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June 2020 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
What if a major league team emphasized “small ball,” a strategy based on speed and bunting, while the minor league coaching staff stressed swinging for the fences? The results at the big league level probably wouldn’t look too good. Think 2003 Tigers or 1962 Mets.

The same disastrous results are likely to occur at multioffice health care organizations where financial processes are not coordinated. As we learn in this month’s E-News Exclusive, one office maintaining its books in a different manner from others in its group can cause significant damage.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Consistent Financial Processes Key to Multilocation Health Care Practices
By Shannon Crowley, CPA, MSA

As a health care practice grows and expands into multioffice locations, so too, does the importance—and challenges—of maintaining consistent financial processes. Accurate and timely financial information, visibility to all locations, proper controls, and effective communication are essential to a flourishing health care practice.

In order to effectively manage financial performance, all locations should be using the same general ledger system and chart of accounts. Profit and loss and balance sheets should be run at the practice level and by each location and doctor/health care provider. Some multioffice practices make the mistake of utilizing silos—systems that are unable to operate with other systems—resulting in a lack of real-time reporting.

If each location is running on separate systems, overall financial tracking and outlook cannot be achieved. Silos create an environment of individual and disparate systems within an organization, opening the entire practice’s financials up to delays in reporting, additional employee attention, and the potential for increased error.

Additionally, management should evaluate the current processes being handled at the individual locations vs at the finance office level in order to ensure consistent processes and reduce redundancy. A general lack of control and interruption in workflow is the end result in the absence of consistent financial processes within a practice. While a certain amount of autonomy can be a healthy element in individual office locations, patient service revenue, cash management and banking, purchases and accounts payable, payroll and human services, and financial statement closings and reporting should be under one roof.

Full story »
Products & Services
‘Bots’ Launched to Support Hospitals Dealing With COVID-19 Business Impacts
As part of its “Health, Help, and Hurry” initiative, e4 has developed six new LEAN Engineering Healthcare 2.0 Solution Bots. COVID-19 has pushed health care organizations forward into an environment of perpetual change, with timelines that need to be met within days. e4’s support plan, called Health, Help, and Hurry, first focused on health, such as distributing personal protective equipment, critical supplies, and meals to hospitals across the country. Next, e4 provided help, facilitating a series of educational webinars that highlighted valuable insights from frontline experts. Then, e4 began to hurry—six brand new solutions were developed within weeks. These Solution Bots are simple and self-contained, and can be deployed quickly to provide immediate assistance to health systems dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. The first six Solution Bots (with more to come) are e4sight Remote Worker Productivity Tool, Telehealth Optimization, Telehelp Patient Help Desk, Rapid (<1 Day) Process Improvement Work Sessions, COVID-19 Rapid Reporting, and Physician Practice Reconfiguration. Learn more »

Libman Education Releases New Foundational Course on CPT Coding
Libman Education announces the release of “CPT: Introduction to Procedural Coding” by nationally recognized CPT coding authority Gail I. Smith, MA, RHIA, CCS-P, CPT. The online, on-demand course provides the essential knowledge and decision-making skills necessary for accurate and complete CPT coding. “CPT: Introduction to Procedural Coding” prepares coders—whether entry level or experienced—for the broad challenges of outpatient coding in ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals, and large physician group practices. In “CPT: Introduction to Procedural Coding” coders learn the principles governing accurate and complete CPT coding in any setting and any body system. Armed with this foundational knowledge, participants turn to the specifics of CPT coding for a broad range of outpatient procedures. As a final step, coders put it all together and practice their CPT coding skills on 50 carefully selected real-world outpatient surgical cases to reinforce learning and challenge their coding skills. Learn more »

Healthfully, NextGate Partnership Focuses on Data Access
Healthfully, an enterprise health care solutions provider that addresses multiple health and wellness touchpoints in the patient journey, and NextGate, a leader in health care enterprise identification, recently announced a strategic partnership to meet increasing consumer demand for reliable access to personal health data. Healthfully’s ability to provide communication between caregivers and patients and deliver targeted health programs depends on accurate patient data from a variety of sources. By integrating NextGate’s cloud-based enterprise master patient index (EMPI), Healthfully’s personal health and wellness record gains robust patient identity matching technology. NextGate’s EMPI solution, which manages patient identities for more than two-thirds of the US population, links data across the continuum for a trusted, unified health record. Learn more about Healthfully and NextGate.

TRUSTEDi10 Computer-Assisted Coding Now Available in Epic App Orchard
TRUSTEDi10, an abeo technology solution providing computer-assisted evaluation and management (E/M) coding solutions, announces that its application is available in the Epic App Orchard. The TRUSTEDi10 application has been optimized for Epic and allows health care providers to increase coding accuracy, compliance, and quality of documentation for E/M level assignments. The E/M coding process is traditionally variable, error-prone, and costly, but the TRUSTEDi10 application solves these issues using an AI engine to automate the review of documentation of patient encounters within the Epic platform. The application employs natural language processing to read and interpret the medical chart and generate E/M code recommendations, alleviating administrative burden and reducing costs, while boosting accuracy, consistency, and compliance. Additionally, the application provides a range of customized reporting templates for clinical documentation improvement and reimbursement protection. Learn more »
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In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
The Quest for an Inclusive EHR
Julie Pursley Dooling, director of HIM practice excellence at AHIMA, talks about the organization’s pursuit of an EHR that takes into account the needs of the LGBTQ community. Read more »

Google Makes a Move in the Ongoing Tech Wars
Industry experts muse about the ramifications of Google’s acquisition of Fitbit. Read more »

E/M Changes Afoot
Learn the key elements in store for 2021 evaluation and management services coding. Read more »
Other News
Arizona Department of Health Services Admits Errors in Coronavirus Hospital Data
Due to confusion about licensed bed capacity and surge capacity, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported incorrect hospitalization numbers on the coronavirus dashboard, reports ABC15.

Patient Data Access Helps Patients Detect Potential EHR Errors
As reported by Patient Engagement HIT, a survey found that the discovery of EHR documentation errors reveals the need for greater patient access to medical records.
Industry Insight
Telehealth Surge Triggers Changes to Quality Measures

The Board of Directors of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) approved a sweeping set of adjustments to 40 of its widely used Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures—in support of health plans, clinicians, and patients who rely on telehealth services in record numbers as a result of the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes will apply to the measurement of health care quality, starting this year. They align with recent telehealth guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other federal and state regulators.

“You cannot drive quality improvement if your measures don’t take into account what has quickly become the fastest-growing modality for providing health care services,” says NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “The timely approval by our board of these changes signals that we understand the important role telehealth has played in making care available amid an unprecedented national lockdown and that it will continue to be an important part of the health care system going forward.”

Read more »
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