Background & Challenges
Barbara is the office manager for a Grand Rapids, Michigan family practice with four staffers and 1800 patients. The practitioner has been providing healthcare services to patients for 24 years. While attending her monthly association meeting of regional physician office managers, Barbara met local services provider Joe Dylewski, president of ATMP Solutions, a provider of healthcare IT technology for more than 20 years. (http://www.atmpgroup.com) Her challenge posed to Joe? To help her find an online risk assessment solution she could use without any previous IT experience or formal computer education. Her goal was to meet and sustain compliance with HIPAA and HITECH regulations, to fulfill a few core requirements of “Meaningful use” statues, and to facilitate patient care reimbursements from insurers. Several years ago the office had transitioned its patient records to an EHR system to automate day-to-day processes, thus helping to reduce administration costs.
One of the requirements being sought was that the HIPAA solution be fully accessible to users online, and easy to operate. Another requirement was to achieve a longer term goal of satisfying provisions as outlined by “Meaningful use.” According to the provisions of the Healthcare Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), healthcare organizations that have achieved “meaningful use” by 2011 will be eligible for incentive payments; those who have failed to achieve that standard by 2015 may be penalized. “Meaningful use” describes the use of health information technology that leads to improvements in healthcare and furthers the goals of information exchange among health care professionals. To become “Meaningful users” providers need to demonstrate they’re using certified EHR technology in ways that can be measured significantly in quantity and in quality. Not wanting to operate disparate systems, the Grand Rapids family practice was looking for a simple HIPAA compliance solution that had to be an extension of their office electronic healthcare records system.
After conducting an evaluation of her office environment, ATMP Solutions recommended that Barbara implement Aegify RSC Suite, a cloud-based, SaaS-delivered application developed by Aegify Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif. The application helps meet HIPAA and HITECH privacy and security rules at dramatically less cost and complexity than standard approaches. “Aegify RSC Suite is probably the only tool on the market built from the ground up to Page | 4 service small medical practices,” said ATMP’s Joe Dylewski. “It also had the incomparable value of not requiring its users to have deep domain knowledge with the intricacies of HIPAA laws.”
Results of using Aegify RSC Suite
Said Barbara, “A major attraction of Aegify RSC Suite is its ability to collect and store all HIPAA-related provisions and related documents online into a single repository, making it a hands-on tool and thereby easier to use and access. The system is understandable given our level of tech expertise.” Having Aegify RSC Suite automate the risk assessment process by providing a comprehensive list of questionnaires gave the office its clearest picture yet of its current state of compliance, highlighting specific non-compliant areas, such as backup and recovery, that needed immediate addressing before the office could take comfort in knowing they were 100% HIPAA compliant.
Conclusion: Quick Deployment of Aegify RSC Suite
The deployment went as planned. “There was no need to schedule 40 hours to walk through the system,” said Barbara. “It only took 3-4 weeks to complete the entire process and determine our level of compliance.” “Being an ACO (accountable care organization), it was important for our practice to fall in-line with prevailing compliance standards, to not cause a bottleneck with other doctors’ offices or business associates, and most of all, to not find ourselves in any hot water with regulators. I know this [Aegify RSC Suite] is going to be useful. We’re already seeing other groups within our association take interest. They too want to get involved with ATMP and Aegify’s compliance solution.” “Another added plus about this application is the positive impact it has had with expediting our reimbursements, which is always good for business.”