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From the PRM Pro 1/22/18

January 22, 2018 From the PRM Pro No Comments

The State of the Patient-Provider Relationship in 2017
By Jim Higgins

The relationship between a patient and their provider has always been at the root of positive outcomes for patients and success for a practice. Unfortunately, this relationship has hit some bumpy spots in recent years. Providers can no longer rely on clinical care excellence alone to keep patients coming back. Patients expect the full customer experience. Never has this been truer than in 2017.

Here are some of the trends we saw in the patient-provider relationship throughout 2017:

The “Amazon Effect” moved to healthcare

It is a well-known fact that Amazon revolutionized the customer experience. As founder Jeff Bezos explained, “We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with the customer and we work backwards.” Their strategy worked. The Amazon effect created a shift in the way individuals view their relationships with businesses. Today’s customer now assumes that companies will anticipate and meet their needs ahead of time. These expectations have made the leap to healthcare. Patients now expect an Amazon-like experience, and they don’t just want stellar care, but connection and accessibility as well. Excellence is now expected to be the norm for providers, not the exception. Meeting these rising demands is difficult. In fact, a study of healthcare CEOs found that meeting these consumer-based expectations is one of the top three challenges facing those in the medical industry. Why?

Practices must juggle competing priorities

Declining insurance and Medicare/Medicaid payouts have left practices spread thin. Today’s doctors are seeing more patients than ever before, and yet their incomes are either flat or falling. Falling reimbursements have forced practices to increase the number of patients being seen—leading to extra stress on staff and a “Jiffy Lube” experience (where practices try to get patients in and out of the office as quickly as possible) for patients. Unfortunately, such an experience is not what Amazon patients demand. Today’s patients want personal, connected relationships with their practices—the opposite of a Jiffy Lube experience. The result of such a disconnect? One in three patients report they will switch practices in the next couple of years.

Patient relationship management tools — the “Amazon” of healthcare relationships

For the foreseeable future, the number of patients that practices must see each day to stay profitable will not change. Reimbursements are largely out of a provider’s control. How do practices meet the demands patients have for high-quality personalized care when seeing such large numbers of patients? Technology. Technology is healthcare’s answer to meeting the needs of Amazon patients. Connection through technology is not only effective, but it is what patients want. Studies show that 60 percent of patients would like to receive text reminders and 70 percent want text communication that goes beyond reminders. The same is true for email. Nine out of 10 patients prefer doctors who email their patients.

Patient relationship management tools enable practices to reach out to large numbers of patients and create real relationships. They support on-going communication through different mediums, making it much easier for practices to develop and nurture relationships with their patients. In addition, using technologies like these reduces the stress placed upon practices. For example, practices can save hours of time on phones. The average phone call to set up an appointment takes 8.1 minutes. Multiply that by the number of patients seen in a practice and the time wasted is astronomical. In fact, administrative tasks are one of the biggest irritants for practices. Using text, email, or online self-scheduling reduces the workload. Unfortunately, the majority of practices still do not use text or email to communicate with their patients. Implementing better patient communication technology is an easy fix that practices can—and should—tackle in 2018.

Looking to the future

The world is marching forward. It is critical that practices evolve with it. Embracing technology that helps move the patient experience from Jiffy Lube to Amazon is going to play a critical role in a practice’s success. According to McKinsey, over half of patients say they have the same customer service expectations from healthcare that they have from non-healthcare businesses. This trend is only going to grow. Now is the time for practices to embrace that reality and start making changes.

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


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News 1/17/18

January 17, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD joins Atlanta-based staffing and technology company Jackson Healthcare’s advisory board. Price’s Georgia roots run deep, with leadership ties to Resurgens Orthopedics, Emory University, and Grady Memorial Hospital. He spent eight years in the Georgia Senate before heading to Washington, DC as a congressman and cabinet member. 


Webinars

January 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET: “Location, Location, Location: How to Deploy RTLS Asset Management for Capital Savings.” Sponsor: Versus Technology. Presenter: Doug Duvall, solution architect, Versus Technology. Misplaced or sub-optimally deployed medical equipment delays patient care and hampers safety-mandated preventive maintenance. It also forces hospitals to buy more equipment despite an average utilization that may be as low as 30 percent, misdirecting precious capital dollars that could be better spent on more strategic projects. A real-time locating system (RTLS) cannot only track asset location, but also help ensure that equipment is properly distributed to the right place at the right time. This webinar will provide insight into the evaluation, selection, and benefits of an RTLS-powered asset management solution.

February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Q2i develops an app to help physicians care for patients after discharge from inpatient, outpatient, or residential treatment for substance use disorder.

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Innovaccer develops the Provider Utilization Portal to give providers a better understanding of payment and performance trends across facilities.

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Digestive Care (FL) will replace its Greenway Health EHR with EClinicalWorks technology, including EHR, population health, and mobile app software.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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CareDox raises $16 million in a funding round led by AI Life Sciences Investments LLC and 7wire Ventures. The New York City-based company has developed pediatric-focused healthcare technology for schools and payers that connects to immunization registries.


Telemedicine

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ClinicTracker adds telemedicine capabilities to its EHR for behavioral health.

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Vein911 Vein Treatment Centers (FL) offer patients telemedicine consults via Chiron Health technology.


Government and Politics

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CMS will host a webinar on January 23 and 25 to help solo and small-practice physicians better understand the process for submitting MIPS improvement activity and attestation data.

AHRQ taps Octo Consulting Group to maintain and improve its Quality and Safety Review System.


Other

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Pediatrician Yoon-Taek Chun, MD will serve as a translator at the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month. Chun is no stranger to caring for South Korean patients, having served as a South Korean army doc in the DMZ several decades ago. He’ll close down his solo practice in New York for nearly a month to travel to Pyeongchang – a move that doesn’t seem to worry his patients. “They promised me that they will be very healthy while I am away,” he quips.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic acquires the revenue cycle transformation practice of The Claro Group.
  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at the MA/RI HFMA Revenue Cycle Conference January 18-19 in Foxborough, MA
  • Nordic releases a new video, “Achieving a return on your EHR investment in 2018 and beyond.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 1/15/18

January 15, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Athenahealth will move forward with previously announced plans to expand its Atlanta office by 40,000 square feet at a cost of $2.7 million. The company cut 60 Atlanta jobs in October as part of restructuring and elimination of 9 percent of its 5,500 jobs nationwide.


Webinars

January 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET: “Location, Location, Location: How to Deploy RTLS Asset Management for Capital Savings.” Sponsor: Versus Technology. Presenter: Doug Duvall, solution architect, Versus Technology. Misplaced or sub-optimally deployed medical equipment delays patient care and hampers safety-mandated preventive maintenance. It also forces hospitals to buy more equipment despite an average utilization that may be as low as 30 percent, misdirecting precious capital dollars that could be better spent on more strategic projects. A real-time locating system (RTLS) cannot only track asset location, but also help ensure that equipment is properly distributed to the right place at the right time. This webinar will provide insight into the evaluation, selection, and benefits of an RTLS-powered asset management solution.

February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah enlists Aledade to help it launch an ACO that will care for 4,000 members via its network of physician practices. The arrangement marks Aledade’s first contract in the state, and the continued expansion of its ACO business beyond its independent physician practice roots.

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Accountable physician group association CAPG rebrands to America’s Physician Groups.


People

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Western Sierra Medical Clinic (CA) promotes Christina Lasich, MD to CMO. She replaces Heather Lucas-Ross, MD who has returned to full-time patient care.

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The Council of Accountable Physician Practices appoints Stephen Parodi, MD (The Permanente Medical Group) chairman of the board.

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Clinical research-focused data analytics company Patient IP hires Mike Wilkinson (PPD) as president and COO.

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Modernizing Medicine names Arnold Levy, MD an advisor for its GMed subsidiary.


Announcements and Implementations

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Premier Physician Network expands portal access to include easy medical record viewing for patients at its seven facilities in New Jersey.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 1/10/18

January 10, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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The Boston Globe highlights the progress EHR vendors like EClinicalWorks are making with embedded virtual assistant technology akin to Alexa and Siri.

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EClinicalWorks CEO Girish Navani previewed the technology during the company’s user conference last fall, and rolled it out to customers in December. Epic is reportedly preparing to launch its own virtual assistant before HIMSS. Athenahealth also has one in the works.


Webinars

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January 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET: “Location, Location, Location: How to Deploy RTLS Asset Management for Capital Savings.” Sponsor: Versus Technology. Presenter: Doug Duvall, solution architect, Versus Technology. Misplaced or sub-optimally deployed medical equipment delays patient care and hampers safety-mandated preventive maintenance. It also forces hospitals to buy more equipment despite an average utilization that may be as low as 30 percent, misdirecting precious capital dollars that could be better spent on more strategic projects. A real-time locating system (RTLS) cannot only track asset location, but also help ensure that equipment is properly distributed to the right place at the right time. This webinar will provide insight into the evaluation, selection, and benefits of an RTLS-powered asset management solution.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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PerfectServe will integrate its clinical communication and care team collaboration platform with Microsoft Skype for Business to allow clinicians to conduct video conversations from within the PerfectServe application.

Allscripts adds clinical, financial, and informational point-of-care messaging from OptimizeRx to its EPrescribe, Professional EHR, and TouchWorks EHR software.

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Portneuf Quality Alliance (ID) selects population health management technology from Lightbeam Health Solutions.

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Shoreline Vision (MI) signs on for support services from Great Lakes Management Services Organization.


People

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William Milo (Surgery Partners) joins Physician Partners of America as SVP of practice operations.


Government and Politics

As of January 1, prescribers in Nebraska must report all dispensed prescription drugs to the statewide PDMP. Providers will also now receive alerts when patients receive high dosages of opioids within the last seven to 30 days. The PDMP is powered by e-prescribing and medication management technology from DrFirst, and is one of the only such databases to integrate with the state HIE.


Telemedicine

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Youth Villages (TN) adds telemedicine services to its deployment of Mozzaz digital health tools.

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WeCounsel develops the VisuWell brand to offer specialists turnkey telemedicine services. VisuWell CEO Sam Johnson founded patient messaging company Relatient in 2012 after a long sales stint with Greenway Health.

Netsmart will embed the virtual doctor service of American Well in long-term care and behavioral health EHR,  giving patients improved access to professionals and allowing them to obtain services from home.

Teladoc integrates its traditional telemedicine services with text-based second opinions from Best Doctors, which it acquired last summer, in a new app.


Research and Innovation

Organizers of the Healthy Nevada Project will offer an additional 40,000 residents Helix DNA kits when phase two of the population health study opens in the spring. Genetic data from study participants will be added to the health, population, and environmental data already being collected to develop a data set that will inform future public health projects.


Other

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Road warriors, beware: A Columbia University study finds that people who travel for work two weeks or more out of the month are more anxious and depressed than those who travel less. They are also more likely to smoke, exercise less, and have trouble sleeping.


Sponsor Updates

  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at the HFMA Revenue Cycle Conference January 18-19 in Foxborough, MA.
  • KLAS recognizes Aprima as a top-tier vendor of ambulatory RCM services for the large and small clinic categories.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 1/8/18

January 8, 2018 News 2 Comments

Top News

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Allscripts will acquire Practice Fusion for $100 million in cash. San Francisco-based Practice Fusion has raised over $150 million since launching in 2005. Its EHR and PM technology supports 30,000 ambulatory practices and 5 million patient visits per month.


Webinars

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January 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET: “Location, Location, Location: How to Deploy RTLS Asset Management for Capital Savings.” Sponsor: Versus Technology. Presenter: Doug Duvall, solution architect, Versus Technology. Misplaced or sub-optimally deployed medical equipment delays patient care and hampers safety-mandated preventive maintenance. It also forces hospitals to buy more equipment despite an average utilization that may be as low as 30 percent, misdirecting precious capital dollars that could be better spent on more strategic projects. A real-time locating system (RTLS) cannot only track asset location, but also help ensure that equipment is properly distributed to the right place at the right time. This webinar will provide insight into the evaluation, selection, and benefits of an RTLS-powered asset management solution.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Cityblock Health raises $20.8 million in a Series A funding round led by Maverick Ventures, which it will use to help deploy its first clinical partnerships and hire additional staff. The New York City-based startup has developed a membership-based care management company focused on serving the primary and behavioral healthcare needs of urban neighborhoods that have historically had little to no access to healthcare services. Andy Slavitt, whose new investment company also contributed to the round, has joined the company’s Board of Directors.

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An AMA report on the economic impact of physicians shows that they support 12.6 million jobs and generate $2.3 trillion – 13 percent of the US economy.


People

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Kelly Robison (OptumCare) returns to Brown & Toland Physicians as CEO.

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Rich Berner (Allscripts) joins MDLive as CEO. Berner replaces Scott Decker, who took the helm in November 2016 after four years at HealthSparq.

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SRS Health promotes Khal Rai to president and CEO.


Government and Politics

Physicians in Nevada begin to chafe under the state’s new opioid prescribing law, which requires them to perform a number of steps that have yet to be fully defined. The chance of failure has many erring on the side of caution so as to avoid penalties set forth by the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners. “They’re scared, frankly,” says Daniel Burkhead, MD a pain management physician who has been tasked with overseeing adherence of the bill at his Las Vegas practice. “They’re scared that we’re going to have some flaw in our paperwork, some flaw in our process that opens us all up — all seven providers — to being sanctioned by the board in various ways. So when I’m talking to my providers and telling them how to implement this, I have to go with the most conservative thing I can think of.”


Telemedicine

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MediCann will implement Heally’s telemedicine software for medical marijuana consults in California. The companies will also partner on cannabis dosing research for a range of ailments.


Other

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Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration notifies 30,000 Medicaid beneficiaries of a November data breach that occurred when an employee fell prey to a phishing email scam.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

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