6. Will I pay an additional fee to have dashboards?
Practices likely don't want an extra fee here and an extra fee there. Try negotiating these with the vendor.
7. Will I pay extra to upgrade the 2015 certification?
This year and next, practices are fine using the 2014 EHR certification with MIPS. Physicians can receive up to 10 bonus points in the ACI category if they upgrade to the recently-released 2015 certification. Ask the vendor for a discount for upgrading early; meaning now.
8. Can the system generate performance reports that reveal how well a practice performs in certain areas?
Clinicians will need continuous performance monitoring to be successful. Ask the EHR vendor to help with this.
Physicians may not always want to, but it's important to track performance points to know how they are doing. Think about it like taxes: Don't wait until the end of the year to assess what might be owed.
Maybe the practice has chosen blood pressure, for example, but patients eligible to meet that measure just aren't coming in. The performance report will document that, so it won't submit blood pressure as a metric and perhaps submit tobacco use instead. It all goes back to strategy.
9. Does your EHR allow the practice to send secure messages to all patients through the patient portal?
The answer should be "yes" because patient engagement and satisfaction comprise the core of MACRA. Patients don't want to work so hard, so give them easy access to reports, results and advice on the patient portal. Physicians will also earn extra points on improvement activities.
10. Can I count on you to be my backbone?
This is the most comprehensive change to affect healthcare in 50 years. Practices and their vendor need each other, so ensure they will be there to support the efforts every step of the way.