Arizona College implements new Electronic Medical/Health Record Software Program


Computer with Heart Rate-resizedHave you ever heard of the term Electronic Medical Record or Electronic Health Record (EMR/EHR)?  If you have been to a doctor’s office or hospital recently, chances are your health information has been processed using this technology.  So what exactly is EMR/EHR?  According to The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is comprised of many components that work together to capture, create, share, maintain and store an accurate and complete patient health record. There are various systems, applications, standards and specifications that must be in place in order to meet the goal of true interoperability.

The Health Information (Medical Billing & Coding) field is excited about the incoming Electronic Medical/Health (EMR/EHR) records requirements from the U.S. Government.  On February 17, 2009 the $787 billion, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by the federal government. Included in this law is $19.2 billion intended to increase the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) by physicians and hospitals.  This portion of the bill is called, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the HITECH Act. The government firmly believes in the benefits of using electronic health records and is ready to invest federal resources to proliferate their use.

If Medicare eligible professionals, or EPs, do not adopt and successfully demonstrate meaningful use of a Certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology by 2015, the EP’s Medicare physician fee schedule amount for covered professional services will be adjusted down by 1% each year. The adjustment schedule is as follows:

  • 2015—99% of Medicare physician fee schedule covered amount
  • 2016—98 % of Medicare physician fee schedule covered amount
  • 2017 and each subsequent year—97% of Medicare physician fee schedule covered amount.

To stay in the forefront of this emerging technology and to ensure that our students have the most current industry requirements, Arizona College has adopted an EMR/EHR program called CareTracker through a company called Optum.  CareTracker is one of the top 10 EHR systems used in the field currently, so our students may actually use this program when they are in their area of practice.  This new class is currently for Health Information Technology, Health Information Specialist and Medical Assisting Degree programs.  It will be phased in to the Medical Assisting Diploma program throughout the year and will be offered at the Mesa campus soon.

Are you interested in a career in the Health Information (Medical Billing and Coding) field?  Make a change in your future, contact Arizona College today to learn more about our degree and diploma programs offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.

Information in this blog post is accurate as of July 1, 2014.