Hello Health Blog

Accountable Care and Independent Practice: Can they Coexist?

Posted by Jennifer McDuffee on Wed, Apr 02, 2014 @ 11:29 AM

It’s happening right before our eyes. The health care system is transitioning away from volume-based care and reimbursement in favor of payment models that emphasize outcomes and cost. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are a good example of a construct that supports the emerging fee-for-value methodology. With no formal definition, there are many different types of organizations that could be considered an ACO, but the category may be best defined as a group that promotes coordination between payers, providers and patients to improve outcomes within the patient population.

Is there room for the independent medical practice in the ACO model? Hello Health explored this question in March 2013 in our independent medical practice videocast series.

One year later, we’re revisiting the issue with a subject matter expert from Software Advice.

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Topics: independent medical practice, videocast, ACOs, accountable care organizations

Beyond the In Office Visit: The Benefits of Patient Portals

Posted by Nat Findlay on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 @ 10:46 AM

Do you remember the last time you used a phone book? I mean the actual printed phone book supplied by the phone company. And when I say “phone company” I mean the one that provides hardwired telephone service to your home, not the company that sells the device you keep at hand all day every day; the one that’s so much more than a “telephone,” the one that provides immediate access to anything you might need to know, directions to anywhere you might want to go, and any item you might want to purchase.

It’s probably been quite a while since you let your fingers do the walking the old-fashioned way. It’s not just that technology has changed. We’ve changed. And, by far, the biggest changes that have occurred have to do with our expectations around access and connection. If you’re even moderately Internet savvy, you probably find it annoying if, say, you can’t pay a bill online, or if your favorite store won’t let you return an item the way you bought it. “Why can’t this just be EASY?” consumers lament. Now, have we really become so spoiled and impatient that we can’t do something the old-fashioned way? No. We just expect these things to be efficient these days, because we know they can be. We’ve been using communication technology to make all sorts of experiences steadily more efficient for years. And, anyway, I’d argue that what people – especially patients – want isn’t all that “new-fashioned,” but is, in fact, the opposite. They expect to feel less like a faceless number in a bloated system and have more personalized interactions.

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Topics: patient engagement, EHR, patient portal, Telemedicine

Free EHRs: Where Does the Data Go?

Posted by Nat Findlay on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 09:51 AM

Nat_Findlay-CEO-Hello_HealthA number of myths have been circulated this past year about cloud-based EHR (electronic health records) systems — especially free cloud-based systems like Hello Health’s. Supposedly, there are hidden costs involved. And, it’s been claimed, these systems may have conflict-of-interest ties to the data that they disseminate.

It is claimed that physicians using free systems ask their patients to pay a fee to get special, preferred-access “concierge model” services from them that allegedly are unavailable to patients who don’t pay such fees. Because the systems are free for participating physicians, the implication is that this is a disreputable arrangement.

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Topics: health information technology, Electronic health record, free, cloud-based EHRs, big data in health care

Hello Health and HIT: Looking back, looking forward

Posted by Barry Holleman on Tue, Jan 07, 2014 @ 02:59 PM

What a year 2013 turned out to be! The Hello Health development team released EIGHT platform updates over the course of the year, each in response to the feedback and needs of our customers. Hello Health’s interactive relationship with our users makes it possible for us to achieve this continuous improvement. It’s easy to stay excited in this field – new opportunities to instigate innovation arise every day. As we pack away our holiday decorations, we here at Hello Health are excited to embark on the journey of Health IT that lays before us in 2014. But before we look forward, let’s hit the highlights of what went on around the industry last year.


Getting Engaged

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Topics: Hello Health, health information technology, HIT, patient engagement, EHR, Meaningful use, Health IT solutions

Faster Product Development the Sign of an Innovative EHR Vendor

Posted by Barry Holleman on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

With the world of Health IT booming and hundreds of EHR vendors vying for attention, the prospect of choosing the perfect fit for a practice can seem daunting.  Many physicians have
reported jumping on board with an EHR only to later question whether or not the vendor they
are using is reliable.  Medical Economics recently posted an article noting that an EHR vendor's development cycle is a strong indicator of its financial health.

“Your company should be sending you information about updates and developments for the next 18-24 months,” says Derek Kosiorek, Principal Consultant for the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and certified EHR and healthcare technology professional.  “If not, their lack of innovation could be a red flag.”

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Topics: health information technology, Electronic health record, EHR development cycle, innovation

Patient Engagement: The Most Important Prescription of All

Posted by Guest Blogger on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 @ 11:33 AM

Everyone’s talking about patient engagement these days.   Social media is buzzing with patient engagement hash tags and some are even proclaiming it as the “blockbuster drug of the century,” citing its positive effect on patient outcomes.

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Topics: patient engagement, primary care practice, patient portal, physician revenue, Patient Management, profitability

The Online Search for an EHR

Posted by Patrick Stevenson on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 @ 10:20 AM

If you are among the half of primary care doctors who have yet to purchase an EHR, you are feeling pressure to decide if an EHR is part of your practice’s future and which EHR is right for you and your patients. Because there are more than 365 EHR companies in existence, and I am sure you don’t want to spend each day looking at a different system, you will likely turn to the web. Just like in your personal life, you will most likely “Google it”. You are not alone; there are over 21,000 searches each month (and 250,000 each year) in the United States for EHR or Electronic Health Records, according to Google Adwords.

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Topics: EHR, small physician practice, EHR vendor selection, Google, Internet

A Tribute to National Health IT Week

Posted by Barry Holleman on Fri, Oct 04, 2013 @ 05:14 PM

As organizations across the country joined together to celebrate information
technology and the incredible impact it is having on our health care system, National Health IT Week gave us the opportunity to stop and consider the many ways that  increased adoption of health IT has enabled a more efficient U.S. healthcare system.

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Topics: Hello Health, health information technology, HIT

The Affordable Care Act – On the Doorstep of Open Enrollment

Posted by Stephen Armstrong on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 09:07 AM

October 1, 2014 is a historic date in the history of health care in our nation. Open enrollment will commence under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). And whether you support or contest the vision or the execution of this law, it is hard to deny the impact it will have. Today’s primary care practices are on the front lines of this new environment.

In a survey by Deloitte’s Center for Health Solutions, 32 percent of surveyed primary care physicians considered it a step in the wrong direction. For both provider and patient, there is much to be educated about and many are still unaware of the details.

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Topics: primary care practice, Affordable Care Act, medical practice management

Hello Health Bids Farewell to National Coordinator for Health IT

Posted by Barry Holleman on Mon, Sep 16, 2013 @ 04:03 PM

Along with a new wave of summer heat, the beginning of August brought the announcement that Farzad Mostashari, M.D., will be stepping down from the national coordinator for health information technology post this fall. Mostashari spent four years with the federal health IT office, first as a deputy national coordinator, then taking over as the National Coordinator in 2011. In a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) staff, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “During his tenure, ONC has been at the forefront of designing and implementing a number of initiatives to promote the adoption of health IT among health care providers. Farzad has seen through the successful design and implementation of ONC's HITECH programs, which provide health IT training and guidance to communities and providers; linked the meaningful use of electronic health records to population health goals; and laid a strong foundation for increasing the interoperability of health records — all while ensuring the ultimate focus remains on patients and their families.”

Social media has been buzzing ever since the announcement and many are feverishly trying to predict who will fill the shoes of Mostashari come the changing of the seasons. Before he leaves, we at Hello Health wanted to take a moment and thank Mostashari for everything he’s done for Health IT.  As Sebelius made clear in her statement to the HHS, we have come a long way and much of it is due to the man directly in charge.  Below is Mostashari’s e-mail to his ONC colleagues explaining his resignation.

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Topics: health information technology, Farzad Mostashari, M.D.

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