Tag: DAS Health
To say that 2020 has been a clunker is, well, the understatement of the year. Collectively speaking, most people around the world are more than happy to see the year overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic in their rearview mirror. For that reason, perhaps no new year in recent history has been as longingly anticipated as is 2021.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that patient access to virtual healthcare is no longer a “nice to have” innovation for the future but rather a paramount necessity of the present. The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus in March 2020 demanded that virtual health technologies like telehealth be repositioned at the forefront. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of telehealth visits during the first quarter of 2020 increased by 50 percent compared with the same period in 2019. Similarly, during a single week in March 2020, the CDC reported a 154 percent increase in telehealth visits.
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For that reason, virtual care is at the dawn of a new era in patient care and communication. The technology gives patients and providers a likable pairing: the agility to prioritize one-on-one interactions and the flexibility to support health when and where it’s most convenient—for both parties. As evidence of how prevalent virtual care will become, a Deloitte survey found that one-third of health organization executives believe that at least 25 percent of all inpatient care will be delivered virtually by 2040. Given what’s happened in 2020, that date has moved forward quite a bit.
Akin to electronic health records’ (EHR) role in technologizing charting, virtual care is the rejuvenation needed for successful patient engagement. The rapid adoption of virtual medicine by health organizations and patients means that it’s not just a Band-Aid; this highly effective patient communication technology is now the new normal.
But unlike the adoption of EHRs, healthcare organizations cannot “set and forget” patient engagement technology. Instead, we must advocate for continuously modernizing communication touchpoints. As a standard best practice, we must ensure that the availability of both accessible and personalized communication options—from scheduling through the point of care and back again—fits every patient’s unique needs and abilities.
To achieve this, healthcare organizations must pivot from thinking of healthcare as a series of experiences and reframe it as a part of the fabric of our daily lives. For virtual (and in-person) healthcare to seamlessly be a part of everyday life, we need to have the technological tools that enable persistent one-on-one patient communication and engagement to be a reality.
As hinted at earlier, the impetus for greater technology migration and adoption isn’t just coming from the healthcare industry. Awareness and hands-on experience of digital communications and texting with providers are more and more coming from patients themselves. Eighty-three percent of Americans say they expect to make telehealth visits after COVID-19 has ended. This number is remarkable when you consider the fact that just eight percent of patients had ever had a telehealth visit before the pandemic hit.
Again, virtual health isn’t just about telehealth appointments with a doctor on your cellphone. It encompasses a wide range of personalized communication tools that can improve care resulting in more positive patient experiences.
Two-way texting. Voicemail is out, texting is in. Patients increasingly want to receive appointment reminders and other messages from healthcare organizations via text. According to a 2020 report, 98 percent of all text messages are opened and 95 percent of text messages are opened and responded to within 3 minutes of being delivered. The same study also found that nine out of 10 consumers would like to communicate with businesses through text messages.
Automated calls or emails. Because the majority of patients fail to remember the recommendations and treatments physicians give them, the use of automated calls or emails is vital. Reminders of doctors’ instructions to patients can significantly help reduce this problem and also emphasize to them that you care about their health and well-being.
Educational communication. This is another virtual care touchpoint by which healthcare organizations can keep patients informed through newsletters or emails. Similar to the automated care instructions, communicating pertinent and timely health information helps underscore that you care about your patients’ health. Case in point, during the COVID-19 pandemic when patients are confused, worried, and lacking accurate information.
Appointment and billing reminders. Even automated messages reminding patients of upcoming appointments or overdue bills can deepen a relationship with your patients. The more touchpoints you can leverage to connect will trigger name recognition and remembrance. As a patient sees that you are working to reach out to them, that relationship grows.
The era of virtual health is upon us in which patients are not only more accustomed to connecting with health organizations digitally, but it’s become their preferred way of communicating. Virtual health provides a compelling opportunity for us to review our patient communication and engagement strategies and explore the many ways we can connect with them for improved care and stronger relationships
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This year shone a spotlight on cybersecurity, with federal agencies warning in October of an “increased an imminent” cyber threat to hospitals fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But not every security incident was caused by major ransomware attacks, of course. Some costly breaches were caused by much more mundane activities, such as improperly disposed materials or employee snooping.
By law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights must publish a list of breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals. It’s worth noting that not every incident on this list happened in 2020, nor has every incident that took place in 2020 been reported yet.
The list also includes both resolved incidents and those still under investigation. More than 10 million individuals were affected by the breaches in the top 10 list alone.
Ultimately, it’s clear that cybersecurity incidents aren’t going anywhere in the coming year – and they may even get more egregious. Here’s a list of the biggest healthcare breaches reported to OCR in 2020.
Name: Trinity Health
Number of individuals affected: 3,320,726
Trinity’s philanthropy database vendor, Blackbaud, notified the health system in July that it had been the victim of a cyberattack, potentially obtaining access to patient and donor information. In a security notice, Blackbaud said that it had paid the ransom to have the data copy destroyed (a strategy that experts do not generally advise).
Name: Inova Health
Number of individuals affected: 1,045,270
Inova was affected by the same Blackbaud security incident. The Virginia-based system determined that the threat actor may have accessed personal information of patients and donors.
Name: Magellan Health
Number of individuals affected: 1,013,956
In April, the Arizona system discovered it was the victim of a ransomware attack. An investigation revealed that the incident may have affected personal information.
Name: Dental Care Alliance
Number of individuals affected: 1,004,304
The Florida-based support organization, which is affiliated with more than 320 practices in 20 states, reported this fall that it had been the victim of an ongoing attack.
Name: Luxottica of America
Number of individuals affected: 829,454
Luxottica of America, which operates vision care facilities, was targeted by class-action lawsuits following the breach of its online scheduling application.
Name: Northern Light Health
Number of individuals affected: 657,392
The Maine health system was yet another healthcare organization impacted by the Blackbaud ransomware incident.
Name: Health Share of Oregon
Number of individuals affected: 654,362
One of the few incidents on the list not related to hacking, this breach stemmed from the theft of a laptop stolen from Health Share’s non-emergent medical transportation vendor in November 2019. The personal information located on the computer included names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, social security numbers, and Health Share ID numbers, although personal health histories were not exposed.
Name: Florida Orthopaedic Institute
Number of individuals affected: 640,000
In April, the system discovered that a ransomware attack had encrypted data on its servers. After an investigation, FOI determined that personal information may have been accessed during the incident.
Name: Elkhart Emergency Physicians
Number of individuals affected: 550,000
A third-party vendor was discovered to have improperly disposed of some patient files, affecting Elkhart records from 2002 through 2010.
Number of individuals affected: 484,157
Aetna, which contracts with EyeMed to provide vision benefit services for members, said an EyeMed email mailbox was accessed by an unauthorized individual earlier this year.
TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 01, 2020 – DAS Health Ventures, Inc., an industry leader in health IT and management, announced today it completed the acquisition of Randall Technology Services, LLC (RandallTech) a healthcare and managed IT company based in Amarillo, TX. As part of DAS’ growth strategy, this most recent expansion further strengthens their position in the US healthcare technology space.
DAS Health actively serves more than 1,800 clients, and nearly 3,500 clinicians and 20,000 users nationwide, with offices in Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas, and a significant employee presence in 14 key states. This acquisition adds Allscripts® PM and EHR solutions to the DAS portfolio of supported products, and DAS Health has now added additional staff in Texas that will create opportunities for greater regional support of its entire solutions portfolio.
“We are continuously growing and working towards providing additional benefits for new and existing clients.” stated David Schlaifer, DAS Health President and CEO. “We are excited to bring our additional suite of services to the RandallTech clients, and to bring the RandallTech solutions and team members into the DAS family, as we continue to strengthen our existing presence.”
“We are thrilled to be joining the DAS Health family. This acquisition will provide new levels of support for our clients.” said Randy Whipple, Owner of Randall Technology Services; “I am confident that our clients and employees will have nothing but continuing success with DAS.”
Randall Technology’s clients will gain an increased depth of support, and a substantially improved value proposition, as DAS Health’s award-winning offerings are robust, including managed IT / MSP services, practice management and EHR software sales, training, support and hosting, revenue cycle management (RCM), security risk assessments (SRA), cybersecurity, MIPS/MACRA reporting & consulting, mental & behavioral health screenings, chronic care management, telemedicine, and other value-based and patient engagement solutions.
About DAS Health
DAS Health has been a leading provider of Health IT and management solutions and a trusted consultant to independent physician groups, hospitals and healthcare systems across North America since 2003.
Headquartered in Tampa, FL, with regional offices in Las Vegas, New Hampshire and Texas, and employees in 14 states, DAS delivers superior Information Technology, MSP, RCM medical billing, value-based care, patient engagement, compliance, and practice management solutions for nearly 20,000 users nationwide. It includes representation and support of various Practice Management and EHR platforms, including NextGen® Office, Henry Schein MicroMD®, and now Allscripts®, and is the largest reseller of Aprima® and e-MDs’ Lytec, Medisoft, and Practice Partner solutions; providing numerous other services in conjunction with AdvancedMD®, Athenahealth®, eClinicalWorks™, GreenwayHealth™, and many other platforms. Visit DAShealth.com to learn more. www.DAShealth.com
Aprima® is a registered trademark of Aprima Medical Software, Inc., an eMDs Company; eMDs, eMDs Plus, Lytec, Practice Partner and Medisoft are trademarks of eMDs, Inc. NextGen® Office is a registered trademark of QSI Management, LLC. MicroMD® is a registered trademark of Henry Schein Medical Systems, Inc. AdvancedMD® is a registered trademark of AdvancedMD, Inc. Athenahealth® is a registered trademark of Athenahealth, Inc. Allscripts® is a registered trademark of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. eClinicalWorks™ is a trademark of eClinicalWorks, LLC. GreenwayHealth™ is a trademark of Greenway Health, LLC.
Every day, organizations across the world continue to achieve technological advancements and breakthroughs. Although these developments are not specific to any one industry, we tend to see this occur most often in healthcare.
While technology has without a doubt improved healthcare manufacturers’ processes and the level of care patients receive within a clinical environment, there is also an associated level of upkeep regarding both internal functions and IT infrastructure and systems to ensure the necessary levels of support are being met for uninterrupted service.
How Can Managed IT Services Help?
Managed IT services are obtained through a managed service provider (MSP) and offer numerous avenues to provide technical support or supplement an existing IT solution. This could include server and computer support, network monitoring, implementing backup and disaster recovery solutions, and much more.
Our Managed IT services offer numerous avenues to provide technical support or supplement an existing IT solution.
Here are some of the primary benefits of incorporating managed IT services into any healthcare organization’s overall strategy for an effective IT solution.
A major benefit of partnering with an MSP for managed IT services in the healthcare industry is the ability to keep up with rapidly evolving technology and meet the demands of your end users, whether they are employees, patients, or both.
One way this can be accomplished is by working with your MSP to migrate to a cloud solution. They will assess your data, storage, and applications to determine which can be cloud-based, stay on-premise, or if a hybrid approach that combines the two is best for your organization. From there, the MSP should create a migration and implementation plan, which they will execute for you to ensure a smooth transition.
Housing your organization’s applications in the cloud is extremely helpful in any healthcare environment, not just for internal staff, but for patients, too. Storing patient data on the cloud allows healthcare providers to have nearly instantaneous access to their files, while patients can easily acquire their lab records and prescriptions through telemedicine. Cloud solutions and digitized patient files also provide more seamless communication amongst other sectors in the healthcare industry, such as insurance, billing, and pharmacies.
A cloud solution also can provide advantages for healthcare companies outside of direct patient care, such as healthcare manufacturers and suppliers. Members of these organizations can benefit from increased convenience and flexibility, as email, files, and applications can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Furthermore, a cloud solution protects against hackers and data breaches and prevents data loss.
Another benefit of adopting a cloud solution is its scalability. In a typical cloud environment, there is very little cost associated with getting started and most plans are consumption-based, meaning you only pay for the resources you use. This allows your IT infrastructure to grow with you and makes it the ideal solution for healthcare facilities that may need to add or remove staff based on patient levels, economic climate, or other factors.
In today’s technology-driven landscape, it is becoming increasingly important – yet difficult – for healthcare organizations to achieve and maintain compliance.
Many hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities are adopting cloud solutions for increased efficiency and cost savings, but they must continue to adhere to HIPAA requirements to protect patients’ personal health information, referred to as PHI.
Health information technology – or health IT – is also widely used within the healthcare industry and involves the processing, storage, and exchange of health information in an electronic environment.
With sensitive data at stake, there are concerns surrounding cloud security, which is why it is crucial to make sure you are taking the correct steps. Partnering with a managed service provider who is familiar with HIPAA requirements and is also designated as a cloud service provider (CSP) will ensure your technologies and security processes and procedures meet compliance standards.
Access To Resources
Managed service providers are professionals in all things IT, so when you partner with a credible MSP, you can rest assured you are receiving insight from knowledgeable and experienced subject matter experts.
Depending on your contract, you can call on these experts 24/7 with any IT issue or question and expect to receive a prompt response and quick resolution, which is essential to have in a healthcare facility where operations rely largely on technology.
Since much of a healthcare organization’s capital budget is dedicated to sourcing and procuring long-term medical equipment and research, partnering with an MSP allows IT expenses to shift to an operating cost, making it easier to obtain related services and support.
Another benefit of contracting managed services through an MSP is gaining access to their industry-leading ITSM toolsets, namely service desk and corresponding ticketing systems. This can lead to exponential cost savings as there is no investment required for your tools, while also leveraging the MSP’s proven methodologies for enhanced service levels.
There are constant threats to healthcare IT systems, from ransomware to data loss. Knowing hospitals and clinics store sensitive information, such as patients’ medical records and financial statements, potentially make them an even bigger target to hackers and cyberattacks.
Managed services allow your organization to be proactive when it comes to your system’s health and security. MSPs provide 24/7 monitoring and maintenance of your critical IT infrastructure, providing peace of mind that your critical data, applications, and systems are safe. If a potential threat is identified, the MSP will work with you to execute a plan of action to ensure your systems remain unharmed.
It is also necessary for healthcare organizations to invest in backup and disaster recovery solutions, which an MSP also can establish and maintain for you. If your data or infrastructure is compromised due to an emergency – whether manmade or natural – a backup and disaster recovery solution will be able to replicate and reinstate your data for minimized technical downtime and ensured business continuity.
Do More With Managed IT Services
From cost savings to increased security to improved end user satisfaction, these are just a handful of the benefits managed services can afford your healthcare facility.
Healthcare practitioners should strive to handle administrative operations, stay up-to-date with the coding and billing regulations, and manage financial tasks alongside the medical obligations of the practice. It seems like a bit of a stressful task, right? Certainly, yes! But it is essential to manage every aspect of your practice to drive fruitful outcomes. But don’t worry, there is always a possibility of a solution to every problem these days. Having said that, a medical billing company can shed aways administrative burden on the shoulders of physicians with reliable solutions.
It helps practitioners to acquire the help of subject-matter experts to manage the non-medical obligations of their business. In this way, providers can also get access to a dedicated workforce of well-experienced billers and software solutions at the fraction of their existing IT expenses.
In addition to this, professional medical billing agencies let you straighten up your operations in light of the guidelines issued by federal regulatory bodies. Otherwise, if physicians can’t subject their in-house staff to change or upgrade, it will affect their revenue, reputation, and most of all the quality of their healthcare services.
To hold your practice back from such damages, practitioners should consider the 5 following ways a medical billing agency can benefit their business.
Have you ever observed why you haven’t grown your business in terms of revenue even if you are providing services to an increased number of patients? After a proper medical billing assessment, physicians can get hints about what is going wrong and where they need to make improvements in order to expand their business.
Most frequently, practitioners can easily analyze that if there is a problem with revenue cycle management procedures then they can never meet their objectives. Any slight error during the revenue cycle management process can cause huge economic damage to your practice. How? Let me explain it to you.
Most billers do not have prior certification or experience in this field. Therefore, healthcare providers think that anybody can handle billing and coding services. Hence, they hire unqualified employees for on-premise medical biller jobs and hand over their administrative responsibilities. Now, providers have to consistently train these employees from the beginning of billing responsibilities to the ongoing regulatory changes in coding. It thrusts double stress upon the physicians and they fail to focus on their core capabilities _ quality patient care services.
Thus, once they hire a medical billing company then they can relinquish their administrative responsibilities to professional medical billers who have hands-on industry experience and in-depth knowledge.
Compliance With The Industrial Upgrades:
It is possible that you might not be generating as much revenue as you invest. It might be happening due to a multitude of following reasons;
- Incorrect coding.
- Non-compliance with HIPAA regulations.
- Outdated healthcare revenue cycle management.
Always keep in mind that accurate documentation is essential to get your claims reimbursed. In order to file and submit accurate claims, providers need a complete suite of knowledge of up to date regulatory standards. They need to ensure HIPAA compliance throughout their practice while dealing with PHI or ePHI. A well-established medical billing company can always guide you to stay on top of the industrial trends. It is their primary responsibility to use an accurate set of codes. You must come up with trust in a HIPAA-compliant medical billing agency while providing patient’s confidential healthcare information. Since they comply with information security protocols under federal policies.
The most time and money consuming task in the healthcare practice is to maintain the quality of the healthcare system. In order to streamline billing and coding services, practitioners need to adopt, maintain, and upgrade their software solutions most frequently. It requires a huge amount of capital investment to execute this procedure. Hence, if providers want to excel in their services, then they should outsource to a medical billing company for upscale solutions. A proper technology assessment can help providers to get insights into this area of improvement of their practice.
Assessing workflow management can help physicians to get an idea that they can enhance the productivity of the staff by focusing their attention on medical aspects of the business. If they would have to distort their efforts and time in financial as well as healthcare obligations can slow down the workflow. This factor also impacts the performance of your overall practice in a significantly negative way.
Therefore, practitioners should perform a medical billing audit before outsourcing revenue collection management services. After proper analysis, they should partner with an agency that can fulfill the requirements of your business.
Specialty- Specific Administrative Support:
Expert billing professionals understand the unique requirements of your specialty and submit claims as per your needs. Therefore, you should always settle for a reliable company that provides a comprehensive suite of revenue cycle management services for your specialty. For instance, they should understand the fundamentals of documentation requirements for your specialty and provide custom-tailored services to impact your practice positively.
Improved Technical Abilities:
When healthcare organizations prefer to decide to outsource medical billing services then they expect a high return-on-revenue. It is possible when the medical billing company tends to submit accurate claims to the insurance payers.
Undoubtedly, subject-matter experts help you to improve your technical ability by providing innovative healthcare IT solutions i.e. EHR (electronic healthcare records). It allows you to share, monitor and use confidential data in a secure way across your network.
This secure system enables you to perform secure data transmission and streamline revenue cycle management to improve the technical aspects of your business. Thus, you can successfully reduce human errors by implementing interoperability technology. As a result, you can speed up your workflow and pinpoint the potential error areas.
It is the most challenging task for healthcare practitioners to train resources as per the latest standards. Although, it is also essential to reduce errors and maintain the accuracy of medical claims. Every year, you see a different set of coding guidelines. In order to stay up to date with this knowledge, billers and coders must have a dedicated and characteristic to adopt dynamic strategies.
Fortunately, most of the medical billing companies can help you earn more revenue as they have dedicated experts who keep abreast of this specific industry knowledge. It helps to reduce the ratio of claim denials that occur due to out to date administrative practices.
Either you are a grown practice or a minnow in the fast-paced healthcare industry. Adopting the right healthcare IT solution would result in tangible outcomes. A single decision is certainly needed to ignite the revenue collection procedure. Once it is started, you are able to generate more revenue through increased reimbursements.
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A new survey of 500 executives in the healthcare industry found that the switch to telehealth necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has been a largely positive one, and the majority said at least some of the changes would be permanent.
The survey, conducted by marketing agency Boston Digital and released Monday, found that 57% of executives said telehealth had increased the quality of patient care. But the results weren’t all rosy: About a quarter said it had no impact, and 15% said it had decreased the quality of patient care.
“Even as patients begin to schedule in-person appointments once again, our survey indicates that not only are telehealth programs here to stay, but also that most healthcare organizations plan on investing in the expansion of telehealth capabilities,” said Peter Prodromou, president at Boston Digital, to Healthcare IT News.
“However, there are barriers that are inhibiting the success of telehealth programs,” Prodromou noted.
Among those barriers, said executives, is patients’ ability to use new technologies.
“To overcome barriers, including a patient’s ability to understand new programs and associated technology, healthcare providers must implement a seamless user experience and a robust digital marketing strategy that effectively communicates to their diverse patient community,” said Prodromou.
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WHY IT MATTERS
The novel coronavirus triggered a cascade of changes around the provision of care, particularly where telehealth is concerned. The systems Boston Digital surveyed were no exception: More than half said their organizations had created new portals or microsites in response to the pandemic.
Most respondents said more than 40% of these changes would likely be made permanent – although, of course, it’s worth considering that the future of telehealth access also depends on the existence of federal restrictions and other public initiatives, such as broadband expansion. Just over half of respondents said they felt the government should play a substantial role in infrastructure development.
Only 8% of respondents said telehealth initiatives were not important to their organization, although most organizations were not technologically prepared for the shift.
As far as barriers to implementation go, in addition to patient technological prowess, execs cited difficulty treating patients in rural or low-income communities, lack of available staff training, lack of access to dependable WiFi for patients and high costs as some of their biggest hurdles.
THE LARGER TREND
There’s no question that virtual care has continued to play a major role in health services and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. There is, however, a lingering mystery about what telehealth provision will look like.
At the American Telemedicine Association conference earlier this year, president Dr. Joseph Kvedar noted the importance of thinking beyond synchronous, one-on-one video interactions.
“We have the opportunity to reimagine healthcare delivery,” said Kvedar.
Chief information officers shared some of those imaginings with Healthcare IT News this week, proposing features such as multidisciplinary group chats and artificial intelligence-driven interpreters as a couple of options for future care.
ON THE RECORD
“The implications for healthcare providers are profound as they rethink business plans to accommodate new expectations, including developing more robust digital presences for effective engagement. It will be very interesting to see how these trends impact the historic long-term growth of healthcare spending and costs, as well as general wellness,” said Prodromou in a statement.
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