Physician first in SD to be federally validated as meaningful user
HealthPOINT announced today that Dr. Annette Bosworth is the first healthcare provider in South Dakota to be validated, through the use of an Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) toolset, as a meaningful user of a certified electronic health record (EHR). Bosworth is an internal medicine physician and owns her own practice, Independent Medicine. Bosworth received assistance from HealthPOINT, South Dakota's Regional Extension Center, and with their help, passed three necessary milestones. Upon submission of her data to the CMS EHR Incentive Program, Bosworth will be eligible to receive incentive payments for adopting EHR technology through South Dakota's Medicaid program. HealthPOINT, a non-profit group, is designated by the federal government to assist South Dakota health care providers, like Bosworth, to become meaningful users of certified EHR's.
"I congratulate Dr. Bosworth and her staff at Independent Medicine for being leaders in using health information technology to improve patient care and for being one of the first practices to achieve this important milestone," said Dan Friedrich, HealthPOINT Director. Independent Medicine provides vital primary care health services to patients in the southeast corner of South Dakota. While Dr. Bosworth was already an advanced EHR user, HealthPOINT was able to educate her practice on meaningful use requirements, provide an analysis of staff workflows, and assist in project planning. HealthPOINT also was able to analyze the practice's data needs and coordinate with the EHR vendor to help the practice make software upgrades to ensure that they were accurately recording all meaningful use objectives and measures within the EHR. With its many resources to assist providers, HealthPOINT validated Bosworth's practice and its readiness for attestation using its "Milestone 3 tool" which incorporates Meaningful Use Stage 1 data criteria required for compliance.
According to Dr. Bosworth, HealthPOINT's services were crucial to getting the office prepared to attest to meaningful use. "When we first decided to attest to meaningful use, I thought we were ready. But there were so many little roadblocks and issues. Nothing major, but just things we wouldn't have known how to figure out without an expert."
HealthPOINT's Clinical IT Manager Holly Arends, one of the consultants who works with the practice, describes it as a team effort. According to Arends, "Working with Independent Medicine is a pleasure. Their take charge attitude, partnered with the HealthPOINT adoption versus implementation approach and tools, proved to be a great success. I am very excited to be able to act as Dr. Bosworth's trusted advisor as she adopts health information technology to improve the care of her patients."
The practice began their pre-attestation efforts earlier this year. Dr. Bosworth's efforts make her eligible to receive EHR incentive payments if she continues to be Meaningful Use compliant over a six year period. Despite the welcome addition of incentive payments, though, Bosworth stresses it is really about her patients. "EHRs just make everything more efficient, which in turn makes it easier to provide good care."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR Incentive Programs were formed under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under the programs, incentive payments are available to eligible professionals when they demonstrate the meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems. The payments are made through federal and state programs.
In addition to creating the CMS EHR Incentive Programs, the HITECH Act also developed the regional extension centers. HealthPOINT, a start-up organization, was founded in 2010 under the HITECH Act and exists as part of Dakota State University. HealthPOINT is dedicated to helping providers navigate the complex Electronic Health Record adoption journey by providing neutral, unbiased information and support. More than 80% of the state's primary care providers have partnered with them since it began offering services in 2010. HealthPOINT is currently working with over 650 healthcare professionals and providing direct technical assistance in over 80 communities throughout the entire state of South Dakota.
HealthPOINT, as part of Dakota State University, is South Dakota's Regional Extension Center. As a federally designated health information technology resource and support center for all South Dakota healthcare providers, HealthPOINT focuses on an action-based approach to propel providers in adopting electronic health record systems.
HealthPOINT was awarded through an objective review process by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), as the designated organization in South Dakota to support primary health care providers on EHR adoption and meaningful use.
CONTACT: Jeff Pickett, HealthPOINT Marketing/Training Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 605-360-7842.