Great River, N.Y. — Netsmart Technologies, Inc., recently announced that its Avatar 2011 electronic health record (EHR) software has achieved 100 percent ONC-ATCB ARRA ambulatory and inpatient certification. According to the company, Netsmart is the first behavioral healthcare software provider to offer a complete ARRA-certified EHR both for Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Hospital incentives.
Testing was conducted under Drummond Group's Electronic Health Records ONC-ATCB program. Drummond Group, Inc., is an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) named by the Office of the National Coordinator to provide Meaningful Use certification for EHR systems and applications. Drummond's Certification Committee has issued Netsmart's certification IDs, and Avatar 2011 will be designated as a Complete EHR on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Certified Health IT Product List.
"We're pleased to offer our industry's first complete ARRA-certified EHR," said Netsmart CEO James L. Conway. "The investment required to achieve certification for our enterprise software products demonstrates our commitment to help our customers qualify for Meaningful Use funding and gain additional resources to better serve their consumers in these times of budget cutbacks."
In addition to the Meaningful Use monetary incentives, use of EHR technology can improve quality of care, advance patient safety, increase customer satisfaction and enhance office efficiency. Facilities and practices using a certified EHR may also experience increased profitability through reduced costs and increased revenue.
Netsmart chose to attain complete certification to provide its customers with a comprehensive ARRA solution. This approach helps providers avoid the time and expense of integrating different EHR products from multiple vendors and verifying Meaningful Use compliance on an ongoing basis as required by the Meaningful Use Final Rule.
Complete certification will be an advantage in states that allow providers to receive the first year of Meaningful Use funding for simply adopting a certified EHR under the "Adopt/Implement/Use" provision of the Meaningful Use Final Rule. This means providers that purchase Avatar or a Netsmart customer that upgrades to the latest release of Avatar could be eligible to receive Meaningful Use incentive funds prior to implementing the software.
Netsmart also is preparing its CMHC/MIS behavioral health and Insight public health software products for ARRA certification in 2011. These three enterprise software products, in conjunction with Netsmart's order entry, e-prescribing, consumer Web portal and health information exchange (HIE) interoperability technology, will help behavioral and public health provider organizations take advantage of the significant funding provided for the Meaningful Use of EHRs.
Behavioral health organizations are currently eligible for Medicaid or Medicare Meaningful Use funds based on the number of EPs, such as physicians and nurse practitioners, in their organization, assuming the organization meets criteria for Meaningful Use of a certified EHR and the professionals assign their incentives to the organization. The total benefit for Medicaid Eligible Professionals is $63,750 per EP over a six-year period—a significant financial incentive for organizations.
Netsmart helped lead the way toward introduction of corrective legislation currently under consideration by Congress to extend eligibility for Medicaid and Medicare Meaningful Use incentive funds to behavioral health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment professionals and facilities not previously included as eligible in the HITECH Act.
If adopted, the proposed legislation will help behavioral health, mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities become eligible for higher levels of Medicaid and Medicare incentive funds. The legislation also expands Hospital Meaningful Use incentive funding eligibility to include inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and expands eligibility to include mental health treatment facilities and substance abuse treatment facilities. It also expands the definition of Eligible Professional to include clinical psychologists and social workers.
To learn more about how Netsmart can help behavioral health and public health organizations qualify for Meaningful Use incentives, visit www.ntst.com/meaningfuluse.