2014 is the last year for practices to implement a certified system in order to avoid penalties. Still, many smaller-practices have yet to choose a system, or find an EHR that matches their specific needs. In January, an SK&A survey of physicians found that over 40% had not yet adopted an EHR. That’s despite billions of dollars in government incentives, and the threat of future payment penalties.
Kareo is hoping that their free offering will appeal to some of these undecided physicians. Since Kareo is offering the full program at no-charge, there’s less up-front risk for physicians if the software ultimately doesn’t work out. Kareo hopes however that doctors will enjoy using their EHR platform enough to purchase their practice management and billing software as well.
While there are several free EHR options available to physicians, Kareo has a particularly appealing model. Because their EHR software is designed to introduce doctors into their software-ecosystem, it doesn’t have to monetize through in-software advertisements like rival PracticeFusion. It also doesn’t require doctors to sell yet-another service to their patients, as Hello Health does. This will certainly appeal to practices with limited resources that don’t like the idea of advertising inside their medical software.
Meaningful Use Stage 2 certification is carried out by the Drummond Group, which is an Office of the National Coordinator Authorized Certification Body (ONC-ACB). The certification for 2014 was notably more rigorous than previous years. According to Medical Economics many vendors have struggled to meet the requirements for clinical quality measures, interoperability, and automated measure calculation.
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