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MANAGING PATIENTS

How medical practices can improve pricing transparency

By Tolu Ajiboye At least 10 million Americans have lost their health insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic and no longer have employer-sponsored health coverage linked to job loss as a result of the pandemic. With these shifts, more and more patients are paying for healthcare services out-of-pocket. Patients’ price sensitivity will also likely be heightened by these circumstances, which could have a negative impact on medication adherence. Consequently, it is critically important for medical practices to assess their current price transparency level and develop ways to improve it. Recent data reveals that nearly all patients want information about costs for healthcare services. An Accenture survey reported that “91% of consumers would like pricing information from providers in advance of care”. Here are some ways you can increase price transparency… . . . read more.

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Manual tasks office managers can do away with

By Tolu Ajiboye As an office manager, your task list is endless. You have to manage appointment scheduling, patient intake, billing, and so much more. On top of this, you have to ensure that these specific processes—and the practice operations as a whole— are continuously optimized to cut costs and grow the practice.  Accordingly, you’re likely on the lookout for ways you can replace manual processes with more efficient, technology-driven ones. Here’s a list of manual tasks you don’t have to handle anymore: Paper-based patient intake Manual, paper-based patient intake processes are energy and time inefficient. They require manual (and sometimes double) entry of patient information. They also increase the likelihood of errors making it onto your system. Instead, you can get online intake forms automatically sent to patients ahead… . . . read more.

TECHNOLOGY

Why remote monitoring is a must-have for clinical asset management

By Scott Trevino Remote monitoring for clinical assets and other medical devices is critical for healthcare providers, and it isn’t hard to understand why when you step back and realise all remote monitoring can do for a health system. Recently, a hospital in Indiana used remote monitoring to detect an MR scanner’s compressor was turning off periodically. A technician scheduled a compressor replacement, but through remote monitoring, the team could see the MR scanner continued to be a problem. Technicians finally determined the pressure-relief valve was faulty and stuck open—which is a rare occurrence. The discovery of the faulty valve was a huge win, because it avoided unplanned downtime and potentially more serious consequences like magnet quench. Without remote monitoring, the issue may have gone unnoticed until it was too… . . . read more.

ONBOARDING

9 tips for virtual onboarding of new remote employees

Designate someone who will communicate with the new employee in terms of the expectations of their first day, first month, and beyond. Consider assigning the new employee a mentor or ‘buddy’ in their department who will check in regularly and answer any questions. Consider having a representative from upper management meet the new hire. Showing they are valued in the organization will help new employees feel welcomed and motivated. Ensure consistent communication and updates from company leaders. Digitize your onboarding process. Utilize the tools available to you by amalgamating onboarding documents and welcome packages into organized PDF documents that can be easily shared digitally. Arrange to have a laptop configured and shipped to their home in a timely manner, and coordinate secure sharing of any profile logins or passwords. Avoid setting… . . . read more.

CMS

Two new telehealth resources for your practice and your patients

In response to the increased use and expanded coverage of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, From Coverage to Care (C2C) released two new resources to support providers and patients in making the most of virtual care: Telehealth for Providers: What You Need to Know – Providers can learn how and when to use telehealth. Topics include how to set up telehealth services, how to conduct a successful visit, and how to keep up to date on telehealth payment (particularly for Medicare and Medicaid). Telehealth: What to Know for Your Family – Patients can find out the types of care they can receive through telehealth, how to prepare for an appointment, what to expect during a visit, and more. This resource is also available in Spanish. Providers and partners can download graphics to post… . . . read more.

TECHNOLOGY

5 tech resources improving medical practice efficiency this year

By Alison Foster bio There was a notable increase in the adoption of healthcare technology by practices and providers in 2020. This continues in 2021, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up. Many practices are short on both human and financial resources and need to increase efficiency to the maximum. Here are some forms of healthcare technology you can rely on to optimize your practice’s efficiency in 2021. Cloud computing Keeping patient data safe and accessible is critical in healthcare. Traditional methods of storing patient data often have challenging retrieval and sharing processes. Cloud computing solves many of these problems and is fast becoming the go-to choice for many practices. Electronic health records stored on the clouds means that providers and authorized personnel can access patient data… . . . read more.

TECHNOLOGY

Healthcare providers will see these 4 trends in 2021

By Dave Klumpe bio The ongoing pandemic continues to influence technology trends in the healthcare landscape, accelerating changes and, in some cases, exacerbating challenges the industry has wrestled with for years. In the best of times, managing the many thousands of clinical devices in a health system’s portfolio could be an uphill battle. During the pandemic, the importance of medical device availability and reliability has increased exponentially. Some systems were better prepared than others to handle the tremendous pressures of the past 12 months, and all have had to endure difficult circumstances, whether they had sufficient technology support for clinical asset management or not. As I look at what’s coming for the rest of 2021 (and beyond), here are a few healthcare technology trends providers will need to be mindful… . . . read more.

How to keep your email compliant with HIPAA

By Ron Slyker bio If you are a medical office manager, you have more than likely heard the term “HIPAA compliance.” Most relate it to the protection of patient health information (PHI) within the office, but HIPAA compliance extends beyond internal communications. Ensuring email is HIPAA compliant is one of the most overlooked components of HIPAA compliance. A common misunderstanding is that an email is secure when you are sending it. Nevertheless, if the right protective layers are not configured, this is not the case. HIPAA compliant email communication is a necessity in today’s technical environment. Encryption Email Encryption is almost always mandatory to be HIPAA Compliant. Simply put, when an email is encrypted, the contents are masked to everyone but the recipient. There are two types of encryption: Transport… . . . read more.

Telecommuting

Cybersecurity risks rise when medical admin staff work from home

By Ron Slyker The number of people who work from home has slowly increased from year to year. In 2020 that number skyrocketed as companies including medical offices were forced to implement telecommuting policies. Making the transition from traditional office to home office has brought some challenges, but arguably the most challenging aspect of the process has been maintaining cybersecurity. Now in 2021 the need for remote worker security is more important than ever. Keep yourself safe with network security assessments Employees who work from home are more susceptible to cyber threats than employees who work in the office. The reason is businesses can afford enterprise-level cybersecurity services. The average home not only does not have access to this level of security but may also lack basic security measures. When working from… . . . read more.

TELEWORK

Professionals working from home logging long hours including weekends

Although your practice is open to patients, some of your office staffers may be working from home. And they may be putting in longer hours than usual. A new study by global staffing firm Robert Half shows employees are working around the clock while at home. More than half (55 per cent) of professionals who transitioned to a remote setup as a result of the pandemic said they work on the weekend. In addition, one-third (34 per cent) of remote employees reported regularly putting in more than eight hours a day. “Despite the significant benefits of working remotely, such as saving time spent commuting and increased flexibility, it can also lead to putting in longer hours,” said David King, senior district president of Robert Half. “Heavier workloads have become a… . . . read more.


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