"Right now, providers are still saving medical records to CD ROMs as PDF files and shipping these CD ROMs to contractors. Even though you've have a tracking number and somebody's signed for it, the recovery auditor or the MAC may say they didn't get it. The facility may need to recreate and reship the files to ensure acceptance within the set deadlines."
"But with esMD, there's an electronic trail and a report that indicates when the entity has received your medical records, whereas right now it's very proactive; you have call UPS or FedEx, see who at the contractor signed for it, and check on claim status tool to see if it's been received or not."
The ultimate goal of the program is more than likely aimed toward converting the process to an all-online process, says Elizabeth Lamkin, MHA, and CEO of Pace Healthcare. In addition, the program is going to go a long way in protecting providers from a HIPAA standpoint.
"It will reduce paperwork and costs, but also, with everyone being mandated to go to an EHR system, this is the logical next step. Also, with the Office of Civil Rights all over HIPAA, this definitely makes sense from a security standpoint."
In essence, sending electronic files via a secure connection directly to the recipient is not only a safer bet then paper mail, but clearly a better option overall.