Answers for a Healthier World

Indiana’s Scott County, roughly 80 miles south of Indianapolis, experienced one of the worst opioid-driven HIV outbreaks in rural America.

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As healthcare continues to take center-stage in the United States, population health management gains more prominence as a term signifying the push to improve patient care. Commonly defined by the government as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group,” population management is often criticized for being too broad.

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Organizations need to think of the revenue cycle in healthcare as something beyond numbers and more as everything that occurs from that first initial contact with the physician, through a patient’s hospital stay, all the clinical events that may cause charges to fall, and then the components of getting the documentation in place to be able to verify and prove you did what you said you did. This also includes making sure you’re appropriately reimbursed for the great care you provided your patient. Every step is important, and each step represents a piece that leads to an effective revenue cycle. Successful and profitable healthcare institutions often have a firm grasp on all those individual steps, including visibility into the revenue cycle as a whole.

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Successful legacy system migrations start with people, and working with people requires outstanding communication and a close attention to transition. Even though most legacy systems have people who promote the system and those who are ready to move on, all users need to be engaged in order to embrace the new solution. That is the only way to drive the needed new sense of ownership.

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Raise your hand if you remember TripTiks?

Before Google Maps, before Garmin, way back in the stone ages (or maybe, paper ages) of paper road maps, AAA had this service for travelers. You'd tell them where you wanted to go and where you'd be leaving from, and AAA would print you a booklet with all the maps you'd need to get from Point A to Point B. It would also point out alternate routes, and suggest places to visit and things to do along the way — your whole trip in one package.

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In part one, we discussed how a perfectly executed go-live event can signal the launch of a new system, commonly one for managing Electronic Health Records (EHR). We also discussed how this event signifies a major milestone in a hospital’s IT modernization program. In this blog, we want to discuss how, with so much on the line, it’s crucial for hospitals to understand the process and make decisions about the level of autonomy that support teams and consultants will require.

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A perfectly executed go-live event signals the launch of a new system, commonly an Electronic Health Records (EHR). It’s a major milestone in any hospital’s IT modernization program. By the time the go-live kicks off, hundreds-of-thousands - if not millions - of dollars have already been spent, along with countless hours of work. Project plans, communications plans, technology build and implementations, change management plans, stakeholder analysis, executive buy-ins, financial models, and endless meetings with leaders, managers, clinical staff and IT members have occurred. As such, the go-live must go smoothly.

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Enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act aimed to "promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology" in clinical practice. Nearly a decade on, HITECH has succeeded in at least one respect: According to federal data, by 2015 some 84% of hospitals surveyed reported they had adopted at least a "basic" level electronic health records (EHR) system — more than an eightfold increase from the less than 10% level of EHR adoption reported in 2008, before HITECH became the law of the land.

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The benefits of skilled portfolio management are vast. If done properly, portfolio management can add visual control of an organization’s enterprise and unit level application portfolio to their Information Technology (IT) space. More importantly, portfolio management empowers organizations with analysis and visibility into the current state of their operations, whether that is vendor product management or application management, customer satisfaction or operational performance levels.

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The value of aligning financial and clinical aspects within healthcare organizations is critical to closing the gap that exists between the revenue cycle and IT departments. The need for clinical understanding in finance operations complicates these efforts, along with the siloed technology systems that hinder the ability to align the clinical with the financial systems of many healthcare providers.

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