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Athena Health EHR Stimulus Guarantee Program

Posted on March 29, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m always amazed at the ability of businesses to innovate and find new ways to build their business. One of the impressive ones I’ve seen lately is Athena Health‘s EHR stimulus guarantee program. Yes, you might remember that I’ve written about the EMR stimulus guarantees before. Seems like most EMR vendors are providing some sort of guarantee or promise about the EMR stimulus money.

Of course, the Athena Health EHR stimulus guarantee is probably the strongest guarantee I’ve seen. Most other EHR stimulus guarantees still require that the end user fulfill their part of the bargain or else there is no guarantee. Makes sense right? How can an EMR vendor guarantee that you’re going to actually meaningfully use their EHR software? You are the one that’s going to have to show the meaningful use. The EHR vendor can only provide you the software to hopefully make that process easier (although, some probably don’t help this either).

However, Athena Health (from what I can tell) is actually guaranteeing that you’ll be able to get stimulus regardless of if it’s your fault or theres. I imagine they’ll still require that you go through the process, but there guarantee is the broadest of any I’ve seen covering even something that might be the doctors fault. How nice of them right?

Ok, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. From what I can tell, Athena Health makes more of its money from the collections piece than they do from selling software. So, it makes sense why they’re willing to basically give you the software for free if you can’t get the EMR stimulus money. They probably don’t care (that much) about the revenue from selling software. They realize that the real cash cow in their business is the percentage they take from collections. Jonathan Bush never ceases to amaze me. I just wish I could have had a chance to interview him at HIMSS. Maybe next year.

Instance Where Guaranteed EMR Stimulus Money Gets Nothing

Posted on February 3, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many EMR vendors have been announcing all sorts of guarantees about the EMR stimulus money. I think this is probably a smart move for many of these EMR vendors. It’s one more tool in the belt of their EMR salespeople. However, I think it’s worth considering an instance where someone thinks that their stimulus money is guaranteed and they end up with Nothing.

Let’s say a doctor’s office submits proof of meaningful use (however this will actually be done) and CMS comes back with a rejection letter. Who knows, maybe they didn’t record the preferred language or ethnicity of each patient. Maybe they weren’t able to report immunizations to the immunization registry properly. Whatever it is, they get a notification that they’ve been denied the EMR stimulus money.

Of course, this doctor isn’t worried, because their EMR vendor guaranteed them the stimulus money. So, they turn to their EMR vendor to collect the money.

What the doctor didn’t make note of was that in the guarantee of the EMR vendor, it says something about the doctor’s responsibility versus the EMR vendor. Basically, the EMR vendor just has to provide the capability to receive the stimulus money. They can’t guarantee that you’ll actually use their software the way they want you to and be able to get the stimulus money.

Using the examples above, the EMR vendor wouldn’t be responsible if the feature for tracking preferred language and ethnicity is available in the software and you just chose not to record it. At least that will likely be their argument. It’s also not their responsibility if you didn’t record the immunizations in the granular format that was needed to be able to report it to the immunization registry.

Point being that the EMR vendor is guaranteeing that the software is capable of getting the EMR stimulus money. They’re not guaranteeing that YOU will get the money. You are still responsible for understanding the 692 pages of Meaningful Use documentation to make sure you’re using all your EMR’s features that will get you the EMR stimulus money.

Just don’t be surprised if you ask your EMR vendor to make good on their guarantee and you get blamed for not getting the EMR stimulus money and end up with nothing.