Thank you for not faxing

When timely submission of clinical data is critical and the submission instructions are to “send by electronic transmission, other than facsimile”, it’s important to know your options!

The directive to send clinical data by a non-fax method is popping up with increasing frequency in the healthcare industry as CMS presses its axe the fax initiative (see a previous blog post on this topic here).  From the toolkit of carrots and sticks CMS has at its disposal to advance policy, it is mostly opting for a carrot when it comes to #axethefax.

Chronic Care Management (CCM) is an example of a CMS initiative that pays dividends to providers for adopting fax alternatives.  Specifically, providers that furnish patient care plans and monthly reports using a health information exchange platform and a communications tool other than facsimile may claim reimbursement under CPT codes 99490, 99487, and 99489.

CCM was introduced by CMS in 2015 to motivate providers to reduce gaps in care, improve patient outcomes and increase practice revenue through care coordination services.  Consistent with other value-based care programs, CCM prioritizes care coordination using the high speed and secure data exchange infrastructure implemented with payments from CMS’s EHR Incentive Program (now known as  Promoting Interoperability).

The key to creating a profitable business around CCM CPT codes, which yield roughly $42-$62 per patient per month, is to enroll a high volume of patients while minimizing investment and operating costs. In a business of razor thin margins, profitability can be undermined by small cost overruns. That’s why multiple sources of cost, including communications expense need to be scrutinized for savings.

Direct Secure Messaging(DSM) represents an economical and effective choice for sharing patient care plans in a way that complies with CCM directives and triggers maximum reimbursement.  DSM fits CCM’s base definition of a non-fax transmission method with additional benefits that include:

  • no capital investment upon start-up and operating costs substantially below fax
  • instantly enables interoperable clinical data exchange with 350+ EHRs / Health IT Platforms certified by ONC
  • 8MM Direct Address end-points interoperate with a single DirectTrust-authorized address without integration requirements
  • easily embeds in any health IT platform via RESTful API
  • works independent of EHR solutions and without expensive HL7 interfaces

The cost of Direct Secure Messaging can be amortized over multiple workflows, use cases and value-based reimbursement initiatives.  For CCM, DSM supports workflows for both patient enrollment and reporting.  The same technology can be repurposed to earn reimbursement from CPC+, MIPS, and CMS initiatives that incorporate health information exchange (HIE) attestation measures.

When it’s imperative to send clinical data by electronic transmission other than facsimile, it literally pays to choose Direct Secure Messaging.

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