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Shifting to Virtual Care in the COVID-19 Era: Analytics for Financial Success and an Optimized Patient Experience

The COVID-19 era has seen a decline in visits to ambulatory care practices by 60 percent and an estimated financial loss for primary care of over $15 billion. Shutting down elective care is financially unsustainable for health systems and for patients, who continue to need non-pandemic-related care. While virtual medicine has emerged as a viable and mutually beneficial solution for patients and providers, the shift from in-person to virtual health is logistically and financially complicated. Processes and workflows from in-person care don’t directly translate to the virtual setting, and a financially successful shift requires deep understanding of the factors driving patient engagement and revenue in the new normal. As such, meeting patient needs and financial goals requires robust enterprisewide analytics that drill down to the provider level.

Healthcare Financial Transformation: Five Leading Strategies

The Affordable Care Act passed into law in March 2010, putting the shift in motion from fee-for-service (FFS) to value-based care (VBC). Since then, healthcare financial transformation—delivering better care at lower costs—has become an increasingly urgent industrywide concern. Furthermore, COVID-19 has increased financial pressures for many health systems, making financial transformation more important than ever. As organizations continue to evolve and adapt their financial strategies to optimize performance under VBC, the following central challenges stand out: Delivering cost savings and passing savings to the consumer. Resolving uncompensated care. Handling outstanding

Reduce Bad Debt: Four Tactics to Limit Exposure During COVID-19

Health systems have always faced bad debt—from charity care to insurance claim denials—and COVID-19 has exacerbated its impact on revenue. While hospitals and clinics are responsible for providing care to populations, they can still generate revenue from care delivery without compromising care accessibility or quality. An effective bad debt management approach provides the patient with every financial resource possible and allows the health systems to focus less on payment and more on delivering the best care. With four tactics, health system leadership can identify bad debt and implement effective processes to minimize it without undue burden on patients:

  1. Identify bad debt exposure early.
  2. Educate patients about alternative payment options.
  3. Leverage technology within the workflow.
  4. Understand the true cost of care.

Ambulatory Analytics Optimize Practice Management

The ambulatory practice data for Community Health Network (CHNw) were located throughout various systems, leading to unproductive operations, slow reporting, and insufficient actionable information. CHNw leveraged its analytics platform to integrate the data and provide the ambulatory analytics required for effective practice management. The organization can quickly and efficiently visualize key performance indicators, including ambulatory income statements, productivity, access measures, costing, revenue cycle performance, and payer contracting data.

The Epicenter of the Pandemic: Driving Transformation at Northwell Health

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic materially amplified Northwell Health’s necessary speed from question to answer. At the peak of the pandemic, Northwell, the hardest hit healthcare system in the United States, had to manage an evolving cohort definition for COVID-19, an additional 200 beds daily, and new healthcare professionals from across the country. Navigating this crisis required careful planning, communication, coordination, and research, which necessitated unprecedented collaboration, an extensive patient registry, access to key datasets, geocoding, and serology testing. Learn about the data-driven response Northwell Health implemented from day one of the pandemic, the successes and lessons learned, and how organizations can use technology and analytics for future infection tracking and patient care.

A Comprehensive Prescription Renewal Solution: Meet Charlie for Refill Management

With prescription drugs becoming a more common part of healthcare among Americans, health systems need a seamless, efficient prescription renewal process. However, many organizations continue to rely on outdated, laborious workflows that lead to slow turnaround time and delayed prescription renewals. Healthfinch® by Health Catalyst: Charlie™ for Refill Management is a complete prescription renewal engine that optimizes a health system’s medication renewal process. By embedding medication renewal insights directly in the EHR, providers can streamline prescription renewal workflows, delegate tasks to staff, and focus on top-of-license work. Charlie for Refill Management combines technology, protocol content, and workflow optimization so that health systems can deliver fast prescription renewal turnaround times without compromising patient safety.

Healthcare Price Transparency: Three Opportunities for Transformation

Price transparency has been an ongoing challenge for health systems, and upcoming legislation requiring increased visibility around hospital pricing adds pressure. Meeting the new price transparency requirements means legal compliance, but providing procedure costs, different payment options, and the reasoning behind prices set patients up for an optimal experience, increasing their likelihood to return for future care. With the right tools, such as robust pricing transparency technology and a defensible price strategy, health systems can use the new mandate to take advantage of three key opportunities:

  1. Satisfy increasing patient interest in cost of care.
  2. Earn patient trust—a short- and long-term imperative.
  3. Create the optimal patient experience.

Six Strategies to Navigate COVID-19 Financial Recovery for Health Systems

Research projects that 2020 healthcare industry losses due to COVID-19 will total $323 billion. As patient volumes fall and pandemic-related expenses rise, health systems need a strategy for both immediate and long-term financial recovery. An effective approach will rely on a deep, nuanced understanding of how the pandemic has altered and reshaped care delivery models. One of the COVID-19 era’s most impactful changes has been the shift from in-person office visits to virtual care (e.g., telehealth). Though patients and providers initially turned to remote delivery to free up facilities for COVID-19 care and reduce disease transmission, the benefits of virtual care (e.g., circumventing the time and resource drain of patients traveling to appointments) position telehealth as lasting model in the new healthcare landscape. As a result, healthcare financial leaders must fully understand the revenue and reimbursement implications of virtual care.

Six Proven Methods to Combat COVID-19 with Real-World Analytics

As data in healthcare becomes more available than ever before, so does the need to apply that data to the unique challenges facing health systems, especially in a pandemic. Even with massive amounts of data, health systems still struggle to move data from spreadsheets to drive change in a clinical setting. These six methods allow health systems to transform data into real-world analytics, going beyond basic data usage and maximizing actionable insight:

  1. Create effective information displays.
  2. Add context to data.
  3. Ensure data processes are sustainable.
  4. Certify data quality.
  5. Provide systemwide access to data.
  6. Refine the approach to knowledge management.
Advancing data use in healthcare with real-world analytics arms health systems with effective tools to combat COVID-19 and continue delivering quality care driven by comprehensive, actionable insight.

Comprehensive Heart Failure Improvements Lead to Reduced Readmissions, Mortality, and Costs

Despite having an in-depth, individualized heart failure (HF) program, Billings Clinic’s 30-day readmission rate was higher than desired and negatively impacted the costs of care. The organization leveraged comprehensive data and analytics to create an analytical approach for evaluating and caring for patients with HF, successfully enhancing HF care and improving clinical outcomes.

How to Run Analytics for More Actionable, Timely Insights: A Healthcare Data Quality Framework

Healthcare organizations increasingly understand the value of data quality, but many lack a systematic process for establishing and maintaining that quality. However, as COVID-19 response and recovery further underscores the need for timely, actionable data, organizations must take a more proactive approach to data quality. A structured process engages technical and subject matter expertise to define, evaluate, and monitor data quality throughout the pipeline. Health systems can follow a simple, four-level framework to measure and monitor data quality, ensuring that data is fit to drive quality data-informed decisions:

  1. Think of data as a product.
  2. Address structural data quality first.
  3. Define content level data quality with subject matter experts.
  4. Create a coalition for multidisciplinary support.

Introducing Healthfinch by Health Catalyst: Charlie for Refill Management: Improving Workflow Efficiency and Closing Care Gaps

In this webinar, you’ll learn how Charlie for Refill Management provides EHR-embedded insights fueled by evidence-based protocols, allowing staff to quickly approve prescription renewal requests on behalf of providers and proactively close gaps in patient care. Specifically, learn how Charlie for Refill Management helps achieve the following:

  • Saves time by eliminating time-consuming, manual chart review.
  • Improves quality by implementing standardized, evidence-based protocols across an organization.
  • Transforms workflows with a fully integrated solution that provides insights directly in EHR workflows.
  • Identifies care gaps to provide a better, safer patient experience while also driving additional or missed revenue.

How to Optimize the Healthcare Revenue Cycle with Improved Patient Access

Despite pandemic-driven limitations, health systems can still find ways to optimize revenue cycle and generate income. When health systems improve and prioritize patient access through a patient-centered access center, they can improve the revenue cycle performance through decreased referral leakage, better patient trust, and optimum communication across hospital departments. Rather than relying on traditional revenue cycle improvement tactics, health systems should consider three ways a patient-centered access center can positively impact revenue cycle performance:

  1. Advance access.
  2. Optimize resources.
  3. Engage stakeholders.

COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief: Gas Pedal to the Floor, No Steering Wheel?

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress and the federal government have committed massive amounts of money to economic recovery across affected industries, with healthcare receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency funding. Despite this push to inject capital into a shuttered economy, healthcare organizations have gotten surprisingly little in the way of direction on how they could spend these monies. Providers—a few of which are flush with cash and many struggling with a lack of working capital—now grapple with questions about how to spend sizeable sums of stimulus money legally and how to get their organizations on the road to recovery. Meanwhile, they wait for more guidance, knowing the inevitable waves of audits and enforcement are coming. During this webinar, attendees will learn the following: How to appropriately receive and optimize COVID-19 relief funding. How to utilize relief funding in a compliant way. How to proactively prepare for audit and oversight. How to make data-informed decisions to prepare, prevent, recover, and plan during a global pandemic.

Healthcare Relief Funding: Five Steps to Maximize COVID-19 Dollars

While federal COVID-19 relief funding for health systems sounds good in theory, many organizations have found accessing and using these monies overwhelming and frustrating. Federal guidance has been inconsistent or incomplete, and continued changes to relief packages and policies challenge organizations to develop pragmatic financial recovery strategies. Financial leaders who are confronting more questions than answers need a simple framework to move confidently into recovery. The following five expert financial- and healthcare-based guidelines will help organizations navigate and optimize COVID-19 relief funding:

  1. Regularly review legislative and regulatory updates and agency activity.
  2. Make the most of what’s available.
  3. Use required reporting as a decision-making tool.
  4. Prepare now for the inevitable audit.
  5. Test compliance now to eliminate headaches (or litigation) later.

Transforming Care Saves Millions and Improves Patient Outcomes

Thibodaux Regional Health System wanted to further improve the level of physician engagement required for successful healthcare transformation, prompting the organization to launch a targeted initiative. Guided by insights delivered through its data platform and analytics, the newly formed steering team analyzes past performance and determines which care processes require the focus of the care transformation team. Thibodaux Regional’s care transformation initiative has effectively engaged stakeholders to achieve patient-centered excellence. In only three years, the organization has achieved significant results.

Healthcare Revenue Cycle: Five Keys to Financial Sustainability

With COVID-19 challenges continuing in the near-future, health systems must continue delivering quality care in the midst of the pandemic, without compromising financial well-being. Historical approaches to revenue cycle add value but fail to leverage data to drive financial sustainability in a time of crisis. To financially survive tumultuous economic times, health systems must leverage data to drive a more comprehensive revenue cycle strategy. Five best practices generate the actionable data that allows health system leaders to understand financials at a nuanced level, promoting effective processes that lead to financial sustainability and optimum revenue cycle management:

  1. Identify and measure the right metrics.
  2. Define clear lines of accountability.
  3. Create consistent workflows.
  4. Define key performance indicators.
  5. Understand the right metrics at the right place at the right time.

How a U.S. COVID-19 Data Registry Fuels Global Research

In addition to driving COVID-19 understanding within the United States, a national disease registry is informing research beyond U.S. borders. Clinicians with the Singapore Ministry of Healthcare Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT) have used Health Catalyst Touchstone® COVID-19 data to develop a machine learning tool that helps predict the likelihood of COVID-19 mortality. With this national data set that leverages deep aggregated EHR data, the MOHT accessed the research-grade data it needed to build a machine-learning algorithm that predicts risk of death from COVID-19. The registry-informed prediction model was accurate enough to stand up to comparisons in the published literature and promises to help inform vaccine research and, ultimately, allocation of vaccines within populations.

Effective Patient Stratification: Four Solutions to Common Hurdles

Accurate patient stratification, the first step of any effective population health strategy, identifies patients who will benefit most from a population health intervention. Successful patient stratification is critical when laying the foundation for any population health initiative, yet many health systems struggle with this step. Care teams can apply four solutions to overcome common patient stratification hurdles, target the most impactable patients, and carry out population health initiatives:

  1. Consider both the physical and the mental.
  2. Prove and measure return on investment.
  3. Complete data sets.
  4. Transparent, customizable technology.

How a U.S. COVID-19 Data Registry Fuels Global Research

In addition to driving COVID-19 understanding within the United States, a national disease registry is informing research beyond U.S. borders. Clinicians with the Singapore Ministry of Healthcare Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT) have used Health Catalyst Touchstone® COVID-19 data to develop a machine learning tool that helps predict the likelihood of COVID-19 mortality. With this national data set that leverages deep aggregated EHR data, the MOHT accessed the research-grade data it needed to build a machine-learning algorithm that predicts risk of death from COVID-19. The registry-informed prediction model was accurate enough to stand up to comparisons in the published literature and promises to help inform vaccine research and, ultimately, allocation of vaccines within populations.

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