MEDHOST MINUTE BLOG Taking Action to Grow Your Hospital ServicesBy Stephanie Randa, Vice President of Analytical Solutions at MEDHOSTHospitals that only track gross patient volumes, net revenue, and hospital profit margins are missing out on the data that drives sound strategy development and decision making that drives growth. Often, growth and strategy metrics are not calculated in the hospital’s data systems and comparisons with local competitor data are not available.Rural Hospital Closures: HIT Can HelpBy Brock Slabach, senior vice president for member servicesHundreds of rural hospitals across the nation face financial challenges, and many are at risk of closing. According to research1 by University of North Carolina's Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, 76 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 and 673 rural hospitals are vulnerable to closure.2Addressing the Rise and Fall of Health Care Consumerism through Technology - Featuring a case study by Mt. San Rafael Hospital By MEDHOSTAccompanied by the high-deductible health plans and cost sharing models, consumerism has been steadily on the rise in the healthcare industry. Hospitals that are able to successfully handle these challenges may be in a better position to stay financially viable in a period when competitive pricing and patient satisfaction can make or break a hospital's chances of succeeding. Rising costs, combined with smaller margins and inpatient volumes have contributed to hospitals' financial crisis. Big Patient Data and How will Doctors Cope With It?By Gary Seay, Principal of BrightWork Advisory, LLCAmbulatory Medical Records for practices and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) for hospitals are broadly deployed. Interoperability is still a barrier to creating the “patient longitudinal medical record” (the white whale of policy makers). Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and supporting technologies struggle with patient identity reconciliation, variation of AMR/EMR data structures, medical language and myriad of other inconsistencies. For now, little has changed for doctors other than technical presentation and method of documentation when it comes to their personal access to and use of patient medical data.Big Data – Electronic Medical RecordsBy Gary Seay, Principal of BrightWork Advisory, LLCWith completion of Meaningful Use Stage 2, healthcare operators are generating comprehensive digital clinical information for the first time. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) projected that investments in physician order communications, comprehensive charting and other IT modernization will improve individual patient outcomes, reduce medical error risk, slow healthcare spending and produce other benefits. MEDHOST Continues Commitment to Hospitals SuccessBy MEDHOSTThroughout this summer, MEDHOST had the pleasure to be part of meetings with key industry organizations that are truly focused on helping hospitals be successful. At MEDHOST, our goal includes improving the clinical, financial and operational performance of healthcare providers, while giving them the ability to engage with their communities. Our interactions with leading industry groups help us shape our framework and ensure we’re delivering on solutions and services that help make our customers successful.Best Practices for Healthcare Information SecurityBy William Crank, Senior Director/CISO Network & Security at MEDHOSTToday's cyber criminals aren't disorganized, disgruntled individuals who act alone. Now there are entire operations devoted to running healthcare phishing, malware, and ransomware scams to get past your information security system and infiltrate your healthcare data. Not only do these cyber criminals have concrete business models, they have the resources to perform cost-benefit analyses that determine if it's worth the money to access your data. Fortunately, if your security is tight, there's a good chance that hackers will leave your information alone because they don't want to waste resources trying—and hopefully failing—to access your system. Infographic - An increasingly Connected PatientBy MEDHOSTThe era of sitting back and observing is over in healthcare. The phase of heightened healthcare engagement which began with engaging consumers with email marketing and social media has now evolved into digital technology like apps, smart devices and wearables. This is transforming the healthcare industry like no other period in history. Transition to Digital Marketing with YourCareEverywhereBy Joy Jarrett, Director of YCE Marketing While other industries have been rushing to adopt online search, social media and mobile technologies with supporting marketing campaigns, many healthcare organizations have been slower to embrace digital marketing and continue to funnel marketing dollars into traditional channels, like print ads, radio, billboards and one-off direct mail tactics. Understanding the business of digital marketing can be complicated, often requiring new skills and talent, new technology and processes. We explored this further in the healthcare market and found the following insights:How Optimal Healthcare IT Teams Deliver Successful ImplementationBy Paul Valentine, Vice President, Implementation Services at MEDHOST Purchasing the right healthcare information technology (IT) tools won't necessarily solve all your problems and immediately boost your return on investment. Without applying best practices in implementation, your new technology could actually end up impeding progress and make your organization less efficient. Surgery Departments - Using Data to Improve Safety, Quality, Efficiency and UtilizationBy Stephanie Randa, Vice President of Analytical Solutions at MEDHOSTThe surgery department drives about 48 percent of hospital revenues.1 Increasing operating room efficiencies is essential to meet the demands of surgeons, patients and staff in this increasingly competitive environment. Understanding how to streamline scheduling and use data to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction will set your surgery department for success. MEDHOST’s Adherence to EHR Developer Code of ConductBy Shawn Weise, Director of Product Regulatory Compliance and Shannon Kearney Lyons, Senior Legislative AnalystIn 1999, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued its landmark report “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System” on medical errors. The report stated that between 44,000 to 98,000 of people die each year as a result of preventable medical errors.Operational Excellence and the Rest of the HouseBy Gary Seay, Principal of BrightWork Advisory, LLCCurrent thinking in healthcare to date has been very directly focused on clinical services, operations, processes, tools and practitioners. All very obviously crucial to establish and maintain objectively robust standards of care. How do physical facility, nonclinical staff practices, supply choices and other “environmental factors” support or challenge clinical operations and patient outcomesTaking Charge of Your Emergency Department By Urvi Randhar, Vice President, Product DevelopmentIn most hospitals, the emergency department (ED) is the first stop for patients seeking care. But as volumes of patients and associated costs continue to rise, EDs are grappling with the same goals: Big Data – And What To Do With It.By Gary Seay, Principal of BrightWork Advisory, LLCBig Data is all the rage and everyone knows that it is huge, but when you ask an operator what practical use all this data is being put to, the answer could be a blank stare. When Big Data Is Too Big to HandleBy MEDHOSTIndustry experts will tell you that healthcare is all about data. Providers gather patient data so they can make accurate diagnoses and thoughtful treatment decisions. Health systems rely on data to verify areas where they need to improve and the areas in which they excel. Healthcare organizations and thought leaders examine over-arching data trends to see where healthcare is going next -- then they use that information to find a way to adapt and remain successful.MEDHOST’s Meaningful Use Successes and Preparation for Meaningful Use Stage 3 Success AheadBy MEDHOSTMEDHOST customers have experienced higher than average Meaningful Use Stage 1 and Stage 2 attestation success rates. Almost 96 percent of MEDHOST customers who attested for Meaningful Use Stage 2 were successful as compared to industry average of about 77 percent.Clinical Excellence and Process Discipline By Gary Seay, Principal of BrightWork Advisory, LLCWe have discussed value-based intent to be clinically excellent (culture), adherence to professional standards and evidence-based practices, tools which fit, and metrics to objectively drive competency, adoption, execution and outcomes. But how does excellence actually result from good intentions, tool investment and measurement?Clinical Excellence and MetricsBy Joseph G Seay - Principal of BrightWork Advisory, LLCWe recognize that culture is a powerful driver of individual and group thinking, actions, outcomes and performance. Tools should be operationally effective, support professional standards for patient treatment, information capture and presentation. They should be purpose built for scale and complexity of your organization to enable excellence in clinical care.Tailored Community Hospital Solutions Drive Clinical ExcellenceBy Joseph G Seay - Principal of BrightWork Advisory, LLCIf management is really committed to clinical excellence, tool choices should reflect that commitment. It shouldn't be acceptable for any community or critical access hospital to settle for a less than adequate EHR solution because they are not a major urban medical center, big name academic or research center. How Documentation Impacts Revenue in the EDBy Karen Scott, MEd, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, FAHIMA, Senior Training Specialist at TruCodeOver the past few years, numerous articles and fraud alerts have shown that billing in the emergency department (ED) may be a high risk area for fraudulent billing. Because of the impact of the electronic health record and documentation indicating higher levels of service being performed, it may seem that documentation can be worded to allow for overinflating and upcoding of visit levels. MEDHOST Customers Achieve High Standards of Care Quality and Patient Safety with HIMSS EMRAM SuccessBy Steve Starkey, Executive Vice President Product at MEDHOSTHIMSS Analytics is a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) that has developed EMR Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM) based on compliance, market trends and delivery of healthcare. As of Fourth Quarter 2015, only 27 percent of U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics have reached Stage 6 on EMRAM whereas Stage 7 is the highest level attainable and only 4.2 percent of U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics have reached Stage 7 on EMRAM.1Meaningful Use Stage 3: Coordination of CareBy Shawn Wiese - Director of Product Regulatory Compliance at MEDHOSTA primary goal of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is to facilitate improved care through the meaningful use of electronic health record technology. Key to accomplishing this goal is the interoperability of Personal Health Data (PHI) which serves as a foundational component for the creation of new care coordination models, patient engagement processes and recognition of real-time provider engagement models for achieving improved outcomes throughout.Adoption of Proven Interventions in Crowded Emergency Departments By MEDHOSTAccording to a study in Health Affairs, if your hospital is among the many overcrowded U.S. hospitals, it may be because it hasn't adopted proven strategies and interventions to reduce such conditions. Researchers from George Washington University have found that while adoption of proven strategies to reduce crowding in the ED has increased, these Interventions have not been implemented in the the most congested emergency departments.1 Here are some strategies hospitals are utilizing to reduce emergency department crowding: Improve Overall ED Patient Satisfaction by Utilizing These Six TipsBy MEDHOSTAs healthcare continues to evolve, emergency departments are transforming too. A smooth workflow in the ED sets the tone for the rest of the patient experience as more than two-thirds of inpatients arrive via the ED. Hospitals and health systems that build strong support from administration, physicians and ancillary staff are likely to experience strong patient loyalty creating positive impact on the bottom-line. Creating a Culture of Clinical ExcellenceBy Joseph G Seay - Principal of BrightWork Advisory, LLCGetting Started – Everyone knows that culture springs from leaders – leaders with strong opinions and values, leaders who actively express ideas, and leaders that demonstrate active commitment in every action taken, every process designed and every policy pronounced. But do not assume that such vision always comes from executive or senior management. In fact, culture can be driven at all levels of the organization. A Grand Problem of Readmissions of Chronically Ill Patients By Blair Baker, Vice President of Product Strategy and Product Management at MEDHOSTAbout half of the adults in the United States are battling a chronic disease; this epidemic puts a considerable amount of pressure on the entire continuum of care.1 Not only is managing these diseases challenging for patients and their care-givers, they are extremely difficult for providers to manage from inside the four walls of their healthcare facility.Four Ways a Mobile App Can Help Reduce ReadmissionsBy MEDHOSTManaging the chronic diseases is not only challenging for patients and providers but often results in costly readmissions adversely effecting your bottom-line.Meaningful Use Stage 3 and InteroperabilityBy Shawn Wiese, Director of Product Regulatory Compliance at MEDHOSTFrom the onset of the Meaningful Use program, The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has stated that one of the pillars of the program was to create a learning health system. Initial steps in Meaningful Use stage 1 and Meaningful Use stage 2 have set the platform for Meaningful Use stage 3 where results from work completed in stage 1 and 2 will begin to be realized.American Hospital Association Driving Solutions for Its Members, Supporting Their Missions with Initiatives That MatterBy Tom Mitchell, Vice President of Marketing at MEDHOSTAHA Solutions (part of the American Hospital Association) recently completed its first Partner Advisory Council meeting for 2016. The Partner Advisory Council is a select group of about 10 AHA Solutions-endorsed partners that come together to help AHA Solutions set the strategy for its partners and define how the initiatives will benefit its members.Finding perfect harmony with an EHR solutionBy Dr. Frank Newlands, Chief Medical Officer at MEDHOSTIt is no secret that most EHRs are creating dissatisfaction and frustration among the physicians. It can be easy to lose track of the actual value provided to end-users unless you are continuously thinking from their perspective -- adding their own insights not a developer's interpretation of their needs to the solution development process. Unfortunately, Most EHRs are not created that way, so most physicians end up less than happy with their existing EHR. According to a national survey commissioned by Medical Economics and administered by MPI Group, About 67 percent of physicians switch their EHR due to lack of system functionality that they need. A COW in Your PocketBy Urvi Randhar, Vice President of Product Development at MEDHOSTMobile Medication dispensing and administration allows nurses to deliver medications to patients at their bedside and is probably one of the most common occurrences during a nurse’s work day. For this process, most nurses use a computer on wheels (COW) which is wheeled around from room to room where the patient's wristband and medication are scanned.Your Providers are demanding interoperability. Are you listening?By Jitin Asnaani - Executive Director at CommonWell Health Alliance®Let's face it - the lack of interoperability has been a thorn in the industry's side for so long that most physicians, nurses and other providers have simply assumed that the phone (invented: 1876) and fax (invented: 1843) are their only paths out of the four walls of their clinic. In a practical sense, it seems as though the only road to communication was the one paved with paper. Managing Coding Challenges in the Post ICD-10 WorldBy Karen Scott, MEd, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, FAHIMA, Senior Training Specialist, TruCodeThe Transition from ICD -9 to ICD-10 has left physicians’ anxiety at an all-time high. The good news is that even though the early reports show some drop in productivity, it is not nearly as bad as predicted. Claims are going out and for the most part, insurance companies are keeping up with payments under the new systems. However, there are few ongoing issues which require close to ensure continued post ICD-10 success. Rural Healthcare Survival Important to Millions of Americans, CommunitiesBy Tom Mitchell, Vice President of Marketing at MEDHOSTRural healthcare is vital for a majority of Americans. There are more than 60 million Americans that rely on rural health services. Yet, for care delivery, this is one of the most challenged segments of the U.S. healthcare system.*Why Rural Health and an Integrated Health Approach MattersBy MEDHOSTAccording to the American Hospital Association, rural hospitals provide essential healthcare services to nearly 60 million people. Rural populations are more likely to be poorer, sicker, older, uninsured and medically underserved as compared to urban populations and face many unique difficulties in meeting the new regulatory demands and payment models. Healthcare Analytics 101By MEDHOSTHealthcare organizations are dealing with enormous pressures to reduce costs and increase positive outcomes. This challenge will only increase with time as the business of healthcare transforms from a volume-based to a value-based model.The Top Three Considerations That Can Make or Break your Anesthesia and Surgery Operations By MEDHOSTThis often-overlooked department is a key contributor to patient safety and revenue. Like many hospital departments, however, Anesthesia and Surgery carry their own technological challenges that require research and creativity to overcome. The need for Healthcare InteroperabilityBy MEDHOSTInteroperability is a major part of the HITECH Act, the healthcare IT portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed in February of 2009. Tips for Successfully Managing Meaningful Use DocumentationBy MEDHOSTTHE CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS) has noted that it plans to audit 1 in every 20 meaningful use participants. A meaningful use audit may include a review of any of the documentation needed to support the information that was entered in the attestation. The level of the audit review may depend on a number of factors. Most audit failures occur due to inadequate documentation regardless of whether the organization was actually compliant.The Consumerization of HealthcareBy MEDHOSTMeet your new boss: Your patient. Every patient is your new CEO. Their decision effects your revenue and that is the bottom-line. If you want their loyalty, you will have to earn their trust by truly knowing them and providing them with the tools that meet their needs. The fact is that their need for care is not going away but if they don’t get from you what they demand, somebody else will get their business.Are Emergency Departments Ready for increased Visits?By MEDHOSTEmergency department use is up since expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect, according to a new survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).Four Fundamental EHR Components to Increase Physician SatisfactionBy MEDHOSTAccording to the 2013 Rand report, just 35 percent of physicians have noted their EHRs have a positive effect on their job satisfaction.* The report also found that physician satisfaction is very closely associated with the EHR application they utilize, the more complex an EHR system is, the lower the general physician professional satisfaction.How to Strategically Create Loyal Patients in a Competitive Retail-Driven Healthcare EnvironmentBy MEDHOSTTo establish an affinity for your brand, it is important you use every opportunity to engage the community of consumers you serve, inform them of the service lines you offer and educate them on key points of differentiation.Top Six ED Design Features that can Address Disaster Management Concerns*By MEDHOSTA growing number of healthcare facilities are making these six emergency department enhancements to address disasters, terrorism and mass casualties. Is your ED department taking advantage of these enhancements to get ready for a disaster?The critical importance of patient experience in the emergency departmentBy MEDHOSTAccording to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) 2013 report, more than 81.8 percent of unscheduled admissions to the hospital now come through the emergency department (ED), a hefty increase from the last decade when only 64.5 percent of unscheduled admissions came through the ED. With more and more patients using the ED as the gateway to a hospital, patient satisfaction and revenue are becoming increasingly reliant on the patient experience. If the emergency department experience is not good, they're already geared up to have an unfavourable opinion as an inpatient.American Hospital Association Solutions Points to Patient Flow as Key Bridge to Value-Based CareBy Tom Mitchell - Vice President of MarketingAmerican Hospital Association (AHA) Solutions has developed 10 key insights on the drivers for patient flow improvements based on extensive research and conversations with various healthcare stakeholders. These points, which are based on discussions that occurred at its Critical Conversations on Patient Flow events earlier this year, highlight the integral role of new patient relationships, benefits of emerging technologies and effects of population health management requirements.Caution - Cloning and Pasting in DocumentationBy Sharon L. Nicka, RN, CPCOver documentation is the practice of inserting false or irrelevant documentation to create the appearance of support for billing higher level services. Some EMR technologies auto-populate fields when using templates built into the system. Other systems generate extensive documentation on the basis of a single click of a checkbox, which if not appropriately edited by the provider may be inaccurate. Such features if not properly utilized can produce information suggesting that the practitioner performed more comprehensive services than were actually rendered.Audit Environment for Emergency DepartmentsBy Sharon L. Nicka, RN, CPCThe importance of responding to any audit letter you may receive cannot be stressed enough! If you don’t respond, there will be consequences. Emergency departments should ensure proper billing. This includes being able to respond promptly with proper documentation. The Black Sheep of the Modifier Family – Modifier 59By Sharon L. Nicka, RN, CPCWhen the procedure doesn’t fit a specific code, providers add on a two-digit “modifier” to the CPT or HCPCS code. This modifier gives your plan those additional details. Then, your plan may use this information to adjust the payment. Modifier 59 is used to identify procedures/services, other than E/M services, that are not normally reported together, but are appropriate under the circumstances.Three Simple Elements That Will Drive Patients To Your Portal—And Keep Them Coming Back!By MEDHOSTPatient portals have been deployed across the country in the hopes that patients will easily transition to new virtual habits and incorporate the portal into their personal healthcare toolset. This hasn’t happened. Just because you’ve built it doesn’t mean they’ll come. Your patient portal is here - minus the patients.By MEDHOSTImagine your hospital as the hub of community; this hub is the routing station in which the consumer – aka patient -- looks for guidance, information, medical resources and wellness coaching. Portal adoption is the foundation of this hub. It serves as the starting point for building brand awareness, establishing consumer loyalty and cementing your presence in the community. So what to do when your facility has poor patient adoption?Managing the population and its data with an optimal interoperable solution.By MEDHOSTHealth information exchange is an integral part of the health information technology infrastructure with patient engagement steering much of the conversations.Is lack of proper communication hindering your patient flow?By MEDHOSTEnsuring that your right hand knows what your left hand is doing makes things work smoother and more efficiently. Is your hospital communicating patient flow information effectively from the busiest area of your hospital, the emergency department (ED)?Interesting Statistics about U.S. Hospitals and Physicians [Infographic]By MEDHOSTThe U.S. healthcare system is complex and multifaceted with different types of hospitals and physician specialties. Here are some interesting statistics about U.S. hospitals and physicians, and also how we compare with the rest of the world. Four Reasons Why Your Organization Needs an Engagement StrategyBy MEDHOSTFederal mandates, shifting payment models and consumer demands coupled with competition, brand loyalty and cultural digitalization are fueling disruptive change within the healthcare industry.Six Top Documentation Deficiencies in ED that Result in Lost RevenueBy Sharon L. Nicka, RN, CPCDocumentation deficiency feedback is an integral component of ensuring that you are not losing critical revenue dollars. Monthly reports are generated to offer the physician group and individual physician-specific feedback on deficiencies responsible for lost billing revenue. Targeted education for physicians can be derived from this information, resulting in improved revenue and reduced compliance risk. Guest Post: Hamilton General Hospital’s Journey to Early Meaningful Use Stage 2 AttestationBy Millie Shinn, RN, Clinical Informaticist at Hamilton General HospitalIf it's been said once, it's been said a thousand times – Meaningful Use is a marathon not a sprint. It's a long and often tiring process. But, as every competitive runner knows, how you come out of the blocks sets the tone for the entire race.The Importance of Documentation Deficiency FeedbackBy Sharon L. Nicka, RN, CPCThe year 2014 has been a year of escalating audits and recoupment. Many educational letters have been received from commercial payers in addition to Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) programs. Some with statements similar to “we have provided a claims review on your billing and documentation practices.” In other words, we want your money! Physician Engagement – Are You Using the NPDB Appropriately?By Kevin Moran, Manager of Physician EngagementThe National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) is a resource for state licensing boards, healthcare entities, and credentialing organizations to verify and investigate the qualifications of providers they are going to employ. Congress created the NPDB because they believed the quality of medical care had become problematic, and there was a need for a national repository of peer-reviewed information to ensure unskilled providers were not able to practice medicine. NPDB reporting guidelines apply to all licensed healthcare providers. The database contains information regarding actions taken against a provider’s license, medical malpractice settlements, clinical privileges granted by a healthcare entity, and eligibility to participate in Medicare or Medicaid.Are You Ready for Your Upcoming Disaster?By Kevin Moran, Manager of Physician EngagementDo you know how to handle the credentialing of practitioners when your hospital’s emergency plan has been activated and your team is overwhelmed by the needs of patients arriving in your emergency room?Physician Engagement – FPPE & Practitioner CompetenceBy Kevin Moran, Manager of Physician EngagementCompetencies are what your practitioners need to be successful in delivering healthcare services to patients and should be linked to specific skillsets that can be used as a standard to measure job performance.Would Sam Walton be successful owning and managing hospitals?By Kevin Moran, Manager of Physician EngagementThe last time I walked into any retail store or shopped online, I knew exactly what I was going to be charged. Last week when I went to yes, you guessed it-Walmart to purchase the items needed for a Thanksgiving feast I knew exactly what the groceries in my basket cost. Sam believed in making sure his prices where low and consumers could purchase more with their paychecks than at his rivals. He would also match the price of any item from any competitor.Clinicians' Use of Mobile Devices in HospitalsBy MEDHOSTPatient data is expanding along with the necessity to share this data among cross-care teams. There is a growing use of mobile devices accompanied with consequences and concerns associated with the flood of mobile devices inside healthcare facilities.Patient flow is a challenge some hospitals have overcome.By Tom MitchellWe all really don't like waiting in the Emergency Department. There are better things we can be doing with our time. But we know we have to wait for care in the case of a medical emergency. However, imagine decreasing the time to see an emergency doctor by more than an hour – making the wait time about 40 minutes?Mobile Technology in Healthcare –The Next FrontierBy MEDHOSTThere's no denying it – smart phones and tablets are radically changing how we communicate and share data. But, so far, they've had less impact in healthcare, particularly with clinical documentation and workflows. Making Technology Adjustments to ID Ebola RiskBy MEDHOSTThe threat of Ebola virus outbreak is making most hospitals, systems and clinics reevaluate their capabilities to identify the disease, isolate patients and distribute information to their respective patient population. While the risk of transmission of the virus is little, containing the disease involves appropriate infection control protocols and fast public health responses, and hospitals should be prepared for it.Accelerating Throughput and Reducing Stress in Your Emergency Department.By MEDHOSTIs Your EDIS Solution Helping You Accomplish Both?[Infographic] Are Hospitals Prepared for a Natural Disaster or Emergency?By MEDHOSTUnfortunately, disasters do happen. Just during the last 5 years, nearly 90 percent of facilities have had to use emergency power to mitigate a disaster situation. [Infographic] ED Volume IncreaseBy MEDHOSTEmergency department’s volumes are increasing. Did you know that 46 percent of the ED physicians believe that their ED is not prepared for significant volume increase.Provider Credentialing – Your Revenue (And Your Reputation) Depend On ItBy MEDHOSTProvider credentialing is important to your business, in fact, so important that without it, your hospital's revenue can decline exponentially. Twenty-six rural hospitals have closed since 2013. Most of these hospitals were closed in the last 19 months which is more than the total rural hospitals closed between 2003 and 2012.1 There are numerous reasons for this desperate situation but one of the reasons is not being able to meet the federal, state and payer requirements around reimbursements. The truth is that it is easy for a physician or an administrator to become distracted by the burdens of managing a healthcare business especially in the current healthcare environment. One area of practice management, which is becoming increasingly cumbersome for physicians and hospital administrators, is provider credentialing. The good news is that credentialing is actually an area where hospitals can streamline costs, shorten reimbursement time and potentially increase revenue.Patient or Consumer?By MEDHOST Consulting GroupWhere do many people go for their first opinions about their health? The Internet. WebMD, Google, Wikipedia and Patients Like Me offer a wealth of knowledge for at-home remedies or possible diagnoses. Even Dr. Oz offers online advice for how to alleviate symptoms. People often research before they head to their scheduled appointments and offer the doctor a list of possible diagnoses and medication options. Facebook offers opinions and advice from your closest friends, relatives or complete strangers. With information at our fingertips, it's easier to gather advice than to wait for a doctor's appointment. Population Health Management Asks More Questions Than It AnswersBy MEDHOST Consulting GroupPopulation health management puts a tremendous amount of weight on the shoulders of hospitals and care providers. How do care providers relate to patients and their community? Where do these health systems need to be in this patient-centric new world? Volume versus ValueBy MEDHOST Consulting GroupOf all the transformation occurring in healthcare revenue models, none is more important than the shift toward value. Patient quality and satisfaction are being factored into reimbursement, and rising healthcare costs are creating more price sensitivity among healthcare purchasers. Payment models are shifting from fee-for-service to outcome-based models, and reimbursement is dwindling. Financial risk is transferring from the consumer to the care provider at a time when providers face unprecedented challenges that threaten their very survival.What Engagement Communications Are At Your Key Touch Points?By MEDHOST Consulting GroupStaff have two major concerns when it comes to change:How does it affect my parking?How does it affect my schedule? Great news! Patient engagement communication programs such as COMPASS affect neither parking nor schedules. You’ve already given your team the tools they need to engage patients. Now your staff is helping to change old costly behaviors into new virtual behaviors.COMPASS includes out-of-the box, prescriptive communication programs designed to engage patients at every interaction point inside and outside of your hospital, from admissions to clinical care encounters to elevator rides to cafeteria lunches to coffee breaks to discharge—and after. It’s designed to build brand recognition around your hospital’s care community and to elevate engagement from a location-based communications campaign to a virtual-based adoption platform.New behaviors are linked to optimized workflow. The COMPASS program creates synergy through process reengineering, state-of-the-art technology and adoption of new virtual behaviors that transform patients, providers and caregivers.Survive & Thrive Under Market PressuresBy MEDHOST Consulting GroupFifty-nine percent (59%) of millennials said they would switch healthcare providers for better online access. The younger you engage a patient in your care community, the more of their lifetime patient value you can capture. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of baby boomers said they would switch providers for better online access. This demographic accounts for a substantial portion of healthcare spending, enabling you to capture more reimbursement for delivering their care within your care community. Triggers, Cues & the New Virtual Habit ZoneBy MEDHOST Consulting GroupHow do you get patients to the new virtual habit zone? Ability and motivation are two key factors to driving patients to new virtual habits. A cancer patient is going to have high motivation to get on the virtual platform even if it's technologically challenging; that patient will make sure they access their lab results. Do Hospitals Understand Asynchronous Communication?By MEDHOST Consulting GroupThe government is compelling healthcare organizations to establish an engagement initiative with patients, which is an investment of time and resources. Hospitals need to change the way they engage patients while influencing the healthcare consumer to manage their health information virtually. Virtual Platforms Elicit 1 of 2 Reactions. Which One Do You Have?By MEDHOST Consulting GroupChanges are occurring to make healthcare more efficient, cost effective and engaging. Health systems, especially hospitals, have focused their attention on building smarter solutions through better technology. One major barrier to better, more engaging technology is engaging patients to adopt a virtual platform. Strategically Preparing Hospitals for a Consumer-Driven MarketplaceBy MEDHOSTNew payment models and the rise of ACOs are challenging hospitals to off-set rising costs and lower reimbursements, while providing value-based care in a consumer-driven marketplace. [Infographic] Are you ready to manage an increase in inpatient admissions?By MEDHOSTHospitals need to be prepared to deal with the rising patient volume.Patient volume is not declining anytime soon. Top 4 strategies for patient flow success.By MEDHOSTStudies indicate that by the year 2050, the inpatient volume will be increased by 67 percent. Even though 2050 is bit too far to start panicking about, this increase will be gradual and hospitals should be prepared for an upward movement in the volume of patients every year.It’s all Relative: Clinician Adoption, Documentation and Charge CaptureBy MEDHOSTLet’s face it. Doctors are fed up with weak EHR systems. And it’s no secret that anemic technology complicates clinicians’ lives, handcuffs caregivers and decreases professional satisfaction.Business Intelligence - Make your data work for youBy MEDHOSTIs your data helping you to make the critical business decisions, optimize resources and, helping you optimize your revenue and minimize your expenses?Is Your Facility’s IT Infrastructure Ready for a Natural Disaster or Emergency?By Todd Forgie, MEDHOST VP of Hosted and Managed ServicesWhile there is no way to predict when natural disasters and other emergencies will affect your facility, having a disaster recovery plan will help enable your organization to continue treating patients and using its EHR without severe interruption.Meaningful Use Audit ReadinessBy MEDHOSTAccording to Centers of Medicare, Medicaid Services (CMS), any provider who receives a payment for either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program potentially may be subject to an audit.Missing Link Blog Series: From Patient Engagement to Patient ActivationBy MEDHOSTTake the next step - from engagement to activationTackle three top Meaningful Use concernsBy MEDHOSTIf your facility is already in the process of attesting for Meaningful Use or is preparing to start the process, there are some common concerns that usually top the list. Some of the most frequent questions from our Customers have been answered below for your guidance. If you have any additional questions or concerns about Meaningful Use, do not hesitate to contact MEDHOST at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1.888.463.0360.Patient engagement – the game changer is hereBy MEDHOSTThe healthcare landscape is changing rapidly, and in addition to being a requirement for Meaningful Use, patient engagement portals are becoming a bigger and strategic part of the overall goal. Many healthcare facilities have invested considerable time, money and resources in a patient portal solution to reach that goal, however, these facilities are now facing the hard fact that just providing a portal for patient engagement and expecting patients to start pouring in will not work. [Infographic] The ED is Your Hospital’s Front DoorBy MEDHOSTThe road to a more efficient emergency department includes plenty of challenges and obstacles.How One Community Hospital Turned a Federal Requirement into Significant Cost SavingsBy MEDHOSTA discussion about patient flow is often focused on meeting The Joint Commission's standards. Even though that's an important part of the conversation, it's only one of several benefits for improving operational efficiency.HFMA-ANI 2014 – How MEDHOST Transforms Financial Processes for HospitalsBy Tom Mitchell, MEDHOST Vice President of MarketingMore than ever, hospitals are challenged with declining reimbursements and expanding regulatory requirements that negatively impact the bottom line. That's why it's vitally important for hospital executives to more effectively manage their revenue cycle and financial processes. At the annual Healthcare Financial Management Association's National Institute June 22-25 in Las Vegas, MEDHOST will provide healthcare leaders actionable knowledge so they can imagine, create and transform sustainable financial viability.Missing Link Blog Series: How to Truly Achieve Patient EngagementBy MEDHOSTMeaningful Use Stage 2 requirements for patient engagement have created a flood of patient portal acquisitions by hospitals and clinics, but many facilities are missing the bigger picture – a "virtual engagement platform" for all their customers. This is a historic opportunity to create a strategic platform that improves care, fosters transparency, increases patient loyalty and helps providers attain new patients rather than just merely check the Meaningful Use box.How Effective Clinical Documentation Protects ReimbursementBy MEDHOSTMost people understand how critical clinical documentation will be for regulatory compliance after the ICD-10 deadline, but few talk about how fundamental it will be for driving maximum reimbursement. Better clinical documentation will not only protect reimbursement after the transition, but it will also serve as an important step toward improving quality of care.3 Strategies to Ensure You Don’t Lose Meaningful Use Incentives Because of State Health ReportingBy MEDHOSTAs you prepare to attest for Meaningful Use Stage 2, there are three specific core measures you can't let slip through the cracks: public health reporting for states. Joe Wortmann, Vice President of Outsourced Services for MEDHOST, shares some of his insight into state reporting requirements.Meeting One of the Most Overlooked Meaningful Use Stage 2 RequirementsBy MEDHOSTOne of the most challenging and often overlooked Meaningful Use Stage 2 criteria is the CMS requirement that hospitals send syndromic surveillance, lab results and immunization registry data to their state's public health agency (PHA). Making this particularly hard is the constraint that it has to be within 60 days of initiating the hospital's Meaningful Use Stage 2 reporting period. This requirement is even more complex for healthcare systems operating in multiple states since each state has the latitude to determine the format they wish to receive reporting data. Request Your Free State Health Reporting AssessmentBy MEDHOSTMeaningful Use state public health reporting is often overlooked but can derail your attestation efforts—and cost your hospital millions in incentive payments.[Infographic] Is Your Head in the Cloud?By MEDHOSTEvery day, hundreds of companies are choosing a hosted solution for their IT services. Are you part of the trend?3 Ways To Immediately Tighten Your Patient Access WorkflowBy MEDHOSTPatient access mistakes cost hospitals millions of dollars per year. If your facility is like most, you can't afford to let money slip through the cracks.Meaningful Use Stage 2 – All You Need to Know about the Extension, MEDHOST’s Position and Its Certified TechnologiesBy Missy Willoughby, Ph.D., MEDHOST Director of Meaningful UseRecently, CMS announced an extension of Meaningful Use Stage 2 through 2016 and that Stage 3 will now begin in 2017 for providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2. According to the agency, the goal of this change is two-fold: 1) allow CMS and ONC to focus efforts on the successful implementation of the enhanced patient engagement, interoperability and health information exchange requirements in Stage 2, and 2) give CMS more time to utilize data from Stage 2 participation to inform policy decisions for Stage 3.OIG Copy/Paste Report Findings & How Easy-to-Use Software Makes All the DifferenceBy Neal Reizer, MEDHOST Vice President of Product DevelopmentA recent report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that hospitals could be at risk of fraud if they inappropriately use the copy/paste feature found in most electronic health records (EHRs) and computer operating systems. According to the report, only 24 percent of the 864 hospitals surveyed have implemented copy/paste policies for their EHR systems.HIMSS14 – Sharing Our Vision for Collaboration, Interoperability and Patient EngagementBy Tom Mitchell, Vice President of MarketingHIMSS14 did not disappoint. With the announcement that deadlines for key regulations, including Meaningful Use Stage 2, will not be extended, it became apparent that collaboration between providers, vendors and even patients must continue to increase. Collaboration and interoperability were some of our key focus areas and some of the most popular topics across the show floor and in educational sessions.Bringing Customers More Value and Helping Hospitals Foster Operational ExcellenceBy Craig Herrod, President of MEDHOSTAs a healthcare technology and services innovator, MEDHOST believes that our healthcare solutions should work with other companies to create more connected care communities and help providers deliver the best care available. We're excited to share two pieces of exciting news that illustrate how we are furthering our collaboration initiatives. 7 Critical Questions You Should Be Asking about Patient Portals (But Probably Aren’t)By MEDHOSTWhat you don't know can cost you.You know patient engagement is critical to achieve Meaningful Use. You also know patient engagement increases patient satisfaction, lowers hospital operating costs and promotes higher usage of better data.So how do you address that which you don't know you don't know? Building a Community of CareBy MEDHOSTAs patient engagement becomes increasingly imperative as a core function of healthcare delivery, the concept of meaningful communication between providers and patients has grown exponentially. At its most basic level, we can call this mechanism a patient portal – a place where facilities can meet.The Top 3 Tech Considerations for Anesthesia and SurgeryBy MEDHOSTThis often-overlooked department is a key contributor to patient safety and revenue. Like many hospital departments, however, Anesthesia and Surgery carries its own technological challenges that require research and creativity to overcome. Dr. Paul St. Jacques is a practicing anesthesiologist, has published 15 peer-reviewed research articles and is active in multiple professional organizations. He outlines the top 3 tech considerations for streamlining your perioperative environment. Don’t Overlook These 3 Core MU2 MeasuresBy MEDHOSTAs you prepare to attest for Meaningful Use Stage 2, there are three specific core measures you can’t let slip through the cracks: public health reporting for states. Joe Wortmann, Vice President of Outsourced Services for MEDHOST, shares some of his insight into state reporting requirementsmHealth: Fad or Future?By MEDHOST There's no denying mHealth is hot right now. It’s used as a catchphrase so often, it begs the question: Is mHealth an industry fad or the future of healthcare?MEDHOST Minute ArchiveBy MEDHOSTLooking for an older post from the MEDHOST Minute? Check out the full collection of our blog posts, dating back to the very first MEDHOST Minute post from several years ago.