Better Data Leads To Improved Care And Higher Profits

Meeting the various reporting and measurement standards imposed by CMS is no cakewalk. On one hand, clinicians must be adept at change management. On the other, they must be technically proficient and knowledge rich.

There can be no doubt that successfully practicing medicine today requires clinicians to overcome several significant challenges. It’s our job to reduce at least one challenge—and we do, by clearing the path to payment under value-based care.

Shiv Gopalkrishnan, GE Healthcare’s General Manager of Enterprise Financial Management Solutions, addresses one problem head-on when he asks, “How can we deliver solutions faster through the cloud?”

In busy clinics, resources are limited, which puts an extra onus on technology to do more of the heavy lifting. As Centricity migrates to the cloud in 2018 and beyond, physicians and practice managers will begin to benefit from the “no touch, low touch solutions” that help drive automation, which leads to optimized workflows and a notable reduction in workloads around the clinic.

Gopalkrishnan says, “Whether it is clinical outcomes, financial outcomes, or operational outcomes, we know with value-based care, these are all going to be tied together. You’re going to get paid because you demonstrate clear clinical outcomes and quality of clinical outcomes.” He adds, “It’s very important that we deliver a solution suite that helps clinics achieve these net financials.”

In order to deliver the results our partners in clinics count on, GE Healthcare and HealthCo bring a true understanding into provider workflows and reporting requirements. Thanks to our years of experience working in clinics and with clinics, we also understand the pressures involved (in making big changes) and how to relieve them.

Let’s recap. The “Triple Aim” of value-based care can be summarized like so:

    1) Reduce the cost of healthcare
    2) Enhance the patient experience
    3) Improve population health

At HealthCo, we are on board with all of the above. We also come to work each day ready to deliver on these core promises:

    4) Enhance care quality
    5) Improve provider efficiency
    6) Strengthen financial performance

We know the move from fee-for-service to value-based care is a big change, and the entire transition cannot normally be made all at once. It takes time, a solid plan, and reconfiguration of systems to properly record the numerous measures of quality that help determine the overall health of your patient population.

Remember, you need to demonstrate improvement to get paid today.

According to RevCycle Intelligence:

Value-based reimbursements are calculated by using numerous measures of quality in determining the overall health of populations. Unlike the traditional model, value-based care is driven by data because providers must report to payers on specific metrics and demonstrate improvement. Providers may have to track and report on hospital readmissions, adverse events, population health, patient engagement, and more.

We are happy to help you refine your tracking procedures and update your workflows to meet the need of value-based care. Measuring the full set of outcomes that matter most to patients is indispensable to better meeting patients’ needs. It is also one of the most powerful vehicles for lowering health care costs. Let’s work on it together. Better care at a lower cost is a promise for the future that is within reach today.

It’s Conference Season and We’re Headed To Bend, Boise, and New Orleans

Bend, Oregon is a favorite destination for golfers, mountain sports enthusiasts, and people in search of the sun. This week, The Riverhouse in Bend will also host hundreds of practice administrators from around the state at the annual Oregon MGMA Conference.

Some of the key sessions we’re looking forward to:

  • Benchmarking Your Key Performance Indicators
  • MACRA – State of Affairs and Updates

HealthCo will also have a booth on the exhibitor floor at the Riverhouse. Please stop by Booth #501 and say hello. We are also giving away three fully loaded gift baskets!

Directly on the heels of Oregon MGMA in Bend, the HealthCo team heads to Boise for Idaho’s annual MGMA Conference. The Idahoans are always great hosts and this year is no exception. The event kicks off with a golf tournament at Warm Spring Golf Course. Whether you’re an expert golfer or have never played, come and enjoy a morning of fun, prizes, contests, and the excellent company of your peers.

When we get down to business in Boise, there will be incredible programming available. In fact, all three of these of the following presentations are in the same time slot (forcing one to make a tough choice):

  • Good Clinics to Great Clinics
  • Mentoring: The Key to Professional Development
  • Engaging Physicians

After returning from these key annual pilgrimages, we will begin to prepare for CHUG Fall 2017, which is in New Orleans this October.

I sense beignets in our future.

The keynote speaker at CHUG is Dr. Kavita Patel, a co-founder of Tuple Health, a physician-led company focused on practical clinical solutions to bring care back to health. Dr. Patel was previously a Director of Policy for The White House under President Obama and a senior adviser to the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

We’re always interested in seeing our customers at these key industry events, and hearing from industry leaders about important topics in healthcare IT and practice management. If you’d like to schedule a time to chat during these upcoming events, let’s do so now.

Protect Your Patients and Your Clinic with Centricity™ Practice Solution

A clinic’s EMR is like its circulatory system—damage it in any way and everyone in the clinic, including your patients, suffers the consequences. Alarmingly, there are thousands of clinics running faulty EMR software today.

You might have heard that the executives at eClinicalWorks agreed to pay $155 million in fines—rather than face trial—in order to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice?

The lawsuit claims that the company willfully “caused the submission of false claims for federal incentive programs,” among other serious violations.

At a time like this, it’s only natural to ask:

  • Can you trust that your patient data is accurate?
  • Is patient safety in question?
  • Is my EMR vendor a partner or a potential liability?
  • Can the clinic successfully attest?
  • Will your technology partner be around tomorrow?

To complicate matters, some eClinicalWorks customers are now complaining that the company is not supplying the clinic’s patient data when asked to do so. “We’ve been held hostage for a year and a half. I battled them,” said Laura Williams, practice administrator at North Spokane Women’s Health in Washington. “It’s a nightmare with them.”

“The IT people at eClinicalWorks never were able to fix the program errors, but our IT guy came up with a solution that at least has us able to access our patient records,” Williams said. “If I can get my patient data migrated to Centricity that will be enough.”

If you’re currently finding workarounds for your EMR, it’s time for a new EMR. Put eClinicalWorks behind you. We’re here to help steady your clinic’s healthcare IT infrastructure today, earn your trust, and support your clinic for years to come.

Schedule a Centricity demo today. It’s the first critical step on the path to clinical and financial well being.

Previously on the HealthCo Blog: Clinics Trust GE Healthcare for Good Reason

Clinics Trust GE Healthcare for Good Reason

Trust between physician and patient is sacred. Trust between clinic and EHR provider is as well. That’s why news that top executives at EHR software provider, eClinicalWorks, willfully manipulated their software to achieve federal certification has rightfully sent shockwaves across the industry.

Clinic admins and physicians are now all asking the tough questions:

  • Are quality incentive payments at risk for my clinic?
  • Has my EHR vendor done something similar?
  • Should I consider moving to another platform?

Let’s admit that we sometimes compete with eClinicalWorks. Let’s also admit that we’re nothing like them. HealthCo is a value-added reseller for GE Healthcare’s Centricity Practice Solution. GE Healthcare is not a startup, nor the kind of firm that risks its reputation. GE Healthcare is a multi-billion dollar division of GE and a globally respected brand with way too much to lose to play fast and loose with the truth or federal regulation.

The False Claims Act lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice alleges that eClinicalWorks hardcoded drug codes into its EHR software to comply with certification testing; did not adequately manage imaging orders or drug interactions; and failed to meet data portability requirements. In addition to a $155 million fine, the company has entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA).

Making matters worse, the company also settled a case that stated eClinicalWorks paid customers in exchange for recommendations of its software to potential customers, a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.

“Electronic health records have the potential to improve the care provided to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, but only if the information is accurate and accessible,” said Special Agent in Charge Phillip Coyne of HHS-OIG. “Those who engage in fraud that undermines the goals of EHR or put patients at risk can expect a thorough investigation and strong remedial measures such as those in the novel and innovative Corporate Integrity Agreement in this case.”

The CIA requires eClinicalWorks to give customers the option to transfer their data to another EHR software provider without penalties or service charges. While current eClinicalWorks customers don’t necessarily need an added incentive to make the move, this savings is helpful to take the first step.

When trust is violated in this manner, it can cast a shadow on the entire industry. We welcome any and all questions that you might have about the case, and how the overall quality and safety of your clinic’s medical records are assured through HealthCo’s hands-on consulting and GE Healthcare’s superior technology and corporate integrity.

Please drop me a line at JasonP@healthcosystems.com if you would like to receive more information.

Meet Kim Cone, Implementation Consultant

Kim Cone was a HealthCo customer for 10 years at a cardiology clinic near Phoenix. At the time, she helped her clinic migrate from paper records to electronic medical records. “I always liked the people at HealthCo. They were incredibly helpful and friendly, so one day (eight years ago) I asked if they had any open positions,” says Kim.

The answer was affirmative and Kim has been working closely with our customers across the country ever since. Today, Kim leverages her strong clinical background to assist HealthCo customers with EMR implementations, version updates and workflow optimizations. “I really enjoy helping customers mold the product to the needs of their practice,” Kim says. “The best reward is helping our customers succeed in their business.”

From building out custom forms, to advising clinic staff on Meaningful Use and MIPS, Kim loves to figure out new solutions to customer problems. Because she’s a natural problem solver, Kim is excited to help roll out Project Northstar to the customer base in the coming years. Kim describes Northstar as physician-focused software. “GE Healthcare asked a lot of questions and put a lot of forethought into this upgrade.”

Let’s hear more directly from Kim in this quick Q+A:

Can you explain ‘physician-focused’ software in more detail?

GE Healthcare is revamping their software to make it more user-friendly by reducing clicks, incorporating smart technology, and improving provider efficiency. They have been focusing their efforts by gleaning customer input to ensure they are providing their customers with the best product.

What are the five things you need to know to survive the Arizona heat?

1. Learn to drive with one finger because the steering wheel is too hot to hold onto.
2. Park in any shaded parking spot no matter how far away it is from the store.
3. Don’t take a selfie with a rattlesnake.
4. Run your errands in the morning when it is cooler—under 100 degrees.
5. Drink lots and lots of water!

What is your favorite thing about traveling for work, and the best thing about coming home to Arizona?

I love meeting new people, going to new locations, and trying the local restaurants. I have some really cool stories from the travels/adventures I have been on when going onsite with our customers. The best thing to come home to is my family. They are my everything!

What plans do you have this summer?

We are going to see the Grand Canyon, visit Bearizona Wildlife Park, take a campus tour of Northern Arizona University (our daughter is graduating from high school next year), and spend time at our family’s cabin.

If you could give just one tip to clinics seeking to meet MIPS this year, what would it be?

Regularly check CQR to ensure your providers are keeping on track to achieve the highest numbers for ACI and Quality measures.

Hospital Connect Solves A Massive Interoperability Problem

We have the technology to solve many of the world’s most threatening diseases. Why do we still struggle to make disparate EMRs “communicate” to each other? The good news is those dark days are fast coming to a sunny end.

Thanks to Hospital Connect—important new complementary functionality from GE Healthcare—clinics who use Centricity will now be able to send and receive medical records to and from EPIC, Cerner, and other EMR vendors that participate in Carequality.
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Due to the inherent promise of better patient care, many clinics are eager to adopt this new software bridge. Currently, HealthCo is rolling out Hospital Connect in a handful of beta sites. The second such clinic in the nation to adopt the technology is Swedish Urology in Seattle, WA. Our installation of Hospital Connect now enables the clinic to seamlessly transfer data between their Centricity EMR and the Swedish Hospital system, which uses EPIC.

Today, patients are ultimately responsible for the transfer of any medical records from a hospital admission to their primary care physicians and specialists or by cumbersome faxing. By adding Hospital Connect to Centricity, clinics will be able to seamlessly receive electronic transfer of patient records. Hospital Connect takes an imperfect and labor-heavy process and turns it into a push-button process that takes seconds.

This critical new functionality is an outcome of GE Healthcare’s membership in The Sequoia Project’s Carequality initiative, and focus on improving patient care and outcomes through Project Northstar. Carequality provides a way forward by utilizing a nationwide, consensus-built common interoperability framework.

In the bold new Carequality world, patient’s charts are seamlessly integrated between systems. This is the continuity of care that physicians and patients have longed for, but haven’t had access to until now. It’s another big step toward true interoperability and value-based care. We are excited to bring Hospital Connect to our beta testers like Swedish Urology, and to all of our clients in 2018.