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News 11/15/17

November 15, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Membership-based primary care practice Forward opens its second location, expanding beyond its San Francisco roots to take on the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles. The startup offers patients high-tech amenities like total body scanning, wearables monitoring, around the clock access to staff via a proprietary app, and a paperless office. Founded by former Google director and Sidewalk Labs founder Adrian Aoun in 2016, the company got its start with a San Francisco location in January and is set to expand into fertility, sleep tracking, optometry, and dermatology.

Forward’s business model is similar to that of the so-far successful One Medical and now defunct Turntable Health, which, like Forward, offered high-tech care for a (cheaper) flat monthly fee. Despite achieving quality outcomes and high levels of patient satisfaction, the Las Vegas-based primary care practice could not make the finances work thanks to pressure from payers. Time will tell if Forward eventually finds itself in the same boat or breaking free from its predecessor’s shadow.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I have played tennis for most of my life and, several years ago, decided to make it my main form of exercise. Going to the gym had gotten boring and my workout routine had become stagnant, so I decided to devote my time to a competitive sport that offered some socializing with friends, and provided a good excuse to buy new outfits. I came across USTA’s latest health survey in my inbox this morning, and think it’s interesting that the organization is making an effort to collect analytics on its players. I’ll be interested to see how they organize the results (especially since the majority of questions focused on emotional health) and how those will impact their tennis programs for players of all ages and levels.


Webinars

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November 30 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Making Clinical Communications Work in Your Complex Environment.” Sponsored by: PatientSafe Solutions. Presenters: Steve Shirley, VP/CIO, Parkview Medical Center; Richard Cruthirds, CIO, Peterson Health. Selecting, implementing, and managing a mobile clinical communications platform is a complex and sometimes painful undertaking. With multiple technologies, stakeholders, and disciplines involved, a comprehensive approach is required to ensure success. Hear two hospital CIOs share their first-hand experience, lessons learned, and demonstrated results from deploying an enterprise-wide mobile clinical communications solution.

December 5 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cornerstones of Order Set Optimization: Trusted Evidence.” Sponsored by: Wolters Kluwer. Updating order sets with new medical evidence is crucial to improving outcomes, but coordinating maintenance for hundreds of order sets with dozens of stakeholders is a huge logistical challenge. For most hospitals, managing order set content is labor intensive and the internal processes supporting it are far too inefficient. Evidence-based order sets are only as good as their content, which is why regular review and updates are essential. This webinar explores the relationship between clinical content and patient care with an eye toward building trust among the clinical staff. Plus, we will demonstrate a new evidence alignment tool that can easily incorporate the most current medical content into your order sets, regardless of format, including Cerner Power Plans and Epic SmartSets.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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The Iowa Clinic selects population health management technology and services from Lightbeam Health Solutions to better coordinate and deliver care for patients across its 11 locations.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Boston-based investment firm Banyan Software acquires Atlanta-based Medicat, developer of healthcare technology for university and college health clinics, for an undisclosed sum. Banyan Software founder David Berkal will assume the CEO role at Medicat.

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VillageMD enters into a value-based contract arrangement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. The primary care delivery and practice management company entered the Georgia market earlier this year when it signed on Quality Care Providers.


People

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Privia Health promotes Keith Fernandez, MD to national chief clinical officer, and Fred Taweel, MD to CMO – Mid-Atlantic Region.


Other

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This looks interesting: Atul Gawande, MD and Andy Slavitt will keynote The Healthcare Costs Innovation Summit February 21 in Washington, DC. The event is being organized by West Health, a nonprofit focused on helping seniors age in place. The organization seems to have tight ties with federal government. Previous summits have focused on initiatives with the VA, FDA, FCC, CMS, and ONC.

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NPR looks at the impact Hurricane Maria is having on Puerto Rico’s already pressing physician shortage, pointing out that the continued lack of basic resources is pushing some to move their practices to the US or quit entirely. “Over this past year, we had lost physicians at a rate four times bigger than the rate of emigration,” explains Bolivar Arboleda Osorio, MD who, along with his physician wife, has decided to remain on the island. “People are moving, going somewhere else. Not just because of the economy. It’s because they don’t feel safe. They don’t feel that the government will be able to provide for everybody’s well-being.”

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On the flip side of Arboleda Osorio’s observations are the experiences of OpenEMR customers. The vendor claims that, despite unreliable sources of power, water, communications, and the Internet, several of its Puerto Rican customers – many with generators – were able to keep their EHR systems up and running thanks to robust servers and support from HITECH Compliance.


Sponsor Updates


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News 11/14/17

November 14, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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In an effort to gain a firmer foothold in the telemedicine market, Mynd Analytics acquires Arcadian Telepsychiatry Services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mynd Analytics has developed behavioral health-focused precision analytics to help providers more accurately prescribe medications. Arcadian founder Robert Plotkin will remain CEO of the now wholly-owned Mynd Analytics subsidiary.


Webinars

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November 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Hospitals and Practices Can Respond to Consumerism by Better Engaging Patients Through Price Transparency and Payment Options.” Sponsored by: Change Healthcare. Presenters: Kathy Moore, president, Moore Martini Medical; Linda Glidewell, VP of business development, consumer payment solutions, Change Healthcare. Healthcare consumerism and high-deductible health plans require providers to offer upfront estimates and payment options throughout all points of service. In his webinar, we’ll discuss consumerism as a critical area of opportunity in revenue cycle management and review numerous areas across the revenue cycle where your staff interacts with patients and leaves lasting impressions. From your first interaction with patients on the phone to discuss financial responsibility; to collecting payments at all points of service; to offering payment plans and various payment options — these are all areas that can be game-changing. With the right approach to consumerism, you can improve patient collections and optimize revenue from the start while also improving the overall patient experience.

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November 30 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Making Clinical Communications Work in Your Complex Environment.” Sponsored by: PatientSafe Solutions. Presenters: Steve Shirley, VP/CIO, Parkview Medical Center; Richard Cruthirds, CIO, Peterson Health. Selecting, implementing, and managing a mobile clinical communications platform is a complex and sometimes painful undertaking. With multiple technologies, stakeholders, and disciplines involved, a comprehensive approach is required to ensure success. Hear two hospital CIOs share their first-hand experience, lessons learned, and demonstrated results from deploying an enterprise-wide mobile clinical communications solution.

December 5 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cornerstones of Order Set Optimization: Trusted Evidence.” Sponsored by: Wolters Kluwer. Updating order sets with new medical evidence is crucial to improving outcomes, but coordinating maintenance for hundreds of order sets with dozens of stakeholders is a huge logistical challenge. For most hospitals, managing order set content is labor intensive and the internal processes supporting it are far too inefficient. Evidence-based order sets are only as good as their content, which is why regular review and updates are essential. This webinar explores the relationship between clinical content and patient care with an eye toward building trust among the clinical staff. Plus, we will demonstrate a new evidence alignment tool that can easily incorporate the most current medical content into your order sets, regardless of format, including Cerner Power Plans and Epic SmartSets.

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

Check out the recording of last’ week’s webinar titled “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.”


Announcements and Implementations

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The Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Care Centered Collaborative and HealthEC embark on a multi-year project to help independent physicians develop value-based business models through clinically integrated networks. Piscataway, NJ-based HealthEC will provide PMS member practices with access to its data aggregation services, MIPS data-submission tools, and care coordination resources.

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Alpha II develops a Web-based version of its Easy Coder diagnosis code book.

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IDoc, an association for independent optometrists, will offer members Abyde’s automated HIPAA-compliance solution.

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The Mississippi Division of Medicaid expands its Clinical Data Interoperability Program to include the Hattiesburg Clinic – one of the largest providers for Medicaid beneficiaries in the state. The program uses an enterprise master patient index and EHR interface from MedeAnalytics to enable real-time sharing of clinical data between the DOM and healthcare facilities.

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Regional Medical Imaging (MI) implements RoyalPay billing technology from Royal Solutions Group across its eight locations in Flint.


Telemedicine

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Nomad Health adds telemedicine opportunities to its healthcare jobs website. The New York City-based company got its start in 2015 and raised $16 million in a Series A round last year.

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Telemental health startup Pacifica Labs adds a therapist directory to its app and website. The company reports it has signed up 1.7 million users since launching in early 2015.


Government and Politics

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In case you were wondering: Tweets from @realDonaldTrump are indeed official statements from the president, according to DOJ lawyers.

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CMS seems to be hiring for a chief data officer. Niall Brennan, who served in the position for over six years, moved on in January to become president and executive director of the Healthcare Cost Institute.


Research and Innovation

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A small Council of Accountable Physician Practices study reveals that patients and physicians place the most importance on strong relationships, evidence-based medicine, and care coordination. Interestingly – and perhaps to the detriment of telemedicine vendors – patients reported they’d rather see their own physician than have 24/7 access to any physician. When it comes to EHRs, physicians were more skeptical than patients of the technology’s ability to enhance care.


Other

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Dr. Oz visits the University of Pennsylvania- his alma mater – as part of the Wharton Wellness Board’s new speakers series. The still-practicing cardiologist, who focused his presentation mainly on how to achieve and maintain wellness, told students he decided to scale back his OR hours because he was getting burnt out performing surgeries for conditions that could have been nipped in the bud years prior with proper preventative care. He also addressed Internet rumors that attracted some students to the event: “I don’t know how many of you Googled me recently, but you’re going to see me selling all kinds of weight loss supplements and facial creams. They are all fake,” said Dr. Oz. “Fake ads are the first step towards fake news. And fake news is all about money.”


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

Jenn_125

News 11/13/17

November 13, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Taking advantage of Twitter’s new 280 character limit, President Trump announces that he will nominate Alex Azar for HHS Secretary, quickly followed by a tweet calling for an end to Obamacare’s “unfair & highly unpopular” individual mandate.

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Azar served as HHS general counsel from 2001 to 2005, and then as deputy secretary until 2007, when he joined pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. He resigned as president of Eli Lilly affiliate Lilly USA in January.


Webinars

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November 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Hospitals and Practices Can Respond to Consumerism by Better Engaging Patients Through Price Transparency and Payment Options.” Sponsored by: Change Healthcare. Presenters: Kathy Moore, president, Moore Martini Medical; Linda Glidewell, VP of business development, consumer payment solutions, Change Healthcare. Healthcare consumerism and high-deductible health plans require providers to offer upfront estimates and payment options throughout all points of service. In his webinar, we’ll discuss consumerism as a critical area of opportunity in revenue cycle management and review numerous areas across the revenue cycle where your staff interacts with patients and leaves lasting impressions. From your first interaction with patients on the phone to discuss financial responsibility; to collecting payments at all points of service; to offering payment plans and various payment options — these are all areas that can be game-changing. With the right approach to consumerism, you can improve patient collections and optimize revenue from the start while also improving the overall patient experience.

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November 30 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Making Clinical Communications Work in Your Complex Environment.” Sponsored by: PatientSafe Solutions. Presenters: Steve Shirley, VP/CIO, Parkview Medical Center; Richard Cruthirds, CIO, Peterson Health. Selecting, implementing, and managing a mobile clinical communications platform is a complex and sometimes painful undertaking. With multiple technologies, stakeholders, and disciplines involved, a comprehensive approach is required to ensure success. Hear two hospital CIOs share their first-hand experience, lessons learned, and demonstrated results from deploying an enterprise-wide mobile clinical communications solution.

December 5 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cornerstones of Order Set Optimization: Trusted Evidence.” Sponsored by: Wolters Kluwer. Updating order sets with new medical evidence is crucial to improving outcomes, but coordinating maintenance for hundreds of order sets with dozens of stakeholders is a huge logistical challenge. For most hospitals, managing order set content is labor intensive and the internal processes supporting it are far too inefficient. Evidence-based order sets are only as good as their content, which is why regular review and updates are essential. This webinar explores the relationship between clinical content and patient care with an eye toward building trust among the clinical staff. Plus, we will demonstrate a new evidence alignment tool that can easily incorporate the most current medical content into your order sets, regardless of format, including Cerner Power Plans and Epic SmartSets.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Camellia Women’s Imaging (AL) selects mammography tracking, physician portal, PACS, RIS, and speech-recognition technology from eRad.

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Laguna Beach, CA-based patient engagement company MDBackline develops software that automates the patient intake process and shares relevant health data with a practice’s EHR.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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GE CEO John Flannery claims 2018 will be a “reset year” for the company during a presentation to investors. Flannery stressed that the company will remain committed to its health care, aviation, and energy businesses. It will undergo a broader restructuring that will include laying off 25 percent of staff at its home office in Boston, downsizing its board, eliminating certain employee bonuses, and reducing its quarterly dividend. GE stock suffered a eight-year low on the news.


People

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Former National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD joins Humana’s Board of Directors.

Medical Technology Partners VP Nancy Young takes on the additional role of president of the Medical Association of Billers, which she acquired for an undisclosed sum last week.


Government and Politics

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The CDC names 24 winners (primarily family medicine practices and FQHCs) of its annual Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge. The contest recognizes healthcare organizations that have developed proven strategies to help patients achieve blood pressure control rates at or above the 70-percent target.


Telemedicine

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Amerigroup will offer Medicare Advantage members access to LiveHealth Online virtual consults beginning in 2018. The organizations partnered earlier this year to bring free virtual consults to victims of Hurricane Harvey via Amerigroup mobile health clinics.


Research and Innovation

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New Change Healthcare research finds that 40 states are pursuing value-based payment models, 23 have mandated value-based goals involving providers and payers, 17 have or are developing ACOs, and 12 are making similar moves towards episode-of-care programs.


Other

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Cigna partners with the US Women’s Health Alliance to introduce a maternity episode-of-care program to its value-based Cigna Collaborative Care initiative. The new program will incentivize 28 USWHA-member OB/GYN practices to improve quality, outcomes, and affordability. The alliance developed a custom analytics-based measurement system to track physician performance. The program seems especially apropos given headline-grabbing statistics released earlier this year exposing escalating maternal death rates in the US.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

Jenn_125

News 11/9/17

November 9, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

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EyeMD EMR Healthcare Systems acquires ophthalmology-specific software for ASCs from competitor Health Care Intranet Technologies. CEO Abdiel Marin believes the new software will ease data transfer between its EHR customers and ASCs, and help the company gain more ASC market share.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

I neglected to mention earlier this week that Lorre is running her year-end special for new HIStalk (and HIStalk Practice) sponsors – avoid the pre-HIMSS rush, sign up now, and get the rest of this year free. She’ll also offer a deal to wayward former sponsors who want to return to the fold.


Webinars

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November 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Hospitals and Practices Can Respond to Consumerism by Better Engaging Patients Through Price Transparency and Payment Options.” Sponsored by: Change Healthcare. Presenters: Kathy Moore, president, Moore Martini Medical; Linda Glidewell, VP of business development, consumer payment solutions, Change Healthcare. Healthcare consumerism and high-deductible health plans require providers to offer upfront estimates and payment options throughout all points of service. In his webinar, we’ll discuss consumerism as a critical area of opportunity in revenue cycle management and review numerous areas across the revenue cycle where your staff interacts with patients and leaves lasting impressions. From your first interaction with patients on the phone to discuss financial responsibility; to collecting payments at all points of service; to offering payment plans and various payment options — these are all areas that can be game-changing. With the right approach to consumerism, you can improve patient collections and optimize revenue from the start while also improving the overall patient experience.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Modernizing Medicine adds new image management features, including improved centralized access and device integration, to its Modmed Ophthalmology EHR.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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EHR, PM, and RCM vendor ISalus Healthcare relocates to larger office space in downtown Indianapolis. Fun fact: “Salus” is the ancient Roman Goddess of health, prosperity, and public welfare. Company founders tweaked the name to indicate their desire to positively impact healthcare with Internet-driven technologies. 


People

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FastMed Urgent Care names Webster Golinkin CEO. Golinkin founded RediClinic in 2005 and stayed on with the company after it was acquired by RiteAid in 2014. He went on to become a member of RiteAid’s senior management and CEO of its population health management-focused Health Dialog business.

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Tom Visotsky (HCS) joins Kno2 as VP of vertical market sales.


Telemedicine

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina begins offering employer-sponsored plan members virtual consults from MDLive.

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MDLive partners with online dermatology provider Iagnosis Healthcare to launch teledermatology consultations for consumers. It will offer the service to employers and payers on January 1, 2018.


Government and Politics

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Seattle Mariners fans poke fun at Andy Slavitt’s mis-tweet after Tuesday’s contested vote in Maine over Medicaid expansion.


Other

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Bring Your Daughter to Work Day takes on a whole new meaning: Identical triplets Vicky, Sarah, and Joanna Bedell – all OB/GYNs who attended school at Brandeis University in Boston – join their mother Janet Gersten, MD at her recently renamed New Age Women’s Health practice in Miami. As she contemplates retirement, Gersten sees a bright future ahead for her daughters. “The idea is to have a group practice with the three of them and have other doctors join them,” she says. “We invested in a building; it’s been customized to fit our needs for the practice and research business, and there’s room to grow there for other practitioners.”


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

Jenn_125

Readers Write: What Do Patients Want? Digital Convenience, of Course!

November 9, 2017 Guest articles No Comments

What do Patients Want? Digital Convenience, of Course!
By Kermit Randa

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The era of healthcare consumerism is here. With it, patients expect the same modern, digital conveniences they receive in other areas of their daily lives. They want easier ways to understand what they owe and convenient options to pay their balances. They also want greater freedom to choose their healthcare providers, and growing numbers of patients are increasingly comparing provider pricing. As a result, healthcare organizations are moving from antiquated payment processes to providing patients with the electronic conveniences they seek.

To that end, MGMA and Navicure collaborated to conduct our first Digital Payment Progress Report survey, where we sought to understand billing payment preferences and behaviors among provider organizations. We then compared some of these findings with Navicure’s Patient Payment Check-Up, conducted by HIMSS Analytics, to assess differences in attitudes and behaviors between patients and providers. The results were intriguing.

In particular, physician practices show some clear advantages over hospitals when it comes to the use of digital billing and payment systems. For instance:

Group practices believe patients are more comfortable sharing mobile/email contact information than do hospitals. In fact, while 64 percent of group practices claim patients are comfortable sharing their email addresses, only 56 percent of hospitals say the same. That may be because providers in smaller group practices have a more personal relationship with the patient than hospital providers. And in reality, most patients (79 percent) are perfectly comfortable providing their email address. Still, 77 percent of providers today send paper bills, which creates incredible opportunity for the industry to leverage email to deliver bills electronically, saving scads of paper, postage, and time, thereby reducing days in A/R.

Patients typically pay their physician practice bills faster. Twenty-six percent of hospital respondents say it takes patients longer than six months to pay their balance, while only 13 percent of practice respondents report it takes this long. Our survey also showed group practices having more success with patients paying at the time of service. That’s likely due to the nature of services offered in a doctor’s office being more predictable, making it easier to provide a cost estimate. And, it’s something practices should take advantage of if they aren’t already doing so.

More ambulatory organizations can provide a cost estimate than hospitals. Nearly 80 percent of ambulatory organizations can provide a cost estimate to patients, while only 69 percent of hospitals can offer one. As previously mentioned, this may be because it’s easier to put a price tag on the services provided in a doctor’s office, which translates into a simpler process for providing an estimate; whereas hospitals may not know the final cost until all procedures/services are completed and the patient is released. But, estimates will become increasingly important — our survey also showed that when patients comparatively shop for services, the results they find make a significant impact on the provider they choose. That’s especially true among younger patients: Seventy-five percent of patients comparing prices are between 18-34 years old. Practices will improve transparency, trust, and satisfaction among their patients if they offer pricing up front.

5 Ways to Put These Findings to Use

While practices may be ahead of hospitals in the areas of cost estimation and electronic billing, they’re still behind when it comes to meeting patient demand. Insights from the Digital Payment Progress Report can be helpful as practices look for ways to address patient billing and payment challenges to help bridge the gap between outdated processes that are holding back progress and patient expectations for electronic payment options.

Here are five things practice administrators can tackle to get started:

  1. Review the 5 Ps (people, processes, products, performance, and patients) to uncover where disconnects are in the payment process and develop an action plan to reduce them.
  2. Ask your patients. Conduct a short online or informal in-office survey to find out what they’re looking for in payment options.
  3. Train your teams. Provide ongoing training to help front-office teams educate patients on payment options, and cross-train the entire office to ensure everyone on the team fully understands the impact their role has on the revenue cycle process and increasing patient satisfaction.
  4. Educate your patients. Patients want a quick and easy to read, short and uncomplicated, one-page document that explains their payment options. Make sure front-office staff are able to confidently discuss financial responsibilities with patients.
  5. Establish measurable objectives for data and quality metrics. Define, collect, and respond to performance metrics to understand your practice’s revenue cycle goals and whether or not they’ve been achieved.

Ultimately, our survey showed there’s strong need for digital payment options such as patient estimates, credit card on file, online bill pay, and more. It also showed there’s agreement all around when it comes to the impact these tools can have on improving collections, reducing days in A/R, and reducing bad-debt write-offs. As healthcare consumerism continues to expand and the future of billing and payments becomes more digital, practices are well-positioned for success when they can pin-point key areas of improvement and proactively give patients what they want – electronic payments and accurate estimates.

Kermit Randa is chief growth officer of Navicure in Atlanta.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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