Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

It’s a Good Time to be in Healthcare Technology in Georgia

It’s a good time to be in technology in Georgia, especially healthcare IT, according to the latest State of the Industry report from the Technology Association of Georgia. Several of the reports’ takeaways highlight sentiments shared with me by Tee Green, CEO of Greenway Health. I had the opportunity to recently chat with him about what it means to lead a company in a state devoted to sustaining the title of the “Nation’s Capitol of Healthcare IT.”

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Georgia Takes Center Stage at World’s Largest Health IT Conference

HIMSS is well known for putting on the largest conference in the world dedicated to health IT. For the third year in a row, the state of Georgia – the only state to do so – has had a pavilion in the exhibit hall to showcase just a few of its many health IT companies. I had a chance on the HIMSS show floor to talk with Carol Henderson, Director of Health Sciences and Advanced Technologies at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, about the advent and growth of the pavilion, and why it sets such an example when it comes to showcasing Georgia as the nation’s capital of health IT.

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Time is Running Out for ICD-10

ICD-10 is not a bad word but sometimes it sounds like one. The estimates for cost of transition from ICD-9 to ICDE-10 in a small practice is expected to range from over $50,000- $80,000 according to the Nachimson Advisors Studies. However, many providers continue to drag their feet hoping the cost will go away but, from all indications, it won’t this time. The deadline for implementation of the new codes is October 1, 2014.

ICD-10 is the International Classification of Disease tenth revision. This is a coding system created by the World Health Organization that codes for diseases, signs, symptoms, complaints, social circumstances, and other clinical descriptions that are documented in the medical records of hospital and ambulatory medical settings. Most people relate the coding to medical billing. When your physician accurately codes to support clinical services this can lead to better financial reimbursement for their medical practice. Most importantly it can correctly …

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Still Work to do in EHR Adoption

Nearly 79% of primary care physicians are using some form of electronic health record (EHR) in their practices. This number continues to jump significantly from year to year. It surely is a testament to the innovative work that various sectors of the HIT industry have put into adoption efforts. It also speaks to the hard work that has been done by providers and their professional organizations to use Health Information Technology (HIT) tools to improve clinical outcomes for their patients. On the other side of the fence, there remains the 20% of providers who do not have EHRs. Medical Economics reports that, in 2012, among this group 48% said they did not plan to purchase an EHR. This is a 16% increase from 2011. These physicians are often referred to as “EHR holdouts”. Surveys show that most of these providers are the more elder physicians and physicians in small practices.

I am sure the term “hold out” is not meant to be derogatory but it could be interpreted by some that …

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The Health System of Tomorrow – More Guts, Not More Information

I had the pleasure of attending the US News Hospital of Tomorrow conference last week in Washington, DC. Right in the midst of the heated debate around the failures and successes of the Accountable Care Act and the less than stellar rollout of Healthcare.gov, leaders from many of the top health care provider systems across the US congregated to share their insights about how the health care delivery system will look in the future. While there was passionate dialogue about how to best solve our current problems, the common consensus was clear amongst most of the top executives – the shift from volume to value based care will ultimately reduce costs, improve quality, and expand access.

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It’s Good to be on the Top (When So Often Not)

So often you hear Georgia in the headlines for being at the bottom of the list.  We are in the bottom quartile as a state  for public health.  We have incredibly high rates of heart disease, obesity, and cancer.  Twenty percent of us lack health insurance and we have significant shortages for physicians and access to healthcare (for example, we are the second worst state for providing primary care for Medicaid patients).
Frankly, I am tired of being at the bottom.  I am therefore thrilled to know that we are on the other side of the coin when it comes to healthcare technology (HIT).  Being an active member in the healthcare industry, I have seen the tremendous progress and success Atlanta and Georgia have achieved in the area of healthcare IT.  Fellow blogger Jennifer Dennard went in detail on many of the city’s HIT successes. According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber, there are more than 225 health IT companies in the state, combining for annual revenues of $4 billion and …

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Five Healthcare Predictions for the Future

I attended and spoke at the Health2.0 Conference last week in Santa Clara, California. As always, it was a tremendous event with informative content, engaging speakers, and, of course, plenty of speculation on the future of our healthcare industry. Although it’s hard to select only a handful, below are five predictions I believe we will see take shape in the next year as our industry continues to evolve and progress towards a more efficient and effective operating model.

1. Patient “Engagement” & “Empowerment” is Central: This was probably the most shared theme threaded throughout the conference. Engaging and empowering patients to be active in their healthcare in order to produce better health outcomes and reduce costs. This encompasses everything from engaging with consumers on multiple platforms like mobile and digital, to providing convenient self-service tools, applications and services, to providing better education and consumer-focused participation in healthcare. …

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Why is Atlanta such a great place for healthcare IT?

The subject of Atlanta and healthcare IT is on my mind thanks to an article I read recently at ChicagoBusiness.com. The story, “Why is Chicago so bad in healthcare IT?” listed reasons mainly having to do with turmoil at Merge Healthcare and Allscripts. After reading that rather doom-and-gloom assessment, I began to reflect on our city’s claim to healthcare IT fame. How would I explain it to someone in Chicago, or Boston, or Silicon Valley, or anywhere else that believes they have a claim to the title?

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We Can Provide Better Healthcare at Lower Costs

heartbeatAs the healthcare world braces for the cost and regulatory implications of ObamaCare, there are other changes approaching on the horizon. An information technology boom is underway that could impact us all.

Healthcare is playing catch up with respect to incorporating technology into the workflow patterns of healthcare workers including physicians and nurses. Transportation, corporate America, small family businesses and even state and local governments have adopted technology solutions.

The airline industry became more efficient by using on-line reservations, on-line check-in and kiosks at airports for boarding passes. McDonald’s and most other fast food restaurants have used technology to more effectively manage workers and the workflow process resulting in better service for their customers. The banking industry embraced technology in a big way as more Americans are using on-line banking services, ATMs and mobile solutions which in turn make banks more efficient and gives …

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Not-for-Profit Hospitals Must Prepare for Reimbursement Shift toward Quality over Quantity

Guest Blogger Donna Fincher, Marketing Manager at Diversified Account Systems of Georgia, Inc.

Hospitals and other healthcare providers have been measuring the value of their services based simply on the numbers of patients they treat for generations. Today incentive changes imbedded in the Patient Protection and Affordability Act are forcing hospitals and physicians to reevaluate their methods of measuring and proving the value of the care they provide.

Historically, full hospital beds and busy physician schedules drove the success of providers; however emerging trends in the industry are leaning toward higher reimbursement levels for better quality services. In short, both government and commercial payers are beginning to reward providers who see patients less often because their original treatment plan was better and more comprehensive resulting in fewer office visits and hospital stays for those patients.

Medicare has already implemented a strict readmissions policy with …

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