10. May 2014 · Comments Off on Do you have Hidden ROI? Discover it now – Session 41(Himss Conference, Orlando) · Categories: Uncategorized

The lecture mainly focuses on Management Strategy, unified communication and collaboration strategy and toolset, and how it can uncover hidden ROI in Healthcare organizations.

Salient Features:
1. Introduction of collaborative strategy that with the help of technology like Sharepoint enterprise system should bring multiple offices or hospitals on the same centralized servers.
2. Thus increasing communication and collaboration between service providers ensuring data and analytics synergy.
3. Improve associate communication, collaboration and productivity
4. Increase patient, physician and associate satisfaction
5. Improve patient safety
6. Realize cost savings and/or cost avoidance

This strategy would ensure that the same work is not done multiple times hence reducing costs and increasing revenue.

10. May 2014 · Comments Off on Big Data in Healthcare 101 – Bob Rogers and Vishnu Viyas · Categories: Uncategorized

What is Big Data?
Big Data is the unstructured data that we find in our lives. In the Healthcare space it is accounted for the unstructured text and scanned data available. It accounts for 63% of the data in healthcare. To be able to provide valuable business intelligence and clinical analytics in healthcare big data is the new frontier and frankly without Big Data efficient and accurate clinical analysis is not possible.

Develop and implement a comprehensive project that converts the unstructured data into structured data that can be used for analysis. This does not only have potential in the healthcare industry but in almost all industry that require accurate and efficient business intelligence and analysis.

10. May 2014 · Comments Off on The Financial Case for EHR/RCM Integration The Power of Clinically Driven Revenue Cycle Management · Categories: Uncategorized

What is an EHR system?

An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. While an EHR does contain the medical and treatment histories of patients, an EHR system is built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care. EHRs can:
Contain a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory and test results
Allow access to evidence-based tools that providers can use to make decisions about a patient’s care
Automate and streamline provider workflow
One of the key features of an EHR is that health information can be created and managed by authorized providers in a digital format capable of being shared with other providers across more than one health care organization. EHRs are built to share information with other health care providers and organizations – such as laboratories, specialists, medical imaging facilities, pharmacies, emergency facilities, and school and workplace clinics – so they contain information from all clinicians involved in a patient’s care.

What is an RCM system?

The revenue cycle management (RCM) system in the traditional sense is revenue generation function for a healthcare provider. It includes collection of revenue for the practice from insurance, posting of charges and rebilling in case of denials. Healthcare providers either have in house RCM or outsource it to billing companies that charge a percentage for collecting money from insurance companies.

Majority of the providers do not have these two systems integrated, when there are clear benefits gained by the practice if these two systems are tightly linked. The benefits of a true integration are given as follows.

• A rules-based engine can identify opportunities to optimize revenue streams directly at the point of clinical decision-making
• Alerts can advise when a requested procedure or test won’t be reimbursed by the payer, as well as flagging duplicative care
• Alternative procedures or tests for which the payer honors claims can be recommended over an initial, non-reimbursable choice
• As the rules-based engine grows over time, the system can recommend proven means for improving clinical and financial outcomes
• Electronic flow of data captured in the EHR directly into the RCM increases overall efficiency, accuracy and accountability
• When claims are still occasionally denied, faster and more accurate processing with rich clinical documentation supporting claims can speed up denial resolution
• Issues can be identified and resolved in the earliest stages of the revenue cycle, preventing recurrent errors later
• Reduction of errors and omissions at the point of clinical decision-making increases overall revenue capture
• Clinical — More informed decision-making at the point of care can lead to improved clinical outcomes and health management
• Financial — Consumers are far less likely to face hefty and unexpected out-of-pocket costs for tests or procedures not covered by their insurance plans
• Satisfaction and consumer engagement — Having the combination of clinical and financial data at the time the caregiver is engaging with the patient leads to a better dialog regarding options, engaging the consumer more directly in care and achieving a higher level of satisfaction with the healthcare encounter and provider

True integration

What is meant by true integration? True integration is achieved when both systems share data at the database level i.e. they share the same database. They should be passing and saving information in the unique patient records efficiently and effectively.

ICD 9 to ICD 10 Conversion

The advent of ICD 10 has proven to be a challenge for healthcare providers with unintegrated EHR and RCM systems for the following reasons.
1) The conversion will increase cost in new software updates
2) Increase costs in physician and staff training
As a result it is expected that to advert these costs, 30% of healthcare providers will render the services of billing companies and thus outsource the RCM function of the practice. The question remains is that will the outsourcing give the same kind of data integrity and benefits enjoyed by an integrated RCM/EHR system?


I believe that integrated RCM/EHR solutions would be essential for all healthcare providers, as it reduces human intervention and thus human error. The Integrated RCM/EHR system is efficient. Let us analyze the workflow for a traditional practice. The doctor sees a patient makes a record of diagnosis, the back staff generates a super bill that is either taken to a biller in-house or to an outsourced billing service who bill the insurance companies. The integrated RCM/EHR system would eliminate all these steps and human intervention. The work flow of a truly integrated system would be the doctor filling in the diagnosis for the patient which the program will automatically save in the patient record and charge their insurance company. Hence it is essential for healthcare providers to have an integrated RCM/EHR system.

Reference: Greenway • WHITE PAPER: Clinically Driven RCM

08. May 2014 · Comments Off on Using Documentation Technology to achieve physician alignment with ICD-10 – Adele Towers, Tom Mercer.(HIMSS Conference, Orlando 2014) · Categories: Uncategorized

The lecture highlighted in detail the documentation hurdles that a service provider will face during the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. It also provides with an awareness and education based curriculum that would be used on service providers and coders to make the transition smooth and less costly. The lecture also highlights how technology can play a part to reduce the initial anxiety that will be faced by service providers due to the transition. EHR and EPR providers have also started to incorporate the diagnosis changes into their programs. Unfortunately the overwhelming change in the codes will still cause problems in actual documentation. For instance, a code for ankle sprain in ICD-9 had just 4 sub codes while in ICD-10 has 72 sub-codes for ankle sprain.

Develop a strategy to educate and help service providers in the implementation of the ICD-10 transition.
The strategy should not only educate the doctor but also provide with a tool to make the transition easy.

02. May 2014 · Comments Off on Understanding the Patient Education and Engagement Market: · Categories: Uncategorized

The following guidelines are important to consider during patient engagement and education products:

  1. Identify the learner (patient population demographics)
  2. Provide patients with simply, easy to read material
  3. Verbal, personal patient instruction videos might be an opportunity.

During research for patient engagement and patient education apps, the author discovered plenty of apps that educate patients to a very specific disease state. For example, iHearttouch is an app that can educate patients with regards to their heart conditions.3  Apps such as Modality Body provide MDs with precise anatomy of the human body that they can use to educate their patients about a disease.4 However, as per my general observations, many of these apps are too technical and may not be very useful in conveying the message to the patient.

An average American can read and write at an eighth grade level. Adding complicated medical lingo to discharge instructions has risk of confusing patients and defeats the purpose of patient education. Secondly, it is not clear how many individuals will actually use such healthcare apps for medical education. As per a paper by IMS, 5 the downloading and the usage of healthcare apps is low with “50% of healthcare apps receiving less than 500 downloads”.5 Thirdly, most of the current consumers of healthcare are elderly individuals (65+) who are not necessarily technology savvy.  Usage of apps among such patient population is very minimal5 as they tend to rely on face to face interaction for health information. Hence, an App that can integrate verbal communication by the physician and uses simple language to convey health information will most likely be successful.

Listed below are two companies that are trying to make a contribution to the patient engagement market space.

Axial Exchange:

As per its website, “Axial comprehensive patient engagement solution includes Mayo Clinic health content, software tools for tracking vitals, labs, and symptoms, and integration with wearable devices such as Fitbit”.1

With an axial app, a patient can get their hospital visit organized ( the app can provide the patient with the MD’s contact number as well as the date and the time of appointment), improve patient’s health literacy ( provide patient with educational material pertaining to their possible disease state),  arrange patient’s medication list ( provide patient with a list of their medication as well as instructions on how to take them and when to take them), scheduled post discharge appointment as well as manage patient’s progress.1

The app also provides health systems with web-based dashboard that provides insight into how patients are engaging utilizing their education or following their appointments. The app also provides personalize communication ( for example a patient with untreated HTN will get personalize message stating “Here are some tips to control your HTN”).



WeLVU is a cloud based patient engagement technology platform which aims to improve patient satisfaction and outcome. WeLVU mobile, provides ipad and iphone based platforms that combine medical illustration, a providers verbal conversation with the patient to create a patient specific engagement video.2 By providing patient specific videos and illustration, the chances of enhancing patient engagement is increased.





1: http://axialexchange.com/howto/

2: http://www.welvu.com/mobile/

3: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iheart-touch/id534675711?mt=8

4: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/modalitybody-interactive-anatomy/id364370895?mt=8