Perficient Healtchare Solutions Blog

Subscribe via Email

Subscribe to RSS feed

Archives

Follow Healthcare Technology on Pinterest

Posts Tagged ‘Accountable Care Organization’

Improving Patient Experience – Not Just for Inpatient Settings

Medicare is basing hospital reimbursements on performance measures. Patient satisfaction determines 30% of the incentive payments, and improved clinical outcomes decide 70 percent (source). So, it is no surprise that the term “patient experience” is rolling off people’s tongues very matter-of-fact like. 

With the focus primarily on the hospital or inpatient setting, it’s easy to forget about the ambulatory or outpatient setting when it comes to patient experience.  However, as the country continues to shift its efforts to preventing medical problems rather than simply fixing them, the spotlight is moving to the outpatient setting.  Therefore, it is equally, if not more important for those  in the medical practices to take the necessary steps to assure their patients’ experiences are top notch in this new care delivery model. 

patient engagementPositive Outcomes and Opportunities

The benefits to improving patient experience are plentiful, regardless of the care setting.  However, the Language of Caring has done a great job highlighting and explaining specific areas within the outpatient setting where increasing quality patient experience can bring about positive contributions and opportunities.  Here are the exact details they provide:

  1. Improved outcomes and healthier patients – Improved quality patient experience in medical office settings brings about optimal health outcomes. Patients are less anxious in their visits and communications with the physician and care team. The physician and other staff are more successful eliciting needed information from patients and engaging them in decisions that affect their health. Because of greater trust, they are more likely to relax and cooperate during procedures, take their medicine, adhere to their care plans and follow-up with their care, improving care outcomes.
  2. Patient retention, loyalty, and growth - By providing consistently satisfying patient experiences, medical practices and other ambulatory care centers win patient loyalty and become a provider of choice. Patients spread the word, which brings in even more patients.  As people engage in provider-shopping, services that provide a quality patient experience attract new patients via positive word-of-mouth from their current patients. Also, provider scorecard initiatives are proliferating to assist purchasers in their buying decisions. Providing a quality patient experience is a powerful growth strategy. Read the rest of this post »

Happily Ever After: The Benefits of Patient Engagement – #HIMSS14

Once upon a time last year, in a town not too far from you, there was a big hospital where a bright, young physician was providing care to a sick, old patient.  Okay, let me save you some time.  This fairytale, unlike those you are used to, doesn’t end simply by having Prince Charming (the physician) swoop in and save the beautiful, damsel in distress (patient).  This fairytale has a bit of twist that changes the standard storyline.  This twist is referred to as Patient Engagement.

Changing of the Patient-Provider Fairytale

patientengagementThe concept of patient engagement has changed the way providers tell their patient stories.  It is no longer, once upon a time, a patient was sick, the physician cured him/her, the end.

The fairytale now reads more like this…

  1. Patient came in.
  2. Physician introduces him or her to supporting characters (care team).
  3. The patient and physician discuss the plot (disease state) with alternative endings (treatment options).
  4. They co-write the script (care plan), including ideas for props (patient education, care communities, etc.) that will enhance the story.
  5. The physician quickly publishes (uploads to portal) the manuscript and associated material for review and follow-up (provides email, direct scheduling option, mobile alerts, etc.).
  6. And instead of “the end”, it is more like, “to be continued…”

Patient engagement is not a new concept, just one that has been brought to the forefront as part of the healthcare industry’s increased efforts around coordinated care. Read the rest of this post »

Trends to Watch in the Healthcare World in 2014

What’s transforming the ways in which healthcare is provided?

  • legislation
  • new competition
  • innovative incentives
  • a call to refocus on priorities
  • a more empowered and digitally engaged consumer, who has more and greater expectations for quality of care and convenience of care.
  • a renewed attention on healthcare by the consumer market thanks to ongoing press about healthcare.gov and the Affordable Care Act
  • new services and business models in healthcare that we’d never seen before recent reform

Susan DeVore, Premier healthcare alliance…and much more.

Susan DeVore, CEO of our partner and client Premier healthcare alliance, wrote a post yesterday fro HealthAffairs.gov titled, “The Changing Health Care World: Trends To Watch In 2014.” In the article, she introduces the new trends she expects to see in healthcare this year. We are also seeing each of these trends impact conversations about investments our clients need to make this year and next year.

I have summarized the trends below.

1. Investments in Chronic Care

  • Chronic conditions increase costs by 3X, so, “The biggest health care consumers are those with multiple chronic conditions.”
  • We should see more investments in Ambulatory ICUs and patient-centered medical homes as providers work to improve their shared savings payments and better manage chronic conditions within primary care facilities.

2. New Job Roles in Healthcare

  • DeVore has seen an increase in the popularity of hiring “health coaches” who are there to listen, inspire and motivate and spend time getting to know the patient’s family and life situation as it affects their ability to both access care and to care for themselves.

3. Home Health Care

  • Back to the days of the house call.
  • “Marketing firm BCC Research predicts that the market for remote monitoring and telemedicine applications will double from $11.6 billion in 2011 to about $27.3 billion in 2016.”
  • Technology is increasing access and convenience of healthcare from outside the traditional care setting, especially for rural, hard-to-access locations.

Read the rest of this post »

Reframing the ACO Analytics Problem with Malcolm Gladwell

I just finished watching a quick slideshow on the Health Data Management website, “Enterprise Analytics: Moving on Up” and as luck would have it, I also watched several sessions of the live Webcast from the Healthcare Innovation Day Conference 2014 in Washington, DC, sponsored by West Health Institute and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

Malcolm Gladwell quoteWhile I was watching these, I was intrigued by the thought of how Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) can leverage existing solutions, combined with point solutions, to accomplish their reporting, analytics and beyond, and use interoperability wisely.  One of the key learning points for me from these sessions was this:  “Reframe the problem”….advice from Malcolm Gladwell’s keynote address.

How do we “reframe the problem” when it comes to ACO reporting and analytics?  There are defined metrics that are required for these organizations, so how can we leverage existing systems to create these reports and analytics?  Do we “build vs. buy”?  Depending upon the organizational size, legacy systems and IT support, the decision can be difficult.  What is good for one system may not work in another.  So where do we start?

A strategic evaluation of current state and desired future state with the development of a road map may be a logical first step.  Data Governance also needs to happen early on in the process to allow an organization to create data standards that will drive reporting and analytics.  Once these steps have occurred, an organization can feel confident that they can make an informed decision to “build or buy.”

Read the rest of this post »

Healthcare Analytics for the Patient Centered Medical Home

The patient centered medical home (PCMH) emphasizes care coordination and communication between various healthcare delivery systems. This coordinated care system can lead to better quality healthcare delivery as well as a better patient experience – but in order to achieve these benefits, providers must be able to see and interpret data from across the many entities the patient interacts with.

Leveraging clinical data from EMRs, HIEs and patient devices allows organizations to:

  • Enhance access and continuity
  • Identify and manage patient populations
  • Plan and manage care
  • Provide self-care support and resources
  • Track and coordinate care
  • Measure and improve performance

Join us October 29th for the webinar “Make the Most of Your ACO with Healthcare Analytics.”  You will learn how Oracle Enterprise Health Analytics (EHA), coupled with Oracle Business Intelligence and Oracle WebCenter, fulfills the ACO mandate for a patient centered medical home.

Click here to register for the webinar.

Top Technology Trends in Healthcare – July 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

HCBlog Top5 Trends

Accountable Care Organizations: First Year Results

An ACO is a group of healthcare providers that partner under a payment and delivery reform model that become collectively accountable for the full continuum of care for a population of patients. This reform model ultimately ties reimbursement to quality metrics and reductions in the total cost of care for the patient population. First year results for ACOs were recently released, with very mixed success and several hospitals dropping out of the program.

The Quantified Self

With the progression of patient engagement, consumers are looking to become involved in their own care and health. The quantified self movement helps patients track their health, physical activity, food consumption, heart rate, and more. From mobile apps to worn digital sensors like the FitBit to implanted devices, patients keep track of their own health data – which eventually may be used to create a more personalized experience.

Read the rest of this post »

Top Technology Trends in Healthcare – June 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

HCBlog Top5 Trends

ACOs and Patient Centered Medical Homes

An ACO is a group of healthcare providers that partner under a payment and delivery reform model that become collectively accountable for the full continuum of care for a population of patients. This reform model ultimately ties reimbursement to quality metrics and reductions in the total cost of care for the patient population. Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) focus on improving the quality of care delivered by creating a health care environment that facilitates communication between the patient and their physician, allowing patients to receive and understand the care they need when they need it.

Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring

The healthcare industry is experiencing revolutionary changes stemming from the rapidly shifting role of the patient within the continuum of care. This is resulting in high demand for easier access to healthcare professionals, access to online medical information, and alternatives to traditional care. Telehealth allows for the transmission of medical images, video, audio and information related to diagnosis and treatment can be stored and sent from the provider’s computer or mobile device via secure data exchanges. Remote Patient Monitoring allows patient’s health data to be sent electronically to a provider who then can analyze it and respond with appropriate recommendations.

Read the rest of this post »

Will ACOs drive up costs for patients?

I was recently talking with one of my colleagues about a strange situation that happened to her when her local hospital and healthcare provider merged with a larger healthcare system.  As a result of the merger, she no longer had a local healthcare provider in her town that took her insurance plan. In essence, she was a victim of healthcare merger mania and had to find a new healthcare insurance plan for coverage.  Healthcare organization mergers are part of a broad national trend that is driven by accountable care and the tremendous pressure to cut costs, improve productivity and improve outcomes.

As a result of this merger trend, medical care is being concentrated in fewer institutions, and concern about the impact on higher prices is increasing.  A hospital merger boom in the 1990s increased patient costs by 5 to 40 percent in areas where only a few hospitals dominate, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Large healthcare organizations with multiple hospitals tend to charge higher prices in communities where they outnumber their rivals, says health economist James C. Robinson of the University of California, Berkeley.  This information contradicts the usual arguments for accountable care that merging or affiliating with generate greater efficiencies, higher quality of care and increased savings.  More than 100 hospital merger deals took place in 2012, double the number of only three years earlier.  Here is the scary statistic: Of the 5,724 hospitals in the United States, about 1,000 will have new owners in the next seven years or so, according to Gary Ahlquist, a senior partner with the consulting firm Booz & Company.

Read the rest of this post »

Top Technology Trends in Healthcare – May 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

HCBlog Top5 Trends

Patient Engagement and e-Patients

The term “patient engagement” is on the tip of the healthcare industry’s tongue these days. We can only end the long-running trend of low patient engagement, along with the dangerously high cost of care, by shifting to true patient engagement that holds the patient experience, and the power of the resulting data, at forefront of healthcare business strategy. The healthcare industry is shifting emphasis to the patient, caused not only by government mandates but also by a shift in consumer expectations inspired by other industries that have permeated healthcare.

Healthcare Payment Reform

It is a common opinion that our healthcare system does not provide good value for the care received. Incentives for hospitals are not properly matched with delivering the best possible care at an affordable rate. In response, healthcare payment reform models have been created. Bundled payments reimburse healthcare providers based on the expected cost of a group of services delivered, instead of payment for each treatment provided. Hospital value based purchasing tie reimbursement to the quality of care delivered based on clinical results and patient satisfaction.

Read the rest of this post »

Delivering Transformative Analytics to Improve Patient Care

In the healthcare technology space, we are all working toward the same general end goals of improving patient care while lowering costs. Healthcare organizations are all looking for ways to more broadly use technology that not only focuses on each encounter, but looks beyond that toward the continuum of care for the individual and the population.

At Perficient, our thought leaders and strategic consultants are responding to these demands by putting together solutions that will arm providers with the clinical and financial analytical data they need in order to:

  • Premier_logoShare information across and between organizations and care providers
  • Derive  key insights from that data
  • Deliver on best practices in care quality based upon insights from that data
  • Meaningfully measure their own performance along the spectrum of quality of care
  • Analyze, benchmark, and understand what that performance means, and where opportunities exist
  • Stay on top of shifts in regulatory policy
  • and much more…

Today, we are thrilled to announce that we have partnered with Premier Healthcare Alliance to develop data collection and reporting applications on their PremierConnect platform, which is the largest integrated technology and social business platform in healthcare. Read the rest of this post »

Top 5 Technology Trends in Healthcare – March 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

HCBlog Top5

HIMSS 2013 Conference

Earlier this month the HIMSS 2013 Conference took place in New Orleans. Nearly 35,000 individuals attended the healthcare technology conference over the six days of sessions and exhibition. Highlights included a keynote address from former President Bill Clinton, an Interoperability Showcase, several Meaningful Use workshops, and a general theme of patient engagement.

Patient Engagement under Meaningful Use

A key theme of Stage 2 meaningful use is engaging patients in their own care. Building on the Stage 1 requirement that 50% of patients be able to view their documents electronically, Stage 2 mandates that 10% of those patients actually do so. Clinical summaries must be provided following each office visit and select patients will receive notifications and reminders for additional care. Secure messaging to patients, another Stage 2 requirement, can connect them with helpful care information.

Read the rest of this post »

Upcoming Webinar: Analytics to Manage Costs for Providers

Yesterday one of my colleagues, Terie McClintock, wrote a post about solutions to the healthcare cost crisis. In her post, Terie discusses a the solution to high healthcare costs as a matrix that incorporates the many factors influencing costs.

Identification of key clinical and financial determinants can be integrated into cost reduction and efficiency enhancing based on their consistency, viability, and influence. Clinical determinants may include complexity and necessity of procedure, length of stay, or differences between acute and chronic care. Financial determinants may include cost of procedure, inpatient and outpatient admission and discharge fees, and cost of disease management versus emergency department visits.

The solution, as noted, is an underlying matrix. The determinants listed above may therefore create a matrix that assesses the relation to procedural costs based on acute and chronic conditions, any related re admissions  and avoidable treatments.  Underlying refers to the process of deduction and analyses of these determinants, and their influence on each other. Matrix refers to the interconnectedness of the relationships among all determinants.

Perficient is hosting an upcoming webinar on the topic, called A Profitability and Cost Management Strategy for Healthcare Providers. The webinar will discuss discuss how leveraging advanced analytics to manage population health, develop risk models, and examine clinical outcomes based on cost will enable Accountable Care and improve the quality of care. Click here to register for the March 27th webinar.

To read Terie’s full post, visit our Oracle blog.