Hospital CEOs have bigger headaches than most, as their institutions face a growing demand for services and rising costs. As a result, for the 13th year in a row, hospital managers put financial challenges at the top of a list of their leading administrative afflictions, according to a recent survey by Becker’s Hospital Review*. The frustration centers on new regulations and the complex transmutation of health care still underway as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Government mandates and patient safety and quality appeared as No. 2 and No. 3 on the blacklist, which means that solution providers like ORhub, Inc. (ORHB) (ORhub Profile), Medical Transcription Billing, Corp. (MTBC), Cerner Corporation (CERN), Quality Systems, Inc. (QSII) and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (MDRX) are in a good position to alleviate some health care industry challenges.
The financial issue that poses the knottiest challenge is Medicaid reimbursement. In the report, 63 percent of respondents identified this as their chief concern. Increasing costs for staff and supplies pose another threat to their institutions, said 60 percent of respondents, while reducing operating costs worried 55 percent of those sampled. Participants were asked to select all the issues that affected them and not just the one that was of the greatest concern. These data indicate that a majority of hospital managers view the future financial viability of the institutions they run with some anxiety.
Responses about the impact of regulation were equally revealing and were linked, inevitably, to the financial issue. Fifty-one percent of hospital CEOs fretted over the cost of demonstrating compliance, while 57 percent took issue with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) audits that were associated with compliance. In general terms, 67 percent expressed dissatisfaction with the current regulatory environment.
The issues of patient safety and provision of quality care are, naturally, always in focus for health care providers. The redesign of care processes, particularly after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, occupied the minds of 48 percent of hospital head honchos; 57 percent worried about how to encourage physicians to reduce unnecessary tests and procedures, while just as many (59 percent) were apprehensive about engaging doctors regarding improvement of the overall culture of quality and safety.
A number of tech savvy pioneers are rushing forward with solutions to address these challenges, in one way or another. ORhub (ORHB), for example, offers a cloud-based software platform designed to transform the business of surgery into a value-based model. The company’s platform – currently at work in two regional hospitals in California – enables care providers at every stage of the surgical process to collaborate, organize, deliver, measure and reimburse in one intuitive, easy-to-use program.
The result has groundbreaking potential. By eliminating inefficiencies, duplication of effort, errors and omissions that result from antiquated software and human error, ORhub’s platform could revolutionize surgical care delivery by tracking the cost of treating a condition from diagnosis to discharge, and by tracking outcomes that resulted from that treatment.
ORhub initially started as a pilot program developed in cooperation with a major Southern California hospital. Now running at full-throttle, ORhub has expanded operations into a second facility at the number two non-profit hospital system in the United States, and it is gearing up for national implementation of its platform.
As a health care IT company, Medical Transcription Billing, Corp. (MTBC) offers an integrated suite of proprietary electronic health records and practice management solutions designed to help its customers increase revenues, streamline workflows and make better business and clinical decisions, all while reducing administrative burdens and operating costs. The company has been employing an add-on strategy that has seen it enter into 15 mergers or business combinations with ambulatory revenue-cycle-management (RCM) companies over the last five years. MTBC recently announced that its voice-enabled EHR platform, talkEHR™, has achieved 2015 Edition ONC Health IT certification as a Health IT Module.
Another solution provider to the health care industry is The Cerner Corporation (CERN), the world’s largest publicly traded health information technology company. Headquartered in North Kansas City, Missouri, the company had 2016 revenues of $4.8 billion. Last month, it opened the doors of two new office towers as part of its “Innovation” campus. The complex, to be further expanded over the next 10 years, is being constructed to look like a strand of DNA. Cerner provides leading-edge solutions and services for health care organizations worldwide.
Quality Systems, Inc. (QSII) and its subsidiaries develop and market EHR, practice management, RCM, interoperability solutions and clinical workflow and operations consulting services for medical and dental group practices and hospitals throughout the U.S. The company’s stock recently reached a new 52-week high, hitting a peak of $15.72, giving the company a market cap of $960 million. Quality Systems’ NextGen Healthcare subsidiary was recently recognized in the annual “Best in KLAS” rankings by the health care delivery research firm KLAS. NextGen Healthcare clients scored the practice management solution 12 percentage points higher year-over-year in the 75+ provider segment of the Most Improved Award Category.
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (MDRX) provides practice management and EHR technology to physician practices, hospitals and other health care providers. The company also offers solutions that improve patient engagement and care coordination. Its customer and user base includes more than 180,000 physicians operating in 2,700 hospitals and 13,000 extended care organizations. The company earlier this week said it was accepted onto the NHS London Procurement Partnership (LPP) Clinical and Digital Information Systems (CDIS) Framework in both the acute care and innovation categories.
In the press release announcing Allscripts’ news, Steven Brain, VP and managing director of Allscripts, UK, adequately summed up the obstacles many health care CEOs face. “Organisations are under tremendous pressure to choose robust and reliable health information technology solutions, all while reducing cost,” he said.
Today’s health care solutions providers are in an incredible position to address the complexities of an industry shackled with high volume and high regulation, trailblazing a new approach to health care that benefits care providers and facilities, patients, and the corporations driving innovation.
Source: Becker’s Hospital Review (http://nnw.fm/6yuAB)
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