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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.

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 However, many organizations continue to rely on outdated, laborious workflows that lead to slow turnaround time and delayed prescription renewals.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

This article is based on the webinar presentation, “Real World Analytics: Advancing Methods and Literacy in Healthcare” by Adam Wilcox, PhD, Chief Analytics Officer for University of Washington Medicine and Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Health Education at the University of Washington, and Dale Sanders, Strategic Advisor at Health Catalyst. Historically, to access data, health systems had to collect data manually from patients or providers. Organizations have now moved from hunting for data to gaining access to more data than ever before due to widespread EHR adoption. However,

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Population Health Success: Three Ways to Leverage Data

As the healthcare industry continues to focus on value, rather than volume, health systems are faced with delivering quality care to large populations with limited resources. To implement population health initiatives and deliver results, it is critical that care teams build population health strategies on actionable, up-to-date data. Health systems can better leverage data within population health and drive long-lasting change by implementing three small changes:

  1. Increase team members’ access to data.
  2. Support widespread data utilization.
  3. Implement one source of data truth.
Access to accurate, reliable data boosts population health efforts while maintaining cost and improving outcomes. With actionable analytics providing insight and guiding decisions, population health teams can drive real change within their patient populations.

Four Strategies Drive High-Value Healthcare Analytics for COVID-19 Recovery

COVID-19 response and recovery is pushing healthcare to operate at an unprecedented level. To meet these demands and continue to improve outcomes and lower costs, healthcare analytics must perform more actionably and with broader organizational impact than ever. Health systems can follow four strategies to produce high-value analytics to withstand the pandemic and make healthcare better in the long term:

  1. Minimize benchmarking.
  2. Outsource regulatory reporting.
  3. Grow risk-based stratification capabilities.
  4. Run activity-based costing plus at-risk contracting.

The Fight Against COVID-19: A National Patient Registry

Comprehensive COVID-19 understanding is a critical asset for adapting to pandemic needs, directing resources, developing vaccines, and planning for surges in a timely, informed manner. Because common barriers have impeded the progress of comprehensive data repositories, researchers have relied on surveillance data from population-level viral testing, which has proven insufficient. To significantly advance COVID-19 understanding, the medical community needs a digital patient registry that captures national-level data on how the virus impacts individuals differently according to comorbidities, lifestyle factors, and more. These essential insights lie in real-world evidence, which a registry can only deliver when it applies value sets to leverage clinical and claims data from health systems across the United States.

The Healthcare Analytics Summit™: Top Data Discoveries and Insights from HAS 20 Virtual

The 2020 Healthcare Analytics Summit™ (HAS 20 Virtual) took place for the first time from a remote platform. But, as the 2020 HAS infographic demonstrates, the remote experience delivered on HAS event’s customary high level of engagement and meaningful healthcare insights. The 2020 conference focused on the theme of analytics in the new normal, sharing insights around pandemic response and recovery to a record-setting audience.

Hiring Top Healthcare Analytics Talent: Five Best Practices

COVID-19 has escalated healthcare’s decision-making demands, reinforcing the industry’s need for highly skilled analytics team members. As a result, health systems face mounting pressure to hire the best-suited analytics talent in a timely manner and with minimal burden on existing team members. Five proven inclusive strategies will help hiring managers efficiently build an analytics team that can adapt to healthcare’s shifting environment and also fit within an organization’s culture:

  1. Open positions to remote employees and conduct interviews via video conferencing.
  2. Insert “tollgates” into the hiring process.
  3. Use scenario-based role play to assess many competencies concurrently.
  4. Assess cultural fit.
  5. Follow up with and provide feedback to all candidates.