FAQs About Pulse

Our most frequently asked questions – answered.

General

Are web-based PM/EHR systems safe?

Answer:

Most physicians who are skeptical of cloud-based EHR systems cite security as a primary concern. While uncertainty is understandable, web-based EHR systems can actually deliver greater security than client-server systems and paper records.

Web-based EHR systems achieve HIPAA compliance through data centers with bank-level security and high-level encryption methods that render data unreadable — even if a security breach occurs. Client-server systems are often left unencrypted and only as secure as the room where they are stored.

Cloud-based data is safer than paper and client-server records in the event of a natural disaster or fire, because the data is backed up securely in multiple locations. Backups for client-server records are most vulnerable to breach in transport to storage facilities, unlike cloud systems.

Most people are already allowing a great deal of their sensitive data to be stored in the cloud. Email systems like Gmail and Yahoo! are stored in the cloud. Online banking, shopping and personal information on social sites like Facebook are all cloud-based systems too.

Ultimately, cloud-based EHR systems provide users of all sizes and industries great advantages in cost savings, data accessibility and security. Now, medical practices just have to be willing to look to the cloud for the future of healthcare IT.

What is the process to move data from one solution to another?

Answer:

Pulse provides support through a conversion of data. We will run a report and clean out the duplicates. Our implementation team will provide training in your new system and be by your side during the conversion process. Your success is our first priority.

When will a true Cloud PM/EHR be available?

Answer:

PulseCloud PM is available now, and PulseCloud EHR will be available in 2017. We can also host our PulsePro and PulseEHR systems with clients if they do not want to incur hardware fees.

Is your software Meaningful Use certified?

Answer:

Yes, all of our products are Meaningful Use certified.

What clearinghouse does Pulse use?

Answer:

Pulse has a great, longstanding partnership with Change Healthcare, formerly known as Emdeon.

Where are your clients located?

Answer:

Pulse has clients in 48 states across the U.S. We do not service practices outside of the U.S.

Do practices have to use all products (EHR/PM/RCM) to be a client with Pulse?

Answer:

We are very flexible with how we can package solutions for clients. Some clients use just our PM, some use PM and EHR, and some clients use our PM, EHR, and Billing and Collections Services (RCM). The pricing structure will vary depending on what solutions your practice requires, but clients realize the best value in products when they use all three.

Do you make your own software?

Answer:

Yes, all of Pulse’s software has been manufactured in-house. Our software developers are located in the U.S. and also work out of our Toronto office.

What specialties do you service?

Answer:

Pulse services over 40 specialties nationwide, including: Allergy/Immunology, Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Chiropractic, Community Health, Critical Care, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology, Endoscopy, ENT, Family/General Practice, General Surgery, Geriatric Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, Hospital, Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine, Multi-Specialty, Nephrology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Pain Management, Pediatric Medicine, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Podiatry, Psychiatry, Pulmonary Diseases, Radiology, Rheumatology, Sleep Medicine, Urology, Vascular Surgery and Wellness.

Is Pulse a privately held company?

Answer:

Pulse is owned by a Cegedim, a global healthcare technology company, and is part of the Cegedim Healthcare Software division.  Founded in 1969, Cegedim is an innovative technology and services company in the field of digital data flow management for healthcare ecosystems and B2B, and a business software publisher for healthcare and insurance professionals. Cegedim employs almost 3,500 people in 11 countries, and it generated revenue of €494 million in 2014. Cegedim SA is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: CGM).

All-in-One Solutions

Does Pulse offer administrative and operating consulting?

Answer:

Yes, this is part of our mPower services. Our mPower services can help practices negotiate fee schedules for payers, physician credentialing, payroll and HR solutions.

Can you convert data from our current system? How long does the conversion process take?

Answer:

Yes, it is very common to convert data when bringing a new client onto a Pulse solution. Depending on what format your previous vendor can supply, that will determine what exactly we can convert. Schedules, patient demographics, insurance information, encounter notes and medications are all examples of data that can be converted. This process can take just a matter of days from when Pulse receives the data file from your previous vendor.

Electronic Health Records

Does your EHR offer specialty specific templates?

Answer:

Yes, we offer templates for over 40 specialties.

How do you ensure the security of messages between patients and providers?

Answer:

Pulse uses a DigiCert Certificate as our third-party to verify the authenticity of our secure Portal.

Will e-prescribing soon be mandated by the government?

Answer:

While every state allows e-prescribing, New York mandated on March 27, 2016, that all prescriptions must be sent electronically. Minnesota also requires the use of electronic prescribing, but doesn’t specify how much or set penalties. Many industry insiders predict that more states will mandate e-prescribing in the future. Benefits of e-prescribing include reducing errors and risks of forgery, streamlining workflows and offering convenience for doctors and patients.

Do you have a patient reminder system?

Answer:

Yes, our patient reminder system is called Pulse Engage.

Can I purchase an e-prescribing module without the EHR?

Answer:

Yes, Pulse Rx can be used within our PM system, as well as PulseEHR.

Do you have a PQRS registry?

Answer:

Yes, Pulse PQRS registry has been a qualified registry since 2010, with a success rate above 99% over the past 5 years. Pulse Complete EHR and PulsePro Practice Management allow physicians to capture pertinent quality data during routine examination, making it easier to qualify and submit for PQRS reporting.

Is your EHR stand-alone?

Answer:

No, PulseEHR must be interfaced with PulsePro PM or another PM system.

Can your PM interface with other EHRs?

Answer:

Yes, our PulsePro PM solution can interface with any system utilizing a standard HL7 interface.

How many physicians use your EHR?

Answer:

Pulse currently services over 8,500 physicians.

Practice Management

What are the maintenance and support costs for Pulse Engage?

Answer:

Pulse Engage is structured as a small fee per transaction. There are no maintenance and support costs for this solution. Clients who start using Pulse Engage will purchase roughly two hours of set-up, and can begin using their patient reminder system.

What can Pulse do to help streamline my workflow?

Answer:

All of our solutions are workflow driven by design. Pulse’s PM solution can create dynamic workflow lists to help you streamline. For example, if you need to tackle your AR at 90 plus days, you can work off a list showing you these tasks. Pulse also has an automated and fully-integrated patient reminder system, Pulse Engage, which completely eliminates the need to call and confirm patient appointments. Our automated patient statement generator will also save you time and work, sending out your patient statements electronically.

On the EHR side, Pulse can offer tools for voice recognition to streamline patient encounter documentation. Our award-winning, certified e-prescribing solution will streamline your prescribing process, connecting the electronic health record with the medication they are prescribed. Pulse Rx will also automatically alert providers if there are conflicts with the various medications they are prescribed, and will notify of allergies in the system. RCM

Our Revenue Cycle Management Services are also available to completely streamline your entire billing workflow. These services are customizable to cover as many or as few tasks within your entire process: coding, charge entry, electronic claims submission, payer performance, insurance collections, credentialing, patient collections, denials management and reporting.

Do you offer board-room ready reporting?

Answer:

Yes, we do. Clients who use our PM solution can be provided flash reports, which is essentially a data mining tool. Flash reports can pull anything from charges, insurance adjustments, contractual adjustments, days in AR, top CPT codes, most common ICD-10 codes and month-over-month or year-over-year financial reporting.

Pulse RCM clients are also provided weekly performance reports, month-close financial reports and monthly flash reports.

Can you report workman’s comp claims electronically through your PM system?

Answer:

Yes, we use a third party vender, Jopari, to transmit electronic workerman’s comp forms and claims.

Does your PM software accept electronic payments from payers?

Answer:

Yes, our clients have electronic payment capabilities with our PM system.

Do you have a patient reminder system?

Answer:

Yes, our patient reminder system is called Pulse Engage.

Can I purchase an e-prescribing module without the EHR?

Answer:

Yes, Pulse Rx can be used within our PM system, as well as PulseEHR.

Does your PM solution have the ability to verify insurance eligibility in real-time?

Answer:

Yes, insurance eligibility can be run either individually or in a batch mode, which checks eligibility for all patients scheduled in a day. Our insurance eligibility runs in real-time, and as long as the insurance participates in electronic eligibility check, Pulse software can accommodate.

Do you have a PQRS registry?

Answer:

Yes, Pulse PQRS registry has been a qualified registry since 2010, with a success rate above 99% over the past 5 years. Pulse Complete EHR and PulsePro Practice Management allow physicians to capture pertinent quality data during routine examination, making it easier to qualify and submit for PQRS reporting.

Can your PM interface with other EHRs?

Answer:

Yes, our PulsePro PM solution can interface with any system utilizing a standard HL7 interface.

Billing & Collections Services

How much do your Billing and Collections Services cost?

Answer:

With Pulse RCM, we charge a percentage of the collections your practice earns. The percentage we collect depends on the size and revenue of the practice.

Client Support

What hours is your Software Support team available?

Answer:

Our helpdesk runs Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m CT. There is also an after-hours number that can be called for service outside of normal operational hours.

What type of continuing education do you offer?

Answer:

We offer 24/7 online videos and training materials found in the Pulse Academy for Client Education (PACE). Clients find that many of their questions can be answered through training videos found on PACE. Each year, we also offer Pulse User’s Group with a three-day schedule of classes on products, services and industry topics. PUG 2017 will be held April 20-22 in Nashville, Tennessee.

What are your hosting costs compared to purchasing a server?

Answer:

Hosting with Pulse is less expensive than buying and supporting your own server. The hosting fees depend on the size of your practice and the volume of patients you see.

Where are your support teams located?

Answer:

All of our client support teams are located in the United States, and outside calls will never be sent to a third party group. We have Pulse representatives in Wichita, KS, Kansas City, MO and Wexford, PA.

Meaningful Use & MACRA

What is MACRA and what support do you have to prepare my practice to meet its standards?

Answer:

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is bipartisan federal legislation signed into law on April 16, 2015. The law does many things, but most importantly it establishes new ways to pay physicians for caring for Medicare beneficiaries. The law also includes new funding for technical assistance to providers, funding for measure development and testing, it enables new programs and requirements for data sharing, and establishes new federal advisory groups. It is comprehensive legislation that has the potential to significantly restructure US healthcare.

Pulse has a Government Compliance Team which is available to consult with our clients in understanding and meeting the standards for MACRA.

The Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CMS have been engaged in the process of drafting rules based on the legislation since the law passed. Initial rules will be released for public review and comment in the Spring of 2016. Following a comment period, the rules will be revised and finalized for release and implementation in November of 2016.

MACRA’s value-based payment programs will be based on two new reimbursement structures:

  1. The Merit Based Incentive Payments System (MIPS) combines parts of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Value Modifier (VM or Value-Based Payment Modifier) and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs into one. Under MIPS, Eligible Professionals (EPs) will be measured and paid based on:
    1. Quality;
    2. Resource Use;
    3. Clinical Practice Improvement; and
    4. Meaningful Use of Certified EHR Technology

    MIPS guidelines will determine whether providers’ compensation for Medicare Part B reimbursements is adjusted up for superior performance, or down for performance that falls short of the established mean. Based on the MIPS composite performance score, providers will receive positive, negative or neutral adjustments to the base rate of their Medicare Part B Payment that will increase each year from 2019 (+4% to -4%) through 2022 (+9% to -9%), when adjustment levels will stabilize. The MIPS composite performance score will be determined by performance measures established in the forthcoming MACRA rules.

    MIPs payment adjustments are required to be budget neutral. This means that rather than additional spending, higher reimbursement for those who score well will come from reduced payments to those with poorer performance.

  2. Alternative Payment Models (APMs) provide a new way for Medicare to compensate healthcare providers for the care they give to Medicare beneficiaries. Most providers who participate in APMs will also be subject to MIPS, but will receive favorable scoring – with correspondingly higher reimbursement rates.Providers participating in the most advanced APMs (including Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Patient Centered Medical Homes and Bundled Payment Models) may be designated as Qualifying APM Participants (QPs), which are not subject to MIPS. They may be eligible for
    1. Annual 5% lump-sum bonus payments from 2019 through 2024;
    2. Beginning in 2026, higher annual premiums (for some participating providers); and
    3. Increased flexibility through physician-focused payment models
  3. Eligible Alternative Payment Models (e-APMs) The most advanced alternative payment models will be deemed ‘eligible’ APMs which qualify for even higher levels of reimbursement tied to performance. These will be a subset of APMs and will not include all payment models. Eligible APMs will require use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. Eligible APMs will only include payment models in which physicians bear ‘more than nominal’ risk for financial losses or participate in patient centered medical home models under CMMI authority.

Do you complete PQRS for practices outside of your client base?

Answer:

No, clients who report through our registry must use our software.

Do you offer government mandate consulting?

Answer:

Yes, at Pulse we strive to keep our clients fully informed with government mandates. We regularly publish news in our client newsletters, send out information through eblasts, and host classes at our Pulse User’s Group. For additional consulting, Pulse has a quality reporting team to consult with our clients.

Pulse Systems, Inc. - Subsidiary of Cegedim SA
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