The Case for Collaborative Care

Several years ago, a patient of mine was suffering from intrusive thoughts and associated rituals, stemming from a case of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). One day, she took a significant risk and shared her distress with her primary care provider, who realized that she needed a behavioral health clinician (BHC). Fortunately, one was "embedded" at the same healthcare provider where I work a concept that is gaining in popularity.

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Hyro is connecting the world, thousands of AI-powered conversations at a time. As the #1 Adaptive Communications company, we’re turning complex data into simple dialogue with natural language automation and computational linguistics.

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Health Technology, Digital Healthcare

Why Including Anesthesia Services in a Single-Bill Strategy Makes Sense

Article | September 7, 2023

As competition for patients intensifies, more hospitals and health systems are embracing a consolidated, single-bill approach for services rendered. Creating a single bill for the patient’s portion of inpatient or outpatient services can help eliminate confusion and reduce the ill will that frequently results when patients receive multiple invoices for a single care event. Yet incorporating anesthesia charges into a consolidated invoice is often problematic due to the unique nature of the anesthesia billing compliance. Anesthesia Billing Service Hurdles A few weeks ago, I met with the CEO of a 300-bed hospital. We discussed anesthesia billing, and he explained that his hospital traditionally outsourced this portion of its billing due to the more complex nature of anesthesia coding and the need to collect anesthesia minutes for billing. Unlike most inpatient services, anesthesia charges are not directly derived from CPT codes but instead utilize minutes and modifiers unique to the specialty. That means coders must use a CPT crosswalk to account for ASA codes, base and time units, emergency- and physical-status monitors, split anesthesia units reflecting CRNA involvement, and other specialty-specific nuances. Most coders and hospital billing staff are not trained in these complexities, and hiring and retaining capable staff in today’s competitive market can be difficult. Moreover, many billing platforms are simply not equipped to incorporate all the variables necessary to produce an accurate anesthesia bill. As a result, producing a consolidated patient bill that includes anesthesia is tricky. Yet leaving anesthesia off a single bill can undercut its value since, after facility and surgical charges, anesthesia often is one of the largest cost items patients incur. Fortunately, we at Change Healthcare know how to roll anesthesia charges into existing hospital billing systems to produce an accurate and timely single patient bill. Helping to Reduce Costs The benefits of consolidated billing extend beyond an improved patient experience. Producing just one bill reduces costs and repetition at both the front and back end of the revenue cycle management process. It can also ease staff burden when collecting on self-pay accounts, since there’s only one bill per patient. Finally, consolidated bills can help increase revenue by simplifying collections when patients present for follow-up care. Here’s an example: When the patient comes back for post-surgery physical therapy, a hospital employee at the registration desk can remind them that they still owe $150 for anesthesia and ask if they’d like to take care of that now. In my experience, patients usually hand over their credit card and settle their bill on the spot when asked at the time of care about a balance due. System-Agnostic Billing Across Hospital Platforms Change Healthcare has a long history of providing full-service, outsourced anesthesia-billing services to hospital and health-system clients. Unlike most other billing vendors, we’ve developed what we call a system-agnostic approach. That means we’ll provide billing services on our proprietary system or on the hospital’s existing billing platform, regardless of type, to generate accurate anesthesia-billing results. In practical terms, we’ll function as part of your billing team and use the same system your coders and billing staff rely on to generate anesthesia charges that can be included in a single patient bill. System-agnostic billing also allows us to provide clients with custom anesthesia reporting that wouldn’t otherwise be available with an outsourced billing solution. This helps clients gain far greater visibility and insight into anesthesia-billing charges. And by incorporating our anesthesia coding and billing capabilities into your existing billing system, you’ll be spreading the platform’s fixed costs across a greater number of departments. The bottom line? It’s not a heavy lift for us to virtually embed our trained anesthesia coders and billing professionals into your system. Our specialists will review your existing platform and provide, at no obligation, a return-on-investment analysis that can help you determine whether outsourcing anesthesia billing to capture claims on a single hospital bill makes sense for you. We expect the answer will be yes. Not only will you enjoy greater system efficiencies, but you’ll be in a position to produce a single bill that truly reflects the entire episode of care.

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Healthtech Security

Why the future of healthcare is (mostly) in the cloud

Article | August 31, 2023

Healthcare leaders are embracing the benefits of the cloud and software as a service (SaaS) after the pandemic challenged them to adapt and innovate like never before. 66% of them expect to move their technology infrastructures to the cloud this year – a number that is set to rise to 96% by 2024 [1]. Yet moving to the cloud is more than just a technology transformation. It’s an organizational transformation. Through cloud-based platforms and solutions, healthcare systems can begin to unlock clinical and operational insights at scale while speeding up innovation cycles for continuous value delivery. Integrating data across the care continuum In many ways, COVID-19 catapulted healthcare into the future. The pandemic created a new urgency for healthcare leaders to expand their virtual care offerings as a way of connecting with patients beyond the walls of the hospital. At the same time, they wanted the flexibility to scale up or down without large upfront capital expenditures. Effective crisis management also required the rapid exchange of patient information across systems and care settings. Thanks to the flexibility of pay-as-you-go cloud-based services and solutions, healthcare providers were able to quickly scale up digital health technologies to meet new demands. As a result, the acceptance of cloud has increased remarkably [2]. Keeping patient data secure and compliant As healthcare leaders embark on this journey to the cloud, data protection is a critical consideration. Data processing in healthcare must comply with rigorous standards, whether it is HIPAA in the US or GDPR in the EU. Unfortunately, healthcare organizations also remain a top target for data breaches, calling for additional data security protection measures [3]. While the need for data security and regulatory compliance has historically motivated healthcare organizations to keep data on premises, today there is a growing awareness that moving to the cloud can in fact be the better road to travel. In fact, 60% of healthcare leaders now cite security as one of the top benefits of the cloud [4]. When healthcare organizations rely on their own data centers, they are responsible for security from end to end, which can become prohibitively complex and time-consuming as IT infrastructures expand over time. Cloud-based services and solutions can reduce dependency on local hardware to store sensitive data while automated software updates keep systems current. Turning data into insights at scale at the point of care Working from these foundations, the next big opportunity in healthcare is to capture the insights in the data that we are beginning to connect and integrate. This is where the cloud is also turning into a vital enabler, with its powerful computing resources and advanced machine learning capabilities, offered as microservices. These microservices provide the building blocks to develop new digital solutions that, once validated and approved, can be deployed at scale to help improve clinical outcomes and operational efficiency. Enabling rapid experimentation and continuous value delivery Embracing the cloud also changes the very nature of innovation in healthcare. Healthcare-compliant cloud platforms offer a flexible foundation for rapid development and testing of digital applications. Cross-functional teams working in short and agile cycles can put new digital applications into the hands of physicians or patients more quickly, and then add new or improved features and functionalities as they gather additional user feedback. That means healthcare organizations get to innovate faster. And in smaller, more digestible increments. Moving to the cloud is not all or nothing Of course, none of this is to suggest that moving to the cloud is like switching a button. It’s a complex and multi-year journey for most of our customers. And it’s quite a journey for Philips, too. Any organization that has accumulated a large number of legacy systems and infrastructures over the years will have to manage a hybrid architecture during their journey to the cloud [5].

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Health Technology, Digital Healthcare

Risks of Caregiver Injury in Patient Transfers

Article | July 14, 2023

A cruelly ironic truth is that nurses and other caregivers assisting injured and ill patients often wind up injured themselves. In fact, the caregiver profession has among the highest rates of injury, with back injuries being the most common and the most debilitating. Every year, more than 10% of caregivers leave the field because of back injuries. More than half of all caregivers will experience chronic back pain. Most back injuries to caregivers happen when lifting patients from beds or wheelchairs. Injuries can occur instantly, but they can develop over time as well, often without the caregiver’s awareness. For example, the caregiver can sustain disc damage gradually and not feel any pain, and by the time he or she does experience pain, there can already be serious damage.

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Managing Your Fearful and Negative Thoughts

Article | August 27, 2021

There are times that we encounter negative thoughts that can be overwhelming. For some people, the more they try to get rid of their thoughts, the stronger they become. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their negative thinking. 1. Do not focus on your fearful thinking: The first thing a person must do is not to dwell on the fear provoking thought when it comes. The more a person tries to reason out on the fear behind the thought, the stronger it becomes. The next time you encounter a negative situation, get into the practice of not dwelling on it. 2. Think of a red stop sign: At times, a person might encounter a fearful thought that may be difficult to manage. When this happens, visualize a red stop sign which can serve as a reminder to think about something else. Regardless of how scary your negative thinking may be, do not dwell on it. This technique is great in dealing with your negative situations and depression. 3. Its only fear: The difference between an obsessive thought and a regular one is that an obsessive thought is based on fear. With this in mind, try to find the source of the fear behind your negative thinking and then find ways to get rid of your worries. 4. Your thoughts are exaggerated: Sometimes, a person may encounter a lot of scary thoughts coming at them all at once. Instead of getting upset, remember that your negative thinking is exaggerated with worry. Ignore the fear behind these obsessive thoughts, regardless how the strong the fear may be. 5. Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking: When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge them by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. Focus on the reality of your situation and not on your negative thinking. 6. Carry a small notebook of positive statements with you: A person should keep a small notebook of positive statements that makes them feel good. Whenever they come across a positive and uplifting verse that makes them happy, write it down in a small notebook. A person can then carry this notebook around in their pocket and whenever they feel anxious, they can read their notebook. 7. Take it one day at a time: Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your situation. In addition, you will not feel overwhelmed with everything if you focus on one thing at a time. 8. Get help: Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.

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Hyro

Hyro is connecting the world, thousands of AI-powered conversations at a time. As the #1 Adaptive Communications company, we’re turning complex data into simple dialogue with natural language automation and computational linguistics.

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