December 15, 2016

4 Tips to Keep Healthcare Consumers Happy and Loyal

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Health Care Advisory Board’s National Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. One of the topics that really struck me was the last presentation about the importance of building a consumer-focused organization and increasing consumer loyalty.

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Topics: Patient Care, Value-Based Care, Hospital Management

June 16, 2016

So You Have a Cost Accounting System, Now What?

As I help healthcare organizations create effective cost accounting systems, the number one complaint I hear is: “I don’t think this report is accurate” or its second cousin “This just doesn’t look right.” My own father gives me grief because he doesn’t trust accounting systems.

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Topics: Patient Care, Value-Based Care, Cost Accounting

March 24, 2016

Is Your System Heading for Success or a Crash?

I recently saw an excellent example of offering appropriate care in the appropriate setting when I reviewed my new HORNE healthcare plan. HORNE is offering a new program called “MD Live.” For the first time, our insurance will cover employees who consult a doctor remotely by using a phone, tablet or computer. The next time I feel a cold or the flu coming on, I can visit with a doctor and get the treatment I need without traveling to the doctor’s office. 

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Topics: Healthcare Quality, Population Health, Patient Care, Hospital Management

September 03, 2015

A Tale of Too Many Tests

As a healthcare consumer, I feel an urgency to do my part to decrease unnecessary cost and improve quality. As a member of HORNE's Healthcare team, I have a greater understanding of why our healthcare system cannot continue in its current state and I've learned that reducing variation and eliminating waste is our “how”; however, since I am not a healthcare provider, my impact is limited in what I can do as a patient as I view my own healthcare, and the care of my loved ones, through a new lens. 

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Topics: Quality Improvement, Patient Care

June 04, 2015

Telehealth Provides New Options for Rural Hospitals

I was offered the opportunity recently to observe a medical examination of a child in Guatemala, and I was able to accept because I didn’t have to leave home. The U.S.-based doctor examined the patient with the help of medical personnel in Guatemala, special instruments designed to transmit high-resolution images, and a high-speed internet connection.

Of course, I had heard about advances in telehealth, but until I saw the clarity of the images on the screen and heard the detail in the sound transmission, I really had no idea how much the field had progressed. We could see inside the child’s ear with detail that rivaled an in-person exam. Her heartbeat was loud and distinct. It was as if we were sitting in her local doctor’s office, conferring with a specialist – which, in a way, we were.

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Topics: Patient Care

December 23, 2014

How Hospitals Spread Holiday Cheer for Patients, Families, and Staff

 

Whether you are a healthcare provider or a patient, it can be challenging to be away from family and friends at such a celebratory time of the year. But the lengths that hospitals and other healthcare facilities will go to spread holiday cheer for patients and staff is truly inspiring. We reached out to some area hospitals and asked them to share their stories.
 

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Topics: Patient Care

November 13, 2014

Keep Your Patients Healthy and Engaged

Getting your patients actively involved in their health care keeps them healthy. Simple. This very important learning comes from a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Quality Field Notes brief about patient engagement1.

And, according to other research2, in order for changes to the healthcare system to be successful in reducing expenses and improving quality, the patient must be consistently "engaged" for everything to work.

The concept of patient engagement has been in existence for more than a decade. But, what is patient engagement?

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Topics: Quality Improvement, Patient Care, Value-Based Care

June 05, 2014

Changing the Culture

 

Team-Based Care – Part III

For health care organizations to successfully implement any type of team-based approach to patient care there are some things to consider. The culture will have to change to encourage adoption of this new approach and patients, just as physicians, will need to change.

In a field where every position already feels they are working as hard as they can, being passionate about new responsibilities can be difficult.

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Topics: Population Health, Patient Care, Hospital Management

May 22, 2014

Demand for Nurse Practitioners and Other Non-Physician Providers is Soaring

Team-based Care – Part II

Look into many markets in the U.S. and you’re likely to find non-physician providers in greater demand and better paid than in the past few years. The 2013 HORNE Medical Office Staff Salary Survey supports this by reporting a significant upswing in the demand for non-physician providers. Survey results show a startling 68% jump in the number of non-physician providers added to hospitals and practices from 2009 to 2013. But perhaps the quick rise in demand isn’t as surprising when put into the context of the Affordable Care Act, and shrinking reimbursement. 

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Topics: Patient Care, Value-Based Care

May 15, 2014

Supply and Demand - Problem or Opportunity?

Team-based Care – Part I 

Are we facing a health care disaster due to an increase in demand for primary care and a decrease in availability of providers?  Should we be concerned that statistics from the Association of American Medical Colleges predict we will lack more than 60,000 physicians nationwide by 2015?  It is definitely true that the number of insured individuals is increasing due to the Accountable Care Act (ACA); baby boomers are aging and will require more medical attention; and the number of primary care physicians is decreasing.  But the prognosis isn’t necessarily grim as this imbalance of supply and demand creates opportunities for new health care delivery systems. 

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Topics: Population Health, Patient Care

February 26, 2014

Think Bundled Care Won’t Work? Check out what’s happening in Arkansas.

There have been serious, but somewhat quiet experiments going on for years around using bundled care to improve patient outcomes and cut costs. Prepare for some noise as states like Arkansas start figuring out the formula for making it work. The spotlight on bundled care as a potential successor to the Fee-for-Service (FFS) model is getting brighter driven by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the search for new payment models that can support the high costs of offering health care benefits to an expanding (and aging) population.

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Topics: Fee-for-Service, Affordable Care Act Summary, Patient Care, Payment Models

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