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EMR Buzz Survey

December 1, 2010

In November, 2010 a three-question survey on Electronic Medical Records was sent to members of the HealthLeaders Media Council. The HealthLeaders Media Council is comprised of executives from healthcare provider organizations who collectively deliver the most unbiased industry intelligence available. Qualified respondents were screened to ensure that they work in a hospital or health system setting.

Hospital Mergers & Acquisitions: Opportunities and Challenges

November 15, 2010

Brand-new research shows that 64% of healthcare leaders expect an increase in M&A activity between acute care hospitals and both diagnostic imaging and ambulatory surgery centers. As the transaction tide continues to rise, this HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Report reveals key insights to help keep you afloat.

Clinical Services Outsourcing

November 15, 2010

Not simply a trend, clinical services outsourcing has become standard practice among hospitals today. And for good reason: Outsourcing firms provide clinical and financial results that often elude providers caught in the minutiae of a complex healthcare system.

"Outsourcing is about getting rid of waste and barriers that impede doctors from doing what they do best, which is caring for patients," explains Theresa Tavernero, vice president of client services with clinical outsourcing services provider TeamHealth.

Patient Experience: Help Wanted - 2010

October 15, 2010

While 72% of senior healthcare leaders say that patient experience has been more of a priority in the past year, only 1 of 8 CEOs has primary responsibility for it. With this kind of paradox revealed, our 2010 survey delves into the realm of patient experience and its challenges, including why healthcare leaders report lack of success in achieving the kind of patient experience they need to provide.

What's Your Plan for Transformation?

October 13, 2010

The implications of healthcare reform are at the forefront for all health systems as they prepare to transform the way they deliver healthcare. But while in this state of flux, it's important to take a step back and assess the needs, priorities, and overall strategic objectives of your organization prior to beginning the transformation process.

We collaborate with health systems every day that are working to outline their path to transformation as they either begin this journey or assess their current direction. What we have found is regardless of a health system's size, location, or current delivery model, it's important to follow a transformation hierarchy to prioritize and organize the process based on legislative deadlines and the needs of your organization.

The Rising Tide in Self-Pay

October 13, 2010

While hospitals install electronic medical record systems to collect IT-related stimulus dollars, and figure out how to cope with new mandates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, something less splashy but just as significant is happening to the self-pay portion of their receivables: It's going up. Currently at a median of 20% according to a recent study from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), it's only going to go higher over the next few years. Properly managing the accounts of patients who pay a significant percentage of their bill out of pocket will be a key strategy to achieve or maintain profitability in the tumultuous payment environment accompanying the rollout of federal reform laws.

Ontario Systems is a leader in managing receivables in healthcare and other industries. CEO Tony Reisz talks about why self-pay is going up, how hospitals can meet the challenge, and what they can learn from companies in other fields.

Profile of Spine Care Coordination

July 13, 2010

This month Heartland Health, St. Joseph, MO, will cut the ribbon on its new Human Motion Institute Spine Center—the culmination of a thoughtful strategy for taking care of spine patients, and how to get them the optimal spine care treatments for their specific needs.

Heartland Health is an integrated delivery system anchored by 350-bed Heartland Regional Medical Center. It's the sole inpatient provider in its community and serves 300,000 people in 21 counties in four states: Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. Its nearest competitors are the large medical centers of Kansas City, about a 45-minute drive away.

Peak Performance

June 13, 2010

It's said that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Healthcare providers have faced a difficult operating environment over the past two years and bear the fiscal scars to prove it.

The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) queried hospitals to gauge what effect greater numbers of uninsured and underinsured individuals are having on their operations. Not surprisingly, 97% of respondents indicated that self-pay receivables increased over the previous fiscal year, with approximately 33% experiencing overall increases in self-pay balances of 10% or more.

Three Traits of a Successful Service Line Director

April 13, 2010
"One of the most important success factors to service line management is having an effective infrastructure in place that is led by a service line director," says Joe Tomaro, senior vice president at Accelero Health Partners. The degree to which a service line director can support coordination of team meetings and initiatives, review and advance program performance markers, and facilitate relationships with key physicians is critical to a successful program. The musculoskeletal service line directors included in this case study attribute their success to strengths in the following three areas, all of which can be applied to any service line: organizational skills, relationship building, and business planning and execution. "I think those are the three key traits that hospitals should look for in a service line director," says Tomaro.

Total Joint Replacement: Four Keys to Managing Length of Stay

January 13, 2010
One factor important to the success or failure of your total joint replacement program is effectively managing patient length of stay (LOS). With a high volume of patients requiring surgery, service line managers need to focus on limiting disruptions in the care process.

Rapid recovery programs typically discharge patients after a three-day LOS. Shortening LOS not only improves care quality and the patient experience but it has become the right thing to do financially.