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5 Questions With Raymond Cox, MD Executive Director, Volunteers in Medicine Clinic

September 26, 2017 Interviews No Comments

Raymond Cox, MD is the executive director of the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic in Hilton Head, SC. Founded in 1993, the clinic provides medical, dental, and mental health services for the working poor on on Hilton Head and Dafuskie Islands. As the name suggests, its staff are all volunteers. Many, like Cox, have come to work at the clinic after official retirement. Today, 600 retired physicians, nurses, social workers, interpreters, dentists, and chiropractors work together to conduct over 30,000 clinic visits. The Hilton Head location has helped to launch a nationwide network of 87 VIM clinics in 28 states.

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What types of healthcare technology does the clinic use? Have healthcare technology companies been willing to donate software, hardware, services, etc.?

We use EMD’s EHR. Progressive Technology and Tech Soup – both local companies – have donated services.

How have you seen that technology impact patient access and outcomes?

The technology we use has improved our data access.

What healthcare technologies would you like to see implemented in the clinic?

I’d like to have better access to data integration, as much of our clinical records are scanned. We just signed a contract for tele-psychiatry services.

The clinic’s website mentions that it serves as the flagship clinic for similar facilities across the country. Have you had a hand in helping set up other VIM clinics?

My involvement has been limited, as most of clinic start-up activity has been handled by the VIM Institute in Burlington, VT.

Has the network of VIM clinics thought about pooling patient data for population health/value-based care programs?

We are in the early discussion of data pooling, but we do conduct an annual survey that provides some data.

What do you feel to be VIM’s biggest challenge today? Could technology help to make that situation less burdensome?

Our biggest challenge is money. Technology could certainly help us fundraise by giving us the ability to provide compelling data to donors.


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News 9/21/17

September 21, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Senator Aaron Bean (R-FL) introduces a telemedicine bill that he believes will save The Sunshine State a whopping $1 billion in annual healthcare costs. The proposed bill, which includes preliminary findings from the Florida Telehealth Advisory Council, would mandate coverage of certain telehealth services by the state employee insurance plan, authorize Medicaid reimbursement for virtual visits through the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration, and set physician standards. “Telemedicine is an idea whose time has come,” Bean said in introducing the bill. “It’s embracing technology that’s out there already and using technology to better treat Floridians, to get better outcomes, to do it more effectively, to do it more efficiently, to do it at less cost and still get better outcomes. It’s a triple win.”


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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Last call: HIStalk sponsors, submit your MGMA details for inclusion in our annual must-see vendor’s guide. Companies that are walking the show floor instead of exhibiting are also welcome to submit their information. The guide will publish the week of October 2.

Programming note: HIStalk Practice will take a break from news updates next week. Instead, look for the latest installments in our executive interview series.


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

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November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect; director, National Center for Primary Care; and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine; and Gary Palgon, VP, healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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MediStreams updates its configuration engine to help physicians speed up their remittance processes.

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MissouriHealth+ will implement population health management solutions from Caradigm across its network of 24 community health centers.

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American Family Care selects the Population Care | Quality Measures solution from SPH Analytics to help with its MIPS reporting efforts. AFC provides urgent and primary care, and occupational medicine at 180 clinics across the country.

MedAxiom will offer PMD’s data-sharing and mobile charge capture technology and services to members of its cardiovascular-focused network.


People

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Telemedicine company Medical Innovation Holdings hires Kevin Swint (IBM) as COO.

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Daniel Cullen joins HIE company HemCare Health Services as CTO.


Government and Politics

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Aledade CEO Farzad Mostashari, MD and VP for Healthcare Policy Travis Broome highlight the need to do away with national ACO benchmarks in light of the recent spate of hurricanes that have caused many practices and clinics to close for several days. Instead, they advise, regional benchmarks should be created so that physicians who experience natural disasters aren’t penalized for forces beyond their control.

“Today, schools and churches are digging out of mud and sand,” they write, “and so are a number of doctor’s offices. Chances are, those doctors will also be penalized if they’re in a Medicare ACO—not from malice or bad intentions, but simply from poor program design. Policy makers don’t have to accept this as a given.”


Other

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The local paper covers the grassroots efforts of Buffalo, NY-based providers and other healthcare stakeholders to create an integrated delivery network from the ground up. The Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network broke ground today on a $6 million, 400,000-square foot building that will offer primary and behavioral care, specialties, and wellness and fitness programs. A lab and on-site pharmacy are in the works. The network, which employs 200, is attempting to operate under a value-based care business model that includes addressing social determinants of health like housing, food, and employment.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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From the PRM Pro 9/21/17

September 21, 2017 From the PRM Pro No Comments

Understand Communication Preferences to Improve Patient Retention
By Jim Higgins

Patients want convenience. They expect your practice to deliver the same kind of “me-focused” healthcare experience they receive from other consumer-oriented businesses. If they don’t get it, they’re likely to switch to another provider. We’re not just talking about patients in the Millennial generation, either. Although this age group may top the list of doctor-hoppers, this Patient-Provider Relationship Study shows that one in five baby boomers (adults ages 52 to 70) is also likely to switch doctors in next few years.

Fortunately, providers have technology on their side. Mobile technology adoption is peaking for patients in every generation demographic. That means providers have a host of largely untapped communications tools at their fingertips, which can dramatically impact patient satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. Tools centered on improving patient relationship management can help providers give patients the personalized healthcare experience they seek.

Inside the Data

As the aforementioned study attests, patients often feel more like a number than a person to their physician practices. This is important to realize because patients who feel detached from their providers are at higher risk to leave and switch to a competing practice.

Based on phone surveys with more than 2,100 US consumers ages 21 to 70, the study reveals some interesting trends when it comes to patient loyalty. In addition to 20 percent of baby boomers who anticipate they’ll soon switch practices:

  • Twenty-four percent of boomers said they’d already changed practices in the past year.
  • Switching PCPs is more than twice as common among Gen Xers (individuals 35 to 51 years of age); 44 percent said they’re likely to change doctors in the next few years.
  • Millennials (21- to 34-year-olds) switch with even greater frequency; 54 percent already have made a recent change, and 43 percent will likely do so soon. 

Such practice-hopping isn’t good for practices or for patients. In addition to impacting a practice financially, this trend can also negatively affect patient outcomes. It doesn’t take a major practice overhaul, though, to make patients feel their individual needs are being met. In fact, the study also found that among patients in every generation, the same three things topped their “ideal doctor” wish lists – greater connectivity, convenience via text and online tools, and more time with their physicians.

Engage Patients with Smarter Communications

Making practice communication more personalized to each patient can be as easy as adding to or replacing traditional phone calls with text or email messages. According to the study, 73 percent of all patients desire the ability to text their doctor’s office, while 79 percent would like to receive text messages from their physicians. (It’s worth noting that a growing number of patients also say they would contact their doctors more often if they could text or email them.)

These data points make sense, considering smartphone adoption is at 77 percent, and patients are expecting more personalized technology experiences. Consumers of all ages use their smartphones to do everything from book flights to buy groceries. By providing personalized communications such as appointment reminders and practice updates — for example, a text that tells when the clinic plans to offer seasonal flu shots — practices have the ability to cement their places in the lives of their patients.

In fact, practices that adapt to the modern-day communication preferences of patients could easily set themselves apart from competing practices. Many medical practices still rely on older communication tools and marketing strategies, such as mailing postcard reminders for annual wellness visits. PRM tools could pave the way to better patient satisfaction — especially for patients looking for leading-edge doctor’s offices. PRM solutions are much like a Swiss army knife, offering numerous capabilities for communicating information and accommodating patient preferences to encourage engagement.

Let’s say, for instance, that a practice wants a more effective way to reach Millennial patients with information about wellness services like dietary counseling. A PRM tool could be used to create personalized e-newsletters, as well as filter the recipients so that the newsletters only reach the desired patient demographic (e.g., patients under 35 who are at risk for developing diabetes). The PRM solution’s analytics function could then measure the e-newsletter’s open rate, which would give the practice valuable data for designing future outreach strategies.

Another PRM solution that earns strong positive feedback from patients is online scheduling. These applications allow patients to set up their own appointments from their devices of choice. Online scheduling gives patients the power to actively select the appointment times that best fit their schedules.

Build Long-Term Relationships

Practices can set the bar higher with PRM technology that offers multiple applications for communicating timely information to patients, in formats that match their preferences. While communication isn’t the only factor in determining whether a patient will remain loyal, it’s one variable practices can control and improve over time. PRM technology is simply one way to deliver the personalized experience patients crave, so they are less likely to wonder if the grass is greener at another clinic.

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Jim Higgins is the CEO and founder of Solutionreach in Lehi, UT.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 9/20/17

September 20, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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After several weeks of speculation that an RFI was in the works, the CMS Innovation Center asks for stakeholder feedback as it considers a “new direction to promote patient-centered care and test market-driven reforms that empower beneficiaries as consumers, provide price transparency, increase choices and competition to drive quality, reduce costs, and improve outcomes.” The center was established as part of the ACA in 2010 to help CMS test out new payment and care delivery models. Comments are due November 20.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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HIStalk sponsors, you’ve got a few days left to submit your MGMA details for inclusion in our annual must-see vendor’s guide. Companies that are walking the show floor instead of exhibiting are also welcome to submit their information.


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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The Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare will implement Netsmart’s population health management solution at Community Mental Health Centers statewide. The decision comes after a year-long pilot of the technology as part of the coalition’s Healthcare Homes program.


People

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The Council of Medical Specialty Societies names Helen Burstin, MD (National Quality Forum) CEO and EVP. She will become the first woman to lead the organization when she joins the council January 1.

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The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative elects its 2017-2018 board, expanding it from nine to 12 members.


Research and Innovation

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A July survey of 200 physicians highlights the vicious cycle that has become physician burnout. The majority of respondents admit to not getting enough sleep or exercise, and find it hard to make good food choices due to the demands of their job. Over 80 percent are spread thin by heavy workloads, and 54 percent resort to writing prescriptions or referring patients to specialists to save time. Top stressors include bureaucracy and paperwork, new technologies, and long hours. Nearly 70 percent believe work stress is negatively affecting their lives.


Other

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Matt Damon hopes to bring “Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam” to the big screen. First published in 2008, the book tells the true 1920s story of Kansas con man John Brinkley and his use of goat glands to reverse impotence in local farmers. His technique eventually made him America’s richest and most infamous surgeon of the time. The book also inspired the 2016 documentary “NUTS!”

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Who knew?: McAfee rates singer Avril Lavigne the “Most Dangerous Celebrity” when it comes to celebrity-related search results that draw consumers to malicious websites and expose them to malware.

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You find the darndest things on Twitter. Are EHR developers suffering from burnout, too?


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will host its Evo17 User Conference September 20-24 in Nashville.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

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News 9/19/17

September 19, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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As Hurricane Maria wreaks havoc in the Caribbean and head for Puerto Rico, CMS Administrator Seema Verma visits Houston to assess post-Harvey access to healthcare at facilities like the Dialyspa dialysis clinic and Southbelt Nursing Home. Feedback from clinic staff focused on the need to set up mobile dialysis clinics at evacuation shelters ahead of time.

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“Over the long term, we’re really going to be focused on safety of the healthcare facilities,” Verma said after thanking staff and public health officials for their efforts before, during, and after the storm. “We are going to be doing surveys and certifications, kind of working with the hospitals and the providers, to make sure that the facilities that our Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are going to are safe.”


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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HIStalk sponsors, you’ve got a few days left to submit your MGMA details for inclusion in our annual must-see vendor’s guide. Companies that are walking the show floor instead of exhibiting are also welcome to submit their information.


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Practice management and technology company VillageMD partners with Georgia’s largest independent PCP network, Quality Care Providers, to establish VillageMD-Georgia. The company announced similar expansions into Indiana and Kentucky earlier this year.

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Chat-based primary care startup 98point6 raises $19.5 million in a Series B round, bringing its total investment to $35 million.


Announcements and Implementations

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ClinicTracker releases a suite of EHR, PM, and billing solutions for smaller behavioral health and substance abuse agencies.

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California-based Bay Medical Management and Bay Imaging Consultants select PM technology, and custom billing software and services from MedInformatix. BMM and its radiology services company provide PM, RCM, and IT expertise to 22 outpatient facilities and 11 hospitals in the Bay Area, in addition to patient care at dozens of locations.


Government and Politics

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The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas State Board of Pharmacy will leverage Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway to integrate EHRs and pharmacy management systems with the state’s K-TRACS PDMP.


Research and Innovation

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The Myeloproliferative Research Foundation creates a registry for patients suffering from myeloproliferative neoplasms (blood cancers), giving them the ability to share symptom and care experience data with researchers in real time. The foundation is also looking at allowing patients to share their EHR data with the registry.


Other

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Ahead of new burden-reducing initiatives for physicians, Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush takes to LinkedIn to ask, “If you’re a healthcare provider or part of a healthcare organization, what would being freed up look like to you? What would you be able to do with extra time, either professionally or personally?” These responses stood out:

  • I would spend more time to take care of more patients, #removingbarrierstohealing is what I am meant to do – after getting a little bit more family time than I do now.
  • Read more about my patients’ specific issues in the literature.
  • Make one more phone call to a concerned family member.
  • Go to the gym.
  • Maybe look for voluntary leadership or service roles outside of the organization now holding my time and attention.
  • I’d like to be able to do more follow up.
  • I would really enjoy hearing what exactly is being done by Athena to help with this problem. It is great to say you’re doing something, but as a new Athena customer my work load has increased and my time spent with patients has decreased.
  • Has anyone mentioned this one, most important thing? I would spend more time with my patients, which is what they deserve!

Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

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