The Meaningful Use Illusion

Over the past year, many Pediatricians have benefited nicely from the Meaningful Use (MU) subsidies. Such subsidies have allowed many of you to either implement an EMR for the first time or upgrade to the latest goodies offered by EMR companies. While the subsidies have been great, practices need to take a closer look at the bottom line.

For example, does you practice look at an Income & Expense (I&E) report that lists all the revenue for a practice? If so, make sure you identify the MU money so you can track whether or not the practice revenue from your OPERATIONS remain strong. Often times clients will look at the bottom line€ to measure their practice profitability. When the MU funds are included on these reports, it creates the illusion that everything is going well. Your practice needs to examine the provider productivity report (not the I&E report) to gauge your revenue.Within the past few weeks I have been asked by several clients how they handle distribution the MU funds. Should they share it with all the physicians or does it remain with the practice?

The first thing I tell clients to do is to pay off any loans or credit cards used for the purchase or upgrade of the EMR. If there is any money left over, my advice is that the MU funds should only be shared with those who made the investment in the EMR acquisition or upgrades- the owners of the practice.While consideration could be given to employed providers who missed out on production bonuses because of the decreased productivity related to bringing the EMR online, the bulk of such funds should be allocated only to the shareholders/owners of the practice. Each practice should rely on their own situation to determine how to split the money- just make sure it is allocated to the right people.

#MeaningfulUse #Finance #Earnings

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