Davies Award winner gets ROI from EHR

'Small ambulatory practices often struggle to meet compliance requirements while improving care quality'
By Mike Miliard
09:22 PM
Doctors with thumbs up

Grove Medical Associates, an internal medicine practice serving Worcester County in Massachusetts, has earned the latest 2015 HIMSS Ambulatory Davies Award.

Affiliated with the Central Massachusetts Independent Physicians Association, GMA employs four physicians, a physician's assistant, a certified nutritionist, registered nurses, medical assistants and administrative support staff serves a diverse patient population of over 6,500 people.

The four case studies it submitted to HIMSS show how its use of health IT to improve patients' care plan adherence, improve workflow and improve its revenue cycle have led to cost-efficiencies and improved outcomes.

Learn on-demand, earn credit, find products and solutions. Get Started >>

[See also: Davies Award recognizes excellence in health IT implementation]

For instance, since implementing its electronic health record, GMA has shown improvement in preventative measures; medical assistants are trained to use the EHR preventative measure alert and structured data to ensure all testing is captured for each patient at all visits.

Also, the EHR has enabled the provider to increase the level of service billing due to more accurate evaluation and management of coding.

"Overall our Physician Providers were coding only 20 percent of their office visits as a 99214 in 2004," GMA officials wrote in their case study, referring to the CPT code for higher-level office visits. "After the implementation of the EHR in 2005, our Physician Providers are properly coding 80 percent of the office visits as a 99214 (versus a 99213). The difference in additional revenue is approximately $35 per office visit."

[See also: Davies goes to Multicare]

"As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and private payers transition to payment-for-value reimbursement models, small ambulatory practices often struggle to meet compliance requirements while improving care quality," said Jonathan French, director of quality and patient safety at HIMSS, in a press statement.

"Grove Medical Associates leveraged the data generated by information technology to demonstrate to providers that adherence to EHR-enabled best practice protocols resulted in better care," he said. "GMA interfaces to access hospital data to track patient outcomes and utilizes dashboards throughout their practice to track best practice adherence. The alignment of technology, people and process at Grove Medical Associates has resulted in improved care for their patients."

Since 1994, the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence has recognized leading-edge health organizations that have put technology to work toward better, more efficient care. Grove Medical Associates will be recognized at the 2016 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition, Feb. 29-March 4, 2016 in Las Vegas.

"Grove Medical is honored to be recognized by the HIMSS Davies award committee for our dedication to total patient care and our utilization of health information technology to attain that goal," said John E. Kelly, MD, primary care physician at Grove Medical Associates, in a statement.

[See also: Davies winner: EMR an asset, not an expense]