We hit a number of timely topics in the last few weeks of #KareoChats (Thursdays at 10 a.m. Pacific). We had opportunities to discuss the integration of HIT for small practices, mental health in a digital world, how patients are choosing their physicians, and the positive impact of EHRs and MACRA on patient care. Thank you to our hosts for moderating the insightful conversations. Check out the last four weeks of highlights below!
The Rising Cost of Integrating HIT for Small Practices, and How to Manage Them
Host: Shareese Maynard @ ShereesePubHlth
How can small practices more easily manage the rising cost of HIT? It’s important to evaluate and improve provider practices with Health IT, but how can they when the costs keep rising? In this #KareoChat, our host Shereese Maynard led the discussion around helping practices achieve optimal levels of usability, while helping them get the most bang for their HIT buck.
How can we help practices get the best value? Our attendees had a few recommendations:
T3 Perhaps after choosing the right products, mandatory training could be implemented & "kinks" worked out b4 full implementation #kareochat— Melissa VanHouten (@melissarvh) July 6, 2017
In terms of where people thought practices should spend their money:
A4 Revenue Cycle Integrity! This is a long-term strategy. Clinical documentation b/c this is an area where small practices fail #KareoChat— ShereeseM, MS/MBA (@ShereesePubHlth) July 6, 2017
Above all, remember:
Mental Health in a Digital World
Host: Maria Marenco @healthurbanista
How is technology supporting mental health? There are challenges but also advantages. During this chat we discussed how to make digital mental health solutions better, and talk about strategies to improving the adoption of digital tech as related to mental health.
In order to make solutions better, we heard:
We were especially taken with this simple, yet innovative idea:
Is there a way to improve the adoption of digital tech? Our host thought so:
As did our attendees:
A2: Remove barriers to entry. Low/no-cost cell & SMS programs could be a start, sponsored by health plans #KareoChat— Corinne Stroum (@healthcora) July 13, 2017
Those interested should support and stay abreast of policy changes:
Because there are plenty of benefits to a digital mental health solution.
A3 Also, digital MH solutions can offer accountability check-ins & ID markers of “imminent risk" for clients #KareoChat— ShereeseM, MS/MBA (@ShereesePubHlth) July 13, 2017
There are, of course, challenges:
A4 Concerns about security, cost, and that patients would be unmotivated or unwilling to engage with "selfwork" via digital tech #KareoChat— Mia (@healthurbanista) July 13, 2017
But for every obstacle, there is a solution, especially if a practice doesn’t shy away from engaging their patients.
Patients do want to engage, they just need a little push sometimes. Making it easy to engage is helping a lot.— nobism (@registersymptom) July 13, 2017
To Choose Or Not To Choose a Doctor?
Host: Lisa Budzinkski @LisaBudzins
Landing on a new physician is more than a snap decision. From the patient’s POV, what factors go into choosing a physician that’s right for them? The better small practices understand these factors, the better chance they have of increasing their revenue by attracting long-term patients who will advocate for their practice.
What factors are involved in this day and age when it comes to choosing a doctor? Listen up, physicians!
A1: Patients must first and foremost choose a doctor they feel comfortable with - a doctor who will listen and not judge. #kareochat— Visiting Nurse ATL (@VNHS) July 20, 2017
#KareoChat A1-Is Dr. allowed by Insurance & accepting new patients? Read reviews, ask friends, family & health workers.— CP Nerve Center (@Cpnervecenter) July 20, 2017
A #ProTip for patients from our host:
A1 Did you know you can ask for a phone or in person interview? In-person may cost some $— Lisa Davis Budzinski (@lisadbudzinski) July 20, 2017
Small practices, learn how to outshine your competitors:
A2 Easy check-in, short wait in office & appt scheduling, #KareoChat— Lisa Davis Budzinski (@lisadbudzinski) July 20, 2017
A2 If the Dr has a mobile pre-registration option, same-day appts, & is willing to do a pre-interview, they shine #KareoChat— ShereeseM, MS/MBA (@ShereesePubHlth) July 20, 2017
And finally, we discussed why providers have been “fired” by patients, in hopes that other practices won’t make the same mistakes!
Watch your attention to detail:
Always remember your patients are people with emotions:
A5 Dr didn’t talk, handed papers for 20 tests,stated he would talk after results It was the cold way it was handled.#KareoChat— Lisa Davis Budzinski (@lisadbudzinski) July 20, 2017
The Positive Impacts of EHRs and MACRA on Patient Care
Host: John Lynn @TechGuy
Think nothing good has come from EHRs or MACRA? Here’s something that’s not always talked about: The positive impacts of EHR and MACRA on patient care! As our host John Lynn noted his recent blog post about the topic: “When healthcare pundits talk about MACRA they often offer a basic analysis of how the move to value-based reimbursement will be a good thing for healthcare, since then we are only spending money on care that provides value. Many doctors disagree and suggest that value-based reimbursement won’t create the value it purports to create. Either of these analyses overlooks many of the benefits that MACRA and the move to EHR software offer healthcare. The reality is that many of the most exciting initiatives in healthcare would not be happening today and would not even be possible if it weren’t for programs like MACRA and the implementation of EHR software.”
How are providers participating in MACRA?
T1: I'm not a provider, but I see most providers participating in MACRA at least at the test pace and many going all in. #KareoChat— John Lynn (@techguy) July 27, 2017
And how can it have a positive impact on patient care?
How can patients benefit from EHR?
A$ Organically built patient narratives that can have long-term impact on Tx decisions and outcomes #KareoChat— ShereeseM, MS/MBA (@ShereesePubHlth) July 27, 2017
Looking forward, our host believes:
Which topic stood out to you the most? And which topics would you like us to add into the mix moving forward? Tweet us @GoKareo #KareoChat and join us every Thursday at 10 a.m. (Pacific time) for our weekly forum on healthcare, technology and practice management topics facing independent practices.