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Showing posts from June, 2012

An Easy Solution To Self-Pay Writeoffs?

An article in a recent issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine told the story of Sharp Healthcare reducing its self-pay writeoffs by $3.4 million through using a website from the Foundation for Health Coverage Education. From the article:
"In 2008 and 2009, Sharp HealthCare saw a $3.4 million drop in self-pay net revenues. The region's increase in unemployment inversely aligned with cash collection, says Gerilynn Sevenikar, vice president of patient financial services for the San Diego-based system. "In an effort to stop the bleeding, Sevenikar reached out to the Foundation for Health Coverage Education, a San Jose, Calif., nonprofit that helps people nationwide find health insurance. The two organizations began an initial 30-day trial in which all self-pay patients entering four Sharp emergency rooms were given the FHCE eligibility quiz, a tool that asks patients without insurance five questions to help determine their eligibility for public or private health…

NEJM: Escaping the EHR Trap

From the New England Journal of Medicine:  "Escaping the EHR Trap — The Future of Health IT."

Authors Kenneth D. Mandl, M.D., M.P.H., and Isaac S. Kohane, M.D., Ph.D. offer a devastating critique of health IT's current state:

Even as consumer IT — word-processing programs, search engines, social networks, e-mail systems, mobile phones and apps, music players, gaming platforms — has become deeply integrated into the fabric of modern life, physicians find themselves locked into pre–Internet-era electronic health records (EHRs) that aspire to provide complete and specialized environments for diverse tasks.

We believe that EHR vendors propagate the myth that health IT is qualitatively different from industrial and consumer products in order to protect their prices and market share and block new entrants. In reality, diverse functionality needn't reside within single EHR systems, and there's a clear path toward better, safer, cheaper, and nimbler tools for managing heal…