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How a Patient Engagement Solution Can Maximize Reimbursement

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The landscape of healthcare slowly began to shift to patient-centric workflows with the introduction of payment systems that were focused on quality over quantity. Prior to that, clinicians had to maintain a certain pace to ensure proper reimbursements.

Although 75% of orthopedic surgeons surveyed stated they had satisfactory communication with their patients, only 21% of their patients agreed. Clearly, there is a disconnect and when patient engagement is counting toward reimbursement, it is critical clinicians work toward easier channels of communication.

A Regulated Industry

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) were the first regulations that focused on a patient-centric approach. The HCAHPS scores determine the benefits a clinician receives by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS). Low scores are penalized, and high scores rewarded. Recently, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) was established and is set to really start rolling this year.

MACRA is another system that examines value over volume. CMS is looking to the patient to determine the practitioner’s reimbursement. This means that patient engagement and satisfaction is vital to the revenue of a practice. The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is what pays out from MACRA and 50% of that is determined by quality. 10% is also allotted to the use of electronic records and resources designed to streamline workflows.

Keeping Patients Engaged

It’s a well-known fact that engaged patients who are active in their treatment process, experience better outcomes. The digital world is full of information and people are eager to know it all—especially when it comes to their health. In fact, 2 out of 3 patients would consider switching their physician to one that offers electronic access to their medical records.

Patient engagement is not a difficult process. It’s more about understanding the best channels to reach them and how to properly communicate. Engagement includes concepts like:

  • Education
  • Communication
  • Accessibility
  • Convenience
  • Management

Fortunately, you don’t have to be in a million places at once to keep everybody happy. That’s the reason for technology.

The Right Tools

Now that reimbursement is incumbent upon keeping patients engaged, it’s important you have the right tools. The bigger the practice, the more help you will need to keep track of everybody. A patient-centric mobile app like CarePassport is a tool designed for patient engagement and automates a lot of unnecessary labor for staff. It makes it easier for healthcare providers to not only retain their current patients but attract more. It can streamline processes like:

  • Easy patient scheduling.
  • Push notification for patient reminders.
  • Mobile check in (patient can sign in using their smartphone).
  • Pre-authorization and e-forms (everything is ready before the patient gets there).
  • Direct patient communication via encrypted messaging.
  • Patient education, including a medical library and discharge information.
  • Patient access to medical records, forms, and even medical images.
  • Medication management and reminders.

All these processes are continually keeping the patient engaged, with minimal efforts from the clinician. The technology allows everyone to get back to their jobs, while it works through administrative tasks. You can even run your own reports and analyze your patient trends prior to submitting your engagement scores for reimbursement.

Practitioners are only human, and everyone needs a little help sometimes. Keeping patients engaged is an additional full-time job for clinicians, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and the proper channels, patients can drive their own treatment plans. And when people feel empowered and satisfied, it will consistently maximize your reimbursements.