Tag Archives: hipaa

Revenue lost due to patient leakage in hospitals and health systems

The last few years have been a tumultuous time for hospitals and health systems due to the high patient leakage rate. Even today, patient leakage is a key concern and remains an unsolved challenge in many of the health systems. Health systems are losing more than 20% revenue due to inefficient organizational referral processes, as a result, patients are opting to different care providers for their care needs. Identifying the gaps or latitude to go out of the system, and sealing this, is the basic step that health systems need to take in solving patient leakage challenge.

What are the main causes of patient leakage?

Here are some reasons why patient leakage happens

          Referring physicians refer patients to out-of-network providers

          Patients move out of the care network due to poor care coordination

          Unavailability of a specialist within the care network

Patient Leakage and its consequences

Though in most hospitals patient leakage is contributing to significant revenue loss, this loss is ignored, and not given much importance. Health systems and hospitals need to consider this leakage extremely important. Non-coordinated or fragmented care is one of the main reasons for patient leakage. The point is to emphasize on some damaging consequences patient leakage can bring on care quality and patient health outcomes.

Understanding the actual causes of this leakage and taking tangible steps to address this challenge is vital. It is the responsibility of the health system to track and manage patient referrals in a better way with a solution for tracking leakages and referrals. Otherwise, it can damage the health system’s reputation, undermine its brand value, and even jeopardize its competitive edge.

Challenges in processes that cause patient leakage

Streamlining different processes for different aspects is required for better overall operational efficiency. One such process that needs attention to arrest leakage is the patient referral process. Health systems need to adapt to solutions that will help seal this leakage. HealthViewX helps referral coordinators in health systems to manage patient referral efficiently and improve care, performance, compliance, and reduce leakage.

The current referral process lacks certain mechanisms to make this process effective.  Hospitals and health systems need a referral solution in addition to an EMR to solve their referral challenges especially referral leakage.

An ideal referral solution for hospitals should have the following features

  • Multi-channel referral consolidation

Health systems have multiple access points for patients and chances are that health systems may miss following-up with some referrals. The solution needs to consolidate referrals from multiple sources like fax, email, phone calls, online forms, etc. It should integrate well to bring all of these referrals into one single queue and ensure not a single referral is missed.

  • Secure exchange of information

A HIPAA compliant solution that supports the secure exchange of sensitive patient information among the care providers involved in patient care is a must. The provider should be able to attach documents securely at any time for one another’s reference.

  • Patient referral history

Both the referring physician and the receiving provider should have access to the entire referral history. All required information right from the time a referral is initiated and consequent diagnosis reports, referral status, etc. should be available at any point of care.

  • Scheduler Integration

Patient convenience is one of the most important factors in providing care. Scheduling appointments as per patient convenience and automated reminders for both patient and provider about the appointment is mandatory.

  • Dashboard and referral insights

The solution has to give complete data of the referrals flowing into the health system. The number of referrals processed, number missed and many more as per the requirement of the health system. These data analytics should give the practice a clear picture of how referrals are handled and where the leakage is happening.  

Speak to HealthViewX solution experts to understand more about HealthViewX Referral Solution features that will help solve some of the challenges in the patient referral process and increase revenue through effective tracking. Schedule a demo today!

 

 

How to become a preferred health system for patients and referring physicians?

Healthcare technology has made it stress-free and simplified for health systems to deliver care for their patients. These advancements are uniquely qualified to help health systems attract patients to their facility and build their brand.  

So how do you become the preferred health system? What are the strategies behind becoming a preferred health system for your patients and physicians referring patients to your health systems?

Care coordination is the responsibility of any system of care and has the potential to transform healthcare delivery, and improve the overall effectiveness, and efficiency of any health system. Thus, the key to becoming the preferred health system for patients’ is to have well-executed care coordination.

For effective care coordination, it is important to connect your entire physician community and specialists and make sure they work in unison to ensure your patients’ health needs are met and the required care is delivered.   

Care coordination, if done in the right manner it can improve health outcomes and patient experience along with the growth of the healthcare system. All of them: Patients, providers, and payers can get benefited through proper care coordination. Though there are different definitions for care coordination at the end all of them point to the same goal, which is to become patients’ preferred care provider.  

 Here are a few tips to become patients’ preferred health system

1. Connecting an entire set of physicians and specialists:

It is important to connect your entire set of physicians and specialists to provide quality care for each and every patient. Through HealthViewX end-to-end patient referral management connect your entire care network.

2. Improve care coordination:

The major priorities of all healthcare providers are to achieve care coordination and improve patient care but it still remains a challenge in the industry. The right coordinator for each patient may differ from patient to patient. Critical patient information should be readily available for all involved in patient care. Improved care coordination results in better patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.

3. Effective Communication Methods:

Software solutions that support to upsurge communication and engagement among providers are still lacking. Manual processes (phone call, email, fax, etc.) can lead to fatigue and operational inefficiency. An end-to-end automated solution should help eliminate this challenge. Simply by focusing on improving the transfer of patient information one can improve the quality and continuity of care provided to patients’.

4. Gaining the trust of out-of-network providers/physicians:

PCP’s prefer hospitals that are easy to work with. It is essential to build and maintain a strong referral base from out-of-network providers/physicians. Hospitals need to work to become a referral partner of choice for physicians and so creating a strong referral base with the referring physicians will pave the way to steady patient inflow. Hospitals should work to encourage out-of-network physicians to become more actively involved in patient care. Lack of communication can lead to poor patient health outcomes.

5. Closing the referral loop:

Planned integration of patient care between providers will help attain better service. As health systems grow more complicated, it is essential to close the referral loop for patient record and safety. The goal of referral loop closure is to track and support patients when they obtain services outside the practice. Closing the referral loop is one of the ways to become a preferred provider.

Health systems need to adopt new healthcare technologies that have the potential to improve patient care and satisfaction. Let’s take patient referral management, the need of the hour. The present referral management is complex, and coordinating care is hard for the health systems. Navigating the healthcare system or care set-ups can be tiring for patients too. Poor coordination can result in reduced quality of care, higher readmission rates, increased no-show rates, referral leakage and higher cost of care. Better care coordination may result in more satisfied patients.

An end-to-end referral tracking and follow-up is a must for effective patient care. Patient Referral Management is one such solution which can solve major challenges faced by health systems in their referral process.

Schedule a demo with HealthViewX Referral Management Solution experts today!

 

Why do Federally Qualified Health Centers need a Referral Management Software In Addition To An EMR?

Patient Referral Management is crucial for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). With the advent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, Electronic Health Records have been widely adopted across many FQHCs. There are many benefits to EHRs like improved,

  • Accessibility to patient data
  • Charge capture
  • Preventative health

Let us look into each of them in detail to understand an EMR/EHR implementation better.

Pros of EHR/EMR

1. Improved data accessibility

Before EHRs, access to medical charts required a fair amount of physical labor. For example, every time a patient visits the physician’s clinic or hospital, physician physically pulls their file from a storage space. As a result of this back and forth exchange, there was a greater chance of human error and charts would sometimes be missing information or be chronologically out-of-order.

EHRs, on the other hand, have eliminated the physical transporting, sifting and filing charts, making data available at all times. Additionally, for systems that allow remote access to charts, clinicians can even be offsite and still securely access patient files.

2. Computerized physician order entry

CPOE allows physicians to place lab and imaging orders, prescriptions and other notes electronically. This reduces the error of handwritten orders and allows the patient’s other physicians within the same network access to the order.

3.Preventative health

EHRs allow prompts for preventative health screenings. During routine doctor or urgent care visits, the physician has access to preventive health records conveniently in one place. If the patient is due for a cancer screening (such as mammogram or colonoscopy), or blood pressure testing, the referral coordinator can easily look this up via the EHR system and schedule an appointment for the patient.

4. Ease sign off for PAs and NPs

While this varies from state-to-state by law, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are typically required to have their notes approved and signed off on by their supervising physician. EHRs allow the revision and cosigning of notes to happen electronically as opposed to physically moving and signing the paper.

5. e-messaging between providers

As any referral coordinator can attest referral information, telephone tag between providers can be common and is a big time-waster. With EHR software, physicians can e-message across practices. One situation that benefits in particular from e-messaging is referrals. Rather than playing telephone tag to get an appointment scheduled, the physician electronically sends a message to schedule the appointment.

How can a Patient Referral Management Referral Management work in cohesion with an EMR/EHR system?

FQHCs prefer working with EMR/EHR systems because they are comfortable with it. So they do not wish to move out their EHR/EMR system. 

How great it would be if a Patient Referral Management software could integrate seamlessly with an EMR/EHR system? It can help in ensuring end-to-end Patient Referral Management without disturbing the existing system.

An EHR/EMR system has many advantages but when it is complemented with a Referral Management software practices can experience many more benefits.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution provides easy steps to integrate with a practice’s EMR/EHR system. The patient demographics, diagnostic reports, test results or any sensitive information can be transferred safely. The solution is HIPAA-compliant with complete data security. It has the following features,

  1. Outbound Referrals – HealthViewX Referral Management Solution can integrate with both the receiving and referring end. For inbound referrals, it helps in channelizing various sources into one single queue. In case of outbound referrals, it facilitates integration with the existing system to read the patient data and send out referrals.
  2. Referral Timeline – In HealthViewX Referral Management System, any referral has a timeline, to capture and notify the progress of the referral to all the stakeholders. A referral will be mapped to a status which helps in tracking it better. For e.g. – If a patient does not show up for the appointment, the status of the referral can be changed to no-show and an appropriate reason can also be given. With the help of a referral timeline, the providers can always be aware of what is going on with the referral.
  3. Workflow and Task Management – A workflow can be defined on how the referral flow must be(business rules). Providers can create tasks to manage referrals by assigning it to the respective person.
  4. Improved communication – HealthViewX Referral Management Solution supports messaging and calling features for the referring and the receiving providers to stay connected.
  5. Data Management – The solution is HIPAA compliant and enables secure data exchange of all patient-related documents.
  6. Seamless Integration – The solution can seamlessly integrate with any EMR/EHR/RIS or Third Party application thus providing minimal disruption in the existing referral flow.
  7. Referral History Consolidation – The consolidated data regarding the referrals and the referral history of any patient can be printed as a hard copy at any time in pdf/excel.
  8. Smart Search – HealthViewX Referral Management solution has a smart search facility that helps in finding the right provider for the treatment required.
  9. Referral Data Analytics – Referral data-centric dashboard gives complete data regarding the number of referrals flowing out, the number of referrals in various status, patient follow-ups, etc.

HealthViewX Referral Management solution helps in building a secure referral network in no time. Our expert team will guide you in changing to a Patient Referral Management Software with minimal effort. Schedule a demo with us to know more about our solution.

 

 

Reference

University of California—Davis. “UC Davis study finds e-medical records have varying effects on productivity.” Dec. 2010. http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=966

How valuable is a Patient Referral Management Software To Primary Care Physicians?

When PCPs send a referral to a specialist, they expect that specialists will let them know when their patients received care. Many times it doesn’t happen as expected. The hospital may be too busy to share information. In other cases, the hospital may have faxed a notification to a patient’s primary care physician (PCP). But, for one reason or another like coordination issues, busy schedule, the physician practice may never have received it.

There are many such problems as the above PCPs deal with every day. Let us read through a few in detail.

  1. Insurance pre-authorization – The time a PCP invests on the process of insurance pre-authorization is more. Waiting for the insurance to respond is neither good for the PCP, not the patient.
  2. Finding the right specialist/imaging center – The number of imaging centers and specialist practices is increasing day-by-day. It takes a lot of time and effort for the referral coordinator to narrow down the referral coordinator’s search and find the right one.
  3. Time Spent – As the referrals are handled manually, a referring coordinator spends about half-an-hour to one-hour for a creating referral on an average and even more time in following up the same.
  4. No Updates –  After a referral is sent, both the referring and the receiving providers get busy. It is not possible for both of them to be updated on the referral progress. So the specialist/imaging center and the patient fail to update the clinic on the progress of the referral. This results in open referral loops.

Manage your patient referrals better with the HealthViewX solution

Fortunately, many PCPs are realizing the need for a better way to process and manage referrals securely. This is when they feel an automated Patient Referral Management System can help.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution enables creating a referral in three simple steps thus providing a successful referral program. After the referral is created, it can be tracked with help of the status. Both the referring and receiving providers will be notified of the appointments, test results, treatment recommendations, etc. HealthViewX can integrate with EMR/EHR and can also coordinate between the referring and the receiving sides. Any referral has a timeline view which is common to both the receiving and the referring providers. In the timeline view, history of the referral can be seen for eg: notes related to the patient’s health, previous status of the referral, etc. Documents attachment and status change can also be done at any time of the referral process. HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution can always keep you updated on the progress of the referral thus simplifying the referral process and helps in closing the referral loop.

How has HealthViewX added value to PCPs’ patient referral problems?

1) Automating the insurance pre-authorization process

HealthViewX platform has a payer management module that maintains and manages

  • different payer details
  • their modes of prior authorization
  • direct authorization procedures
  • payer forms
  • online portal links

With this information already present, it provides the referral coordinator the capability to automate

  • prior authorization submission
  • status checks coupled
  • fax integration

It simplifies the process of insurance pre-authorization. The referral coordinator need not waste time on the process anymore.

2) Intelligent Provider Match

Our “Smart Search” feature makes it easy for the referring provider in finding the right provider. It has smart filters and search options that help in narrowing down the specialist based on the requirements.

3) Establishing best practices

After using our HealthViewX Patient Referral Management System, physicians were automatically alerted to

  • Appointments
  • Referral status
  • Patient diagnostic reports
  • Referral completion

As a result, we can cut down on miscommunications and bridge the gaps between the specialist and the physician community. The system also assembles a patient encounter record from the EMR/EHR and pushes it directly to the physician.

4) Forming a close-knit of trusted referral receiving centers

Our system helps in strengthening ties with the medical community. From a history referral experiences the PCPs can from a close-knit of referral receiving providers. Physicians can refer now patients to hospitals they can rely on.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution helps the PCPs in handling and managing their referrals. Are you a PCP looking for an end-to-end referral management solution? Schedule a demo with us. Our patient referral management experts will guide you through our HIPAA compliant solution.

How To Control Patient Referral Leakage In Your Referral Network?

          Health providers in a health system need patients to run their practice profitably. Be it a hospital, health network or private practice, healthcare providers rely on incoming referrals from other health providers and entities. Referrals generate revenue and improve patient retention rate. Providers tend to refer patients to specialists within the same hospital or health network. This is to retain them in the same hospital. A provider should consider factors such as personal relationships, quality outcomes, proximity, insurance coverage and patient preference before referring a patient. When a provider fails to consider these, patient referral leakage is bound to happen.

Patient Referral Leakage

Patient Referral Leakage happens when healthcare providers refer patients out-of-network. Accordingly, patient leakage is sometimes known as network leakage or referral leakage. The following definitions will help in better understanding of patient leakage,

  1. In-Network – In-network refers to medical care within a network of doctors, hospitals, and other health providers who have a contract with a health insurance company. Inside the network, patients seek medical care only from those providers who are under the terms of the health insurance. In-network care is cheaper due to discounted rates that a health insurance company has negotiated ahead of time with the various health networks.
  2. Out-of-Network – Out-of-network refers to patients looking to get medical care outside their current health network. This means that the patients seek care from out-of-network providers who cover their health insurance. Health providers refer patients seeking advanced treatment out-of-network. This is the main reason for patient leakage.

Why does patient referral leakage happen?

Sometimes patient referral leakage is unavoidable. When patients need medical care that is unavailable in their network, the health provider must understand the patient’s needs. The health provider must refer the patient to a specialist or an imaging center depending on the need.

However, there are occasions where in-network providers may refer patients to out-of-network providers on purpose.

  1. Provider’s Repute – Sometimes, a health provider may refer their patients out-of-network to another provider who is more reputable in that specialty. This could be because the current health network has not employed a reputable specialist. The provider must make sure that a patient gets the best treatment possible.
  2. Unaware of Providers in their network – Health providers who have just joined a health network or are a part joint ventures, acquisitions do not know all their specialists. This causes confusion and the health providers refer the patient out-of-network. When a health system fails to make it easy for health providers to refer within the network, patient leakage is inevitable.
  3. Patient’s ChoiceWhen certain treatment or care is not available within a network then it is up to the provider to refer the patient out-of-network. The health provider may recommend a next best course of treatment and the provider to consult for advanced treatment. Patients do tend to take the provider’s advice but it is up to the patient. This is why certain amounts of patient leakage will always exist. If the patient decides to move out of the practice due to unavoidable reasons then referral leakage becomes inevitable.

Why should it be curbed?

  • Patient’s Benefit – The patient may need immediate care and attention. So processing and closing it at the earliest will be the best for the patient. Patient leakage leads to open patient referral loop which will affect the patient’s health.
  • Patient’s Experience – A patient moves out-of-network due to many reasons. Primarily it is because the patient is not satisfied with the medical care provided in the current health system. Patient’s bad experience has a direct effect on hospital’s revenue, the number of incoming referrals, patient crowd, etc. In order to give efficient care to the patients, a health system must prevent patient leakage.
  • Missed Revenue and Reimbursement opportunities – The main problem with patient leakage is the missed revenue opportunities for health systems. These organizations miss out on reimbursement for medical services that they had provided earlier when patient leakage occurs. This applies to healthcare systems that adopt value-based care or payment models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs).
  • Failed relationships with healthcare providers and patients – Patient leakage results in failed relationships with healthcare providers and patients. Many health systems have spent resources on building clinical alignment with their referral network. Unfortunately, when patients go out of the system providers lose their trusted receiving providers.

How to tackle Patient Referral Leakage?

  • Employing right providers – Organizations can cut down patient leakage by employing respected, experienced, and well-regarded providers that they. This will cut down the number of patients who voluntarily go out-of-network. This is because they will find the right provider in their network.
  • Clear communication between physicians and patients – Clear communication between providers and patients is key to creating a positive patient experience and engagement. A health system can decide to give patients control of their own health by implementing an e-consult software. It should allow patients to schedule their own appointments, talk to providers online, order prescriptions, etc.
  • Being transparent in all aspects – The health system must be transparent about prices and pricing structure with the patients. Healthcare providers should give upfront estimates of costs and detailed end-of-care financial statements. Quality metrics is the other part that health networks must make readily available to the patients. It includes patient outcomes, patient satisfaction scores, physician reviews, etc. Ease of use and timely access to best care are crucial aspects of the patient experience. In a health system, it is important for a patient to receive medical care easily and in a timely manner.

How can HealthViewX Referral Management solution help?

Information Technology is transforming healthcare to a great extent. Patient referral leakage never happens with the help of a software application like HealthViewX. HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution simplifies the referral process by the following steps,

  1. Referral Initiation – The patient demographics and diagnosis required are already in the application. The referral coordinator can create the referral through a simple three-step form which includes health insurance pre-authorization, finding the right receiving provider with the help of  “smart search”, etc. After finding the receiving provider, the referral coordinator refers the patient. When the receiving provider receives the referral, the provider will get notified of the referral.
  2. Referral status and timeline view – With the help of a referral status, the referring provider can get to know what stage the referral is. A timeline view shows a history of stages through which the referral has progressed.
  3. Referral and timeline view reports – The health provider can generate the timeline view and referral analytics data as a report in any form.
  4. Referral closure and feedback – The referring provider can close the referral when it gets completed. The receiving provider and the patient can give a feedback on the referral process to the referring provider. Thus the referring provider can make it easy for the other the next time.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution smooths the referral process and reduces the burden of the referring and the receiving ends. Referral Management software cuts down patient referral leakage to a considerable number. Do you want to know more about HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution? Schedule a demo with us.

 

Remote Care And How Chronic Care Management Simplifies It

         Healthcare industry of the US has introduced many technologies to give the best care to all irrespective of their place, accessibility, etc. Remote Care to patients is the latest healthcare technology. It enables monitoring of patients’ health outside conventional clinical settings. This may increase access to care and cut down the healthcare delivery costs. Hospitals offer Telehealth services as a part of Remote Care. This includes,

  1. Virtual Consultation – It is a virtual visit that takes place between the patient and the physician. It takes place through audio or video calls. It is effective for common problems like flu, acne, fever, etc. It reduces the patient’s traveling cost and provides better access to quality care.
  2. Remote Health Monitoring – Patient Health Monitoring is the latest technology in the healthcare industry. Patient physiological data like blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, etc can be measured by external devices. It can be a Fitbit, apple watch, etc that can communicate with the system in the hospital. It will help the physician to always keep an eye on their patients’ vitals and prescribe telemedicine and preventive care plans.
  3. Chronic Care Management – Chronic Care Management is non-face-to-face care provided to patients with multiple chronic conditions. Medicare reimburses a certain amount for the Chronic Care Management services given by the hospital. Chronic Care Management is most administered through audio calls.

As Chronic Care Management services have reimbursements, physicians must consider administering CCM to the eligible patients. Medicare provides Chronic Care Management services for patients with multiple (two or more) chronic conditions

  • Expected to last at least 12 months or until the death of the patient.
  • Places the patient at significant risk of death, acute exacerbation/ decompensation, or functional decline.

CCM Service Summary

The following are steps through which a Chronic Care Management service is furnished,

  1. Initiating Visit  Initiation during an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), Initial Preventive Physical Examination (IPPE) or face-to-face E/M visit for new patients or patients not seen within one year prior to the commencement of Chronic Care Management services.
  2. Structured Recording of Patient Information Using Certified EHR Technology –  Structured recording of demographics, problems, medications, and medication allergies using certified EHR technology.
  3. 24/7 Access & Continuity of Care – Provide 24/7 access to physicians or other qualified healthcare professionals or clinical staff and continuity of care with a designated member of the care team.
  4. Comprehensive Care Plan – Creation, revision, and/or monitoring of an electronic person-centered care plan.
  5. Enhanced Communication Opportunities – Enhanced opportunities for the patient to communicate with the physician through not only telephone access, but also the use of secure messaging, Internet, or other non-face-to-face consultation methods.

Eligibility Criteria for Physicians

Physicians and the following non-physician practitioners may bill CCM services:

  • Certified Nurse Midwives
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physician Assistants

HealthViewX Chronic Care Management solution features

HealthViewX Chronic Care Management solution has the following features that make the process simpler,

  • Inbuilt audio, video calling and messaging features – HealthViewX Chronic Care Management solution has inbuilt video and audio calling features. It helps in giving Chronic Care Management services to their patients. Secure messaging is also available through which the physicians and the patients can communicate.
  • Automated call log feature – After a patient call, care plan creation or any action related to Chronic Care Management services, call logs are added to the patient. It reduces the physician’s manual effort is logging the call logs.
  • Preventive Care plans – HealthViewX solution supports care plans for the Chronic Care Management service for a patient. The physician can create a care plan depending on the patient’s health report. It helps in monitoring the patient’s vitals.
  • Chronic Care Management Analytics – Dashboards with intuitive charts and tables give complete analytics of the Chronic Care Management services. It provides a clear picture from the revenue perspective.
  • Consolidated Report – The physician can generate a consolidated report of the Chronic Care Management services given for a particular period. This makes it easy for the billing practitioner for getting the reimbursements.
  • HIPAA compliance – HealthViewX Chronic Care Management is HIPAA-compliant. It facilitates secure data exchange. All patient-related documents are managed securely.

HealthViewX Chronic Care Management solution is on par with the current requirements. Remote care is the easiest and the cheapest way to treat your patients. Medicare provides reimbursements for Chronic Care Management which makes it the best way to give care to patients from the remote. To know more about our Chronic Care Management solution, schedule a demo with us.