fraudulent activity while also driving revenue, decreasing costs, and meeting compliance requirements.

 

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

Bridge Patient Portal 2.0 Product Updates

The Bridge Patient Portal development team is excited to announce the release of Bridge Patient Portal Version 2.0, healthcare’s leading enterprise patient engagement platform. Bridge Version 2.0 continues to expand on Bridge’s interface capabilities, patient self-service functionality, and patient engagement tools. Learn more about our updates and new features below.
(more…)

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

What is Patient Engagement?

Since the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program, Meaningful Use (MU), in 2011, the term patient engagement has become nearly ubiquitous in US healthcare policy discussions. It is now the driving concept behind CMS’s proposed financial reimbursement paradigm shift that focuses on a move from fee for service care to value based care.

Despite the emphasis that has been placed on the term “patient engagement” and its widespread use among health IT vendors in their marketing campaigns, many healthcare providers still have a vague concept of what patient engagement is and many doubt if it’s genuinely beneficial. (more…)

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

How Patient Engagement Can Reduce Costs and Improve Health Outcomes

engaged patients with doctor

Patient engagement — involving your patients in their healthcare through education, information, and shared decision making — has a lot of potential for improving your outcome indicators and reducing costs. As a healthcare provider, you have a number of opportunities to achieve these positive results with your patients before, during, and after the appointment.  Utilizing patient engagement technology, like chronic care management platforms and patient portal adoption, are the most common tools to help providers optimize patient engagement.  With these technologies, healthcare providers have the tools to achieve the following goals: educate patients, manage prescription medications, communicate between office visits, and engage in shared decision making.

Educate your patients.

Engaged patients need to understand their medical conditions before they can take charge of their health. For instance, a patient with diabetes can make better, more informed decisions about her diet if she understands how blood sugar works. This generates better compliance than giving a patient a list of favorite foods she can’t eat with no explanation. Providing well-designed print and web patient handouts, written in plain language, and making sure that they reach patients — as well as involving nurses in education efforts — can make all the difference in whether patients stick to their treatment plans.  Patient portal adoption, that includes education and careplans in the portal, facilitates successful adherence to medical plan.

Take charge of medication management.

When patients forget to take medications, or when prescriptions aren’t adjusted as needed, you get high readmissions, adverse events, and costs. Technology, like chronic care management software, provides a range of possibilities in medication management: You can create text or mobile app reminders to fill prescriptions and take meds, engage patients in tracking side effects and changes in how they feel, and use a the platform to check in with patients about their medications between appointments. These tools allow you to increase compliance with regimens that are working well and act quickly to modify the ones that aren’t.

Communicate between appointments.

The majority of a patient’s time is spent outside of your office, but what happens during that time has a huge impact on outcomes. That’s why it’s especially important that patient engagement continues between appointments. Secure messaging through patient portal adoption is one of the best ways to send patient education emails and provides opportunities for patients to contact you with questions.

Engage patients in decisions.

Patient engagement in treatment decisions doesn’t mean that doctors are giving up their roles. Instead, healthcare providers should be guiding a collaborative process where they support patients in understanding and committing to treatment plans. The result? Treatment compliance, improved outcomes, and lower costs. A year-long randomized study conducted by Health Dialog found that patients who had enhanced support in making decisions about their healthcare had 12.5 percent fewer hospital admissions and and 5.3 percent lower medical costs than the control group.

Reduce liability risk through patient engagement.

A number of studies have shown that communication problems between doctors and patients are at the root of many lawsuits against healthcare providers. At the diagnostic stage, engaging a patient in effective, open communication to fully understand the issue increases a doctor’s ability to come to the correct conclusion. At the treatment stage, a patient that understands his condition and takes an active role in his care is more likely to comply with a treatment plan — and that means there’s less likelihood of adverse events and consequently, a lower risk of becoming involved in a costly lawsuit.

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

Three Best Practices for Patient Engagement Technology Implementation

Adopting even the best patient portal platform and patient engagement mobile app can be a challenge for many medical practices, both in terms of getting staff on board with the new software and encouraging patients to use it. This is often the case, despite the fact that patients are increasingly demanding access to their healthcare online and that organizations can significantly benefit from the patient portal’s time-saving tools and features.

The good news is that successfully launching new patient engagement technology can be easy. It involves a patient engagement strategy that includes the right software, support from providers and staff, and an experienced implementation team. Here are three implementation tips to help you get started:

1. Communicate early on with staff about plans to implement a new technology.

Early communication with providers and staff about the decision to implement a patient portal or patient engagement mobile app will lead to a higher buy-in rate. It is important to provide as much information as possible about the technology and to be proactive in answering questions such as:

  • How will you integrate the technology with existing workflow?
  • What benefits will the technology provide on a day-to-day basis?
  • Will the technology create more work or alleviate tasks for the team?

The more confident your staff feels about the implementation of a new patient engagement technology, the more likely they are to accept it and to recommend it to patients.

2. Assign roles and responsibilities for overseeing specific aspects of the technology.

using a patient portalImplementing patient engagement technology will simplify many administrative tasks, but it is going to require making a few changes in order to handle some of the new responsibilities that stem from the software. For example, you will need to decide whether one person will be responsible for responding to medication refill requests or whether this task will be split among several users. The same goes for appointment requests and patient messages. Assigning these roles early on and providing ample training will help eliminate confusion.

3. Start a campaign to encourage patient adoption of the new technology.

Whether you want patients to use the technology to attest for MACRA or simply to help improve treatment outcomes, the first way to increase patient portal adoption is to raise awareness. A general campaign targeting your entire patient base is only a good idea if you have the staff resources, as you may get a lot of questions initially while patients learn to navigate the new system.

Another option is to start by promoting the portal or mobile app to a specific set of patients only – for example, those with a chronic disease. You can assign a care coordinator to help these patients find their way around the new technology, including the features that will benefit them and their condition most. You can also send emails to patients who opt-in, highlighting important features.  By following these guidelines, you can be assured successful implementation of new patient engagement technology.

Is your practice doing all it can to increase patient engagement? Contact us to find out how a patient portal or patient engagement mobile app can help.

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.

The unexpected benefit a patient portal has on your MIPS / MACRA score

Photo finish

Strategies for MIPS / MACRA attestation, and how patient portals might have a greater impact on your scoring than you might think.Photo finish

The objective of this article is to provide a detailed explanation of the four categories that make up the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) point system that affect an eligible provider’s reimbursement, and how a patient portal helps a provider attest for these four categories. MIPS is one of 2 reimbursement tracks under MACRA. For a primer on MACRA – who qualifies for the program, the reporting/adjustment timeline, the reimbursement/penalty rates, and how MIPS relates to MACRA – please read our earlier post MACRA 101: An explanation by Bridge Patient Portal. So let’s learn about certified MIPS / MACRA patient portals and how they can help.

What are the four categories that makeup MIPS?

MIPS is made up of four performance categories. It represents several previously existing Medicare reporting programs, renovated and rolled into one. Here, we list the MIPS performance categories in order of potential for patient portal impact (highest to lowest):

  1. Advancing Care Information – Focuses on information exchange and interoperability, replacing the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program also known as Meaningful Use (Stages 1 and 2)
  2. Quality – Measures a provider’s delivery of Quality Care, replacing the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) which expired in 2016, and incorporating the Value-Based Payment Modifier system.
  3. Improvement Activities – A new category created to measure a provider’s focus on care coordination, beneficiary engagement, and patient safety.
  4. Cost – Relates to resource use, replacing the Value-Based Payment Modifier. The cost category will be calculated in 2017, but will not be used to determine a provider’s payment adjustment until 2018.

Over the next few years, the weight of each MIPS performance category will change in the calculation of the MIPS composite score – as described in the image below.

MACRA PIE CHARTS

Image Source

The 4 categories of MIPS and how a patient portal can directly or indirectly impact scoring:

1. Advancing Care Information

ValuePatient Portal Impact
(Low, Medium, High)
Ease of Implementation
(Easy, Medium, Hard)
25%HighMedium

ACI is highly dependent on patient portal technology, with about half of its sub-category measures achievable through patient portal features. With the use of
certified patient portal technology, physicians can accumulate MIPS points with relative ease. A full list of the ACI sub-category measures can be found here. Below is a table listing the different measures for the ACI category.
Most everyone is familiar with the recently sunsetted
Meaningful Use Stage 2 program, where incentive payments were paid (or overpaid) to providers with patient portals that provided at least 50% of their patients with access to their medical records online, and at least 1 patient per eligible provider was required to view, transmit and download their health summary. Advancing Care Information (ACI) essentially replaces the Meaningful Use program and raises the bar further.

Base Score   
Advancing Care Information Measures and Scores2017 Advancing Care Information Transition Measures and Scores
Required Measures for 50% Base Score% PointsRequired Measures for 50% Base Score% Points
- Security Risk Analysis
- e-Prescribing
- Provide Patient Access*
- Send a Summary of Care*
- Request/Accept Summary Care*
50%- Security Risk Analysis
- e-Prescribing
- Provide Patient Access*
- Health Information Exchange*
50%

NOTE: These measures are also included as performance score measures and will allow a clinician to earn a score that contributes to the performance score category (see the list below).

Measures for Performance Score   
Advancing Care Information Measures and Scores2017 Advancing Care Information Transition Measures and Scores
Measures% PointsMeasures% Points
Provide Patient Access*Up to 10%Provide Patient Access*Up to 20%
Send a Summary of Care*Up to 10%Health Information Exchange*Up to 20%
Request/Accept Summary Care*Up to 10%View, Download, or Transmit (VDT)Up to 10%
Patient Specific EducationUp to 10%Patient Specific EducationUp to 10%
View, Download or Transmit (VDT)Up to 10%Secure MessagingUp to 10%
Secure MessagingUp to 10%Medication ReconciliationUp to 10%
Patient-Generated Health DataUp to 10%Immunization Registry ReportingUp to 10%
Clinical Information Reconciliation Up to 10%
Immunization Registry Reporting0 or 10%

The
Advancing Care Information Performance Category Fact Sheet provided by CMS provides an excellent detailed explanation on how the ACI category is scored. In summary, providers must demonstrate at least 1 transaction for each of the categories to receive a 50% “Base Score” for the ACI category (NET 12.5% for the entire MIPS program). To score for an additional 50%, the “Performance Score,” providers must demonstrate additional usage in the “Performance” and “Bonus” categories. Scoring for both the “Base Score” and “Performance Score” allows a provider to achieve 100% scoring.

Important Tips and Information

  • October 2nd, 2017 is the last possible start date for 2017 MIPS reporting, including the ACI category.
  • Data submission to CMS for 2017 reporting begins on January 1, 2018 and ends on March 31, 2018.
  • Both 2014 and 2015 Certified technologies can be used for attesting in the 2017 transitional year of MACRA, so long as the technologies support the ACI measures. There are two measure set “options” Advancing Care Information Objectives and Measures or 2017 Advancing Care Information Transition Objectives and Measures, listed above. In 2017, only the latter requires 2015 certified technology. In 2018, however, 2015 certified technology will be required across the board.
  • Some clinicians may not have sufficient ACI measures applicable to them. In such scenarios, the ACI performance category will be reweighted to 0 percent and the 25 percent weight originally allocated to ACI will be redistributed to the Quality performance category. This may be the case for clinicians who are hospital-based or qualify for a hardship exemption.
  • If the minimum required measures (listed in the table above) for the Base Score are not met, the provider will receive a score of 0 for the entire ACI category.

2. Quality

ValuePatient Portal Impact
(Low, Medium, High)
Ease of Implementation
(Easy, Medium, Hard)
60% 2017
50% 2018
30% 2019
MediumHard

MIPS has created the Quality performance measure category by merging the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Value Based Modifier (VBM) programs. While the quality category offers the most value opportunity, it can be the most difficult to report on. The reporting period is the entire year, unlike the 90 day period for the ACI category. In most cases, providers must select 6 quality measures to report on from the many available in this
list.

A well implemented patient portal can have a significant impact on a provider’s Quality performance. Much of the Quality category scoring has to do with improved outcomes that in many cases benefit from an engaged patient population. This can be achieved through patient portal functions like patient reminders (appointment, care plan, Rx refill, etc.), notifications, and patient-provider messaging. A provider will also receive points for delivering Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys, which can be administered electronically. To directly use a patient portal, or Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT), for reporting, the CEHRT must be certified on the measure being reported. Providers can earn additional bonus points by reporting with a CEHRT. The measures must be eligible, and reporting must be done entirely with the CEHRT. The maximum number of CEHRT bonus points is 10% of the maximum score, which would be 6% in 2017 as the value is 60%.

The many different scenarios available to providers for the Quality category further complicate the already complicated scoring system. But essentially, each measure gets a score of 1-10 points (0 points if not reported) compared to historical benchmarks (if available). With a perfect score of 10 in each of six measures, providers receive 60 points, or a full score.

Important Tips and Information

  • Most providers must report up to six Quality measures so long as one measure is an outcome measure (or a high priority measure if no outcome measure applies to the provider). Groups of 25 or more providers may use the CMS Web Interface, in which case they will need to report on 14 different measures. CMS plans to increase the number of measures to report on in future years.
  • Selecting the right measures is of utmost importance. CMS scores a provider in comparison to other providers (benchmarking), making it is easier to score in the top percentile on some measures compared to others. We recommend seeking guidance from a consulting firm or expert on MIPS in order to identify the best categories for your situation.
  • The Quality performance measure category has been sub-categorized into Efficiency, Intermediate Outcome, Outcome, Patient Engagement/Experience, Process and Structure measures.
  • In 2017, the Quality score weight has been set to 60% unless the provider has applied for an ACI exclusion. In this case, the 25% ACI category value will be applied to the Quality category, increasing the quality category value to 85%.
  • Providers qualifying for one of the specialty measure sets may report fewer than six measures (in some cases), or select six measures from the specialty measure set.
  • MIPS essentially adopts the quality measures and reporting methods from the Physician Quality Reporting System and Volume Based Modifier programs. Although there are some changes to the PQRS reporting methods, for the most part the quality reporting methods remain the same.
  • Practices must use the latest annual measure update. For instance, for the 2017 performance period, practices must use the eCQM specifications contained in the 2016 annual update, released in April 2016.

3. Improvement Activities

ValuePatient Portal Impact
(Low, Medium, High)
Ease of Implementation
(Easy, Medium, Hard)
15%MediumEasy

The Improvement Activities performance category is significantly simpler than the two aforementioned categories, focusing on care coordination, population health, beneficiary engagement, and patient safety. Providers must select only four measures from this
list of more than 90 options and report on these four measures for a minimum of 90 days.

A well implemented patient portal has a variety of features that can be applied to the Improvement Activities performance category measures. Given the focus of the category on care coordination, patient engagement through a patient portal plays a crucial role. For example, there is a specific, medium-weight activity titled “Engagement of patients through the implementation of improvement in patient portal,” “Proactive management of chronic conditions and prevention care,” and “Engagement of patients, family and caregivers in developing a plan of care,” along with a variety of other activities where a patient portal can directly or indirectly be applied to meet requirements.

The Improvement Activities category has a maximum score of 40, which contributes 15% to the MIPS composite score. Each activity is worth 10 points. Some activities are categorized as “high-weight” (about one fifth of the 90+ activities) whereas the rest are “medium-weight.” High-weight activities are technically worth 20 points, as they hold twice the value of medium-weight activities.

Important Tips and Information

  • Physician groups with fewer than 15 participants or in a rural or health professional shortage area can attest by completing up to two (2) activities for a minimum of 90 days, instead of the minimum four.
  • CMS allows for submission of data for the Improvement Activities performance category using the qualified registry, EHR, QCDR, CMS Web Interface as attestation data submission mechanisms.

4. Cost

ValuePatient Portal Impact
(Low, Medium, High)
Ease of Implementation
(Easy, Medium, Hard)
0% 2017
10% 2018
30% 2019
N/AN/A

Various primary care services are used to calculate the total per capita cost measure. Chronic care management (CPT code 99490) is an example of a primary care service that can be facilitated through Chronic Care Management (CCM) Software linked to a patient portal or EHR. Patient portals such as Bridge Patient Portal also have the ability to facilitate annual wellness visits (G0438 and G0439) or welcome to Medicare visits (G0402) through the use of appointment reminders and care plans.

The Cost category, which replaces the Value-Based Payment Modifier, requires no reporting. All its measures are derived from Medicare claims data, therefore participation does not require data submission. Furthermore, the Cost category is not included in the 2017 payment modifier.

Conclusion

The trend we are seeing with CMS programs, like MACRA and its previous iterations, is a greater emphasis on patient engagement and quality of care. It’s hard to imagine a future where patients aren’t able to access their information, manage their care plans and communicate with provider online. We strongly believe that putting a strong emphasis on online patient engagement, leveraging solutions like Bridge Patient Portal, not only has a direct impact on MACRA scoring, but paves the way for a smooth transition from fee-for-service to fee-for-value reimbursement models.

MIPS Patient Portal

Bridge Patient Portal is a MIPS patient portal with a 2015 Edition ONC Health IT Certification. Bridge Patient Portal v2.0 has been certified by SLI, an Office of the National Coordinator-Authorized Certification Body (ONC-ACB) in accordance with the certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The portal helps increase patient engagement while helping provider groups meet requirements for MIPS/MACRA.

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.