CityMD is “ACMSS” first “CMSS” Direct Clinical Corporate Partner
The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists has approved its first premier “CMSS Direct 1-Step Certified Corporate Partner,” CityMD, which is the fastest-growing urgent care system in the Northeast. CityMD, which started with one location in New York City in 2010, now employs more than 350 Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) in its 55 locations in New York and New Jersey. CityMD also opened a new location this month in Seattle.
“ACMSS is proud to partner with CityMD, helping them to utilize the full scope of the Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS) credential, focusing on innovative workflow, and providing benefits in patient-centric care and efficiencies,” said ACMSS Executive Director Kristin Hagen. “The Certified Clinical Corporate Partnership also provides CityMD with an efficient pathway to Direct CMSS 1-step certify their own scribes through ACMSS, meeting federal regulatory requirements.”
The CMSS Direct 1-Step Certification Pathway is an eligibility conduit open to onsite clinical training corporations who may qualify to become corporate partners. The annual corporate membership and programmatic review allow approved clinical corporate partners to directly attest eligible scribes through the CMSS 1-Step affidavit pathway, enabling a direct qualifier to certify scribes as CMSS via the Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT), bypassing the requisite 2-step “CMSA” 200 hours. Standardized volume bundles institute innovative practice procedures and provides minimum standardized educational materials for each. To become a corporate partner and participate in the CMSS Direct 1-Step Certification Pathway, a company must attest in an affidavit that its education programs meet all of the core objectives and curriculum content requirements, and submit the curriculum to the ACMSS board for approval.
The Value of the Corporate Partnership
ACMSS staff talked with Tushar Kapoor, MD, FACEP, Executive Vice President of CityMD Academy, who is in charge of medical staff development for the company, about the benefits of the Clinical Corporate Partnership and about CityMD’s intensive use of Certified Medical Scribe Specialists and plans going forward.
“The biggest value of the corporate partnership is having access to the resources of ACMSS, such as guidelines on the scribe curriculum as well as providing the pathway for scribe certification to meet the CPOE [computerized provider order entry] requirement,” said Dr. Kapoor, who is also an ACMSS board member. “In addition, there are other initiatives underway at ACMSS—for example, offering CSE [continuing scribe education] credits and other webinars and courses that can be provided to further their knowledge.”
Dr. Kapoor also explained that CityMD is taking full advantage of the medical scribe credential to increase efficiencies and improve patient care. He said scribes are currently helping in many ways outside of medical documentation.
“Examples include directing patients or setting up procedure trays for the provider, who might be getting ready for a laceration repair or taking care of a burn,” said Dr. Kapoor. “This goes beyond some of the basic scribe roles such as looking up lab reports or filling out documents, to being a team member who retrieves items for procedures and participates in assisting and informing patients. Some of these things might have been left for a medical assistant in the past, but there is room here for certified scribes to be a part of the healthcare team.”
“Any scribe who is trained to do more than documenting will greatly benefit a practice—especially practices that require frequent specimen collections or patients going through several steps, including evaluations and x-rays, and anywhere multiple procedures are a key part of the practice. A certified scribe can be an extra pair of hands—in addition to a medical assistant or x-ray technologist—in assisting with some of these functions. Cross-training certified scribes in some of these duties can improve efficiencies and quality patient care.”
The traditional, basic documenting function also helps providers do their good work at CityMD.
“As a physician, when I am seeing a patient I don’t want to be looking at a computer screen; I want to look at the patient.” Said Dr. Kapoor. “It is very important for both me and for the patient to know that they have my undivided attention. Certified scribes are the key. By having a credentialed scribe take care of the documentation, I am assured that the patient’s questions are answered and they are educated about their diagnosis. It’s about giving complete care to the patient by freeing up the time that would have been spent on the EMR and directing that time toward the patient.”
Hagen says that using ACMSS certified scribes also helps CityMD meet Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulatory requirements for meaningful use for computerized provider order entry (CPOE). ACMSS works together and in compliance with CMS to meet national goals and initiatives of MACRA and MIPS. Certified medical scribes also meet the “qualified people” standard in Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT).
“All of our programs are evolving in order to streamline the process for individuals, educational companies, academic institutions and providers to get their scribes certified, and provide greater value for their students and employees,” says Hagen.
“CityMD has been certifying its scribes through ACMSS since last year,” Dr. Kapoor said. “Now the Corporate Partner pathway allows us more flexibility to certify scribes on an earlier timeline to meet CMS guidelines for CPOE. When practices are using scribes, it’s key that the credentialed scribes are being utilized to their fullest potential. One thing very commonly done in medical practices are order entries, whether they are prescriptions or advanced imaging. For meaningful use there has to be someone licensed or credentialed to do this. This is where ACMSS fits perfectly. Besides providing the overview guidelines for the knowledge base a certified scribe should have, it also provides a pathway for scribes to certify to meet CPOE requirements and increase efficiency for the provider.”
There are several benefits to being a Certified Clinical Corporate Partner, which include:
- A direct CMSS certification pathway to maintain competitive advantage in the marketplace, bypass 200 unassisted documentation clinical hours
- Meeting and ensuring federal regulatory CEHRT compliance, and meeting the Personnel Measure for Clinicians (CMS)
- Marketing the corporation as a “fully certified” organization
- The corporation may utilize the full scope of CMSS credential, innovating practice model for care coordination and patient-centric care
- Providing standardized educational material, ongoing, in real-time
- Staying abreast of industry trends and drivers
- Coordinated ACMSS/”Corporate Partner” Custom Press Releases
- e-Commerce logo for ACMSS “Clinical Corporate Partner” marketing materials/website/banner ad display. (ACMSS: “CMSS-Direct Corporate Partner”) logo
- Volume purchase discounts
ACMSS also works with non-profit partners in various specialties to create specialty MSCAT certifications, per specialty and customized CMSS Crosswalks, per specialty and certified scribe scope credentials. Ophthalmology was the first specialty in the country (2014) to meet CMS standards for meaningful use of CPOE. ACMSS uses that best practice standard to develop specialized medical scribe certifications for a growing number of medical practice specialties, including primary care, internal medicine, oncology, emergency medicine, vascular care, dermatology, urgent care, and general certification and credentialing MSCATs.
“Ophthalmology is the outpatient specialty that is our standard best practice model, or ‘crosswalk,’ that we are applying to all of the specialties across the country that medical scribes serve,” said Hagen. “We worked cooperatively with the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASOA) on this crosswalk. ACMSS continues to innovate with other non-profit partners in a number of specialties, including the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine (AAUCM), to meet certification requirements. We urge other specialties to join us as non-profit partners, communicating succinctly in governance to our memberships.”
ACMSS and CityMD Focus on Wellness and Prevention
ACMSS and CityMD share a culture that is dedicated to wellness and prevention. CityMD provides a wealth of preventive care and wellness-related information on its website.
“CityMD urgent care not only plays a vital role in what is occurring right now, but we play a huge part in New York City with the Department of Health,” Dr. Kapoor said. “We participate in the immunization registry, and we provide immunizations such as travel vaccines and the flu vaccine. We played a very key part in New York City during the Ebola and mumps outbreaks and are currently helping with the Zika virus testing. We are geared up to screen patients and do the appropriate testing, working hand in hand with the Department of Health in these initiatives.
“We also have an Aftercare department, which bridges the gap most urgent cares have between seeing the patient and what’s next for the patient. This includes providing primary care physicians and specialists with the appropriate tests they may be needed for the patient.”
The Future for Scribes at CityMD
Since its beginning in 2010, CityMD has employed certified scribes.
“Certified Scribes are an integral part of the team at CityMD, not only in entering information into the chart, but they also provide compassionate care, which is a core value of CityMD,” Dr. Kapoor said. “For example, they may assist by making the patient comfortable, and providing water, updating and coordinating next steps that may occur during their care such as X-rays. They’re helping to direct resources, such as medical assistants and x-ray techs, to effectively and efficiently take care of the patients. They’re helping with workflow. We foresee using certified scribes to introduce efficiencies for our providers at all of our sites.
“We take a patient-centric approach to care providing access, quality and compassionate care to the patient. We understand the importance of providing continuing care. This is where CityMD differentiates itself from other urgent cares, because we go beyond the initial visit and we follow up with our patients, wheather that means getting back to their primary care physician for follow-up, getting to a specialist if they don’t have one, or getting advanced testing they may need. We are bringing our core values to more geographical regions.
“I feel that we are utilizing certified scribes to more of an extent than most practices use medical scribes by incorporating them into the healthcare delivery team for more than just documentation.
“In being a corporate partner, there is a list of standard scribe training, whether it is touching upon meaningful use, PQRS measures and HIPAA, which may not be typically covered in other practices. I feel this creates a more well-informed and balanced certified scribe who has a better understanding of the current landscape of healthcare and where it’s heading.
“I am looking forward to seeing more webinars, continuing education modules and online content developed online. Learning is a continuous process and any opportunity certified scribes have to expand on the basic knowledge they have is beneficial and only makes a stronger certified scribe with more impact for the provider in serving the patient. This is where ACMSS can really expand in providing the content for continuing scribe education (CSE).
“The first part is educating private practices and hospitals on the benefits of the certified and credentialed scribe. Once the benefits are fully understood and known to large hospital systems and multispecialty and private practices, that’s when certified scribes can begin to help change the landscape of patient interactions, patient expectations and delivery of healthcare by introducing efficiencies into practices through the use of certified medical scribes.”
Please contact ACMSS directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 657-888-2158 if you have any questions regarding the ACMSS program and/or materials.
CityMD is New York’s premier urgent care provider. Founded in 2010, CityMD has over 55 (and counting) state-of-the-art locations throughout NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland, New Jersey and Seattle. CityMD Urgent Care values convenience, quality of service, and superior medical care provided by a network of medical professionals who thrive in an environment surrounded by highly trained and motivated individuals.
The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists is the nation’s only nonprofit professional society representing more than 18,000 Medical Scribes in over 1,800 medical institutions. ACMSS partners with academic institutions, non-profit partners, and medical scribe corporations to offer both education-to-certification and employment-to-certification pathways. ACMSS advances the needs of the certified medical scribe industry through certification, public advocacy, secure innovative systems design, individualized and customized consulting, tailored webinars, and continuing scribe education for improved care coordination and patient-centric care toward wellness. ACMSS is available for public speaking engagements serving healthcare.
To learn more about ACMSS, please visit theacmss.org.
Medical Scribes at CityMD