Our Services


Electronic Health Records and "Meaningful Use" Assistance

While we work in all major application areas of the health care enterprise (clinical, financial, managed care, departmental, administrative etc.) we have a special interest and experience in EHR. We can also help you with your efforts to achieve meaningful use of your EHR.

 

Any of our general services can be applied to a specific EHR focused effort. For example services could include:

  • EHR education
  • Assessing your readiness for an EHR
  • Guiding you to achieve MU while simultaneously building an MU audit defense to reduce both the risk of an audit, and having a solid defense to withstand one
  • Developing a strategy and/or EHR migration path
  • Helping you evaluate/select EHR related products and add-ons
  • Helping you in contract negotiations
  • Helping you in process improvement or implementation efforts.

We have helped dozens of providers with their EHR programs including helping them with their MU efforts. In addition to being engaged directly by providers, we have worked through a Regional Extension Center (REC) and Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs), delivered strategic assistance to vendors, and helped several parties interested in RHIO/HIE efforts.

 

EHR vendors our clients have contracted with include: Allscripts,  Cerner, eClinicalWorks, Eclipsys, e-MDS, Epic, an Epic reseller, GBS, GE, GEMMS, Greenway, IHS, iMedica (now Aprima), KIG, McKesson, Meditech, Medicity, Misys (now Allscripts), MMIC, NextGen, Sage, Siemens and more.

 

 

MEANINGFUL USE COMPLIANCE TOOL

 

We can help you with your efforts to plan for and achieve "meaningful use" (MU) of your EHR, and maximize your incentives under the ARRA/HITECH stimulus act of 2009. We are a co-business partner for the "Meaningful Use Monitor" (MUM) tool which helps hospitals and physician offices in self assessment, establishing a plan of action to achieve MU, executive management attestation, and ongoing compliance with CMS criteria to qualify for and receive ARRA/HITECH incentive funds. The MUM dashboard provides an "at a glance" report of your organizations status in achieving MU, and can drill down to a detail level showing precisely what is (or is not) being done along with supporting documentation.  It contains a comprehensive knowledge base of all MU criteria and requirements, including expert interpretation and continual updating as the rules evolve. MUM may also be used to assist in the process of getting "self-certification" of your EHR product by an EHR Certification organization should you find that to be a reasonable course of action to pursue.  This comprehensive and robust tool can be used either with - or without - our consulting assistance. Click here for the Meaningful Use Monitor website, or contact Mike Cohen at (630-584-0304 or mike@mrccg.com) for more information.

MUM Dashboard

Click here for a pdf copy of our EHR and HITECH Services Brochure

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Systems Review & Assessment

We will quickly and efficiently conduct a review of your IT program to help you assess user perceptions and attitudes towards IT and to determine whether your program is on track and moving in the desired direction. This can be a review of your entire IT program, focus on a specific component of it, or address specific problems or areas needing special attention. We use our industry knowledge, interviewing skills, proven methodologies, and problem solving skills to broadly assess your situation and offer pragmatic suggestions for improvement where appropriate

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Strategic & Tactical Planning

We will lead a thorough and efficient process aimed at helping you to clarify your IT program goals, understand your strategic options for moving forward, and to identify and prioritize the key projects needed to achieve your strategy. Based on those efforts we will then facilitate you to reach agreement on the strategy that best suits your organization. This is done within a framework of matching IT needs to overall clinical and business needs/strategies, while securing multidisciplinary input from key staff and managers throughout your organization. While technology is certainly a key ingredient of the planning process, we stress a clinical/business driven plan rather than a technologically driven one. At the tactical level we will flesh out detailed activities, timing and resource requirements needed to achieve your strategic plan.

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Vendor Evaluation and Selection

We frequently assist providers in finding the systems/vendors best suited to their organization. We are very flexible in our approach, and will tailor it to meet your needs. Some clients prefer the traditional approach of a full scale request for proposal (RFP) followed by proposal analysis, scripted product demonstrations, vendor HQ visits, site visits etc. Others prefer a more streamlined approach. Our style is to provide you an evaluation methodology that works, proven tools for achieving an "apples to apples" comparison, and sufficient guidance to keep the project on track. Our philosophy is that you are better suited to make this decision than any consultant (and will be living with it for many years). We will do everything we can to facilitate you to make the best possible decision for your organization.

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Contract Negotiations

We will help you secure a fair contract with your vendor(s) of choice that is modified to meet your specific needs. Based on experience gained from negotiating contracts with most of the leading healthcare systems vendors, we have great insight into what can be contractually achieved and what cannot. We will use that knowledge to help get you a performance based contract that spells out what you are really buying, establishes reasonable expectations for buyer and seller, and has fair pricing and payment terms. Our philosophy is that the contract is much more important than just a pricing/cost tool. It structures the entire business arrangement, and to protect you, we need to reach closure on a broad array of performance, implementation, technical, support and economic considerations. Typically, economic benefits from this consulting service alone far exceed the cost of using us for the full lifecycle of systems consulting services.

 

"In the past three years, I have served as the CEO of two clinics which successfully negotiated complex EHR contracts-in both cases we contracted with Mike Cohen to assist our team in negotiating both the contract  language and the pricing terms.   Based on these experiences, I wouldn't consider EHR contract negotiations without Mike's skills and experience!"  John Peterson, CEO, Fergus Falls Medical Group, Fergus Falls, Minnesota

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Implementation Planning

It is important to have a clear and well-documented plan for implementing your new system. At a minimum it needs to include a well thought out project team/organizational structure, project management guidelines, clear target dates with project milestones, activities and responsibilities. Ideally, this will be agreed upon with your vendor prior to your signing a contract. We will help you develop such a plan, as well as prepare your key project team members for the big implementation job ahead of them. We frequently conduct this project concurrent with contract negotiations.

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Implementation Management & Assistance

Given the cost, size and complexity of a major systems implementation. Implementation can be a risky effort, especially if your IT and/or key user staff lack the practical experience of having installed systems several times in their careers. We help you minimize that risk by providing proven system implementation tools and methodologies, and supplementing them with highly experienced consultants. Our style is to help orchestrate and manage your staff and resources to get the job done. We will "work through your people" to facilitate an on time/on budget implementation that satisfies your original reasons for buying the system. The level of our assistance will be tailored to your needs. Examples of different levels of assistance include: a small project to periodically monitor your progress and activity; a part time consultant to supplement your project manager; or a full time project manager to lead the effort. We can also provide application and technical specialists as needed.

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IT Management and Interim CIO

We can provide an IT Director or Chief Information Officer (CIO) to your organization on an interim basis. While serving in that capacity, we will address not only your day to day management needs, but will help identify specific areas where the management process needs improvement, as well as any other areas needing attention. Where appropriate, we will supplement our interim Director/CIO with other consultants to help implement improvements within the IT program.

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HIPAA Assistance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Administrative Simplification Section regulations is having a profound impact on the collection, storage and use of information in health care. Much more than a set of technology standards, achieving and maintaining  HIPAA compliance requires strong organizational effort, and significant changes in organizational culture and operations regarding the use, security and privacy of patient identifiable information. HIPAA should not be viewed solely as an "IT issue", but as a challenge (and opportunity) for the entire organization. We can assess your current compliance with the rules and standards, and help you understand any gaps or risks in your current program.  When needed we can develop practical, efficient and effective programs to improve your compliance.

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Industry Education

We are frequently asked to provide educational services for providers, professional associations, trade publications and others.  This includes public speaking at industry events, writing articles for industry journals, co-authoring books and conducting customized education sessions for clients with specific education needs

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General Problem Solving and Special Projects

We would be glad to discuss helping you with other specific problems, needs or projects you may need assistance with.  

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Strategic Assistance to Healthcare IT Suppliers and Investors

We provide the following strategic services to companies such as software vendors, pharmaceutical firms, investment bankers, law firms and other organizations interested in the healthcare IT market. This can be at both a domestic and international level.  For example, we have helped American firms examining foreign markets, and foreign firms examining US markets.

  

Product Review & Competitive Analysis

Through our engagements with a variety of providers, we have developed a great depth and breadth of understanding for the many different IT products and vendors competing in the health care arena. We often conduct "apples to apples" comparisons of such products when we help our provider clients to evaluate and select new systems. We apply this knowledge and experience to provide health care IT suppliers an independent view and professional opinion of how their current or planned products may compete in the open market.

 

Strategic & Tactical Planning

We will lead a thorough and efficient process aimed at helping you to clarify your IT program goals, understand your strategic options for moving forward, and to identify and prioritize the key projects needed to achieve your strategy. Based on those efforts we will then facilitate you to reach agreement on the strategy that best suits your organization. This is done within a framework of matching IT needs to overall clinical and business needs/strategies, while securing multidisciplinary input from key staff and managers throughout your organization. While technology is certainly a key ingredient of the planning process, we stress a clinical/business driven plan rather than a technologically driven one. At the tactical level we will flesh out detailed activities, timing and resource requirements needed to achieve your strategic plan. 

 

Market Overview & Education Sessions

We will develop and deliver presentations targeted at specific areas of interest to Executive Management or specific disciplines within their companies. Examples of the type of education sessions we have conducted include: Healthcare Information Systems Market Overview; What's Really Happening with the Electronic Health  Record; ARRA/HITECH stimulus act and impact on the market; HIPAA Compliance Overview and other areas of special interest.

 

Due Diligence for Potential Mergers/Acquisitions

We will combine our domain expertise with our analytical and research skills to help potential buyers of companies to better understand the product and organization they are buying. We work with investment firms as well as directly with potential buyers to assist in such due diligence and research efforts.

 

Miscellaneous Problem Solving and Assistance

We pride ourselves on the depth and breadth of our knowledge of the healthcare IT marketplace plus strong problem solving skills developed over more than two decades of health care consulting. We are adept at applying these to areas of special interest to our clients, such as specific problems, opportunities or trends in the market. We also conduct market research aimed at addressing your specific questions and issues as well as helping you examine new products and technology entering the marketplace.

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