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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.

Clinics Trust GE Healthcare for Good Reason

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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 whistleblower 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 DustinW@healthcosystems.com if you would like to receive more information.

Time to Re-Examine Your Clinic’s Key Performance Indicators

Please join us for our upcoming “Clinic KPIs” Webinar on June 27th at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Given that we’ve reached the mid-year point, this is an excellent time to spend one hour focused on improving your KPI tracking methods.

register

I will be hosting this highly interactive session, along with a guest subject matter expert. We will cover (and invite you to share) current performance objectives and best practices in the following KPI categories:

1. Days in Accounts Receivable

    2. Accounts Receivable by Day
    3. Adjusted Collection Rate
    4. Schedule Maximization
    5. Denied Claims

The more you stay on top of these KPIs, the easier it becomes to see your problem areas and move to the best solution.

I look forward to hearing from you directly on the 27th. In the meantime, please check out our new KPI Tracking Tool, review your Q2 data, and bring any questions you may have to the session.

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.

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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.

Back from Boston with Good News

In our industry, we attend conferences in order to meet with our customers, meet new customers, and to hear the latest marketplace developments and product news directly from our peers. Centricity Healthcare User Group and Centricity Live are particularly important industry events. Last week in Boston nearly 2000 customers, partners and GE Healthcare staff (from multiple product lines and disciplines) gathered to mingle, to learn and to plan.

Boston Panel

To be clear, this is two events in one. CLIVE teamed with CHUG, an independent organization made up of Centricity EMR and Practice Management users. In tandem, the two marquis events offer a once a year opportunity to learn about new product innovations and best practices for current platforms.

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With too many highlights to contain in just one post, I’ll touch on a few of the key messages from the first day of the conference:

  • Charles Koontz, CEO of GE Healthcare IT, shared the stage with Keith Dreyer, Chief Data Science Officer of Mass Gen Hospital to announce a 10-year partnership between GE and Partners HealthCare to drive improvement in artificial intelligence for healthcare. (Learn more)
  • John Zimmerman, VP and GM of Clinical Business Solutions, announced from the stage that May 18, 2017, marks the day that the team focused on delivering solutions to ambulatory clinics turned their focus to providing the correct outcomes for customers in every product developed and launched in the future. In our new value-based care world, this is a critical new focus for GE Healthcare.
  • The closing keynote left everyone in attendance inspired and a bit teary eyed. Five people impacted by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing spoke about their experiences. These included first responders, physicians and victims. Adrianne Haslet-Davis was the center of attention. She lost her leg in the bombing, only to return and run the event in 2016. (Learn more)

HealthCo’s management team returned to Portland inspired and motivated by the pace of innovation, and the product developments on the immediate horizon. From Project Northstar to helping clinics implement new functionality like Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) and Electronic Medication Preauthorization (EMPA), there’s a lot of interest in Centricity right now. It’s exciting to be part of important industry shifts like the move to value-based care and migration to the cloud. Ultimately, we’re part of an ecosystem that’s dedicated to solving problems for clinics and patients. When we do our jobs right, we create greater efficiencies for our clients and healthier results for their patients. That’s a lot to be grateful for and motivated by, all wrapped into one.

Meet Glenn Jones, Regional Sales Rep for Arizona

Glenn Jones is not your typical salesman, which is perfect since HealthCo is not a typical EMR vendor. “I was looking for a company to join that is focused on support and service,” says Glenn. “There are practices who don’t understand technology, and we’re in a position to extend a hand.”

Family

Glenn learned a lot about technology, operations, and sales while working for DrFirst, the e-prescribing software as a service company. DrFirst is also a Centricity partner, so Glenn comes to HealthCo with hands-on knowledge of the GE Healthcare product suite. Glenn was the firm’s Inside Sales Manager during I-STOP, a monitoring program for prescribed narcotics usage mandated by the state of New York. This resulted in the state’s overall eRx adoption to go from one of the lowest states in the country to being first.

In addition to gaining an understanding of the healthcare IT industry, Glenn acquired advanced training in business intelligence software. He’s worked closely with senior executives to provide key insights. His grasp of data and analytics is useful, to say the least.

A native of Arizona, Glenn enjoys camping, fishing, hiking, and four-wheeling with his wife and two daughters. “We head for the Mogollon Rim to beat the heat,” he says. He and his wife, who is an RN, also volunteer at CASS, a homeless shelter in downtown Phoenix.

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

Q. Do people have a misconception about the role of a modern salesman?
A. Yes. Though, I would put the blame mainly on the sales communities. We call ourselves ‘consultants’ and ‘advisors’. Then, we proceed to sell based on product features rather than fulfilling a consultant or advisor role that listens first to identify issues and opportunities that may help the customer succeed.

Q. You’re from “The Valley”. How has the area changed since you were a kid?
A. The Valley has grown rapidly. I’ve seen multiple freeways added and farmlands urbanized. Recently, a lot of people have moved here from places like Minnesota, Chicago, and Canada, if only for part of the year. We get a lot of snowbirds here.

Q. As you look to connect with new clinics in Arizona, what is the best way to make an introduction?

A. . I try to be transparent with who I am and what my intentions are. My focus is to provide customer value by providing educational resources that help solve clinic challenges.

Q. What kind of fish do you fish for? Where do you go fishing?

A. Trout, and I frequent the lakes on the Mogollon Rim; Woods Canyon, Knoll, and Chevelon.

Q. What drew you to pursue a sales career in healthcare IT?
A. The idea that I can help practices and clinicians understand and use technology more to positively impact their patients and community. That, and it’s exciting to be a part of an industry in the process of digitizing.

Q. Did you make a new ROI Calculator for HealthCo clients to use? How does it work?

A. It’s a tool for our team to use to provide additional value to our customers. Part of our job is to help with research and the purchasing process. We created the ROI calculator for our electronic medication prior authorization solution to show just how much time and money is saved. It’s a way for our customers to champion their particular needs among the other stakeholders in their organization.

Q. Wildcats or Sun Devils?
A. Sun Devils.