Monthly Archives: October 2016

Era of A Personalized Care

Humans differ in terms of DNA & Genome Composition. This factor may not necessarily surface as a disorder or a disability but will create variations in the manner each person responds to drugs and treatment for a disease or a condition. In any given population, there is a chance that a group exists who do not respond to any given medication in the desired manner.

Personalized medicine is the practice of designing and conducting medicine tailored to suit an individual patient’s needs with procedures, drugs and treatment approaches. Personalized medicine has been the war cry for many healthcare reformists for decades, but now there is more likelihood of the general healthcare practice widely adopting the idea because of the following reasons.

Change in regulation
Change in attitude
Healthcare technology
The current model is ineffective

Change in regulations:

The US healthcare regulations are changing giving way to implement the new methodology of care delivery and management. The provider reimbursement is being made flexible allowing healthcare professionals the space to adopt their practice for the benefit of each individual. Change in regulations also will lead way to alterations in the structure of organizations; the organizations will be revamped to be more collaborative and serve a population that is demanding quality and services that match any other industry’s methodology.

Change in attitude:

Providers of today have many tools at their disposal and partially due to this reason providers are more willing to embrace change and improve the lives of those whom they serve. The complexity that the modern medicine requires and the practice of handling a large amount of data is almost impossible to manage and generate result without healthcare IT.

Healthcare Technology:

Healthcare Technology is improving and evolving tremendously, allowing both providers and the patients not only to keep track but actively engage in Care Management. The data that is collected by connected devices and the quality of information that is gathered by hospital systems allows for an in-depth analysis of healthcare conditions and concerns.
For those not residing in cities, Healthcare IT means fast care with the focus on those suffering from chronic conditions. In personalized medicine, Healthcare IT can be used to gather personal information and monitor the effects of treatment and medication, and also play as a channel to direct personalized care.

The current model is inefficient:

The current model is inefficient and rigid to incorporate the necessary changes that need to be made to accommodate all the variations required in care delivery. The results are varying and the outcome cannot be accurately predicted. The healthcare sector now works under the assumption that reaction to a medication or procedure is the same for every individual. This is a risky assumption and one which is costing the public their health and money.

Personalized medicine is the future of healthcare, it is the next big idea that is going to shape healthcare delivery for the times to come incorporating technology. We at HealthViewX understand this, and we are determined to create healthcare delivery tools that collect useful patient information to help providers make choose the right path always.

Patient Engagement – A Key To Reduce Readmission

Many buzzwords are battling around healthcare practices and patient engagement is not new. Healthcare is reforming constantly by implementing new technologies and methods. The reforms in technology make hospitals function better while the changes made in quality measures bring better care quality. The bottom line of any provider is to provide quality care to improve the health outcome through cost-effective methodologies.

Though hospitals have been trying to bring out transitions in patient care with emerging technology they are constantly facing same issues over a period of time called readmission. Hospitals that are registered under Medicare bears the pain of being penalized if their patients get readmitted. In Chronic Care Management, patients get 20 minute of care after their discharge and CMS pays for it. The reason behind this payment is to reduce preventable readmission, and emergency room visits.

Each individual’s health outcome depends on the consistent effort taken by primary care physicians, registered nurses, care coordinators, community health workers, family members and the patients themselves. If there is a readmission then it means there is either a gap in care flow or in communication flow. The only solution to this problem is to engage patients in their own care through simple user-friendly technologies.

Smartphones to engage patients

The smartphone is a good companion for every single individual. People spend most of their time interacting with their smartphones. After smartphones hit the market it has opened a door for many portable health devices which now act as an effective tool in engaging patients in their own health.

It is found that 1 out of every 6 people who are aged above 65 have access to tech devices. Growing population adapt technology faster which means many of them in the next Medicare age group will have smartphones. If the providers pay attention to this stat then it is easy to reduce the readmission. The answer to the question “How smartphones can reduce readmission?” is engaging patients through smartphones.

Mobile technology allows the patient to know about the details of their disease, medication plan, sends appointment reminders to both patient and doctor if any wrong occurs, it helps physicians to create care plans and communicate any time with their patients. At the same time, monitoring devices help to continuously observe the health conditions and send messages to the hospital providers to get instant care.

Educating Patients

Some mobile applications have an inbuilt library which has all the details of medical diseases with their causes, symptoms, medications, treatment procedures, risk factors, and preventive measures. This acts as a reference resource for the patients and they have access to all information in one small handy device. Some tracking and monitoring apps take one step further to engage patients more effectively.

Proper Communication

Some hospitals have also seen a positive outcome in simple and secure text messaging. The message will be sent to the patient and physician as an appointment reminder. Patients who reply back are considered as active patients and they have the low possibility of getting readmitted. These responses will also help providers to check the patient availability to fix up the meeting, also it saves time.
Mobile technology also facilitates timely follow up with patients. Chronic Care Patients who have early follow-up within 7 days have lowered the readmission rate.

CCM Readmission Preventive Measures

1. Send the detailed patient medical summary to outpatient care team immediately after discharge
2. Knowing the patient’s immediate point of contact
3. Follow-up with a week after discharge
4. Educating patient about their health condition before discharging
5. Maintain EHR in such a way to reduce medical errors

Better outcomes come from a better system. Collecting proper patient data and involving patients in engagement activities will help in reducing readmissions.

Profiting From Chronic Care Management

Chronic patients care requirements are different when compared to regular patients. In case of chronic patients, the provider should create, and maintain continuous yet flexible care delivery model to accommodate various healthcare requirements. Until the recent past, the provider’s reimbursement plans for Medicare was not flexible enough to hold all the post and pre ER visit care that is necessary for health and well-being of people with chronic diseases.

Chronic Care Management CMS has given providers the needed elasticity and space to work best with their chronic patients. Under the scheme, providers can charge CMS for 20 minutes of non-hospital, non-face-to-face care that they give to patients over a month. This is a great leap in the right direction but given the strict parameters of the program, many providers are concerned that being a part of it will do more harm than good financially. But here are a few steps that can ensure the greater chance of financial success.

Start with the program
Design a standard approach
Employ resources

Start with the program

Yes, this is the less obvious but important step, less obvious because no provider would want to get into a program with outcome unknown. Chronic Care Management has a few unique features such as only one provider shall charge for CCM services. This means by the time a provider makes his mind and assigns resources their patients would have already gone to a different provider.

It is also true that the program and the approach with which it is designed is rather new in the industry today and it will do good for providers to understand and be used to the change.

Design a standard approach

Like all programs CCM would benefit from a standard approach, it will make it easier for providers to alter and adapt it later. A standard approach will also make billing easier & less troublesome. The main idea here is to spot what works best for a practice and if it doesn’t then how it can be changed to arrive at the result that the provider hopes to achieve.

Employ Resources

Provider/ Practice must designate and assign a resource for CCM program. Resources which include human can achieve the objectives better if the program is taken seriously and not like a side assignment without any defined parameters. In most cases, resources are already available and assigned to chronic patients care but adjustments need to be made so that such systems will meet the program parameters.


This step is evident and for the right reasons. The review can help in understanding the causes of malfunction if any. And what is required to make it right and more importantly to know the aim of the exercise – that is improved care quality, is achieved. The introduction of this program CMS has laid the groundwork for healthcare industry’s transformation into a quality based industry in which profitability has linked quality and vice versa. Schedule a demo with us to learn more about Chronic Care Management.

What to Look for in a Care Management Solution?

As the population grows older, the number of Medicare and Medicaid eligible adult age groups increase. This raise inpatient population will increase the probability of readmissions, unnecessary hospitalization and wrong treatment rate. Patient health needs have to be monitored continuously to avoid all these problems.

Care Management provides the right care at the required time for patients to avoid re-hospitalization. In recent days, Care Management has become a must option for all providers to reduce readmission.

The triple goal of care management is to,

Achieve Population Health
Decrease Health Risk
Reduce Healthcare Cost

To achieve this goal, patients have to be actively engaged in their care process. Some physicians fail to explain to patients about their health condition and the others fail in communicating it properly. But the aim of any physician is to improve the health outcome of the patients. They want their patients to follow the instructions, however considering their health conditions patients often forget things. And, this problem is never-ending.

The solution to solve this problem is the usage of technology in health practices. Easy to use applications and remote monitoring tools will ease the process and help providers to keep an eye on patient’s health status.

So what are all the features a care management solution should have?

1. A solution that helps provider & physicians to create a good Care Plan
A care management solution allows providers to create a customized care plan for all the enrolled patients based on patient’s medical conditions. These care plans are pushed to patient’s integrated health devices so it allows providers to track the patient’s condition endlessly to provide instant care services.
For example, a care plan goal is created and pushed to a diabetes patient. Any changes in blood glucose level will be intimated to the respective physician. A physician will immediately communicate with a patient to identify what has happened and give proper guidance. This will not only help to improve the patient wellness but also keeps patients away from entering into any risk state.

2. A solution which allows physicians to communicate with patients securely
Telehealth- a solution to reduce a communication gap in healthcare. Though Telehealth feature is not new in healthcare sector it is getting popular only in recent years. This feature helps physicians connect to their patients and care coordinators through telecommunication network or through video conferencing. Remote monitoring technology helps physicians to have a track on the patient’s health status and provide treatment from anywhere. This feature also helps rural providers to consult with a specialist before and after treatment.

3. A dashboard that explains everything

With the actionable dashboard, a provider can view details of the total number of patients, risk stratification, disease management heat map, care plan chart, goal adherence chart, and appointments. Each component should be given the option to be filtered and further drill down to know more details.

4. A Tool that will send notifications for the appointment, and alerts on Threshold Breach

It allows to schedule an appointment online in no time, reminds both patients and physicians, and alerts physicians by sending notifications if their patients are at risk.

For example, if a diabetes patient’s blood glucose level goes up, an alert will be sent to the physician. A physician will view the patient details by clicking on the notification. The physician has three options- Call, Chat or Video call- tapping any one of the options will connect physician with the patient.

5. One solution to manage and monitor the whole population health

Similarly, the number of patients near to real-time health status can be tracked simultaneously. The patient’s data will be gathered and recorded to act upon immediately. This way a care management solution helps for the betterment of the overall health of the population.

In simple words, a Care Management Platform should come with features that have the ability to Create Care Plan, Engage patients in a meaningful way & Extend Care beyond the hospital walls.

Role of Telehealth In Chronic Care

Every individual involved in Healthcare has now realized the importance of remote patient monitoring which is also known as Telehealth. With Telehealth technology hospitals can improve the outcome, ease out access to care, and reduce time and cost.

In Healthcare, care management is one of the critical components of primary care that contributes to better health. As CMS recognizes the significance of remote patient monitoring as an effective way to improve health by avoiding readmission rate, it started to pay providers for their non- face-to-face consultation service after discharge for chronic care patients.

Treating a chronic disease is considered to be the most expensive treatment. One such chronic disease is heart disease and its treatment falls under the costliest one. Every year millions of people face congestive heart failure. In 2014, there were 46.2 million geriatrics in the US and by 2020 it is expected to grow to 98 million which is so huge.

People with the chronic disease have the higher tendency for re-hospitalization. And this problem prevails in America for quite a long period. Providers are paid for treating more than two chronic diseases under CPT code 99490 by Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). To reduce this revisits CMS will penalize those hospitals with high readmission rates.

This is a major concern for hospitals typically which has a large population of low-income patients. They try to focus on reducing unnecessary readmission in order to remain competitive financially and also improve the health outcome. The solution to this problem is monitoring and reviewing for a post-discharge period – 30 days.

Telehealth can act as an early warning system, collect data such as vital, blood pressure levels, heart rate, weight, blood sugar level and blood oxygen level. A heart failure patient who experiences the slight change in blood pressure levels and increases in weight over time is more likely to experience negative medical outcomes. It is understandable that by monitoring these changes in patient’s health can help avoiding emergency room visits.

With Patient- Generated Health Data and Remote Monitoring Technology, a patient’s health will be observed all day long and any changes in health condition will be immediately reported to the clinical call center and interventions will be instantly done which will reducing readmission constantly.

Telehealth Features

Remote Patient Monitoring
Store and forward data, images or video
Mobile Health(mHealth) applications

The advantage of Telehealth Technology

1. Self-Care Management

Promoting Health education to involve the patient in their own health management is the primary motive of Telehealth. This program is to help patients to have a better understanding of their own health, why and what medication they need to take, educates about the possible risk conditions and how to overcome it.

2. Increased Access to Care

With less in the number of physicians’ providers face more difficulty in appointment scheduling with physicians, providing care at right time and assigning, and monitoring care coordinators. Telehealth helps clinical staffs to remotely monitor chronic patient’s health condition using digital technology.

3. Saves Time and Cost

Remote monitoring will help to find the changes in health behavior and intimates about the adverse effect. Clinicians have to act when there is an emergency which will reduce the avoidable treatment cost. Telehealth facility has decreased patient wait time and has increased treatment time.

4. Telehealth for Rural Communities

With telehealth facility, rural hospitals are able to provide quality care at low costs. Chronic patients under these areas are more benefited from this service. Patients can get e-consultation and opinion from the specialist without the necessity to visit them in person.

Patients get benefited from,

a. Telepharmacy
Patients can get their access to medications and medication counseling at their community pharmacies.

b. Mobile monitoring devices
With monitoring devices, providers can track their patient vital signs and can get connected via smartphones to communicate with patients for care improvement.

However, Telehealth has opened a path for new developments in technology. Applications like heart rate recorder, body temperature finder and so on help better monitoring of patient’s health. With this advancement in technology, it is possible to bring better changes in lives.

Utopian Future of Healthcare

What is the ideal healthcare situation? What is the utopian future of healthcare that you dream to achieve? Fairly common amongst such visions would be the future with no disease or perhaps future where healthcare is pervasive or aiming at a cost-effective healthcare system. Whichever may be your idea of health care future, it is very much likely that it will have elements of population health and care management.
Population health simply put, is realizing how much of a say a community has on an individual’s health and focusing on the individual; caring for a community as a unit, monitoring the spread, cause, and effect of the disease, conditions, and environment.

Population health will provide following benefits to a community

Preventive treatment
Identifying the source of the problem
Improves overall wellness
Create interest and awareness

1.Preventive treatment:
Population health management will help the providers identify early warning signs regarding the spread of a disease or prevalence of a condition. This allows taking precise and effective preventive measures to ensure that the spread of any disease is constrained and stopped. Up until now, all that there is to healthcare was to treat the known diseases and conditions, as and when it is reported. But an early warning helps in understanding the problem and has the advantage of preventing an epidemic.

2. Identifying the source of the problem:

The source of the problem may not always be straightforward or even a medical problem. For example, if in a community many people are suffering from a disease and if the average of the population that suffers from such disease is higher than national average then it is a clear sign that there is something unique in the case of this community and it requires special attention. The nature of the community and the culture of the people can play a role in understanding health and tell how prone a person is to diseases.

3. Improve overall well-being:

When population health and care management tools try and identify the various elements at play which can ensure health in a community these steps can improve overall well-being. An arbitrary definition of this concept will be ‘good or satisfactory condition of existence’. It is a vague definition but it quite clearly covers the whole concept of value-based care, one solution fits all, does not fit here at all.

4. Create interest and awareness:

Any step in the direction of healthcare can only be successful if all participants in it are keen to do it. Care management is a great tool in creating awareness amongst the population by communicating information and making then active in managing their health than just being silent participants.

There are two ways to go about achieving what we want, one way which is, of course, the more common and a more popular practice that is to dream about future of healthcare but sit back arms on either side, waiting for incentives to force a change in the present. The second less popular is to take more active part in the making of the law, sharing data to aid research and participating in pilot studies. The way forward is the way of data and a lot of it, the community of healthcare providers should be ready to embrace new technology to collect, process and communicate data that will bring healthcare into its utopia.