SOURCE: Sage North America

Sage North America

February 22, 2010 09:55 ET

Associated Cardiovascular Consultants Selects Sage Intergy to Enhance Patient Care, Improve Efficiency, Achieve Meaningful Use

TAMPA, FL--(Marketwire - February 22, 2010) - Associated Cardiovascular Consultants (ACC), a seven location cardiology practice in New Jersey, provides care for 30,000 adult patients annually, offering complete cardiac services. With a large staff of 230, including 38 physicians and 10 nurse practitioners, ACC needed a flexible management solution that could grow as their practice grew. After evaluating 15 vendors, ACC selected Sage to implement Sage Intergy, Sage Intergy EHR, Sage Practice Analytics, and Sage Intergy Practice Portal.

John Morris, executive director of ACC, anticipates that the integrated Sage system will streamline processes, improve clinical reporting, reduce billing errors, and ultimately improve patient engagement and care. He cites, for example, automated eligibility and claim scrubbing that catch errors prior to submission, which have already resulted in a 27% improvement in turnaround time for claims.

"If I have to wait until I get a denial and then react to that denial, I'm wasting time. Whereas if I can prevent the denial from happening in the first place, that's the most important thing. So having instant verification, being able to check, even before the patient comes in, is a big help to us," said Morris. "Claim scrubbing and instant verification have already reduced our accounts receivable 27%, from 37 days previously to 27 days now."

The system's ability to easily communicate with ancillary services, such as labs, and automatically populate the EHR with results will help the practice improve the bottom line and the patient experience, said Morris.

"Having them (lab results) come electronically is going to be very smooth. And, hospital interfaces, for that matter, will also make getting the data from the hospital -- discharge summaries and so on -- in and out of the system a lot nicer. So, we'll be saving FTEs (staff) there."

One of the immediate cost benefits ACC has experienced is a result of Sage Intergy's improved integration with the practice's dictation system. "We've made real savings in transcription costs because Intergy integrates so cleanly with our dictation system, eliminating the cost of three external transcription consultants."

One of the key capabilities that ACC sought was sophisticated data extraction and reporting. "We wanted to have a lot of access to the data when we wanted to have it," Morris said. "The physicians at ACC demand access to specific pieces of clinical information that assist them with their decision making."

The EHR's ability to incorporate clinical guidelines into the practice was also important. "We're particularly interested in the guideline aspect of Intergy, where we can have disease states and follow the national guidelines for treating those patients," Morris said. "Cardiology can be very guideline driven, and Sage is an ideal tool for that."

Morris plans to take full advantage of Sage Intergy EHR's ability to streamline physician workflow by having staff put data into the chart before the patient comes in so their medical history and medication information is instantly available to the doctor. "Rather than having doctors being clerks and secretaries, I want doctors to be doctors," said Morris.

ACC plans to get patients more involved in the process, too, by taking advantage of the Intergy Practice Portal. "We would like the patients to have an opportunity to get more involved in keeping their medical record up to date," Morris said. "Half of our patients are under 60 years old, and I think they probably have Internet access. We hope to encourage them to use the Internet to interact with us."

Morris is confident that the Sage Intergy suite of practice management, EHR and reporting solutions will provide ACC with the tools they need to achieve their goals, including delivering on meaningful use.

"We hope to see an increase in patient flow throughout the practice. We expect to see our patients be more involved in their care. And we expect to have much better control over our billing operations to be able to hold our payers accountable for the contracts that they've signed."

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About Sage North America
Sage North America is part of The Sage Group plc, a leading global supplier of business management software and services. Sage North America employs more than 4,100 people and supports 3.1 million small and medium-size business customers, including medical practices supporting more than 80,000 physicians in the United States. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs 13,400 people and supports 6.1 million customers worldwide. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.sagenorthamerica.com.

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