Practice managers can train physicians to know more about coding procedures and make sure claims are sent out regularly to ensure timely payments and avoid claim denials. Technology and automation can also help practices get claims right, one expert said.
Setting up software to install patches automatically, using two-factor authentication, thinking every day about what could go wrong, approaching requests for personal information with suspicion, diligently backing up data and using a password manager are among the top defenses cited by cybersecurity experts at two recent conferences in Las Vegas.
Integrating Choosing Wisely clinical decision support alerts into the Epic EHR system at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center resulted in lower spending, shorter lengths of stay, a lower 30-day readmission rate and fewer complications when clinicians followed the recommendations, researchers reported in the American Journal of Managed Care. Health care providers received immediate notification if they deviated from recommendations and were given an option to justify, change or cancel the order.
Northwell Health invested $500,000 in Playback Health, a developer of software for mobile and video-based patient engagement tools co-founded by Lenox Hill Hospital neurosurgeon Dr. David Langer. Playback uses screen-capture video, audio and digital documents to assist clinicians with instructing patients about their conditions and care.
Nevada's Board of Examiners approved a five-year, $24.4 million contract with GetInsured to design, develop and implement a health insurance exchange platform and call center. Moving the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange off the HealthCare.gov platform is expected to save the state $18.9 million through 2023, said exchange Executive Director Heather Korbulic.
Two EHR-integrated, web-based tools that use Substitutable Medical Applications and Reusable Technologies on the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard are being launched by Geisinger Health System and Merck. The Family Caregiver app is designed to support communication between health care providers and caregivers, while the MedTrue app is meant to improve medication adherence and reconciliation by integrating medication data with clinical workflows.
Clemson University in South Carolina will use $5.24 million from the Rural Health Care Program, backed by the Federal Communications Commission's Universal Service Fund, to provide health care facilities across the state with high-speed broadband. "A patient who just shows up -- even if they qualify -- frequently can't be seen because of delays in service. A stable connection changes all of that," said Paula Watt, director of Clemson's Joseph F. Sullivan Center, a campus health clinic.
Health organizations should implement data governance programs that include an extensive inventory of systems, a focus on educating employees and data layer controls to avoid data security risks, writes Immersive co-founder and principal Stephanie Crabb. "Investing resources in and around the data, technically and operationally, will improve security program performance and reduce enterprise risk," Crabb writes.
The use of the internet of things in connecting EMRs to devices that support direct patient care is the biggest trend in health IT, and there are misconceptions on how IT in health care lags compared with other industries, as well as physicians' and nurses' aversion to technology, says Steve Sarros, vice president and CIO of Pensacola, Fla.-based Baptist Health Care. "Acknowledging the complexity of health care delivery first can set up a better conversation around building and improving systems," Sarros says.
Maryland needs to address the "numerous significant" security vulnerabilities found in its Medicaid Management Information System, including the lack of adequate data and information systems security, according to a review by the HHS Office of Inspector General. "Although we did not identify evidence that anyone had exploited these vulnerabilities, exploitation could have resulted in unauthorized access to and disclosure of Medicaid data, as well as the disruption of critical Medicaid operations" and "could have compromised the integrity of Maryland's Medicaid program," the report says.
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