Betsy Weaver, Ed.D.

Betsy Weaver, Ed.D., CEO/President and Founder of TPR Media (d.b.a. UbiCare), is a nationally-recognized innovator in patient education and healthcare communication. She created the first email services designed to enhance hospitals’ care connections with patients and streamline processes for staff. In 2010, she created UbiCare, the first hub platform for healthcare, incorporating email, social media, text messaging and web services to engage patients and improve outcomes.
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Recent Posts

Boost Patient Satisfaction, Avoid Penalties—and Win with CJR

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jul 13, 2016 2:00:00 PM

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!

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Topics: Patient Outcomes, Value-Based Care, Patient Satisfaction, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, HCAHPS, MACRA

Does Your Technology Improve Patient Care & Outcomes?

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jul 6, 2016 2:00:00 PM

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.

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Topics: Patient Outcomes, Value-Based Care, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, MACRA

CJR & MACRA—THE CONNECTION

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jun 28, 2016 1:58:52 PM

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.

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Topics: Quality of Care, Patient Outcomes, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, MACRA

5 Ways Our Culture Helps Us Change the World

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Apr 26, 2016 3:00:00 PM

As we prepare to host some of Boston’s digital health innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs at our office April 27, during the Boston NewCo Festival, we’re reflecting on the mission that drives us and the other companies selected to participate in this event. We are here, quite simply, to change the world.

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Topics: Innovation, Technology, NewCo

Digital Patient-Provider Connections are Critical to Value-Based Care

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Mar 31, 2016 8:30:00 AM

You’re collecting information about your patient’s health, but what are you doing with it? Does it sit—disconnected—in your digital systems? Or does it travel seamlessly between them?

The infographic below shows how hospitals and patients efficiently form a meaningful relationship and why digital connections and education are essential to value-based care.

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Topics: Patient Education, Digital Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, Patient Provider Communication

API vs. Portal in Meaningful Use 3

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Mar 14, 2016 8:30:00 AM

As Meaningful Use moved to Stage 3 (MU3) in 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added APIs (application programming interface) as an alternative or complement to patient portals.

But are these two digital health tools at odds with each other? And where do APIs fit in with Meaningful Use Stage 3?

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Topics: Meaningful Use, Patient Portals

What Is MACRA and How Does It Relate to Meaningful Use?

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Mar 9, 2016 8:00:00 AM

In January 2016, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt announced that CMS would update Meaningful Use to focus more on patient care and outcomes.

At the same time, Slavitt brought renewed attention to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015—MACRA—triggering confusion among hospitals and health systems already scrambling to attest to Meaningful Use. 

Many questions arose. What is MACRA? What is the relationship between MACRA and Meaningful Use? Is Meaningful Use over?

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Topics: Meaningful Use, Quality of Care, Patient Outcomes, Patient Portals

Are Patient Portals Going the Way of the Dinosaur?

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Feb 29, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Patient portals—websites allowing patients to easily and securely access their EHRs and even communicate with their providers—were one of the big recommendations of MU2 in 2012.

CMS promoted portals as a way for patients to access their EHRs and for providers to demonstrate that their patients were actually doing this, calling the portal “a powerful platform for increasing access, empowering patients, supporting care between visits and improving health outcomes.”

Yet, three years into MU recommendations for patient portals, no one is calling them a resounding success.

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Topics: Meaningful Use, Patient Portals

Hospitals benefit from setting patient expectations early

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Oct 14, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Setting expectations early is shown to improve patients' episodes of care, improve patient outcomes and reduce readmission rates. It also prepares your hospital for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiatives like Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR).

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Topics: Joint Surgery, Patient Outcomes, Hospital Readmissions, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement

7 Easy Ways to Help Doctors Connect With Patients

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Sep 16, 2015 10:00:00 AM

The concept that it takes seven interactions—or “touches”—before a person becomes a customer is well documented in the marketing industry. Less is written about how this can apply in a healthcare setting. 

In this era of value-base care, patients are synonymous with customers, and engagements are the new touches. Unlike in marketing—where a touch can simply drive a sale—a touch in healthcare can really impact patient outcomes and the cost of care, build patient satisfaction and confidence and make patients feel involved in their care.

Surely, it’s time to start taking the theory of seven touches into the healthcare realm. I’ll start by offering seven easy ways you can engage/connect with/touch patients. 

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Topics: Patient Education, Patient Outcomes, Value-Based Care, Patient Provider Communication, Cost of Care, Patient Satisfaction, Patient Activation Measure

Making Us All Better

Digital Patient Engagement News & Strategy

Hear from the UbiCrew, our hospital clients and industry experts about how to:

  • Make meaningful, digital connections with your patients
  • Fully engage patients and attest to Meaningful Use and
  • Prove an ROI from patient education and engagement.

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