Choosing and Onboarding an RCM Partner for your Practice
By: Jordan Shelton-Greene
A recent study found that a majority of healthcare CFOs are planning to switch from in-house Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) operations to outsourcing their services (modernhealthcare.com). Outsourcing your RCM comes with many benefits to your facility or practice, including increased revenue collections, cost reduction, expert service management, and increased resource management time.
There are many RCM companies available to you. Choose one that not only fits your needs but is reputable and staffed with well-credentialed professionals.
With time, your medical group should see reduced expenses, better and more fluid processing, and an easier time with revenue cycle management. Remember you are in a partnership, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and make requests as they arise.
About the Author
Jordan Shelton-Greene is a healthcare revenue cycle writer who collaborates with specialists across healthcare systems, hospitals, and physician practices to create educational and informational publications for the healthcare community. Considering his Bachelor of Science in Communications from Southwestern Adventist University, his experience working for revenue cycle management leaders, and his drive for creating interesting and helpful content, Jordan has established himself as a go-to resource in the healthcare revenue cycle realm.
Workplace Violence: How Prevalent Is It?
By: Brian Courtney, RPLU, AAI
Remember: no workplace is immune to workplace violence! In fact, healthcare, service providers and education personnel are more prone to violence. Overall, each year: 2M American employees report being victims of workplace violence; 30,000 women report sexual assaults in the workplace; WPV results in $130B lost; One in seven people do not feel safe in their workplace; 60M Americans have been bullied at their workplace; 23% of employees say they have been bullied via email
Always report any verbal or physical harassment or threats, assaults or other violence, and any behavior that causes you to feel unsafe.
It's important to keep in mind that these warning signs don't always lead to violence; they could also be just normal changes in mood. However, it's the drastic personality changes, or changes in situation, that may bring out violent tendencies. It's advised to use your best judgment before reporting issues to a supervisor.
Nonverbal cues of potential violence:
A few things to pay attention to are: personal space violations, loud talking or yelling, abusive language, changes in tone, profuse sweating, and any glaring, scowling or sneering.
An active shooter is an individual or group of individuals engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined, populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms with no pattern or method to their victim selection. These situations are usually over within 10-15 minutes which is before law enforcement can arrive. Following Run, Hide, Fight can help save yours and your colleagues' lives.
Once authorities have arrived at the scene, remember to remain calm and follow instructions; keep hands visible and raised, and fingers spread open, avoid quick movements, pointing, screaming, or yelling, and do not stop to ask officers for help or direction.
If an incident of WPV occurs, learn from it.
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About the Author
Brian Courtney, RPLU, AAI
Brian began his career at the height of a difficult insurance market. Working with a large regional insurance broker, Brian served various industries in procuring insurance coverage for tough-to-place risk
By: Hilary Danailova
As the worrying numbers on COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations demonstrate more succinctly than words can, the third year of the pandemic has meant that the spotlight continues to shine on Pennsylvania’s health care industry, from its leaders to the frontline workers who put it all on an increasingly fraught line daily. COVID’s prolonged onslaught has made it even more difficult to marshal resources and attention to tackle preexisting crises like the opioid epidemic, families and children at risk, and senior care, to name just a few.
The people populating this year’s Health Care Power 100 list are earning their reputation as the Meds part of the state’s enviable Eds and Meds sobriquet by confronting all of the aforementioned challenges while also preparing the state, their institutions and the public for a better, more health-secure future. This list, written by Hilary Danailova, recognizes the public officials, health care executives, innovators, academics, advocates and activists – and their roles in taking care of us.
1. Leslie C. Davis, President and CEO, UPMC
After a successful run heading UPMC’s Health Services Division – which encompasses 40 hospitals and dozens of ancillary facilities – Leslie C. Davis became CEO of UPMC last year. She oversees the largest non-governmental employer in Pennsylvania – 92,000 employees – as well as the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania, with more than 4.1 million members. With Davis at the helm, UPMC launched Pennsylvania’s first tele-emergency department and partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health on opioid overdose prevention training.
2. David Holmberg, President and CEO, Highmark
As president and chief executive officer of Pittsburgh-based Highmark, David Holmberg oversees a $21 billion nonprofit health organization with 37,000 employees, a growing regional hospital network, and one of America’s largest Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers. Holmberg, who joined Highmark in 2007 and became president in 2014, led the organization’s 2016 lawsuit against the federal government in defense of Affordable Care Act funding promises. Under Holmberg’s leadership, Highmark has posted record revenues and revived Allegheny Health Network from near-bankruptcy
3. Steven Collis, Chair, President and CEO, AmerisourceBergen Corporation
Steven Collis leads AmerisourceBergen Corporation, a global health care outfit that is currently ranked No. 10 on the Fortune 500. During his 11-year tenure, AmerisourceBergen has seen its annual revenue jump more than 80% and its number of employees rise to 21,000 people in 50 countries. Collis managed the firm’s 2013 partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance, as well as the 2015 acquisition of MWI Veterinary Supply, both of which diversified AmerisourceBergen’s market.
Text Message Indicates when Doctor Is In
By: Jackie Carr |UC San Diego Health
Being stuck in a virtual waiting room and staring at a blank computer or device screen is a huge dissatisfier among telemedicine patients. To respect patients’ time, and provide the optimal experience, UC San Diego Health conducted a 10-week quality improvement study to evaluate how text messaging a link to a patient when their doctor is ready provides a way to connect patients and doctors most efficiently, without relying on the virtual waiting room.
Results of the study published in the May 27 online issue of Quality Management in Health Care
“Borrowing from the airline and restaurant industries, we tested whether we could contact patients via text to log into their appointment when their doctor is ready. The goal of the feasibility study was to determine if this flexibility lead to improved perception of waiting time and an enhanced experience, while assessing for time saving for both patients and providers,” said , neurologist, co-director of the UC San Diego Heath Stroke Center, and clinical director of telehealth at UC San Diego Health. , MD
“We stepped back and asked, ‘Do we need a virtual waiting room at all? Can we let patients know when their provider is available instead of making them wait online?’” said Emily S. Perrinez, RN, MSN, MPH, study co-author and director of telehealth operations at UC San Diego Health. “The reality is that wait times and lack of timely communication both correlate with patient experience. Real-time text notification that the provider is ready improved patient satisfaction and this experience is the kind of feedback we love to see.”
Twenty-two patients at a stroke clinic participated in the two-and-a-half month study. Patients chose to either receive a text, which included a visit link when their provider was ready for their visit or the standard telehealth routine of logging in at a scheduled time and waiting in front of a camera in a virtual waiting room.
Results showed that zero patients were seen late, while fifty-five percent of the patients were seen early. On average, there was a 55-minute time savings in clinic operations due to patients being seen early. Study metrics also included demographics, visit rates, and satisfaction surveys.
“Providers are extremely interested in making clinic visits better and easier for our patients — especially in the event we are running late,” said Meyer. “Our old patient-communication strategy was complicated by the fact that the device that we would call to inform of a delay was often the same device they were actively using for their video visit.”
During the pandemic, UC San Diego Health saw a 1000-fold increase in the rate of telemedicine visits. The current volume of telemedicine encounters remains high, with more than 550,000 ambulatory telehealth visits seen at UC San Diego Health since the start of the pandemic, for all types of medical and surgical care needs.
“Overall, the text method makes life so much easier for patients. As long as a patient has a smartphone handy, they can go about their day rather than waiting for the provider to join the video visit,” said Meyer. “For the provider, it definitely increases flexibility and may even increase throughput. Additionally, texting decreases the anxiety of a provider who may be running late. Knowing that we are not keeping a patient waiting is, in my mind, the most important thing. We respect that patients have obligations and their time is precious as well, and we don't want to keep them waiting.”
UC San Diego Health is expanding the “telemedicine untethered” option into various high-volume primary and surgical care clinics in summer 2022.
The text-to-video technology was provided by Doximity, Inc.