In a recent press release, Manhattan Endoscopy Center (MEC) highlights how they teamed up with CipherHealth to optimize their patient outreach process. Prior to teaming up with CipherHealth, the Manhattan-based endoscopy center once used RNs to make pre- and post-procedure calls to patients. However, with a growing volume of 15,000-16,000 procedures annually, the organization looked for ways to optimize patient outreach.
Using CipherHealth’s patient outreach solution, Voice, MEC is able to quickly identify and triage patient issues to the appropriate staff members in real-time. By leveraging Voice as the initial mode for outreach, MEC is able to leverage their staff time more efficiently, while still ensuring timely resolution.
The program is utilized to capture patient needs and is fully customizable to meet the goals of improving patient flow and engagement while lowering costs. For MEC, the program allows for quick issue resolution through pre-op and post-op calls that help confirm appointments and educate patients, among other key program goals.
Read on to see how your ambulatory surgery center can use CipherHealth’s patient engagement solutions to engage with high patient volumes efficiently.
The August 2017 edition of Home Care Magazine, features an article written by Well Care Home Health’s director of Performance Improvement and Education, Dan Thompson, RN, BSN. Entitled “COPD Care: Basics to Partnerships”, the article discusses how Well Care is working to improve the lives of COPD patients and save cost.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects 30 million people in the United States and affects 6.5% of the North Carolina population. Directly costing the U.S. $32 billion a year, Well Care set out to minimize costs and enhance patient outcome by decreasing readmissions and improving patient’s quality of life.
To achieve their goals, Well Care focuses on engaging with patients throughout their journey of care. Keeping this in mind, the organization sought solutions that would help them in making effective use of staff time and driving positive outcomes.
CipherHealth was mentioned as an innovative and forward-thinking organization that is helping Well Care achieve their goals. Through CipherHealth’s automated call software, Voice, Well Care was able to achieve an impressing 90% engagement rate within four months. Voice is a multi-touch follow-up program. The software gives staff members flexibility to reach 100% of patients.
Well Care used the automated calls to gain insight on patient satisfaction and well-being. Using the platform, the agency was able to cut cost and time by eliminating their inefficient manual process.
Alongside CipherHealth, Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) and Pharmacy at Home were also highlighted for their contributions in helping Well Care achieve their goals.
It is no secret that healthcare is moving from a volume to a value-based system. Although the transition will likely be slow moving and bureaucratic, it isn’t something providers can ignore if they plan to thrive over time. Over the past few years the term “population health” has been used to describe the health of a specific population. The initiatives in place range across healthcare utilizers, young and old, high-risk and low-risk, while spanning the care continuum.
As regulations continue to change and incentives begin to align with value-based care, population health will become a larger part of providers’ healthcare strategy. Below we explore three reasons why you should start investing in your population sooner rather than later.
Small investments now will have great return in the future
We are already in the midst of one of the largest payment reforms in healthcare. While voluntary bundled payment programs have been running across the country, this past April began the first example of mandatory bundled payment programs from CMS. This surely isn’t the end of mandatory initiatives and hospitals nationwide will be thrust into a new incentive structure.Investing in population health initiatives now will give providers an opportunity to set up the right infrastructure before these changes occur. HIE’s, data gathering, and risk-analysis all provide the opportunity to better understand population health needs and traits associated with high-risk patients. Providers who start these initiatives now will be better qualified to prevent patients from becoming high-risk and understand the types of programs that can successfully improve the health of various patient populations, setting themselves up for success in the future.
Start cashing in on payment incentives There are already a variety of payment incentives available to providers to start cashing in on. Many states offer programs such as DSRIP that encourage care coordination and innovation. Taking advantage of these offers enable providers to start trying new programs and identifying ways to improve outcomes for their entire population with little to no upfront investment.Additionally, population health initiatives will likely positively impact current CMS incentive programs such as VBP bonuses through HCAHPS increases and the HRRP (Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program). Starting simple population health programs such as patient outreach calls or texts can potentially provide your organization with additional revenue through an extra boost on current payment incentives.
Cultivate a loyal community Population health initiatives are not limited to what happens directly before, after, or during an inpatient stay. They can be a way to actively engage the community in programs that improve outcomes and cultivate a culture of support. This in turn helps keep patient loyal to the hospital, an important thing to consider as transparency and consumerism in healthcare become more prominent.
Population health is going to be a topic of conversation for the forseeable future. It is a large part of value-based payments and over time will be a conerstone to provider success. Even small investments now will have a great impact on the future, and providers that start thinking about their goals now will be well-prepared as payment incentives change.
For information on how we can help you get started on your population health initiatives, contact us today.
With flu season underway, healthcare providers are using various strategies to encourage vaccination, which theCDC recommends for anyone 6 months of age and older. Staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center went a step beyond the typical educational flyers, creating their very own music video to promote flu shots. Move over Taylor Swift!
For tips on how to improve vaccination rates with patient outreach, contact us today.
Hospitals across the country are being financially penalized by the Medicare Hospital Readmisisons Reduction Program (HRRP) for higher than expected 30-day readmission rates. In 2014, over half of the nation’s hospitals were penalized a total of $428 million for not meeting the 30-day readmission goals.
Recently, the University Health Consortium (UHC) recognized the need to help organizations reduce hospital readmissions through post-discharge outreach. Instead of relying on in-hospital care, UHC recognizes that the recovery period is where healthcare organizations can have a large impact on identifying and reducing avoidable readmissions. Understanding the need for a solution, however, is different from having one to utilize. This is where CipherHealth’s journey began.
Reducing readmissions is not an easy task, especially under the assumption that inpatient care alone will achieve this goal. If patients return home without a solid understanding of medications, follow-up care plans, or pain management, they may struggle to manage chronic illness or other conditions. Improper adherence to care plans may then lead to unnecessary hospital readmissions.
In 2009, the founders of CipherHealth saw an opportunity to positively impact millions of patients. It was then that former cancer survivors, consultants, EMTs came together to develop Voice, a post-discharge follow-up solution, to reach patients at home and identify those at high-risk of readmission. Once patients are identified as high-risk, the hospital can reach out to those specific individuals to meet their needs remotely.
Traditionally, floor nurses have been tasked with following up with all discharged patients. With nurses’ demanding work days, there is little time to manually reach 100% of the discharged patient population. Voice is successfully reducing readmissions for hospitals for a fraction of the cost of a floor nurse’s time. Automated follow-up calls save energy for the nursing staff, and maximize the time they can dedicate to inpatient care.
CipherHealth customizes post-discharge call scripts for specific patient populations that are especially vulnerable to readmissions, such as heart failure and pneumonia patients. Follow-up outreach is not limited to the inpatient population, and these calls are also sent to emergency department patients, same-day surgery patients, new moms, and more. This comprehensive outreach has helped hospitals successfully reduce readmissions upwards of 80%.
CipherHealth is proud to be a UHC preferred vendor provider to help hospitals meet the very important goal of reducing readmissions and improving patient care. To learn more about our post-discharge follow-up strategies, or for a demo of Voice, contact us today.
The New York State Delivery Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program is said to be the most ambitious state DSRIP program thus far. After watching California, Texas, New Jersey and a few other states go through their first five-year DSRIP programs, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) decided to significantly redesign the program, and New York would be the guinea pig. A large part of this redesign would be tougher metrics to meet, and paying the Performing Provider Systems (PPSs) in small increments for performance.
The goal of NY State DSRIP is to reduce avoidable hospital admissions by 25% over the five years of the program. While the many projects, committees and deliverables seem like a lot of work and money for only a 25% reduction, reducing hospital admissions across the state is no easy feat. Achieving this goal will require significant investment in preventative medicine and behavioral health, i.e. teaching people who regularly use hospitals for healthcare how to take care of their own health at home. And if care is needed, to try to visit less expensive facilities.
As this transformation begins, targeted patient outreach will be a key component. The few dozen DSRIP projects are focused on a variety of specific goals for specific patient populations, from reducing premature births through prenatal education and maternal health, to increasing tobacco cessation, to encouraging exercise and developing a healthier diet for chronic disease patients.
A crucial component of these projects’ successes following initial education will be keeping patients on track by checking on them regularly to make sure they have not fallen off their health goals or care plans. To successfully meet DSRIP project goals, a consistent method of patient outreach must be established. The consistent outreach is important not only to check in with patients and remind and encourage them to stay on track to becoming healthy, empowered people, but also to have a sophisticated enough alerting system for when those patients become high-risk for a hospital admission or readmission.
The more I have learned about the New York State DSRIP program over the past year, the more I have realized the incredible need for solutions like my company, CipherHealth’s, Voice solution. Voice uses the scale, data analytics and alerting capabilities that technology enables to ask the right questions to a certain patient population, or for a certain DSRIP project or initiative.
As the DSRIP project managers begin outreach to their target populations in the community, I wonder how, without a technology-enabled solution like Voice, the PPSs will be able to get the right data analytics and spot trends on who they are reaching and what patients are saying at home. How will these PPSs successfully scale to engage tens of thousands of people daily, or route those patients in need of immediate attention to the right person at each organization? How will they set automated reminders for when patients should receive another follow-up call or text, or offer enough languages to meet the needs of a state as diverse as New York? Most of all, how will they make sure the right questions are being asked in the same way each time, ensuring accountability, visibility and consistency?
Without this kind of communication and outreach infrastructure in place, I fear a lot of time will be wasted logging manual outreach and paperwork, and more likely than not, that many patients will fall through the cracks in the program. I also fear that those PPSs that record their efforts digitally will use free text comments, which cannot be easily turned into actionable reports or data analytics.
Despite the good intentions of the program to encourage patients in the community to take care of themselves, without reaching out to these patients in a structured way to see how, what, where, who, and why they are succeeded or failing, it will inevitably become a whole bunch of bureaucracy and wasted taxpayer money. Yes, we will have the measurable results and performance metrics set by New York State and CMS, but how the PPSs met or fell short of these metrics will be left a mystery. The New York State DSRIP program is well timed with the Digital Health revolution, let’s just hope the PPSs lay the right foundation to capitalize on it.
For more information on strategies to meet the DSRIP project goals, contact us today.
This post was written by CipherHealth’s DSRIP Lead, Adrienne Nolan.