We were so excited to see our CEO, Betsy Weaver, Ed. D., on Becker’s list of Female Health IT CEOs to Know that we asked her for more on what it takes to start and run one of Boston’s most innovative healthcare companies. Here’s what she had to say:
Will you succeed or die in digital America?
That is the question the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, “Digital America: A Tale of the Haves and Have-Mores”, poses to all sectors of the American economy.
Looking at it through the lens of American healthcare—to tease out a road map for the business of healthcare—the report provides a compelling argument for aggressive hospital digitalization with the following key points:
Patients often face several health conditions at the same time. When speaking with their healthcare providers however, they may only mention the reason for that particular appointment and fail to bring up other health concerns that they consider to be unrelated.
This leaves you, as the healthcare provider, without the full picture of your patient’s overall health. Even with access to a patient’s electronic health record, there may be significant gaps.
Understanding and being able to track your patients’ health-related concerns and questions is an important step toward providing better quality care. Thankfully, technology makes it easier to discover what’s happening in patients’ lives beyond the doctor’s office and hospital walls.
“Targeted digital education” is a term we use often to describe how hospitals need to communicate with patients about their care. With so many healthcare terms and different meanings being tossed around, let’s take a closer look at what we mean by targeted digital education and how it prepares patients for better outcomes.
We discussed in an earlier post that information found on social media affects the way more than 40% of consumers deal with their health. But did you know that healthcare social media content also helps attract patients to your hospital and encourages them to return in the future?
Patients are increasingly becoming savvy healthcare consumers, shopping for hospitals the way they do other items online. They are looking for a concierge experience that combines the best care, accessible doctors, friendly nurses and amenities like private rooms and hotel-quality food. In patients’ minds, all of those items factor into a positive hospital experience.
... And How to Do It Effectively
By now, most hospitals know they should be on social media, but they still struggle to understand where the value lies for them.
Consider this: More than 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health. Social media offers hospitals the opportunity to impact health outcomes on a large scale.
Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR), the latest bundled payment initiative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has now been underway for three months. If your hospital is among the 790 required to participate, you may already know that building and leveraging patient relationships is key to getting the highest CMS reimbursements.
Even if you aren’t a participant at this point, CJR and similar programs from CMS will likely expand. Paying attention now may be worth it in the long run.
Under CJR, hospitals are responsible for the cost and care quality of hip and knee replacements—starting with the surgery and hospital stay, and continuing for 90 days post-discharge for rehabilitation and recovery. CMS will reward hospitals that do well, in terms of cost and care quality, with more money. And it will penalize those that don’t, making them repay a portion of their reimbursements.
Patient satisfaction is one way CMS will evaluate care quality under CJR. And because the agency already requires hospitals to connect with patients digitally, through their Electronic Health Records, an effective way to develop and nurture patient satisfaction is also through digital communication.
Read on to learn how!
The 2015 Medicare Access CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) outlines plans to overhaul reimbursements to physicians, based in part on their ability to provide quality care and to improve patient experience and outcomes.
One of the main goals the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has for MACRA is for individual healthcare providers to use technology as a tool for improving care in a way that’s helpful—rather than burdensome—to both patient and provider.
This goal is also central to the objectives for hospitals currently participating in CMS’ Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) initiative. Key to success with CJR’s bundled payment program is the nurturing of patient relationships—teaching and engaging patients to be better partners in their care, ultimately to improve both their satisfaction and outcomes. And this, too, can be accomplished through digital tools that work.
Just two months after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ game-changing bundled payment plan, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR), took effect in 790 hospitals nationwide, the federal agency is headlong into another landmark innovation in healthcare.
In a June 13, 2016, address to the American Medical Association (AMA) Annual Meeting in Chicago, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt detailed how his agency will implement the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, known as MACRA.
What do CJR and MACRA have in common? While MACRA is a broad payment plan for individual healthcare providers and CJR is a hospital reimbursement initiative currently limited to joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation, the two are connected in important ways. This commonality forecasts the future for CMS and the entire healthcare system loud and clear.
Penalties for hospital readmissions, doled out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are expected to reach about $420 million this year. Faced with ever-increasing fines and penalties as CMS focuses more on care quality than quantity, hospitals must put a plan into place that addresses readmissions to reduce costs and improve patient care and satisfaction.
What can hospitals do to meet this goal? Guiding, educating and supporting patient self-managed care can reduce the rate of hospital admissions. Making your patients partners in their care will increase their knowledge and satisfaction—and prevent an avoidable return visit.