In behavioral health, social determinants is something we look at, but many of us haven’t made it a part of our everyday language. We know social factors have an impact, but because of how broadly defined they are, finding the next steps to take can be difficult.
There are distressing similarities between what the United States faced with HIV/AIDS in the 1980’s and the current opioid epidemic. Most people have a personal story related to the harm that can be associated with opioids. The numbers of opioid deaths and people suffering from substance use disorder has reached staggering numbers.
There is no shortage of social determinants of health (SDOH) that can present roadblocks for patients in Kalispell, Montana. Our vast landscape means that patients may live some 30 miles from their providers. With limited access to public transportation, many patients are left struggling to attend regular primary care appointments. We also live in a zero vacancy area, making it nearly impossible for some of our patients to find affordable housing.
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I was rounding with a colleague in the pediatric area of The Valley Hospital, in Ridgewood, New Jersey, when we entered the room of a young boy with his mother sitting by his bed. As we entered, we explained that we were visiting pediatric patients to see if they were interacting with the newly-installed GetWell Inpatient™ solution, GetWellNetwork’s interactive software that uses a bedside TV to get patients and their families more involved in the care process.
Ample evidence indicates that improved patient engagement is better for doctors and patients. With EHRs and government regulations, the rise of patient portals has been dramatic. A recent AMA study says that 92% of hospitals offer the ability to view medical records through an online portal (compared to 43% in 2013). But availability of an online portal doesn’t mean patients are accessing or getting value from it. How can we help patients move from simply looking up lab results, requesting refills, and checking schedules to more active and meaningful engagement? One technically simple, but remarkably powerful answer is to have clinicians share their visit notes with patients. It’s something we call OpenNotes.
As care providers, we do everything we can to ensure that our patients have the best possible outcomes. However, we tend to think we have a lot more control than we actually do.
Population health is a very broad topic; it’s not just about collecting and analyzing data.
For us at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, it’s been about finding creative ways to address the health concerns that we identify in our patients, understanding that we need to keep them healthy outside the hospital walls.
Topics: Population Health
In this installment of our thought leader podcast series, I chat with Kevin Adams, Director of Revenue Cycle, Anderson Regional Medical Center (Meridian, MS) about the challenges and successes of revenue cycle management in healthcare today. During our discussion, Kevin shares insights on different payment and reimbursement models, and how government policies and insurance plans are constantly affecting the financial side of healthcare organizations every day. Kevin also covers how using lean process improvement, technology, and teamwork, resulted in lowering Anderson’s A/R days by 50% and reducing lost revenue by 90%. Listen in as revenue cycle industry expert, Kevin Adams, sheds some light on the past, present, and future of health systems’ financial status.