With version 5.9/8.4, NextGen Healthcare has issued its first combined release of its Application & Knowledge Base Module (KBM), bringing welcome upgrades in the areas of interoperability, facilitating data access, patient engagement and patient safety, along with better supporting features for MIPS. MTS analysts spent a full year putting a Beta version of NextGen 5.9/8.4 through its paces, evaluating each change and new addition. Our exam is now complete; and MTS gives this release high marks for its broad improvement and encourages our NextGen customers to begin making plans to upgrade to the updated system.
The biggest positive for our analysts is the fact that this is NextGen’s first combined release. All users will find this to be a great time-saver as it means less time needed to test, configure and train staff.
On the EHR side, MTS discovered many positive enhancements:
Spell check now available within KBM templates
This is huge! In previous versions of NextGen, users who generate documents (i.e., everyone!) would have to go back to the template and correct and re-generate a document to correct spelling errors and typos. Now, users are able to see and correct errors before they generate their documents. You don’t need MTS to tell you what kind of time-saver this enhancement is!
Enhanced C-CDA viewer with the ability to re-order and filter content according to each user’s needs
What used to be a long, tedious process has been made simpler. Users are now able to filter content in sections that are most important to them, giving them the ability to customize their view.
Ability to view HQM data within the EHR on a patient and a provider level
Before this release, users had to navigate to a separate web portal to view HQM data. NextGen has now added HQM data within the EHR itself. This provides for real-time viewing of important data.
Ability to manage clinical references for Lab and Dx testing on a practice template
This adds new functionality. Users can now manage references on site for certain lab diagnostic testing.
New Care Plan and Care Team templates centralize planning for patient care coordinators
Another addition! NextGen has added Care Plan and Care Team templates to the EHR, enabling users to create their Care Plans and identify Plan members. The addition will aid practices in meeting MACRA-MIPS requirements.
Ability to configure risk level and Care Team for CPC+
This is now supported on Framework templates vs having a long work around or customization.
Voice of the Client link from within EHR to provide feedback to NextGen
For years, NextGen has sought active feedback from users through its Voice of the Client program. It has now provided a direct VOC link from within the EHR to get clients’ immediate input – right as they are encountering an issue or when they have a bright idea. Brilliant!
There was a lot to like on the PM side, too:
Redesign of the demographics window now includes easier-to-read vertical tabs
Even the simplest things can make the user experience better. An easy-to-read format no doubt removes some stress for many clinical staff who may have struggled to engage with the PM on screen.
A new RTS Manager and other RTS enhancements
NextGen has added an RTS Manager – look for the icon on the PM app. NextGen has redesigned this entire area. (There used to be a little box one would locate and check!) The reformatting includes additional columns and more information on the patient’s eligibility.
Calendar Quick Advance
Users now have the ability to quickly check items on their calendar, rather than having to highlight information, as required in all previous versions of the PM. This enhanced feature will be found in the appointment book.
Follow-up from EHR KBM check out tab will update in PM appointment window
This new option automates a previous function of the PM.
CPT Code search in EDI file creation
NextGen has added the ability for users to search by CPT code when creating an EDI file. This new functionality will prove particularly useful when billing out specific claims or verifying what gets billed as it will help staff narrow their search for items that need to be included in 837 EDI files.
Ordering Physician (1500 Claims Only)
The Ordering Physician feature is brand new to the PM and was a long time coming! Although it’s somewhat of a process to turn on the feature, we think users will appreciate the addition, which is useful for notating insurance claims.
Case Management Enhancements
With these new enhancements, NextGen has addressed several defects which had carried forward in several previous versions of the PM. One welcome change, for example, allows the assignment of multiple payors to be added to a case.
Our analysts actually cheered this addition: enhanced ERA posting of reversals and corrections allows for automated posting of payments to voided charges. This was not an automatic feature before, and we think its addition will make many happy!
Charge Entry Enhancements
Users can now create a test result and test date, which adds charge discount functionality to the system.
- NextGen has added new columns in the batch window – previously, only “ID,” “Patient Name,” and “Date” existed. Now, users will find columns for “Payment Total” and “Adjustments.” These changes will make it easier for back office staff to balance your batch processing.
- There’s now an override process date for a reversed transaction, enabling a reversal to be made in a prior
- A new Account tab delivers an encounters detail table to provide staff with additional information.
- Ledger and Batch Look Up are both new features, which are available from the Batch Posting window. Instead of opening up a batch page to locate information, staff can now search by description or amount. Larger practices, we believe, will find this new feature most helpful.
All told, 5.9/8.4 promises a better user experience for healthcare organizations who use one of healthcare’s top EHR and PM systems. MTS recommends clients upgrade so they can immediately begin taking advantage of all the great new features and enhancements. Need assistance? Please reach out to your account manager, or contact MTS Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.