Automating workflows to improve care coordination

Better care coordination has been the subject of healthcare reform and new payment models over the past 10 years, but true coordination across the continuum is still hindered by a range of barriers. The underlying issue: Team-based care is only effective when the entire team — care providers, clinicians and patients — are on the same page.

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Jump-start the new year with MACRA: Looking ahead to 2018

This time of the year is one for both reflection and anticipation. As our profession looks back on the issuance of the first Quality Payment Program (QPP) final rule a year ago and celebrates our collective progress toward adoption of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), so too must we look ahead to the program’s future.

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FDA: Medical Device Orgs Must Offer Patient Access to Health Data

FDA has issued final guidance to authorized medical device manufacturers, clarifying that it is acceptable for those manufacturers to open patient access to health data for those patients who request access.

The guidance states that medical device manufacturers are not prohibited from sharing this information with patients and providers upon request. The guidance does not amend any current law, including HIPAA, nor does it override any existing FDA governance. The guide simply serves as a clarification for medical device manufacturers.

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Doing the Right Thing in the Era of MACRA: The Role of Care Coordination

Concerns over the cost of health care and apparent lower health outcomes in the United States compared to other developed countries have significantly influenced program development by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). New reimbursement strategies intended to address cost and drive quality—specifically the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)—are placing new clinical and operational demands on the health care industry.

So in the era of MACRA, providers need to balance reporting requirements (which can be time-consuming) while continuing to put patients first. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure patient care is well coordinated.

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Value-Based Care Requires Good Big Data, Better Communication

Brevity may be the soul of wit in the literary world, but it’s the opposite of a good thing when it comes to safe, comprehensive, and cost-effective patient care.

In the value-based care environment, where multiple entities may be financially responsible for the same patient’s long-term outcomes, thorough communication between care providers is essential for ensuring that services aren’t unnecessarily duplicated or accidentally forgotten as individuals move across the care continuum.

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MACRA rule adds EHR flexibility, pushes back mandate for 2015 editions

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday delivered a 2018 MACRA proposed rule that would add more flexibility to the health IT mandates associated with the law.

The proposal pushes back the requirement that clinicians use 2015-certified electronic health records for another year. Instead, doctors can continue to use legacy systems if they choose and those that opt to use 2015 editions would get a 10 percent payment bonus from CMS.

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Pop Health Data Needed for Future Patient Engagement Tech

Healthcare professionals are increasingly looking into patient engagement technology solutions that help them determine how and when to best engage a healthcare consumer, according to a report from Black Book Research.

The report includes testimony from nearly 750 industry leaders, including chief information officers, chief financial officers, and hospital managers. Ninety percent of respondents said that patient engagement technology will dominate their population health management tools going forward.

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Exploring patients’ roles in chronic illness care coordination

Strong care coordination is one of the core necessities for effective chronic disease management.

Patients managing a chronic illness are confronted with a plethora of health information, often coming from multiple different specialists and primary care clinicians. All of this information must be sent from one clinician to the other, with each doctor knowing what the other is doing to achieve the end goal of patient wellness.

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3 health care trends that don’t hinge on the ACA

In early May 2017 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare). Subsequently, Republicans in the U.S. Senate began working on their version of a law to do the same. The House bill is flawed, leaving many uncertainties that the Senate has promised to address. While the fate of the bill is in flux, there are three immutable trends in the U.S. health care system that won’t change. As a result, regardless of how the law evolves, tremendous opportunities will remain for consumers, medical providers, health care payers, and investors to shape and improve the health care system.

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