Value-Based Care Is Medicine Redefined
Friday, February 26th, 2021

The number of patients that need to be treated in a day and the time demands of frequent appointments have long overwhelmed most physicians in traditional fee-for-service (FFS) arrangements. The FFS model ties better income to volume of patients, but the hours dedicated to required tasks outside direct patient care often occupy the time physicians would rather spend looking after patients. Time pressures on physicians are real, with primary care physicians often working after hours to meet all their obligations.

The issue lies largely with the conventional FFS payment system requiring physicians to see more patients, while taking on the bulk of work outside patient visits themselves. Moving patients in and out of consultation rooms in 15-minute intervals means treatment or work satisfaction may be lacking. It is nearly impossible to establish good relationships with patients in such a short period or have deep discussions that may uncover reasons their health is being negatively affected.

The care team, value-based model works well, especially for elderly patients, who often have chronic and difficult illnesses, along with psychosocial risk factors.  In a team approach, staff does much of the paperwork and helps with patients’ non-medical care, allowing physicians to concentrate on what they are qualified and love to do – patient care. When physicians have increased time for patient visits, the odds of developing a true partnership go up, giving time for understanding patient health goals and desires and determining support services they may need.

The leadership tasked with introducing this approach must completely commit to proper implementation to make the value-based care paradigm work. The emphasis on performance metrics requires ensuring effective resources are in place. This means defining specific team functions, scheduling ongoing meetings with the care team to discuss patient cases, and reinforcing quality over quantity.

A genuine system of value-based medicine necessitates physicians become well-informed about the model. Comprehensive knowledge would assure value-based medicine is applied to serve patients and physicians as intended.

This update is provided by CareOptimize. We provide healthcare management consulting services and products, managed care solutions, value-based expertise, Nextgen EHR utilities, MIPS consulting, and more. CareOptimize has helped numerous healthcare organizations succeed for more than a decade. For more information, please call 855.937.8475.

Hurdles Remain With EHR Usability
Friday, February 26th, 2021

A recently released paper in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association showed that although electronic health record vendors have shown impressive levels of progress, EHR accessibility still appears to be a significant obstacle. The paper analyzed four unidentified EHR vendors’ accessibility practices to assess the extent of the issue.

The authors mentioned the basic qualification criteria of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT refer to the product as developed by the vendor. Once that product is in the hands of the actual, real-world users, it can be a radically different experience.

An emphasis on end-users of the product, the significance of knowing the sense of use, and the inclusion of customer input during product creation were identified by all four vendors. A few have also begun to evaluate the various socio-technical structures that can influence EHR usability, such as the organization’s employees, hardware, applications, and community.

However, as most healthcare institutions do not have ample or properly qualified personnel to best configure and monitor their product for usability or safety, frontline clinicians engage with a system that could be significantly contrasting from what the manufacturer initially tested.

For years, EHR usability is something manufacturers have had to contend with, with a Mayo Clinic report relating it to clinician burnout in 2019.

According to the authors, the usability of existing EHR systems was ranked “F” by physician users when tested using a standard usability metric. For all stakeholders, including manufacturers, healthcare providers, researchers, and patients who all have shared responsibility for successful EHR technology, it will be critical to continue to keep accessibility a top priority and ensure safety continues to be paramount.

To read more, please visit https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/post-implementation-ehr-usability-still-significant-challenge.

This update is provided by CareOptimize. We provide healthcare management consulting services and products, managed care solutions, value-based expertise, Nextgen EHR utilities, MIPS consulting, and more. CareOptimize has helped numerous healthcare organizations succeed for more than a decade. For more information, please call 855.937.8475.

Many Healthcare Organizations Rely on Multiple Revenue Cycle Management Vendors
Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

According to a Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) Pulse Survey, several hospitals and health systems rely on multiple vendors to simplify diverse facets of revenue cycle management. Around thirty percent of healthcare finance executives have been surveyed and almost twenty percent of those respondents use two suppliers with one performing various aspects of the automation process. Around five percent use a trio of suppliers who each work with a different part, and five percent use four or more suppliers to completely control the automation of the revenue cycle.

For all automation phases in the sales cycle, nearly forty percent of respondents stated they rely on a sole vendor and just over thirty percent have an inner team concentrating solely on revenue cycle management automation.

Small organizations showed a reduced likelihood of having an internal staff committed to revenue cycle automation (34% with net patient income under $500 million and 26% with a net patient income of $500 million and $1 billion); they are more likely to rely on multiple vendors. Interestingly, there were no mid-size hospitals or health departments using at least three vendors or more.

For the healthcare sector, revenue cycle automation has had its challenges. A June 2019 study showed that only one-fifth of hospitals and health facilities had completely digitized or streamlined more than a quarter of their organization’s financial and revenue cycle activities.

To read more, please visit https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/30-of-hospitals-use-two-or-more-revenue-cycle-management-vendors/.

This update is provided by CareOptimize. We provide healthcare management consulting services and products, managed care solutions, value-based expertise, Nextgen EHR utilities, MIPS consulting, and more. CareOptimize has helped numerous healthcare organizations succeed for more than a decade. For more information, please call 855.937.8475.