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Health Management Technology News
  June 20, 2014
In this issue:
 New report shows premium affordability, competition and choice in the marketplace in 2013-2014

 Use technology to improve healthcare, report urges

 Healthcare managers expect 'value-based' contracts to hurt profits

 The benefits of revenue cycle management for healthcare

 Imperial pioneer in medical technology takes the top spot

 15 largest for-profit hospital operators in 2014

What you need to know about ICD-10
Download this white paper on switching from using ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes for all medical services. The deadline for completing the switch is October 1, 2015, which will be here sooner than you think. Healthcare facilities need to start planning their communication strategy now to be fully prepared to meet the upcoming transition.

Read the white paper.   Sponsor

Seven Strategies to Improve Patient Satisfaction
Hospital reimbursements are now influenced, in part, by patient satisfaction scores. Read about seven areas to target in your hospital for happier, more satisfied patients.

Read the white paper.   Sponsor

New report shows premium affordability, competition and choice in the marketplace in 2013-2014

A new report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds that people who selected silver plans, the most popular plan type in the federal Marketplace, with tax credits paid an average premium of $69 per month. In the federal Marketplace, 69 percent of enrollees who selected Marketplace plans with tax credits had premiums of $100 a month or less, and 46 percent of $50 a month or less after tax credits. Today’s report also looks at competition and choice nationwide among health insurance plans in 2013-2014, and finds that most individuals shopping in the Marketplace had a wide range of health plans from which to choose. On average, consumers could choose from five health insurers and 47 Marketplace plans. An increase of one issuer in a rating area is associated with 4 percent decline in the second-lowest cost silver plan premium, on average.

“What we’re finding is that the Marketplace is working. Consumers have more choices, and they’re paying less for their premiums,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Nearly 7 in 10 consumers who signed up for Marketplace coverage are paying $100 or less for that coverage. When there is choice and competition, everybody benefits.”

According to today’s report, on average, monthly premiums for people who selected plans with tax credits fell 76 percent after tax credits, dropping the cost of the average monthly premium from $346 before tax credits to $82 after tax credits across all plan types. People who selected silver plans, the most popular plan type in the federal Marketplace, with tax credits paid an average premium of $69 per month.

The Marketplace is also providing consumers more easily comparable, quality health plan choices than ever before. In 2014, there were a total of 266 issuers in the Marketplace by state, offering over 19,000 Marketplace plans across all ratings areas, excluding catastrophic plans. Overall, 82 percent of people eligible to purchase a qualified health plan could choose from 3 or more health insurance issuers, and 96 percent could choose from 2 or more health insurers in the Marketplace. In 2014, new issuers represent almost 26 percent of all issuers in the Marketplace, and the new Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) tended to have lower premiums than other plans. Early reports from the states suggest that additional issuers will be entering the Marketplace in 2015.

Read the full press release from HHS here  

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Use technology to improve healthcare, report urges

That is one suggestion contained in a new report from College of Medicine’s sustainable healthcare steering group. It suggests that e-consultations could improve patient satisfaction rates and reduce the likelihood that patients will not turn up for appointments.

The growth in the use of smartphones and tablets, and messaging software such as Skype, offers scope for people with long-term conditions to consult healthcare professionals without having to visit a healthcare setting, it says.

The College of Medicine’s Recipes for Sustainable Healthcare report was published on 17 June. Phil Gray, the CSP’s former chief executive, was a member of the group before he retired earlier this year.

Against a background of static funding for the NHS in England, and a potential shortfall of up to £54 billion by 2021, the report says nearly 15 million people in England have a long-term condition and this number is set to rise.

The group was set up to explore how the quality of healthcare for people with long-term conditions could be improved in the context of a system that is under sustained pressure.

In addition to harnessing technology, the report has two other themes: embedding a patient-centered approach, which it says will require a change in the way clinicians are trained; and equipping patients to set their own goals and manage their conditions.

Read the full article from here  

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Healthcare managers expect 'value-based' contracts to hurt profits

According to a survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory services firm, healthcare industry managers and executives are expecting profits to be hurt from the introduction of "value-based" contracting, which links reimbursement from health plans and government payers to efficiency and the quality of care.

The KPMG survey, which polled 240 representatives from hospitals, physician practices, health plans and pharmaceutical companies, found that approximately one third (33%) of healthcare managers said they expect value-based contracts to dampen operating results. In fact, more than 12 percent of the respondents expect operating income to fall 10 percent or greater from these agreements.

"As a physician, and former hospital and health plan executive, I am acutely aware of these concerns," said Dr. Cynthia Ambres, partner and member of the KPMG Global Healthcare Center of Excellence. "At KPMG, we are working with providers, health plans, and life sciences companies to address the revenue challenges they face in the short term. We understand the importance of establishing a sustainable value-based payment model and re-shaping our approach with patients and populations to achieve high-value care at lower costs."

Read the full article from IT Business Net here  

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The benefits of revenue cycle management for healthcare

Revenue in healthcare is a perfect storm of thin margins, managed care complexity, and tightening legislation. Chances are though, when you’re working with your clients, they don’t realize the full benefit potential of revenue cycle management — understandable, since the combination of technology and financial considerations can be difficult to explain.

Here are a few areas to focus on to make the task of relating the new world of revenue cycle a bit more productive for you.

Easing Integration Woes

Any provider that’s aware of revenue cycle benefits, has probably heard horror stories around implementations gone wrong (the industry is surprisingly connected, and people talk). This means, that while the tangible benefits of a strong revenue cycle technology solution are incredibly important, it’s just as important to let the client know that you not only understand the difficulties of integrating new software with their existing systems, but that you’ll also be mindful of the challenge of training personnel, disrupting long-standing workflows, and navigating the unknown bumps and bruises that come with any integration. You may have to relate this at multiple organizational levels, since the people who may think a revenue cycle solution is a great idea, are likely not the ones who’ll be facing the most change.

Read the full article from Business Solutions

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Imperial pioneer in medical technology takes the top spot

Professor Chris Toumazou, Regius Professor of Engineering, has won Inventor of the Year (Research category) in the European Inventor Awards run by the European Patent Office (EPO).The Imperial researcher, who is from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, is the only UK inventor to receive an award in this year’s scheme.

Professor Toumazou has been recognized by the EPO for developing a device called the SNP Doctor. His invention uses small silicon microchips to identify genetic mutations that determine a person’s predisposition to certain hereditary diseases. The portable, low-power device can analyze data on the spot rather than in a lab environment. The technology represents a great stride forward in medicine as it shifts emphasis from treating illnesses to preventing and diagnosing them in a targeted manner.

Professor Jeff Magee, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: “The technologies that Chris has developed over the years not only have the ability to improve patient care, they are also important for the UK economy. His work is a perfect example of translating research into viable businesses that are helping to make the UK a leader in personalized healthcare. On a personal note, I’d like to congratulate Chris for this outstanding win. Being the only engineer to be nominated in the UK for this prestigious award is a testament to his hard work and to the technical know-how of Imperial researchers.”

Read the full article from Imperial College of London here  

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15 largest for-profit hospital operators in 2014

Here are the 15 largest for-profit hospital operators based on number of short-term, acute-care hospitals as of June 2014.

The list is based on data from the American Hospital Directory. Companies are listed in descending order based on the number of short-term, acute-care hospitals.

1. Community Health Systems (Brentwood, Tenn.) — 191

2. HCA (Nashville, Tenn.) — 160

3. Tenet (Dallas) — 72

4. LifePoint Hospitals (Brentwood, Tenn.) — 56*

5. Universal Health Services (King of Prussia, Pa.) — 27

6. Prime Healthcare Services (Ontario, Calif.) — 23

7. IASIS Healthcare (Franklin, Tenn.) — 17

Read the full article from Becker’s Hospital Review here  

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June 2014  HMT digital book

White Papers

What you need to know about ICD-10

Seven Strategies to Improve Patient Satisfaction

Click here to read the white papers

Industry News

AMA outlines ways to address physician shortages

AMA adopts telemedicine policy to improve access to care for patients

CMS: Opportunity to apply for Navigator grants

AMA adopts policy to define team-based medical healthcare

HHS: $300 Million in Affordable Care Act funds to expand services


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