Uncompensated Care Growing

The American Hospital Association (AHA) annual hospital statics guide indicates that uncompensated care at hospitals continues to grow, representing 6.1% of their expenses in 2012.  Uncompensated care includes  bad debt and charity care.  Beth Kutscher with Modern Healthcare reports on these and more statistics from the AHA guide in her January 3, 2014 article “Hospitals on the rebound, show stronger operating margins“.

Opportunities for Healthcare Cost Savings

HealthLeaders magazine (December 2013) reports that 56% of Healthcare Executives anticipate their organizations achieving total cost reductions of 6% or more over the next three years.  The HealthLeaders magazine survey also pointed to improved labor and supply-chain efficiencies as significant opportunities for cost savings.

Learn more at:  Intelligence Report: Cost-Containment Expertise

Only 40% of Hospital CIO’s measure ROI on Their EMR Implementations

In a web posting at Hospital EHR & EMR , an unverified tweet within the HIT industry finds that, “Only 40% of hospital CIO’s measure the ROI of their EMR Implementation“.  Although there are many ways to calculate an ROI, none are perfect, but still a critical measurement to determine the effectiveness of your HIT investment.  By following through on this ROI measurement, you can hold your organization and your IT vendor accountable for financial ROI results.

Read more: Only 40% of Hospital CIO’s Measure ROI on their EMR Implementation

Evidence that Healthcare IT Can Generate Financial Benefits

A recent University of Michigan study, as reported by Nicole Casal Moore, found that:

“Use of electronic health records can reduce the costs of outpatient care by roughly 3 percent, compared to relying on traditional paper records”

The study is based on 179,000 patients, comparing the healthcare costs across three Massachusetts communities that widely adopted electronic health records against six communities that did not.

Read more at:  Electronic Records slow the rise of healthcare costs

U.S. Physicians using EMR’s at a Record Rate: Topping 90%

Physicians are using Electronic Medical Records at an impressive rate.  Mike Miller, Managing Editor at Healthcare IT News, writes in his May 9, 2013 article:

The number of U.S. physicians using electronic medical records has topped 90 percent, and nearly half of the doctors polled for a new Accenture survey say they now use health information exchange technology – an uptick of 32 percent.

Impressive that 93% of physicians are now actively using an EMR, and 45% of these physicians access clinical data outside their own organization.

Read more at: EMR and HIE See Big Adoption Numbers

Fascinating That Many EHR Users Are Already Looking To Switch

Is it too soon to expect Physician Practices to switch EHR Vendors?  Apparently not as Erin McCann, Associate Editor at Healthcare IT News, reports in her February 19, 2013 article EHR users unhappy, many switching.

“With more electronic health record systems continuing to fall short of providers’ expectations, a new report by Black Book Rankings suggests that 2013 may indeed be the year of the great EHR vendor switch.”

McCann further reports, in citing the Black Book Rankings

“Out of those EHR users considering a system switch, 80 percent said the solution does not meet the practices’ individual needs; 79 percent indicated that the medical practice had not adequately assessed the group’s needs before choosing the EHR; 77 percent of respondents cited solution design as ill-fitted for their medical practice or specialty; and 44 percent said vendors have been unresponsive to requests. “

This certainly opens the door for the more than 600 Physician Practice EHR vendors to increase their market share at the expense of under-performing EHR vendors.

Read more at:  EHR users unhappy, many switching

Health Information Exchanges Can Generate a Favorable ROI

In her January 30, 2013 article “What will drive HIE growth? Business value for provider” in Government Health IT (www.govhealthit.com),  Mary Mosquera discusses how HIEs can generate financial benefits for participating organizations.

“Farzad Mostashari, MD, the national health IT coordinator, noted that Camden Coalition’s director, Sandy Selzer, described how the Camden, N.J., health information exchange (HIE) has managed a sustainable return on investment because their costs are low, and they have found a way to add value, through simple ADT (admissions/discharge/transfer) transactions messages, with their existing business relationships within that community.”

Read the entire article:  What will drive HIE growth? Business value for providers

Identifying ROI On Your EHR is Critical

Most hospitals are not adequately identifying and tracking the ROI of their EHR , yet it is a critical step in realizing the financial value of this enormous investment.

In this informative article from FierceEMR, Susan D. Hall relays that:

Healthcare executives aren’t happy with their organizations’ efforts to determine return on investment (ROI) of electronic health records systems and say the process should have started earlier, according to a new report from Beacon Partners.

Clinical Documentation for Higher Reimbursements

In her insightful article for HealthLeaders Media on October 29, 2012.

Karen Minich-Pourshadi clearly portrays how electronic physician documentation can generate significant financial benefits and help generate a favorable ROI for your EHR.

As a healthcare organization moves from fee-for-service reimbursement to population health–based care, it must accurately define how sick its population is—not only to take good care of these individuals but also to be reimbursed correctly. If clinicians undervalue the population through the clinical documentation, then the government and payers will follow suit, and that can cost a hospital or health system millions.

Borgess Health, a health system based in Kalamazoo, Mich., was able to uncover more than $6 million in reimbursement by getting physicians to improve their documentation. Chances are that for your organization, it’s as simple—and complicated—as that.

Anthony Oliva, DO, CMO at Borgess Health, is no stranger to clinical documentation improvement. In 2004 he was vice president of medical affairs at Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover, Del., where the organization refocused its documentation process by taking a clinical perspective rather than concentrating on primary coding.

Bayhealth added a clinical documentation management program from J.A. Thomas to help get to the heart of assessing and reporting severity of illness (SOI) and expected versus observed mortality rates, to more accurately determine hospital and physician performance. So when Oliva arrived at Borgess Health, it was only natural that he looked at clinical documentation.