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Office Ally Adds More Connectivity for Physicians and Patients – EHR and PHR Web Based Services

Posted Nov 10 2009 10:01pm

If you read this blog often enough, under Physician’s Resources there’s a permanent link to the Office Ally website to reach their site.  In addition to image offering FREE clearinghouse services, Office Ally also has a web based PHR and EHR medical record services.  What is nice about the PHR is that it allows for communication via a secure SSL connection between the patient and physician.  There’s also a scheduler included to make it easy to keep up on your appointments in both the EHR and the PHR.

image The PHR, Patient Ally is free to use and set up.  I did my own walk through and it is pretty straight forward and easy for me to understand.  I do some occasional billing and the Practice Mate software is easy and simple to use as well and you can save patient templates so there’ no need to create an original 1500 from scratch every time. 

This is a view of what the appointment scheduler looks like in the PHR, Patient Ally, so no need to sit on the phone and appointments are confirmed.

image

This is another screen with a blank format to send an email to a provider from the patient. 

image

What is nice is what I would call a “baby step” into the world of EHRS as there is a “lite” version to get started with and later an upgrade to the full system is certainly available. 

For Clearinghouse services only you can more than likely use your existing software to upload claims for scrubbing.  After claims have been uploaded, use the web based service to check back for those that may need repair.  You can also use Office Ally for Medicare and Medicaid Claims. 

The fact that all services are integrated and communicate is great and as mentioned in the press release, an automated reminder system is available, so stop and think of all the time office staff spends calling on the phone.  Myself, I see that done in a doctor’s office every day just about and it does take time.  I see the entire suite as perhaps something an IPA might want to view as well for a solution for multi-member groups.  I’ve know Office Ally for a number of years and have seen the growth continue.  It was really a very smart move to offer FREE clearinghouse services to the providers and make it simple.  BD 

Press Release:

Office Ally Continues to Break Barriers to Electronic Connectivity for Physicians

New Product Enhancements Include E-Visits and Patient Messaging, Easier Creation of Electronic Health Records, Patient Reminders, Electronic Attachments and HEDIS and HCC Report Cards

VANCOUVER, Wash.--( BUSINESS WIRE )-- Office Ally, a true health information network connecting patients, providers and payers, today announced the introduction of key new features and enhancements—including a patient portal that enables e-visits and messaging—designed to break down the cost barriers that physicians face when seeking to electronically connect to patients and providers. image

With the latest enhancements, Office Ally becomes the only company in the marketplace that brings providers and payers a comprehensive array of free to low-cost electronic connectivity services.

“Office Ally’s goal is to connect physicians and health care providers to their patients and payers for efficiency, lower costs, and improved patient care,” said Brian O’Neill, president. “Our technology is already providing real solutions to providers and payers and removing the cost barriers that have, until now, prevented physicians from adopting this connectivity. Our newest enhancements benefit patients as well as physicians and payers, moving us closer to realizing the vast potential to better health care at a national level, through electronic connectivity.”

Office Ally offers a simple-to-use web-based integrated system that connects patients, providers, and payers with a range of services. Its products include:

  • EHR 24/7 —a complete and easily customizable electronic health record (EHR) system
  • Practice Mate —a free web-based practice management system
  • Office Ally Clearinghousehttp://www.officeally.com —a free electronic submission and turnkey claims processing service

The cornerstone of the new enhancements is a user-friendly portal, Patient Ally, which enables electronic office visits (e-visits), messaging between patients and providers, easier creation of electronic health records (EHR ), appointment reminders, prescription refills, HEDIS and HCC report cards for providers and well care report cards for patients.

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Patient Ally is a personal health record tool that interfaces with Office Ally’s Practice Management System, Practice Mate, and its EHR system, EHR 24/7. Patient Ally allows patients to fill out pre-enrollment paperwork online before their visit, providing even greater convenience for patients and improved efficiencies for office staff. Patients can use the messaging feature to send important information to physicians such as immunization records or test results, all while creating their own personal health record. With the e-visits feature, established patients can communicate with their physicians about routine illnesses online. Patients enter the Patient Ally portal and provide details about their symptoms and answer some basic questions. The proprietary, clinically-based software will then make recommendations to the provider (e.g., sounds like an infection that can be cured with an antibiotic). The physician can take the software’s suggestion, or make their own recommendation (e.g., call in a prescription or ask the patient to come in).

In addition to improving efficiencies and cost savings for physicians and offering greater convenience for patients, the tools in Patient image Ally make the use and creation of EHRs easy and convenient for physicians. Patient Ally connects to Office Ally’s EHR system, EHR 24/7, as well as competing systems. Physicians that do not yet have an EHR can use Patient Ally to create an EHR “lite” and migrate to a full system when ready.

While many practice management vendors charge thousands of dollars for this service, Office Ally offers Patient Ally, including its ability to enable EHR, free of charge to physicians.

Additional enhancements to Office Ally include:

Auto-Adjudication. Office Ally’s auto-adjudication helps physicians to determine patient eligibility and copays at the time of the office visit. Because physicians can collect payments up-front—before the patient leaves the office—they don’t have to wait for payments from the insurer or patient. The feature also helps to minimize wasted administrative time due to communication with patients and payers on billing. The software can also set up an automatic payment plan for patients, complete with electronic checks or credit cards.

Reminder Mate. Reminding patients of appointments has long been a time-consuming and frustrating task for physicians. The average practice can lose up to $144,000 a year in revenue due to missed patient appointments. 1 Administrative costs to make reminder calls are also substantial. Office Ally’s new Reminder Mate system is a proprietary automated tool that calls patients the day before to remind them of appointments, eliminating the need to have staff perform this function and reducing or eliminating “no shows.” A provider’s image staff member will spend up to two hours a day calling patients to remind them of their appointment. Two hours worth of wages would cover the cost of Reminder Mate for the month.

Electronic Attachments. While electronic attachment options have been available for a few years, most physicians don’t have the capability to send claims back-up information electronically. However, a growing number of large insurers are now requiring physicians to submit paperless claims back-up. The benefit to physicians is that by submitting electronically, the claims process can begin immediately, thus ensuring prompt payment and less wasted administrative time with payers. Office Ally offers this feature at no charge to its customers.

About Office Ally:

Office Ally is a national full service medical claims clearinghouse and electronic connectivity company based in Vancouver, Washington. The company offers effective free or low-cost IT services that help to lower health care costs and provide more efficiencies for physicians, payors, and patients, including medical claims filing, practice management, electronic medical records, and personal health records systems. For more information, visit www.officeally.com or call (866) 575-4120.

Office Ally Continues to Break Barriers to Electronic Connectivity for Physicians | Business Wire

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