The Treatspace Referral Management Blog

Insight, ideas, and resources for high-performance referral management

Come Together, Right Now, Over Referrals

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 8/18/16 8:04 AM

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Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine recently championed the concept of primary care physicians and specialists working closely together as partners, rather than continuing disconnected referral relationships.

Partnering with Primary Care

H&HN’s article touts the increased efficiency and improved patient care in organizations with tightly aligned specialty and primary care partners.

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Topics: Referral Management, Interoperability, HIT, Referral Management Application

Why Don’t More Doctors Electronically Share Records Outside of Their Practice?

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 8/16/16 5:00 AM

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Healthcare practitioners want to provide the best care for their patients both during and after office visits. But one major stumbling block is that the majority of physicians in the United States aren’t capable of sharing information electronically outside of their practices. Data shows that the majority of primary care practices are struggling to seamlessly share patient information, efficiently manage referrals, and facilitate interoperable communication with specialist partners.

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Topics: Referral Management, Interoperability

Referral Management Applications That Go Beyond the EHR Are a “Light at the End of the Tunnel”

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 8/10/16 12:00 PM

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A recent article in technology and business magazine Fast Company heaped praise on user-friendly applications that go beyond electronic health record (EHR) systems. The beginning of the article detailed a number of the pitfalls of EHR systems:

1. EHRs were not set up for patient care

One pitfall of EHRs outlined in the Fast Company article is that they “weren't designed to help their providers treat patients.” The article states that EHRs are more geared towards meeting regulatory requirements, maximizing billing and avoiding liability. The Meaningful Use program was implemented by the government in 2011 to incentivize adoption of EHR systems, but Meaningful Use has been criticized for rewarding usage of EHRs rather than rewarding better patient outcomes.

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Topics: Referral Management, Referral Management Application

Half of Physicians Have Never Heard of MACRA, but They Will Soon

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 8/4/16 6:32 PM

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Healthcare reimbursement is undergoing “the most dramatic shift in Medicare payments in the program’s 50-year history,” from fee-for-service to value-based care. But most physicians aren’t familiar with the important law that is establishing these changes for the future, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Proposed details for MACRA were released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) a few months ago, in April 2016.

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Topics: Referral Management, Value-Based Care, MACRA

Using Healthcare Data to Distinguish Your Practice From Your Competitors

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 8/2/16 5:05 PM

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Journalist Fareed Zakaria is certain that those who prevail in tomorrow’s health care arena are the ones who figure out how to use the troves of data at their fingertips to distinguish themselves from competitors.

“[W]hat you do with that data will probably be the key differentiator going forward,” Zakaria explains at a recent healthcare conference, the Health Forum and American Hospital Association Leadership Summit.

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Topics: Healthcare Analytics, Referral Management, HIT, Healthcare Data

Miss Cleo and Colorectal Cancer

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 7/28/16 12:00 PM

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Courtesy of Youtube

You may have seen the news that well-known infomercial psychic Miss Cleo, whose actual name was Youree Harris, recently passed away from colon cancer at the age of 53. She died while she was surrounded by her friends and family after entering into hospice care.

Here’s an old commercial of hers:

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Topics: Patient Adherence, Colorectal Screening

As Healthcare Digitizes, Medical Referrals Fall Far Behind

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 7/25/16 2:05 PM

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Entirely paper-based healthcare is going the way of the dodo bird. Since 2008, the number of office-based physicians who have adopted electronic healthcare records (EHRs) has doubled from 40% to over 80%. In fact, the number of physicians using EHRs has actually quadrupled in the past 12 years.

Poorly handwritten prescriptions are no longer a problem for the 70% of physicians who now prescribe medications for their patients electronically. The advancement of e-prescribing has led to a reduction in medical errors and prevents fraud, such as opioid abuse.

In addition, telehealth is booming, robotic surgery is more common, and robots are even roaming the hallways of hospitals to deliver food and transport trash.

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Topics: Referral Network, Closed-Loop Referral Management, Closed-Loop Referrals, HIT

Why Direct is a Lousy and Unproductive Black Hole for Referral Management

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 6/30/16 1:47 PM

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DSM is antiquated, backwards, and “meaningless work for meaningful use” - Physician testimony | ONC HIT Policy Committee

“ONC’s new ‘interoperability roadmap’ downplays the potential of Direct messaging” as a solution for interoperability - Medical Economics

Contrary to what some electronic health record (EHR) proponents believe, DSM (Direct secure messaging) by itself is an unpopular and ineffective solution when it comes to true interoperability, care coordination and referral management. It has almost no practical benefit for referral management beyond what primary care practices use it for right now: getting credit for Meaningful Use stage 2.

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Topics: Referral Network, Referral Management, Direct secure messaging, DSM

EHR Alerts: A Real Bummer for Colonoscopy Adherence, Study Suggests

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 6/16/16 6:07 PM

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As the CDC sounds the alarm to increase awareness for colorectal cancer screening, primary care practices find that their EHRs can’t support the task of getting patients to complete colonoscopy referrals. In addition to the CDC, there is a growing focus by medical societies, advocacy organizations and media personalities like Katie Couric to ensure that adults over 50 get referred for colonoscopies to detect and prevent colorectal cancer. Awareness initiatives are critical because half of all patients referred for colonoscopies fail to complete the procedure.1

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Topics: Coordinated Care, Referral Management, Closed-Loop Referrals, Referral Adherence

Referral Management Will Prevent More Than 20,000 Cases of Blindness Each Year

Posted by Jeremy Guttman on 6/2/16 6:13 PM

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The leading cause of blindness worldwide is diabetes. However, referral management makes a significant impact on saving the eyesight of diabetic patients. Most people who have diabetes for more than 20 years develop diabetic retinopathy1, a condition where elevated blood sugar damages the blood vessels inside the retina. Over 7.7 million American adults have diabetic retinopathy today and that number is expected to double by 2050. The condition affects almost 30% of the US diabetic population over the age of 402 and causes up to 24,000 new cases of blindness in the US each year.

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Topics: Coordinated Care, Healthcare Analytics, Referral Management, Closed-Loop Referral Management, Patient Adherence, Diabetic Eye Exam

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