EHR and Health IT Consulting
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EHR and Health IT Consulting
Technical Doctor's insights and information collated from various sources on EHR selection, EHR implementation, EMR relevance for providers and decision makers
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Health IT Funding Doubled In 2014

Health IT Funding Doubled In 2014 | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it
From $2 billion in 2013 to $4.7 billion last year, digital health funding is skyrocketing.

Mercom Capital Group has found funding for digital health more than doubled from 2013 to 2014. According to the report, in 2013, $2 billion was spent on health IT. In 2014, $4.7 billion was spent on the same. The technologies that were most invested in include, according to iHealth Beat:

● clinical decision support, with $517 million

● data analytics, with $367 million

● population health management, with $247 million

“The healthcare IT sector had another phenomenal fundraising year,” Raj Prabhu, CEO and co-founder of Mercom Capital Group, said in a statement. “In the five years since we started tracking funding data, the sector has raised $8.8 billion in VC funding and another $3.6 billion in public market and debt financings bringing the total to $12.4 billion – largely driven by the HITECH and Affordable Care Act. However, the enthusiasm in the sector shown by the VC community was not quite matched by the public markets when you look at market performance of companies that went the IPO route in 2014.”

Healthcare Informatics reports mHealth venture capital funding reached $1.2 billion, most of which went to wearables with $526 million and mHealth apps with $507 million. Telehealth companies received $369 million.

There were 219 health IT mergers and acquisitions in 2014. In 2013, that number was only 165. Revenue cycle management companies experienced 28 merger and acquisition transactions, while practice management companies experienced 28; and mobile health companies experienced 21 merger and acquisition transactions.

Another report says that $4.7 billion might be an underestimate. EHR Intelligence reports that a report from StartUp Health placed that number at $6.5 billion. The article notes, however, that despite the difference in numbers, both reports agree that “big data analytics, population health management, and consumer-focused engagement technologies are being heavily sought after by venture capitalists, which are willing to invest large sums in the success of novel ideas.”
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4 Ways Your Practice Can Benefit from a Mix of Technology and Human Touch

4 Ways Your Practice Can Benefit from a Mix of Technology and Human Touch | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

One of the biggest misnomers about an EHR implementation is that it will replace many of the human elements of your practice. While the EHR can replace some of the tasks and processes that were done by humans, the reality is that EHR software is most powerful when paired with human touch. This concept is infused into our Ideal Medical Practice Workflowwhitepaper and should be infused into every clinical practice.

As we enter 2015, here’s a look at 4 more ways your practice can benefit from a mix of technology and human touch:

1. Rescheduling Patients
One of the biggest forms of lost revenue for a practice comes in not rescheduling patients who missed their appointment. While some of these missed appointments represent low quality patients, many missed appointments happen for a good reason and are an opportunity for more revenue for your practice. Unfortunately, most practices don’t consistently reach out to patients and reschedule their appointment. Along with providing additional revenue for your practice, this extra patient outreach is a great form of customer service that will be appreciated by many of your patients and shared with their friends. While some of the rescheduling can be done using technology like emails and text messages, nothing shows a patient you care about them more than a telephone call about a missed appointment.

2. Complete Eligibility Verification
I’ve written previously about the importance of complete eligibility verification and a quality eligibility verification team. While having the correct eligibility information is always important, I can’t stress how much more important eligibility verification is at the start of a new year. At the start of a new year, patients once again are working to meet their deductible and therefore have a higher patient pay amount. Plus, the new ACA insurance plans means many patients will start the new year off with a new insurance plan. If you don’t have a 100% consistent process for verifying a patient’s eligibility, then you’re office is likely working off of old information which will hamper your ability to collect the correct payment from the patient.

3. Referral Tracking
Not appropriately tracking referrals is a big issue in many practices that can easily be handled with a mix of technology and human follow up. Not tracking these referrals is a big clinical compliance issue for your practice that has the potential to lead to a lawsuit. Along with the potential legal liability, I believe having a dedicated team following up on these orders will become extremely important in the new world of value based reimbursement and ACOs. In this next generation of reimbursement, your payment will depend on your ability to ensure patient compliance with outside referrals.

4. Annual Well Visit Reminders
Annual Well visit reminders are another great way to increase high quality visits to your practice. Many practices convert a regular visit into an Annual Well visit. While this may seem convenient for the patient, it usually means you’re cutting the patient short in the care you could provide them. You just don’t have the time in a sick visit to do a thorough well visit exam as well. Even more important is reaching out to those patients you haven’t seen for a while. It’s incredibly valuable to have a dedicated person or team who identifies all of these patients and sends them a reminder or calls them about their annual well visit. Plus, these annual well visits are a great way to add to your bottom line.

As you look at each of these 4 ways to improve your practice, they all require the right mix of technology and human touch to be done properly. In a busy practice, that can often mean hiring more staff or outsourcing some of these processes to an outside company. Either way, the value created for your practice by implementing these small but important changes will easily offset any additional costs. Plus, you’ll have happier and healthier patients in the process.


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