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Industry Insight

UCSF to Use Dignity Health Digital Platform to Increase Health Access

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a state-of-the-art digital engagement platform that will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

The platform, which ultimately aims to serve as a model for health systems nationwide, will be hosted by Dignity Health. The two health care organizations will leverage technological expertise and cloud-based infrastructure that Dignity Health has developed for its 40 hospitals. As one of the nation’s top-ranked academic medical centers, UCSF Health will contribute its extensive knowledge of the patient experience in specialty care.

The two health care organizations will develop a trusted path of digital access across the patient journey using the proprietary cloud-based platform of Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems.

“Our collaboration with Dignity Health will empower patients and their families with digital health care and connectivity, while simplifying the provider experience,” says Shelby Decosta, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for UCSF Health. “Together, with Dignity Health, we are opening new pathways for health care organizations to create a superior experience for their own patients and ultimately, for patients nationwide.”

In the first phase of the digital collaboration, UCSF is redesigning the user experience of its web and mobile properties and leveraging Dignity Health’s technical expertise to reenvision how the medical center delivers information to patients. The personalized, mobile-responsive infrastructure is supported by rich analytics and machine learning. In later phases, UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation and Dignity Health will map out the multiple pathways that patients follow in moving from primary and secondary care to more acute care services, to create a robust digital system that connects patients and providers, while providing patients with the information they need throughout the process.

“Dignity Health is pushing the boundaries of digital transformation and digital therapeutics across the continuum of care,” says Shez Partovi, MD, chief digital officer of Dignity Health. “We are committed to care for all and are incorporating innovative digital experiences that are simple and enable patients to make better-informed decisions about their health. This collaboration between UCSF and Dignity Health will set a new national standard for how patients should be supported through their digital health care journeys with intensely positive and personal experiences.”

The two organizations collaborated recently to combine the best of academic medicine and community-based care to increase access to high-quality, affordable care, and to improve the overall health care experience for patients in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dignity Health has developed nearly a dozen apps that create a highly personalized digital experience for patients across several care journeys, including maternal care, such as the “My Baby” pregnancy app, which provides end-to-end care for expecting mothers.

— Source: University of California San Francisco


Panacea Responds to Rule Requiring Hospitals to Publish Their Chargemaster via the Internet

Panacea, a provider of mid-revenue cycle management, innovative software, and enterprise-level educational solutions, recently announced that despite industry push-back during the comment period, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Final Rule requires hospitals to publish their standard charges on their website for consumers to access.

Accordingly, Mark Spehar, senior vice president of financial services at Panacea, says, “With this requirement we urge hospitals to start now and use their scarce time wisely to ensure that they can document and defend the rationale behind each line item price in their chargemaster to meet the January 1, 2019, deadline. Additionally, they should initiate the process of publishing their CDM on their website along with proper disclaimers and clarifications on those instances where charges might impact patient financial responsibility. We also advise hospitals to consider analyzing their historical claims and payment data to provide additional information to consumers such as recent historical average charges by DRG [diagnosis-related group] and average charges and payment levels segregated between in-network and out-of-network patients, even if this information is rolled out in a later phase.”

Specifically, the CMS final rule states, “As one step to further improve the public accessibility of charge information, effective January 1, 2019, we announce the update to our guidelines to require hospitals to make available a list of their current standard charges via the internet in a machine-readable format and to update this information at least annually, or more often as appropriate. This could be in the form of the chargemaster itself or another form of the hospital’s choice, as long as the information is in machine-readable format.”

Ted Barduson, president of Panacea, says, “As the industry leader in hospital, physician, and drug defensible and rational pricing, and with the recent release of our new Hospital Zero-Base Pricing technology designed to swiftly process multiple hospitals and regions simultaneously, we are ready to assist our clients and providers during this crunch period. This technology combined with our access to current hospital and free-standing physician and provider charge data will allow hospitals to implement defensible yet optimum prices.”

In July 2018, Panacea’s hospital and physician pricing experts presented a webinar where the importance of hospitals charges was discussed along with an instructive seven-step approach to prepare for the CMS proposed rule and how technology can help providers develop and maintain rational chargemaster prices. The complimentary webinar, “Debunking the Myth: Why Charges Still Matter in the Age of Pricing Transparency,” is available on Panacea’s Insights thought leadership platform.

Source: Panacea