Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Company Basics

  1. What does Arête Healthcare Services offer its clients?

    Arête Healthcare Services, LLC solves top of mind business challenges for evolving physician/provider healthcare practices. Our products include an in-house developed SaaS EHR application with many sub-products that enhance work flow effectiveness and efficiency. In addition, Arête has a fully integrated Practice Management solution with our EHR solution providing healthcare practices with a one-stop-shop for automating and streamlining the operational work flows of a physician/provider practice.

    Our foundation is based on the use and sales of our ambulatory EHR application enCompass v2.0. The enCompass v2.0 EHR application is an ASP/SaaS delivered solution that eliminates the need for on-site IT hardware and software to support the EHR needs of your practice. Instead, all that is needed is a computer with a browser and Internet access allowing physicians to focus on medical service delivery while updating a patient's chart in real-time. One of the unique traits of the enCompass v2.0 EHR is that it was designed by physicians whom we hired as subject matter experts to minimize mouse clicks and keystrokes when performing clinical work flows and healthcare services. Our other EHR-related products and imbedded solutions includes an SMS Texting capability (Aretext®) direct from the EHR, an encompass patient registration, self-check-in kiosk, electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) powered by DrFirst®, and several unique applications that integrate with the EHR that allow users to scan and upload various documents (as an image) such as medical records, reports, driver's licenses, and patient insurance cards into the system.

    Our Practice Management solutions range from software solutions only to complete, outsourced medical billing services and claims processing for physician/provider healthcare practices. Our Practice Management system is synced to our EHR system and pushes patient data into the patient records maintained in the EHR. This integration allows patient schedules to be uploaded into our EHR for seamless scheduling of patient visits.

    Our professional services solutions range from compliance consulting services (HIPAA, OMNIBus, PCI DSS, and PPACA), education and training delivery (HIPAA security awareness training, PPACA compliance and ethics), CPT and ICD-9/ICD-10 consulting and training, ambulance/EMS medical billing services, healthcare information exchange connectivity, and lab integration and interfacing design and implementation. Arête Healthcare Services, LLC provides these professional services for our physicians and provider practices.

  2. What is the profile of our clients that we typically serve?

    Arête Healthcare Service's clients range from large, multi-provider practices to small, single-provider practices. We currently service the ambulatory care physician/provider healthcare practice marketplace. We have clients that are single-provider practices and clients with multiple office locations and multiple providers. Our ASP/SaaS delivery model allows us to service and support clients nationwide.

  3. Does Arête target customers based on geographical location?

    No. Arête's clients are predominately in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. We also service clients in other states across the country for EHR, Practice Management, and healthcare consulting services.

  4. I really like your product and services, but my practice is not in the Mid-Atlantic region. Will you still provide me with the same level of training and on-going support as those in the Mid-Atlantic?

    Yes. Our on-boarding and implementation service delivery model is based on providing as much up-front work remotely prior to an actual, on-site visit by our implementation team. Our on-boarding and implementation planning services will incorporate the best of remote preparations as well as on-site implementation assistance. We provide both online, virtual online, and on-site training and implementation assistance to prepare your medical and professional staff in supporting new work flows and procedures for running your healthcare practice.

    A combination of prerequisite training is required to be completed by our clients prior to us scheduling and coming on-site for the live implementation assistance for your practice. We take pride in offering our local and remote clients with the preliminary planning and implementation assistance needed to transition your practice and employees to using our encompass v2.0 HER and practice management solutions.

    Once your EHR and practice management solutions are fully implemented and your staff has been trained, our on-site implementation team will leave your office only after your organization is deemed ready. Depending upon our customer requirements, we are prepared to be on-site for 1-week or more if desired by our customers. On-going support and technical troubleshooting is handled through our support line and on-line support team. We offer telephone support and real-time IT support and can setup live, GoToMeeting sessions as well as perform remote login and access to our customer's PCs and workstations when needed.

  5. How is Arête preparing for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition?

    Arête has already commenced with preparations for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition slated for Oct. 1, 2014. Our internal development team actively attends and participates in ICD-10 transition planning courses, seminars, and webinars. Our medical billing specialists are each focused on the healthcare verticals that they services including Family Practice, OB/GYN, Dermatology, Pain Management, Podiatry, and Ambulance/EMS Firehouses.

    Our medical billing services organization is actively working to map our client's most frequently used ICD-9 codes to the new ICD-10 codes. We are working internally and with clients to increase the scope of medical terminology and medical vocabulary in the various healthcare verticals services by Arête and our customers. We intend on hosting a series of webinars, live GoToMeeting ICD-10 learning sessions, and internal customer reviews to define new procedures for how our physician and provider practices are to interface with our medical billing services organization to minimize errors, maximize revenue collection, and maintain compliance with Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and PPACA programs by putting in proper controls and checks and balances to mitigate fraud, waste, and abuse.

  6. Is Arête compliant with HIPAA, PPACA, and OMNIBus?

    Yes! Arête partners with Security Evolutions, Inc. to ensure we are compliant with all existing compliance laws and compliance & ethics programs. Security Evolutions, Inc. provides annual HIPAA and PPACA training for all Arête staff, as well as prepares on-going updates to existing policies and procedures. For more information about HIPAA, OMNIBus, and PPACA compliance, download our free white paper (link to brochure).

Electronic Health Records (EHR)

  1. How will implementing an EHR save my practice money and time?

    Implementing an EHR system can bring meaningful use grant funds, accurate medical coding, faster claims submissions for your healthcare practice. This helps drive your practice's financial performance and maximizes efficiency in your healthcare service operations. EHR integration within clinical work flows can drive improvements in patient safety, process improvement, communication enhancements, and compliance. With these EHR-specific benefits physician/provider practices can accelerate revenue, improve accuracy in healthcare services, improve accuracy in medical coding, and ensure that accurate ePrescriptions for patients are performed.

  2. Does having an EHR put my patient records at risk from hackers and other threats?

    No. Your patient's protected health information (PHI) or electronic protected health information (ePHI) is secured in our EHR's IT infrastructure. This includes proper security controls and security countermeasures throughout to mitigate the risks from exposure, data leakage, and theft. Digital management of patient records is more secure than maintaining paper based patient charts and documents. By implementing a digital system or EHR, your practice will have access to numerous security tools including the ability to lock or password protect information, encryption, auditing, and reporting. Audit trails and system logging also provide a snap shot of who logged in, how long they logged in, and what that individual did in regards to viewing, editing, or modifying a patient's chart within the EHR application.

    Arête Healthcare Services, LLC just completed its annual HIPAA security risk assessment and annual HIPAA security awareness training for all employees and contractors in 2013. We are continuously upgrading and enhancing the security of our IT infrastructure and office environments as part of HIPAA security and privacy rules.

  3. Are all EHR's the same?

    No. Certified ambulatory EHR systems are similar, but they are not the same. All certified ambulatory EHR systems are required to pass a Certification & Accreditation EHR/application test that demonstrates the EHR's ability to perform and validate the various government mandated requirements and actions. The difference between EHR's is how users access the system (server-based or SaaS based for web browser access), how clinical work flows are easily mapped to the EHR application, and whether or not the EHR has unique features and functions specific to a healthcare specialty. EHR customization and configuration setting features and functions are also a key differentiator for physician/provider practices that want to make their own system administration changes and edits.

  4. Can EHR's share discrete data with one another?

    Yes. EHR's store discrete data or electronic protected health information (ePHI) in a database. HER systems can interface with one another via a standard, known as HL-7. Discrete data can be securely transferred from one system to another via HL-7. Once the information has been transferred, the receiving EHR is responsible for putting the HL-7 information back into a human readable format that will display the information in a useful way in the EHR.

  5. By what year do I have to have an EHR to avoid penalties?

    According to CMS, if a provider is eligible for the Medicare EHR Incentive program, he or she must adopt, upgrade, implement, andattest with a certified EHR next year, in 2014. "Medicare EPs who are not meaningful users will be subject to a payment adjustment beginning on January 1, 2015." There are hardship exceptions. For more information on this, refer to this document.

    According to this CMS publication, "there are no payment adjustments or penalties for Medicaid providers who fail to demonstrate meaningful use."

Certification

  1. Is enCompass v2.0 a certified EHR system?

    Yes, enCompass v2.0 is an ONC-ATCB certified as a Complete Ambulatory EHR technology. enCompass v2.0 passed certification in January, 2011. Our CHPL Product Number is 07122012-7968-8. For certification specifics click here.

    Later this year, Fall 2013, Arête Healthcare Services will certify our enCompass v2.0 EHR system for all Stage 2 requirements as well.

  2. How many Arête Healthcare Services clients have passed Meaningful Use Stage 1 attestation?

    All 42 of them. Arête Healthcare Services has worked diligently to ensure our clients are on top of meaningful use and attestation. 100% of our clients have passed Meaningful Use Stage I (Year 1 & 2) attestation. Our trainers work with our clients throughout the year to ensure our providers are staying on top of the MU measures. This is a value-add that Arête Healthcare Services provides for all of our clients.

    For more information about our clients and attestation, please visit CMS's Data and Program Reports page

Meaningful Use

  1. Which path should I take for Meaningful Use Reimbursement?

    Each provider will need to evaluate which path they should take to qualify for Meaningful Use Reimbursements. Arête currently works with each provider, assessing all the contributing factors such as their Medicaid patient volume and Medicare claims prior to advising a provider on which path he or she should take. For more information on Meaningful Use Reimbursements, download our free white paper (insert link to brochure).

  2. Where can I find more information about Meaningful Use and CMS guidelines to pass attestation?

    CMS's website provides excellent information and resources for anyone looking to learn more about Meaningful Use. The website is updated regularly with new updates and information. On this website you will be able to find the most accurate information about the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. A link on the CMS website leads to the state regulations for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. CMS also provides a contact number and provide quality customer support.

Customized Modules

  1. How does Arête design customized software modules that map to clinical work flow efficiency?

    Our enCompass v2.0 EHR was designed by physicians and built by healthcare knowledgeable IT professionals and software developers. We are a boutique, HER provider that welcomes, custom software development projects to enhance our customer's healthcare service delivery work flows. Effective and efficient work flows must be integrated into the use of an HER application to drive efficiency not hinder it.

    Arête's approach for designing and building customized applications is first dependent on you, the physician or subject matter expert. Our project manager works with a consultant or provider (you) to document all requirements needed, including the clinical workflow, for the customized EHR module. After all requirements are known, our developers work in phases with you to ensure the module fits your clinical workflows and allows for greater flexibility in making your workflows more efficient.

  2. What customized EHR modules and practice specialties does the Arête enCompass v.2.0 EHR support?

    Dermatology, Gastroenterology, General & Family Practice, Imaging, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Orthopedics, Podiatry, Rheumatology, and Surgical Template Notes.

  3. I don't see my specialty listed as a current EHR module. Can I work with Arête to design and implement an EHR module specific to my healthcare specialty?

    Definitely! If you haven't found an EHR that meets your requirements, reach out to our sales team (sales@aretehs.com) detailing what you are looking for. We can build you an EHR module that meets all of your functional work flow needs.

Training & Customer Service

  1. What kind of training does Arête offer its EHR clients and/or Practice Management clients?

    Our Education & Training and Customer Service teams provide both EHR and Practice Management training and customer service and support. Arête distributes Jones & Bartlett Learning's healthcare and nurse practitioner certification readiness products. Our training services can be provided on-site, remote, or on-line. We also provide a "Sand-Box" for performing hands-on labs with "dummy patient data".

    Arête takes pride in our outstanding, personalized on-site training services. Our skilled training specialists work one-on-one or with groups to ensure our clients are educated and comfortable with our products. Additionally, the customer service team is available by phone, email, and secure messaging through the enCompass v2.0 EHR application and Practice Management system during normal business hours and reachable off-hours if needed.

  2. How do clients access the enCompass v2.0 EHR training materials?

    All of our training materials are posted to our website (www.aretehs.com) under the Client Login page. We host an Online Training Center where clients can find our Announcements, Release Notes, Training Manuals, Video Tutorials, and cheat-sheets to transition your implementation and use of our enCompass v2.0 EHR application.

Health Information Exchanges & Laboratories

  1. Does Arête participate with any health information exchange services?

    Yes. Arête participates with the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) and is the core founder of the Women's Health Information Network (WHIN).

  2. Does Arête interface directly with laboratories?

    Arête currently interfaces to 18 different laboratories for direct lab ordering and lab results access. Some of our lab interfaces are bi-directional and others uni-directional.

    With Arête's hub-aggregator bi-directional interface to the DHIN, pulling results from any other DHIN connected healthcare institution is achievable. Access to other HIEs and healthcare laboratories is now capable.

Practice Management

  1. What are the advantages of outsourcing my medical billing to Arête?

    Small to medium sized physician/provider practices do not have the time or resources for performing in-house medical billing services. By outsourcing your medical billing services, your practice can focus on healthcare service delivery and supporting more patients.

    The following are key benefits that many practices have and continue to benefit from:

    1. Provide our clients with an outsourced, contact center (40+ Customer Service Representatives) for handling patient's in-bound inquiries as well as practice's outbound billing and revenue collection services
    2. 9-step, life-cycle for quality assurance and quality control mitigating medical billing coding errors, insurance claim denials, and poor cash flow
    3. Arête takes governance and compliance seriously; thus, reducing liabilities and penalties for non-compliance and advising our practices how to stay up-to-date and in compliance with federal programs such as HIPAA, Hi-Tech Act, OMNIBus, and the PPACA.

    More information can be found in our "How Outsourcing Your Medical Billing Function Can Drive a Positive ROI" White Paper. For a complete list of solutions that Arête provides, please call 1.302.456.5725 x250 or email sales@aretehs.com.

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