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RelayHealth Financial Automates Creation, Management and Tracking of Denied Claim Appeals

RelayAssurance Appeals Assist helps improve revenue health by increasing collection rates on denied claims

ALPHARETTA, Ga., June 27, 2016RelayHealth Financial today introduced RelayAssurance™ Appeals Assist, a new tool that lets providers quickly and easily identify, create, file, and track appeals for denied claims. Now hospital and health system CFOs and revenue cycle leaders can enhance their denial prevention strategy with a way to expedite the appeals process– helping to reduce the associated time and costs, and improving the collection rate on initially denied claims.

While an estimated 6.4% of all provider-submitted claims are initially denied by payers1, two thirds of those claims are recoverable2. Yet many healthcare providers do not appeal denied claims at all, while others dedicate in-house staff or enlist outsourcing firms, which can result in lost revenue, wasted productivity due to manual processes, and significant expense. With RelayAssurance Appeals Assist, denied claims are flagged, the appropriate appeal forms are assembled and completed, and their progress is tracked–all within the same RelayAssurance Plus workflow used to monitor and manage claims.

“Despite providers’ best efforts to submit clean claims, a substantial number still get denied,” said Marcy Tatsch, vice president and general manager, Reimbursement Solutions, for RelayHealth Financial. “An effective denial prevention strategy doesn’t just focus on pre-submission, but also on the other points along the claims continuum. RelayAssurance Plus already offers the robust editing, claim status, and lifecycle visibility capabilities that are essential to denial prevention, and now builds on that functionality with the ability to track a claim’s progress and quickly respond when help is required.”

RelayAssurance Appeals Assist complements the RelayAssurance Plus claims management suite by offering:

  • Integrated Denial Management–Users can quickly and efficiently identify that an appeal is needed, then create, print, and file that appeal and track its progress directly within the same RelayAssurance Plus workflow where claim status/tracking takes place.
  • Forms Library–Built-in standard Medicare appeal forms, templates and letters, along with state-by-state appeals submission requirements help reduce the time and effort required to file appeals.
  • Appeals Dashboard–Visual icons indicate the status of appeals (Created, Submitted, Denied, Succeeded), whether an appeal follow-up has been established based on payer-specific time thresholds, and alert users to filing deadlines–all to ensure active management of appeals.

RelayAssurance Appeals Assist is the latest module available to users of RelayAssurance Plus, RelayHealth Financial’s cloud-based, analytics-driven claims and remittance management solution. Other modules available to complement RelayAssurance Plus include: the new Status Amplifier™, which automatically tracks down, inspects, and reports accurate reasons for non-payment on claims; RelayAssurance™  Medicare Direct Entry, for integrated Medicare claim processing, and automatically-generated secondary claims; Host Integration Services, which helps reduce the need to manually post transmitted claim status information; and Eligibility Claim Edits to monitor for insurance changes.

For more information on RelayHealth Financial’s revenue cycle management solutions, visit our website, learn from our experts at the RelayHealth blog, or follow us on Twitter at @RelayHealth.

For more information on McKesson Health Solutions, please visit our website, hear from our experts at MHSdialogue, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or network with us on LinkedIn.

1 2015 RelayHealth data

2 “An ounce of prevention pays off: 90% of denials are preventable” Advisory Board, 2014

June 27, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Health Catalyst Eliminates Client Restrictions on Solicitation and Hiring in its Contracts

Salt Lake City – June 21, 2016 Health Catalyst, a leader in healthcare data warehousing, analytics and outcomes improvement, today announced it is eliminating the provision in its standard client service contracts that prohibits its clients from soliciting for hire or hiring Health Catalyst team members.  Health Catalyst will continue to honor restrictions preventing solicitation of client employees by Health Catalyst.

“We are committed to working with our clients as long-term partners, and focusing on long-term customer success is our first operating principle,” said Dan Burton, CEO of Health Catalyst. “Our contractual restriction to prevent clients from soliciting or hiring our team members puts up a wall between us and our clients that could inhibit our work together. We want to eliminate any barriers that might prevent our clients from achieving and sustaining clinical and financial outcomes improvements.”

This is Health Catalyst’s second move in recent months to cement a culture of open collaboration and partnership among its clients and its team members. In May, the company officially removed the non-compete provision from its standard employment agreements that prohibited its team members from being employed by organizations that compete with Health Catalyst following employment with Health Catalyst, and announced that it would not seek to enforce such non-compete provisions in existing employment agreements.

“Our company’s purpose is to enable outcomes improvement at scale,” Burton continued. “If in some instances that purpose can be furthered by our clients hiring one of our team members, and this is of interest to our team members then we don’t want to prevent that. In fact, we view it as a sincere compliment when our clients value our team members’ contributions so highly that they express interest in hiring our team members.  Ultimately, we hope each of our team members remains committed to enabling outcomes improvements at scale, whether as a team member or as an alumni of Health Catalyst.  We seek to enable our team members’ long-term career success whether inside or outside the company.”

The decision to eliminate client obligations in non-solicitation clauses supports a client-focused culture that has been acknowledged by Health Catalyst clients and by third-party industry analysts. In its latest report on healthcare business intelligence, Enterprise Healthcare BI: The Search for Outcomes,”  KLAS Research revealed that Health Catalyst’s “strategy of prioritizing client relationships and outcomes result[ed] in the highest client reviews of any vendor for insights and outcomes.”

The decision also supports a work culture that has received recognition as one of the nation’s best from organizations including Gallup, Glassdoor, Modern Healthcare, Becker’s Healthcare and Rock Health.

About Health Catalyst

Health Catalyst is a mission-driven data warehousing, analytics and outcomes-improvement company that helps healthcare organizations of all sizes perform the clinical, financial, and operational reporting and analysis needed for population health and accountable care. Our proven enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and analytics platform helps improve quality, add efficiency and lower costs in support of more than 70 million patients for organizations ranging from the largest US health system to forward-thinking physician practices. For more information, visit https://www.healthcatalyst.com, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

June 21, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

HHS Announces Major Initiative to Help Small Practices Prepare for the Quality Payment Program

Over the last few weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made several important announcements related to the Quality Payment Program, which has been proposed to implement the new, bipartisan law changing how Medicare pays clinicians, known as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, or MACRA. Today, we are announcing $20 million to fund on-the-ground training and education for Medicare clinicians in individual or small group practices of 15 clinicians or fewer.

These funds will help provide hands-on training tailored to small practices, especially those that practice in historically under-resourced areas including rural areas, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas.

“Doctors and health care providers in small and rural practices are critical to our goal of building a health care system that works for everyone,” said Secretary Burwell. “Supporting local health care providers with the resources and information necessary for them to provide quality care is a top priority for this administration.”

As required by MACRA, HHS will continue to award $20 million each year over the next five years, providing $100 million in total to help small practices successfully participate in the Quality Payment Program. In order to receive funding, organizations must demonstrate their ability to strategically provide customized training to clinicians. And, most importantly, these organizations will provide education and consultation about the Quality Payment Program at no cost to the clinician or their practice.

“The bipartisan MACRA legislation gave us the tools to improve Medicare and make it modern and sustainable by improving the incentives for and lowering the burden on clinicians,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Real change must start from the ground up, and today’s announcement recognizes this reality by  getting doctors the resources they need to provide better, smarter care.”

Organizations receiving the funding would support small practices by helping them think through what they need to be successful under the Quality Payment Program, such as what quality measures and/or electronic health record (EHR) may be appropriate for their practices’ needs. Organizations would also train clinicians about the new clinical practice improvement activities and how these new activities could fit into their practices’ workflow, or help practices evaluate their options for joining an Alternative Payment Model.

“Providing these tools to help physicians and other clinicians in small practices navigate new programs is key to making sure they are able to focus on what is most important: the needs of their patients,” said B. Vindell Washington MD, MHCM, FACEP, principal deputy national coordinator. “As with the Office of the National Coordinator for health ITs funding for regional extension centers, this assistance will help health care providers leverage health information technology to enhance their practices and the care they deliver.”

Awardees will be announced by November 2016.  HHS encourages all qualified organizations to apply for this funding.

To learn more about today’s announcement and how to apply, please contactMQIDTA@cms.hhs.gov.

For more information on the Quality Payment Program, please visit:https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs/Quality-Payment-Program.html

June 20, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Navicure Partners with Bain Capital Private Equity to Continue Growth and Expand Healthcare Technology Platform

Investment to fuel growth from new products and expansion to new market segments

DULUTH, GA and BOSTON, June 15, 2016 – Navicure, a leading provider of cloud-based claims management and patient payment solutions for physician practices and hospitals, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to receive a strategic investment from Bain Capital Private Equity, a leading global private investment firm.  Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Navicure, which is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, will continue to be led by current CEO and founder, James M. Denny, Jr. and his executive team.  They will retain a meaningful interest in the business.  Selling shareholders include JMI Equity and other minority investors.

Navicure’s subscription-based software solutions help healthcare organizations of all sizes increase revenue, accelerate cash flow, and reduce the costs associated with managing insurance claims and patient payments.  Serving more than 90,000 healthcare providers nationwide, Navicure’s integrated revenue cycle management platform automates accounts receivable processes, and assures timely and accurate billing and collection from payers and patients.  The Company’s solutions help healthcare providers effectively handle claims management, patient eligibility verification, remittance and denial management, appeals, posting, reporting and analysis, and patient payment collections at and near the time of service.

Denny, who founded the business in 2001, said about the partnership, “We are proud that Navicure, for over 15 years, has helped thousands of healthcare organizations from large health systems to solo practices improve their financial results with less effort through the use of our SaaS-based solutions. Their success is our success.  We remain committed to our mission of developing innovative solutions that enable our clients to stay one step ahead. We believe the resources and experience of Bain Capital Private Equity give us an important advantage as we continue to grow our business and deliver an even wider array of differentiated solutions to our clients.”

Bain Capital Private Equity has a history of successful investments in a variety of healthcare and information technology businesses including Applied Systems, Viewpoint Construction Software, Blue Coat Systems, BMC Software, HCA Healthcare, Beacon Health Options, Physio-Control, Quintiles Transnational and CRC Health Group.

Chris Gordon, a Managing Director on Bain Capital Private Equity’s healthcare industry team, said about the investment, “Jim Denny and his team are at the forefront of developing innovative solutions that help healthcare providers manage an increasingly complex healthcare reimbursement ecosystem.  Leveraging technology and data to automate revenue cycle management is vital in light of economic pressure from payers, the shift of more payments to consumers, and the important role providers play in managing the cost and quality of healthcare.”  David Humphrey, Managing Director on Bain Capital Private Equity’s TMT industry team, added, “Navicure’s SaaS platform gives the Company the unique ability to provide clients with cutting-edge solutions combined with excellent service and exceptional financial results.”

The transaction is expected to close in July 2016.  Aeris Partners LLC served as the exclusive M&A advisor, and Jenner & Block acted as legal counsel, to Navicure. Ropes & Gray LLP is serving as legal counsel, and PwC LLP is serving as accounting advisor to Bain Capital Private Equity.  Committed financing for the transaction is being provided by Antares Capital serving as administrative agent and lead arranger, and Bain Capital Credit, Capital One Healthcare and NXT Capital serving as joint lead arrangers.

June 15, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Physicians Wary of MACRA’s Potential to Hasten the Demise of Independent Practices, Black Book Survey

Two-thirds of independent practices now deliberate selling out to hospital systems and larger groups or closing down by 2019 as the resource-intensive requirements of MIPS, administrative burdens, and under-optimized technology may make the transition to value-based care too discouraging.

According to a May 2016 survey of 1,300 physician groups of five or less clinicians by Black Book™, 67% of high Medicare-volume doctors foresee the end of their independence due to the so-called “doc fix” bill or “MACRA,” which repeals the Medicare Part B Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reimbursement formula and replaces it with a new value-based reimbursement system, will not have the technology, capital or staffing to sustain under the conditions of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

Despite small practice education, training and technical assistance programs promised from CMS to help onboard physicians with the MACRA programs, 89% of the remaining solo practices expect to minimize Medicare volumes as to not be required to submit reports for the quality and clinical practice improvement activities or report in the cost performance category.

77% of small practices identified themselves as financially struggling currently due to physician staffing losses to larger group practices and hospital IDNs directly. 72% also blame their under-performing billing technology and compounding payment issues for their troubles.

“Physician payment based on 2017 performance isn’t scheduled to kick in until 2019,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book. “That’s far too long to maintain operations for the most stressed practices to hold on with outmoded technology and scarce billing support.”

The apparent solution for 78% of remaining independent primary care physicians is to join a bigger group or IDN to gain needed reporting, revenue cycle tools and support before 2019.

Black Book anticipates the EHR replacement market to decline in the small practice market as 55% of independent practitioners indicate they will make no technology shifts or purchases until they have made decisions on being acquired. “On the other hand, the growth opportunities for EHR vendors currently serving the larger practice market, IDNs and multi-specialty clinics are expected to appreciably benefit from these small practice acquisitions,” said Brown.

Based on the aggregate client experience and customer satisfaction scores on eighteen key performance indicators tuned to physician practice integration of documentation, operations and revenue cycle management the top-ranked electronic health records for small practices have changed as more cloud-based EHRs have made competitive pricing among several demands, particularly integrated billing, specialist-driven focuses, mobility, interoperability and patient satisfaction support.

63% of smaller (fewer than ten practitioners) and solo practice physicians have still not settled on a technology suite or set of products that delivers to their expectations on meaningful use, clinician usability, interoperability, and coordinated billing and claims, but over a third of those slower adopters expect to make product decisions before the end of this calendar year.

The top ranked solo/single physician practice EHRs in the 2016 survey are Kareo, Modernizing Medicine, drChrono, iPatientCare, athenahealth, CareCloud and Practice Fusion.

The top ranked EHRs for practices of 2-5 physicians are SRS Soft, ADP AdvancedMD, Practice Fusion, Amazing Charts and Allscripts.

Black Book™ surveyed over 33,000 healthcare records professionals, physician practice administrators, and ambulatory group leaders in the information technology arenas to provide EHR and practice billing system users, media, investors, quality minded vendors, and prospective buyers of practice software with a comprehensive comparison of the industry’s top respected and performing vendors. Black Book Research employs detailed key performance indicators targeted at ensuring high product and service performance through comparing vendors from the customer experience.

For comprehensive research and ranking data on medical and surgical specialties, consult http://www.blackbookmarketresearch.com for the latest customer experience results.

June 13, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Survey: Hospitals Progressing Slowly toward Medicare’s Goal of 50 Percent Value-Based Reimbursement by 2018

Respondents cite analytics as most important success factor for value-based reimbursement

SALT LAKE CITY – MAY 9, 2016 – Fewer than a quarter of U.S. hospitals are on track to hit the Obama Administration’s 2018 goal of providing at least half their patient care through so-called “value-based” arrangements – structures that tie reimbursement from Medicare to the quality of care patients receive.

That is one finding of a new online survey of healthcare executives representing 190 U.S. hospitals with a total of more than 20,000 licensed beds. The survey by Health Catalyst revealed that just 3 percent of health systems today meet the target set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Only 23 percent expect to meet it by 2019, a year after CMS had hoped that half of all Medicare reimbursements would be value-based.

According to the survey, the majority of health systems—a full 62 percent—have either zero or less than 10 percent of their care tied to the type of risk-based contracts identified by CMS as “value-based,” including Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) and bundled payments. Not surprisingly, small hospitals with fewer than 200 beds comprised the majority of those reporting no at-risk contracts. A contributing factor may be that smaller hospitals are five times less likely than larger organizations to have access to sufficient capital to make risk-based contracting work, according to the survey.

Despite lagging behind the federal government’s goal, healthcare executives across the board intend to steadily increase value-based care and at-risk contracts. In the next three years, all but 1 percent of respondents expect their organizations to be engaged in at-risk contracts. Sixty-eight percent said they expect risk-based contracts to account for less than half their total care in that time frame. Only 23 percent expect value-based care to account for more than half of their care in the next three years. Eight percent of respondents said they could not predict the answer.

Analytics tops the list of must-haves

The most important organizational element needed for success with risk-based contracting is analytics, said responding executives at both small and large hospitals. In fact, 52 percent of respondents cited the prime importance of analytics, more than double the second most-selected answer: a culture of quality improvement. Twenty-four percent of respondents cited cultural alignment on quality as having the most impact on value-based care success.

“Transitioning from fee-for-service reimbursement to value-based payments is a goal that many healthcare organizations embrace but are having difficulty implementing as they juggle a number of other high priorities,” said Bobbi Brown, Health Catalyst vice president of financial engagement. “This survey reveals that they’re making progress but they could use a little help – some of it financial and some of it technical in the way of better analytics to help identify at-risk populations and better manage their risk. The bottom line seems to be that while progress is slow, healthcare leaders are committed to making value-based care work.”

Survey results reflect the opinions of 78 healthcare professionals who responded to an online survey by Health Catalyst in May 2016. Over half of the respondents (51 percent) were CEOs or CFOs of large hospital-owned physician groups and hospitals ranging in size from 15 acute care beds to over 1,000 beds. The remaining respondents all held executive roles, including several Chief Medical Information Officers, Chief Medical Officers and Chief Nursing Officers.

The organizations represented include many well-known multi-hospital and multi-state health systems with a cumulative 756 inpatient and outpatient facilities and 20,416 acute care beds.

About Health Catalyst

Health Catalyst is a mission-driven data warehousing, analytics and outcomes-improvement company that helps healthcare organizations of all sizes perform the clinical, financial, and operational reporting and analysis needed for population health and accountable care. Our proven enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and analytics platform helps improve quality, add efficiency and lower costs in support of more than 70 million patients for organizations ranging from the largest US health system to forward-thinking physician practices. For more information, visit https://www.healthcatalyst.com, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn andFacebook.  

June 9, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Xerox Helps Healthcare Providers Serve Patients Anytime, Anywhere

New research finds majority of Americans are open to and excited about virtual health

NORWALK, Conn., June 8, 2016 – According to new research from Xerox, 61 percent of U.S. adults are willing to receive non-urgent healthcare advice, exams or counseling in a virtual setting; however, only 16 percent have used virtual health. Xerox hopes to increase that number with the launch of Virtual Health Solutions, allowing healthcare providers to meet patients’ demand for convenient, remote access to care.

The new solution helps providers integrate a comprehensive telehealth strategy within their mainstream care delivery system. For example, Xerox will ensure coordinated access to electronic health records (EHRs) and provide reliable technology infrastructure to support the delivery of virtual care. Patients will benefit by having improved access to healthcare services such as prescription refills, dermatology screenings, health and wellness coaching, post-surgical follow-ups and psychiatric care and counseling, among others.

According to the research, 77 percent are excited about the possibility of receiving healthcare virtually. Convenience was cited as the top benefit (59 percent), followed by potential cost savings (40 percent) and the ability to see or communicate with healthcare professionals for minor ailments and the option to easily refill prescriptions – both 35 percent.

To help healthcare providers take advantage of patients’ interest in virtual care, Xerox will create a customized combination of consulting, services and technology based on a provider’s specific telehealth goals.

  • Virtual Health Consulting Services: Xerox will work with clients to develop virtual health strategies to help them reduce cost and utilization, deliver better outcomes, increase access to care and improve patient experience. The process includes a customized strategy session with each healthcare organization to understand their virtual health goals, an analysis of their current initiatives and offerings and an evaluation of their local market’s needs.
  • Interface Design and Development Services: The solution helps overcome interoperability challenges associated with telehealth by connecting multiple healthcare systems – even those that have never been connected before – and allows healthcare providers to easily verify a patient’s identity and medical history. The solution can also automatically determine a patient’s insurance eligibility and seamlessly move information in and out of EHRs for documentation and billing needs.
  • Virtual Clinic Services: Front and back office services are powered by Xerox and allow providers to connect with patients in a virtual setting. A Xerox customer care agent will coordinate insurance verification, appointment pre-authorization and scheduling, payment processing and claims preparation, submission, tracking and reconciliation, providing the same type of familiar experience patients receive at an in-person doctor visit.

“Healthcare organizations need to prepare for an ‘anytime, anywhere’ paradigm – one in which care is typically delivered outside the four walls of a hospital,” said Connie Harvey, chief operating officer, Xerox Healthcare Business Group. “We understand that healthcare organizations are in very different places when it comes to their telehealth strategy. Our approach to virtual health allows us to provide customized services based on a client’s specific needs.”

“Xerox has the portfolio and expertise needed to help healthcare providers implement a telehealth strategy that not only meets patient expectations for convenience but also works seamlessly with other clinical and financial systems – no easy task,” said Barbra Sheridan McGann, executive vice president, Business Operations Research, HfS Research.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Xerox from May 5-9, 2016 among 2,033 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jim Mignano at Jim.Mignano@Text100.com or+1-585-697-2602.

About Xerox

Xerox (NYSE: XRX) is helping change the way the world works. By applying our expertise in imaging, business process, analytics, automation and user-centric insights, we engineer the flow of work to provide greater productivity, efficiency and personalization. Our employees create meaningful innovations and provide business process services, printing equipment, software and solutions that make a real difference for our clients and their customers in 180 countries. On January 29, 2016, Xerox announced that it plans to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies: a business process outsourcing company and a document technology company. Xerox expects to complete the separation by year-end 2016. Learn more at www.xerox.com.

June 8, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Logicalis Healthcare Solutions to CIOs: The Success of Your Telehealth Solution Involves Much More than Technology

Solution Provider Offers Six Ways to Enhance the Patient’s User Experience (UX)

NEW YORK, June 7, 2016 – The adoption of telehealth solutions is clearly on the rise among healthcare providers, an increase significantly bolstered as large employers embrace the technology. Studies show at least 74 percent of the nation’s largest employers plan to offer telehealth benefits this year, and experts estimate virtual consults will increase a stunning 62 percent by 2020. While the numbers are encouraging, however, they may not provide an accurate indicator of telehealth’s future success.  According to Logicalis Healthcare Solutions, the healthcare-focused arm of Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), one of the most important factors in the success or failure of any telehealth solution comes down to just one critical question: Are the provider’s patients comfortable using it? It’s just as much about the user experience (UX) as it is the technology used to build it.

“With all the attention being paid to the technological aspect of telehealth, it’s also critical for healthcare organizations to pay close attention to the way they replicate the face-to-face experience in the virtual world,” says Kim Garriott, Principal Consultant, Healthcare Strategies, for Logicalis Healthcare Solutions. “If the entire telehealth experience doesn’t feel comfortable to the patient, the best technology in the world won’t make it a success. The key is to minimize the differences between practicing telemedicine and simply practicing medicine – for telehealth to succeed, the two must become one.”

Six Ways to Enhance the Patient’s Telehealth Experience

When patients have a positive experience with telemedicine, they are more likely to use the service again.  Creating the right environment, therefore, is as important as choosing the right technology, something a solution provider experienced in the healthcare market can help the provider accomplish. Logicalis’ telehealth experts have identified six important factors CIOs need to consider and collaborate with their practitioners about before launching a telehealth initiative.

  1. Focus on First Impressions: When people enter a doctor’s office or hospital, their first experience with that provider is usually in the waiting room.  Often, there are televisions running loops of educational healthcare videos. There are handouts on tables and a receptionist to speak with.  Why should the virtual world be any different? When planning a telehealth solution, it’s important to think through the UX that each patient will have from the time they make an appointment until their visit is complete, and that includes the few minutes that may transpire between the time they sign on until the time the doctor sees them.  Is the screen blank and the patient left to multitask, wondering if they’ve been disconnected? Or is there a lively virtual waiting room with information available while they wait? This first impression sets the stage for the entire visit and may determine whether or not the patient embraces or rejects telemedicine as a whole.
  2. Stage the Location: Before implementing a telehealth solution, think carefully about the physical location where the consults will take place. Consider placing the physician’s endpoint in the doctor’s office, with an orderly bookshelf filled with medical journals behind the physician, or perhaps in an examination room with the exam table located directly behind the doctor’s seat and his or her framed credentials placed purposefully within sight.  If patient consults take place in a pharmacy or other clinical setting, the same holds true; the patient’s endpoint should be in a comfortable, nicely appointed setting. In telehealth’s earliest days, many televisits took place with patients sitting in a stark, white, uninviting, sterile cubby with nothing more than a workstation and a chair. This kind of environment is not conducive to an open and personal discussion. The idea is to give the patient confidence in both the process and the doctor, and to make the televisit look and feel as similar to a face-to-face examination as possible.
  3. Choose a Quiet Spot: Whether the telehealth endpoint is located in a practitioner’s office or a local pharmacy, never place it out in the open where people are walking by or where the typical ebb and flow in the office or retail environment will distract either the patient or doctor while they talk. The environment should be completely quiet – eliminate all background noise so both parties can focus 100 percent of their attention on their interaction.
  4. Guard the Patient’s Privacy: Privacy is as important online as it is in the examination room.  Whether a visit takes place in person or online, patients may need to disrobe to show a condition or injury to the doctor; they won’t feel comfortable if their virtual exam room does not seem private. Online patients expect – and deserve – the same courtesies as those being treated in person, an important consideration when deciding where to locate a telehealth solution inside the practice, pharmacy or physician’s home.
  5. Dress for Success: The way the doctor looks may influence how the patient feels about the overall experience, particularly so with those new to telemedicine. Therefore, practitioners should “dress for success,” wearing what they normally wear to work – whether that’s a suit and tie or a lab coat – in front of the camera.
  6. Always Make Eye Contact: Look the patient in the eye, not the computer. When patients and doctors interact in person, body language plays an important role; doctors may look at a chart while speaking to the patient, but the way they move and hold their bodies still says, “I’m paying attention.” Those nuances are lost in the virtual world, so it’s critical to make eye contact with the patient, and that means looking into the camera, not staring at the patient’s image on the screen.  It may feel unnatural at first, but it will give the patient a sense of connectedness with the doctor even though they may be many miles apart.

Want to Learn More?

About Logicalis

Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center and cloud services; and managed services.

Logicalis employs over 4,000 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, deploy and manage complex IT infrastructures to meet the needs of over 6,500 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow on an international basis. It has specialized solutions for enterprise and medium-sized companies in vertical markets covering financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, helping customers benefit from cutting-edge technologies in a cost-effective way.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific and is one of the leading IT and communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.

The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of over $6 billion.

For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.

June 7, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

New Survey Shows Nearly All U.S. Hospitals Using Certified Health IT to Manage Patient Care

According to data from a new survey to be released today at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., nearly all of the nation’s hospitals have adopted certified electronic health records (EHRs).

This represents a nine-fold increase since 2008, according to survey data from the American Hospital Association (AHA) Information Technology Supplement. The data also show there have been increases in sharing health data among hospitals, with over 85 percent of hospitals sending key clinical information electronically.

For the next three days, ONC will convene key stakeholders across the public and private sector to discuss the collective work to advance the seamless and secure flow of health information for a number of national priorities, including advancing delivery system reform and improving health and facilitates science and research, such as through the Precision Medicine Initiative.

This year’s sessions align with the three core commitments that market leaders have made around improving consumer access to their health information, combating information blocking, and implementing federally recognized, national standards so that different health IT systems can speak the same language. Today’s agenda will include panel discussions with health IT influencers from both the public and private sectors, featuring conversations on high profile topics critical to achieving “Better Health through IT,” this year’s theme.

The day will conclude with a fireside chat between National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., and former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.  Secretary Sebelius oversaw the implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, which led to a rapid increase in the adoption and use of health IT.

“As we kick off the 2016 ONC Annual Meeting today, these data showing nearly universal adoption of certified electronic health records by U.S. hospitals are an indication of how far we have come for clinicians and individuals since the HITECH Act was passed,” said DeSalvo. “I look forward to these next three days with leaders from across the country to discuss our collective work to ensure health information can flow where and when it is needed for national priorities like delivery system reform, the Precision Medicine Initiative, the Cancer Moonshot, and the opioid crisis.”

Over 1,200 people are expected to attend the 2016 ONC Annual Meeting, with several hundred joining online via streaming webcast.

The ONC data briefs released today show the adoption rate of certified EHRs has increased from almost 72 percent in 2011 (when this information began to be collected) to 96 percent in 2015. While the overall rate for the use of certified health IT has remained stable, the new data show that adoption rates for small, rural, and critical access hospitals increased.

The AHA data also show that:

  • The percentage of hospitals sending, receiving and finding key clinical information grew between 2014 and 2015.
  • In 2015, about half of hospitals had health information electronically available from providers outside their systems; this grew by five percent from 2014.
  • About half of hospitals report they often or sometimes use patient information they receive electronically from providers outside their systems.

The two data briefs, Adoption of Electronic Health Record Systems among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2008 – 2015 and Interoperability among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals in 2015 can be viewed at HealthIT.gov.

May 31, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

JAMIA Study: Wolters Kluwer Surveillance System Reduces Sepsis Deaths

The Decision Support Software Improved Early Diagnosis Using Automated Data Analysis and Accurate Alerts Sent to Mobile Devices

May 25, 2016 – The Health division of Wolters Kluwer, a leading global provider of information and point of care solutions for the healthcare industry, announced today that The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) has published a study by researchers Sharad Manaktala, MD, PhD, et al. detailing a significant reduction in sepsis mortality using automated surveillance and real-time analysis. The study examines how clinicians at Alabama’s Huntsville Hospital decreased sepsis-related deaths by 53% during a 10-month period using a combination of clinical change management and electronic alerting from POC Advisor™, a highly-accurate clinical decision support (CDS) software. The system’s alerts detect sepsis early and guide clinicians to deliver the appropriate treatment, resulting in a breakthrough in alert accuracy, reaching 95% sensitivity and 82% specificity during the study period.

The study, “Evaluating the Impact of a Computerized Surveillance Algorithm and Decision Support System on Sepsis Mortality,” is currently available online and will appear in the June print edition of JAMIA.

Sepsis is the deadliest condition treated in hospital critical care units, claiming approximately 750,000 lives in U.S. hospitals every year. At an estimated $20 billion annually, it is also the country’s most expensive condition to treat. The risk of death increases significantly every hour sepsis goes untreated, yet early diagnosis has long been a struggle because many other acute medical conditions cause similar signs and symptoms.

Using an automated, real-time surveillance algorithm, POC Advisor aggregates, normalizes and analyzes patient data from disparate clinical systems and delivers early sepsis alerts and treatment advice to clinicians via mobile devices and portals. Hundreds of rules built into the platform account for variables specific to individual patients, including comorbidities and medication abnormalities, thereby maximizing the accuracy of alerts and advice.

“There is no single test to identify sepsis; it requires a clinical diagnosis. Delays in diagnosis are very common, resulting in delays in treatment,” said study co-author Stephen Claypool, MD. “Prior to this study, there hasn’t been a study of an electronic system that I’m aware of that has significantly improved mortality. That’s because most systems generate many false positive alerts, so they are ignored and outcomes are not improved. In this study, we used an electronic solution that takes into account existing patient co-morbidities and labs and adjusts the analysis on a patient-specific basis.

“This system is much more accurate, with a highly specific alerting system that minimizes alert fatigue,” added Dr. Claypool, Medical Director of Clinical Software Solutions at Wolters Kluwer. “In this study, Huntsville clinicians acted promptly on the alerting advice, so they were able to more effectively identify and treat sepsis well before a patient’s condition worsened. The end result was a dramatic improvement in mortality.”

The study also incorporated change management practices focused on sepsis education and process improvement for the clinical staff. The education program ensured that the nursing staff was properly trained to respond to sepsis alerts in a timely manner using the latest evidence-based practices.

“Efforts to develop similar CDS tools oftentimes fail because clinicians simply cannot trust the accuracy of the alerts. Either the system has low sensitivity and therefore does not identify all cases of sepsis, or low specificity, which leads to too many false positives resulting in ignored alerts,” said Sean Benson, Vice President and General Manager of POC Advisor at Wolters Kluwer Clinical Software Solutions. “If a tool is going to help doctors and nurses save lives, they have to trust that it works. Most CDS systems fail to achieve sensitivity and specificity levels higher than 50%. However, at the conclusion of our study, POC Advisor achieved alert sensitivity and specificity of 95% and 82%, respectively. That is unprecedented in published literature.”

The study’s publication in JAMIA follows the release of new definitions and clinical criteria for sepsis (Sepsis-3) from the Third International Consensus Definitions Task Force earlier this year. Dr. Claypool noted that while it more accurately defines the condition, Sepsis-3 does little to address the need for improved care.

“Currently, there is no medical evidence to suggest that the Sepsis-3 criteria will detect sepsis earlier than previous methods and in fact may lead to longer delays,” he said. “The reduction in sepsis mortality at Huntsville is a result of effective early alerts that allowed clinicians to treat the patients long before they suffered life-threatening organ dysfunction.”

Follow POC Advisor on Twitter.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL) is a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2015 annual revenues of €4.2 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide.

Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of information and point of care solutions for the healthcare industry. For more information about our products and organization, visithttp://www.wolterskluwer.com/, follow @WKHealth or @Wolters_Kluwer on Twitter, like us on Facebook, follow us on LinkedIn, or follow WoltersKluwerComms on YouTube.

May 26, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.