Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How Much Will IO Cost You? A Letter from our CEO

Dear Friends of IO Practiceware:

In this otherwise challenging economic time, one bright spot for physicians is the new economic stimulus bill. The bill instructs Medicare to pay physicians who use electronic medical records (EMR) a total of $47,000 each (over a five year period). This means that your purchase of our software is now nearly or completely free. The cost of an outright purchase will be returned to you over five years. If you lease the software, you'll have no out of pocket expense at all.

To receive an estimate tailored to your practice, please email us with the following information:
  • Approximate number of patient encounters each month
  • Number of offices with significant patient volume
  • Do you dispense glasses? if so, at how many locations?
  • Which diagnostic test equipment do you use (imaging, lensometers, OCTs, etc.)
The bottom line is: IO's software increases your revenues 2-5% and lowers your costs 5-20% -- even without additional incentives. With the new incentive, it's pretty much an economic no brainer.

Our implementation calendar is filling up, but we can always make room for your practice.

If you'd like to start working with us to improve your bottom line, give us a call or send us an email.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Health Care IT: The Latest from the Obama Team

By now you've probably caught wind of Obama's advocacy of health care IT -- exciting news for doctors and EMR vendors alike. According to President Obama, our shared goal of improved efficiency, connectivity, and cost-effectiveness is achievable through widespread EMR adoption.

Most recently, Congress has approved of allocating $19 billion toward health care IT -- specifically, transforming paper charts into their electronic form -- as part of a greater $100 billion push for better, more widespread health care coverage. (Read more...)

Moreover, Congress has declared that physicians who use electronic medical records are eligible for up to $44,000 in incentive payments, which will be delivered over a four or five-year period as of 2011. Early birds who begin using EMR by December 31, 2010 or 2011 are eligible for an $18,000 first-year payment, followed by $12,000, $8,000, $4,000 and $2,000 in subsequent years. If practices begin use by December 31, 2012, payments in years 2-5 are the same, but their first-year payment is reduced to $15,000. The reception of this EMR incentive, however, will preclude physicians from collecting additional money for e-prescribing. As for penalties, those who do not adopt HIT incur a 1 percent penalty in their Medicare fee schedule payments in 2015, 2 percent in 2016, 3 percent in 2017, and 3 percent every year beyond that.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, we continue to speculate on how exactly, in practical terms, the Obama team will aid in the implementation of this plan for digitized health records. Indeed, IO Practiceware believes in the value of some form of standardization for EMRs -- to enable and promote practice interconnectivity -- but is wary of the roadblocks posed by CCHIT's limited definition of a "certified" EMR system.

In the meantime, we applaude the Obama administration for encouraging EMR adoption through monetary incentive, enabling the emergence and implementation of specialty-specific EMRs like IO Practiceware.

What do you think? Contact Obama's team or write to your state's senator.

In the meantime, you can check out some related articles: Obama's Big Idea: Digital Health Records, from or our previous Blog post on Obama.

IO Practiceware to Exhibit at ASCRS 2009

IO Practiceware will exhibit its software at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery's 2009 Congress and Symposium this coming April 3-8 in San Francisco, CA. Come visit our booth (number 3032), where we'll be showing off our software, answering questions, and performing live demos. And elaborate tap dances.* We will also be dressed like the Osmonds.*

(*Subject to change.)

Moreover, we'll be demonstrating many of our new features, which include:
  • New e-prescribing software - in partnership with SureScripts, our software delivers to your practice Medicare's 2% incentive. Read more...
  • New PQRI software - providing you with better automation for reporting PQRI measures.
  • New image management software - enabling you to view multiple images on your electronic chart, between visits, and across several diagnostic tests and images -- which essentially means better comparative capabilities.
  • New financial management and scheduling software. Based on customer feedback, we have revamped these key features to provide you with a clearer economy of information, more accessible references for faster payment posting, and clearer streams of display.
Again, IO Practiceware's station will be located at Booth 3032. Finding booths at ASCRS can be tricky, so for an easy mnemonic, just remember:

Booth = (F - 4) x 58, if F = the square root of 3166.924.

Or just write down "3032."

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Frequenty Asked Questions

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About IO Practiceware*
*But Were Afraid to Ask

Q: Is IO Practiceware an internet-based system or does it utilize a server on the practice site?

Q: Your big-button touch screen design is fast, but does it limit functionality?

Q: Why are there no dropdowns?

Q: Why doesn't IO use templates like other EMRs?

Q: In the event of an extremely anomalous patient or finding, does the doctor have the option of typing in notes?

Q: Will IO Practiceware let me e-prescribe and collect Medicare's incentive in the coming year?

Q: Does IO Practiceware supply its own practice management system?

Q: Should I buy IO Practiceware's practice management system or interface with my existing PMS?

Q: Does IO Practiceware use an external system to manage its images, or is this included in the system?

Q: Are there additional fees for updates, upgrades, customer service, hardware and network, or is this included in the pricing?

Q: I would like to get a price quote from IO Practiceware - what information should I send to you about my practice?

Q: If a doctor wants to order a medical work-up, how does he/she print out the specific tests to avoid actually writing it out by hand?

Q: Do you have a sample CD of your software that I can play around with before I purchase your product?

Why do you need to "supervise" my playing with your software?

Q: How much does IO Practiceware cost?

Q: How do I submit an FAQ?

Click here any link above to see its corresponding answer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spotlight on IO Practiceware in Ophthalmology Management

Ophthalmology Management, a monthly magazine distributed both online and in print, has featured IO Practiceware in its February Technology and Technique section. The article zooms in on New Jersey-based ophthalmologist Ron Sachs as he recounts his experience transitioning to IO's electronic medical records and practice management systems.

Dr. Sachs offers some general info on IO's improvement of his practice's workflow, noting specifically the benefits of IO Practiceware's billing system (included in the software), his practice's ease of transition, and, most importantly, the fact that IO Practiceware was tailor-made for ophthalmologists -- and only ophthalmologists.

The article also quotes Charles Reing, M.D., one of the doctors who helped design IO Practiceware. He believes confidently that IO's software offers 95-98% of what eye care physicians and their staff are looking for in an EMR system.

Which is to say: we're not perfect -- but we're pretty darn close.

Click here to read the full article in Ophthalmology Management.

Related links: Dr. Reing's article in the Review of Ophthalmology about choosing IO Practiceware (2006).

EMR-phobia: Winding and Unapologetic Musings About How Everyone Is So Freaking Scared of EMR

You may have asked yourself: who exactly writes IO Practiceware's Blog? Is it an actual person, or a hapless team of subhumans who must submit to the deranged and senseless dictates of one omnipotent, EMR-obsessed ruler?

Does/do this/these person/people really think he/she/they is/are funny?

All valid questions, but ones that must remain unanswered. (That is, er, unless you email me yourself. Minor loophole.) And in order to kindle this fire of ambiguity (?), I'm going to relay to you an anecdote from my night out tonight...

While wearing an outfit that can best be described as hipster-meets-mariachi-band (think black skinny jeans and sequined vest), I attended a musical theater cabaret show at Don't Tell Mama in midtown Manhattan. One of my good friends from elementary school (who, incidentally, proposed to me in the third grade) was entertaining on stage. 55 minutes of musical-theater-song-stylings short, it was a rollicking good time.

THE POINT IS. Afterwards when I said hello to my friend's parents -- whom I hadn't seen in years -- I told the dad (who, you should know, is a doctor) that I was in the EMR business.

Here's where it gets freaky-tastic, folks. That's right: freaky-tastic. No sooner had the fated acronym "E-M-R" left my lips than had Dr. Dad broken into a cold, EMR-induced sweat and begun to make a bee-line for the Christmas light-cabled doorway.

"Dr. Dad, wait!" I yelled. He stopped and spun around to face me. "What's EMR ever done to you?!" I cried, in tears. We held intense, unflinching eye contact for about fourteen minutes. Finally, Dr. Dad agreed to sit down and talk it out.

Here's where the drama dies down a bit; what ensued was a basic, run of the mill back and forth about the pros and cons of electronic medical records. (Which is to say, I schooled him! OH BAM!)

But I will not get into the minutia. I write this self-described "Winding and Unapologetic" "article" not to parse apart the common arguments for and against EMR, but rather to convey to you the harrowing knee-jerk reaction of a doctor who is EMR-phobic, and to reflect on the experience.

I do not blame the man for being so staunchly opposed to EMRs; they have a bad rep, and for good reason! Dozens of EMR systems have slowed doctors in the exam room and caused them to lose precious time and money. Furthermore, docs are worried that a new health care IT era means the ultimate ascendancy of a Big Brother-esque figure, whereby all people's health records will be instantly accessible to all kinds of crazies.

In response, I could say:

Read this.

Or this.

Or this.

And, unrelatedly, take a look at this.

But I won't. Instead, I say: Friends, Romans, countrymen! Like all things unknown, EMR systems are scary! But, please, know: you are not alone! IO Practiceware would like to help you! We believe in collaboration, and disclosure, and a freeflow of information that enables, as opposed to compromises, our customers and their practices.

So: when you feel yourself breaking into a cold sweat and making a metaphorical bolt for the metaphorical exit, take a deep breath and don't shut the door on EMR just yet.

Give us a call. At the very least, we'll have a seat and talk it out.