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What Drives Patient Satisfaction?

We discussed the finding that patients appear dissatisfied even after many attempts by practices to do meaningful things to increase satisfaction. In conversations with multiple individuals, patients, practices and switchboards, what I found was revealing…

Patients want the following to feel satisfied:

  1. I want to know that I was heard. If I call your office, tell me that you know that I called
  2. Tell me that you will get back to me by a specific date – set expectations
  3. Meet those expectations – if you cannot meet them, tell me ahead in time that you will not be meeting them and set a new expectation – and meet that
  4. Give me a heads up when you are about to call and I will go to a private area to take the call

The argument for the above was quite simple…

When the patient wants an appointment with the provider, the provider asks the patient to set an expectation (an appointment date/time). The patient is then reminded of the appointment and asked to confirm. If they cannot make it, then the patient is asked to set a new expectation. The patient is expected to show up on time (meet expectation). If the patient cannot keep the expectation, they are asked to set a new expectation (reschedule).

Quite simply, the patient wants the practice to treat them the same way the practice wants to be treated.

Did someone say “Treat others the way you want them to treat you?”

What are your reactions? How do you manage your daytime calls? Hire more medical assistants and throw money at the problem? Do you keep your patients posted of progress? Does your portal solve all problems known to your patients? If a patient enters a message on your portal, do you tell them when you are working on it or set an expectation of a callback? What about a call during business hours? How do you handle that? The answers to these questions may drive far more patient satisfaction.

This is my humble observation from dozens of patient and practice interviews. Happy to hear your thoughts.

To discuss further, contact Badri at badri@alertmd.com.

Margie Example

“What satisfies my patients?” Thoughts from 16 providers across 9 specialties in 7 States.

It is a simple and yet very powerful sentiment.

With more and more of physician compensation revolving around patient satisfaction, the healthcare industry is left with what looks like an elusive goal – “What satisfies my patients?”. I was all the more curious about this question myself. I spent the better part of the last 5 weeks calling customers, non-customers and anyone else who was grappling with this question. Can patients ever be satisfied? Is it a perpetual train of more and more favors and an occasional thanks with bad online ratings the moment the waiting room does not smell of vanilla? May be send more portal messages and hope that counts for us keeping in touch? Another email campaign?

As I criss-crossed the country with physician practice interviews, what struck me was the amount of overhead employed to chase the elusive goal of a “satisfied” patient who will take a survey (well, one who is truly satisfied that they will share their opinion with others).

As I and several of our clients started unraveling the onion one layer at a time, we stumbled upon something quite obvious. A patient today has a dizzying array of information coming at them. Many of them may start at Google® before their PCP. Yet, the physician’s front office phone is one of the busiest pieces of equipment in the healthcare industry. It is not uncommon to have ½ FTE as medical assistants/front office staff for each provider in a practice. Why is that? Even with such a heavy-handed approach to providing patient care, physician practices get flak on online message boards for being less responsive. How can that be?

The FTE overload and even with that, online message board flak was prevalent across many specialties. Those interviewed for this article include primary care, orthopedics, GI, oncology, cardiology, pulmonary medicine and more. States in the country where the providers were based varied as well – IL, FL, WA, OH, LA, TX, NY and more. Throwing money at the problem seems to not solve patient satisfaction. The system seems like it needs new ideas.

As I started to spend more time on what keeps the medical assistants busy, it dawned on me. I kept notes at three practices on the number of calls medical assistants took and what the matter was during the call. I then tried to piece together when the patient called and when the callback was done. It was the day after Thanksgiving and I had to call a physician practice myself to make an appointment for a family member. I tried the portal and then the phone…and waited for a few days to get the matter resolved. A few patterns started to emerge as I put my own experience together with that of the interviewees.

Before I share what I learned, let me ask you…do you think you are a “satisfied” patient? What causes you dissatisfaction? To discuss further, contact Badri at badri@alertmd.com.

East Texas Kidney Specialists Join AlertMD to Gain Efficiencies

East Texas Kidney Specialists aims to improve efficiencies via AlertMD.

About AlertMD: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. 3 of our 16 modules are world-class and unique in the market:

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.

  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.

  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Heartland Health Centers Signs on to AlertMD!

We are greatly humbled by the market adoption of AlertMD. Heartland Health Centers aims to improve efficiencies via AlertMD.

About AlertMD: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. 3 of our 16 modules are world-class and unique in the market:

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.

  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.

  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about Heartland Health Centers can be found here.

Pinnacle Medical Group picks AlertMD!

Pinnacle Medical Group, a leading Massachusetts provider group signs on to AlertMD.

About AlertMD: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. 3 of our 16 modules are world-class and unique in the market:

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.

  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.

  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

SNF Network Digitizes

AlertMD entered the SNF market with Symphony Post Acute Network creating a digital method to contact providers, enable care coordination, pro fee charge capture and more.

About AlertMD: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. 3 of our 16 modules are world-class and unique in the market:

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.

  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.

  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about Symphony Post Acute Network can be found here.

Memorial Health, an Ohio county hospital signed up with AlertMD

AlertMD announced earlier today that Memorial Health, an Ohio county hospital signed up with AlertMD.

About AlertMD: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. 3 of our 16 modules are world-class and unique in the market:

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.

  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.

  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Central Ohio Surgical Associates Signs on to AlertMD

Central Ohio Surgical Associates signed up with AlertMD. Our product is in use at 11 of 12 Columbus-area hospitals.

About AlertMD: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. 3 of our 16 modules are world-class and unique in the market:

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.

  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.

  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have customers nationwide. Some of AlertMD’s largest customers use Epic. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Pennsylvania-based group selects AlertMD!

Pittsburgh Critical Care Associates became AlertMD's latest new customer.

About AlertMD: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. 3 of our 16 modules are world-class and unique in the market:

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.

  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.

  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have customers nationwide. Some of AlertMD’s largest customers use Epic. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Major cardiology group picks AlertMD

Arizona Cardiology Group selected AlertMD to make processes more streamlined as providers shift from inpatient to outpatient and back.

AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have customers nationwide. Some of AlertMD’s largest customers use Epic.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about Arizona Cardiology Group can be found here.

Geriatric Medical Associates picks AlertMD to Innovate

Chicago, IL: AlertMD announced yet another new customer in 2018... Earlier today Geriatric Medical Associates selected AlertMD to innovate and make it easier for its providers to practice at its facilities.

AlertMD has given many customers 7 or more minutes back for every minute they spend on our platform.

3 of our 16 modules are world-class and unique in the market.

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.

  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.

  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have customers nationwide. Some of AlertMD’s largest customers use Epic.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates, Great South Bay Endoscopy Center pick AlertMD to Innovate

AlertMD announced its 7th new customer in the last 7 weeks... Earlier today Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates & Great South Bay Endoscopy Center selected AlertMD to innovate and make it easier for its providers to practice at its facilities.

AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have customers nationwide. Some of AlertMD’s largest customers use Epic.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates can be found here.

Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center picks AlertMD to Make It Easier to practice

AlertMD announced earlier today that Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center has selected AlertMD to innovate and make it easier for its providers to practice at its facilities.

AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have customers nationwide. Some of AlertMD’s largest customers use Epic.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center can be found here.

AlertMD now available in Epic App Orchard!

AlertMD announced earlier today that it is now available in Epic App Orchard!

The App Orchard is where developers can learn about Epic's APIs and list their apps for Epic community members to explore and access. AlertMD's app listing in the App Orchard can be found here

AlertMD has given many customers 7 or more minutes back for every minute they spend on our platform.

3 of our 16 modules are world-class and unique in the market.

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.
  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.
  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have customers nationwide. Some of AlertMD’s largest customers use Epic.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

What is your overhead?

AlertMD® has given me a unique 10-year window into a day in the life of a clinician and all the administrative overhead that they have to undergo before they get paid for their hard work. Being an engineer, I could not but help applying the principles of industrial engineering to the process. What is the overhead and what is the processing time? Those were fundamental questions for me.

On numerous occasions, I had to do a walk through and got to see the amount of time a clinician spent with the patient (value-added time) and everything else (overhead). Here is what I found:

  • Patient contact - 25%
  • Family discussions - 10%
  • Hospital support staff, orders - 10%
  • Documentation in the hospital - 25%
  • Documentation back for the practice - 10%
  • Handoffs, communication within their own group and other groups - 20%

To be clear, all 100% is necessary for the system to function. However, the sheer amount of overhead for the 25% of patient contact seemed stunning to me. I set out asking the question “why?” to each step other than patient contact. If the provider would stop and write down something, I would ask Why. If they then stopped and repeated what they just entered into the chart to another party, I would ask Why. When they would go to the staff lounge and effectively redo the same work they did in a chart, but only slightly differently, I would ask Why.

The lessons were painful. After spending billions on allegedly interconnected systems that are in an information highway, the provider on the front line is saddled with repetition of the same information again and again in multiple software. The provider then has to call and relay that information to a different party all over again. While this is going on, reimbursement drops by a couple of percentage points each year. In other words, the provider has to work 2% harder to make the exact amount as last year.

Dejected from the reality, I assembled a smart team of people and asked a few questions…

What can we do to slash the time spent on overhead by a factor of 7? In other words, handoffs and communication should take 3% of the provider’s time and not 21%, as an example. What can we automate? How can we reduce/eliminate repetition?

Before I discuss more of what we ended up doing, perhaps you can share your thoughts. Do you agree with the premise? How is your $30,000,000 system working? Saving you time? Are you repeating the same thing again and again, only changing it a bit just to get by?

Contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com to discuss more...

Carolina Digestive Health Associates Picks AlertMD to innovate.

Providers at Carolina Digestive Health Associates adopt AlertMD

About AlertMD: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have customers nationwide. Some of AlertMD’s largest customers use Epic.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about Carolina Digestive Health Associates can be found here.

LSS GRV Joins AlertMD to Improve Care Coordination.

AlertMD gives you back about 7 or more minutes for every minute you spend on our platform. Learn how you can spend about 2 hrs more every day with your loved ones

Here are 3 UNIQUE workflows that only AlertMD® can give you...

  1. AutoCode -- Cassidi®, AlertMD's Artificial Intelligence module eliminates human rote activity, AI-based Pro fee charge capture that helps your coders bat at their highest license levels.

  2. AutoCoordinate - ACO workflows to reduce medical expense, Automatic provider-to-provider consult notifications, Automatic PCP notifications of admissions/discharges, Simplified patient assignment and transition of call schedule, Post discharge care coordination, Quick and easy sign out and much more.

  3. AutoConsult - Providers should not have to yell into a phone or talk to an answering service - effectively repeating the consult they just entered into the EHR. AlertMD's Cassidi reads the chart and sends the consult to the receiving provider and gets a call back with no additional human effort. Critical lab alerts are automatically communicated and manual steps removed.

And, we are just getting started...

We help deliver a 7-16% increase in pro fee revenue and a 9-day acceleration in cash flow. We help reduce medical experience and we make it easier for you to focus on the patient instead of paperwork. Did we say we give you time back so you can be with your loved ones more?

Benefit from several customizable, real-time, mobile alerts that are timely and actionable.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Rush University Medical Center Join AlertMD to Gain Efficiencies

Providers at Rush University Medical Center adopt AlertMD to streamline workflows.

AlertMD gives you back about 7 or more minutes for every minute you spend on our platform. Learn how you can spend about 2 hrs more every day with your loved ones

Here are 3 Unique workflows that only AlertMD® can give you...

  1. AutoCode - Cassidi®, AlertMD's artificial intelligence module eliminates human rote activity, AI-based Pro fee charge capture that helps your coders bat at their highest license levels.

  2. AutoCoordinate - ACO workflows to reduce medical expense, Automatic provider-to-provider consult notifications, Automatic PCP notifications of admissions/discharges, Simplified patient assignment and transition of call schedule, Post discharge care coordination, Quick and easy sign out and much more.

  3. AutoConsult - Providers should not have to yell into a phone or talk to an answering service - effectively repeating the consult they just entered into the EHR. AlertMD's Cassidi reads the chart and sends the consult to the receiving provider and gets a call back with no additional human effort. Critical lab alerts are automatically communicated and manual steps removed.

and we are just getting started...

We help deliver a 7-16% increase in pro fee revenue and a 9 day acceleration in cash flow. We help reduce medical experience and we make it easier for you to focus on the patient instead of paperwork. Did we say we give you time back so you can be with your loved ones more?

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about Rush University Medical Center can be found here.

AlertMD Announces Cassidi®, an Artificial Intelligence Engine

AlertMD®'s artificial engine Cassidi® (Computer-Assisted System for Document Interpretation) decodes provider notes and generates pro fees for review so your docs do not have to enter them.

AlertMD gives providers about 2 hrs back in their day to spend with patients and go home earlier to their own families. 1 Minute on AlertMD = 7 Minutes saved for you

Here is how...

  1. Cassidi®, AlertMD's Artificial Intelligence module eliminates human note activity
  2. Automatic provider-to-provider consult notifications when such order is entered in the chart
  3. Automatic PCP notifications of admissions/discharges
  4. Simplified patient assignment and transition of call schedule
  5. AI-based Pro fee charge capture
  6. Post discharge care coordination
  7. Quick and easy signout
  8. Critical lab alert and we are just getting started...

We help deliver a 7-16% increase in pro fee revenue and a 9 day acceleration in cash flow. We help reduce medical experience and we make it easier for you to focus on the patient instead of paperwork.

Benefit from several customizable, real-time, mobile alerts that are timely and actionable.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Midwest Surgery & Oncology Selects AlertMD to Gain Efficiencies

AlertMD gives providers about 2 hrs back in their day to spend with patients and go home earlier to their own families. 1 Minute on AlertMD = 7 Minutes saved for you

Here is how...

  1. Automatic provider-to-provider consult notifications when such order is entered in the chart
  2. Automatic PCP notifications of admissions/discharges
  3. Simplified patient assignment and transition of call schedule
  4. AI-based Pro fee charge capture
  5. Post discharge care coordination
  6. Quick and easy signout
  7. Critical lab alert and we are just getting started...

We help deliver a 7-16% increase in pro fee revenue and a 9 day acceleration in cash flow. We help reduce medical experience and we make it easier for you to focus on the patient instead of paperwork.

Benefit from several customizable, real-time, mobile alerts that are timely and actionable.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Why did health systems decide to make their own generics?

Recently, there was an announcement that some major health systems were banding together to make their own generics. At the outset, it looks like the health system wants to be an insurance company and then a pharma company – what is next? Is this their core competency?

When you step back, the strategy behind it is simple and obvious. To better understand it, let us shift focus and look at a completely different industry – the luxury automobile industry. Assume you have owned a luxury car for a few years and the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. Let us say you need your oil replaced or you need a new tire because the right rear tire has its treads worn out. What do you do?

In all likelihood, you expect to drive to a retail store (e.g., one of the fast lube companies) and get the oil change for an inexpensive sticker shock. For the tire replacement, perhaps you expect to run into a wholesaler who happens to sell tires or a specialty retailer of tires and buy a tire and replace the one with the worn-out tires. You behave this way because you own the incremental expense. It comes out of your pocket. You want to control the costs.

A health system is in a similar spot. In today’s world of risk-based health, the system gets paid a fixed amount for the patient per month or they have an alternative payment model that still caps their revenue. The system needs to identify elements of its costs that it can reasonably control. Keeping patients healthy involves seeing them at the PCP more and intervening before the medical needs of the patient becomes acute and incur higher costs. The system knows how to do that very well. However, one of the drivers of costs is medication. Health systems need to purchase drugs from manufacturers and the cost of medication in a risk-based scenario are borne by the health system. Any method to control that costs or reduce them puts the savings directly to the bottom line.

The traditional methods of cost control of medications have involved the health systems banding together to form purchasing groups. Some have staff that actively monitor prices. Others use physician committees to identify lower priced drugs that can substitute the higher ones and provide efficient care. It was only a matter of time before a health system decided that they may want to get into the business of making such drugs. However, patent laws prevent a health system from manufacturing brand name medication. Such is not the case with generic drugs. Generic drug manufacturers sell them at a profit to health systems today and the announcement earlier today is an indication that health systems are trying to reduce the total cost of care by manufacturing generics.

Where will the industry go from here? I happen to think that cost control in pharmaceuticals is just the beginning. Let us pick up at the luxury automobile scenario to see where we are in that industry. When you pulled up at your lube company or tire store, what happened? Were you able to get an oil change or your tire replaced?

In all likelihood, you got a shocking reply. The oil change can be done, but there is a special computer signal that will not turn off and thus, your car will continue to think that the oil is old. The filter has a special component that is not sold to the 3rd party service shop. You have to go to the dealer for it. In the tire scenario, even if the tires are a national brand, the treads are custom to the luxury car maker and you cannot purchase them in the market. You have to get the replacement time at the car dealer. What does it all mean? The luxury car manufacturer has found a way to keep you captive in some ways.

Why does this matter? I believe that in healthcare, the large health systems that have research prowess will start making custom implants or splints that can only be purchased at their facilities. Perhaps a brace that can only be put on and taken off at one of their provider facilities. What if there was even a medical device where the patent enables the health system to only offer it at their facilities? These are ways for the health system to differentiate themselves and keep their costs low, while also creating a strong relationship that is somewhat captive to them. A less-intensive version of this is already in play today. There are certain surgery techniques that are practiced in some nationally renown facilities and are captive to them.

As health systems grapple with being a risk-bearing entity, look for more ways in which they will try to build competitive advantage in the top line (unique procedures, unique splints, etc) and ways to build competitive advantage in the bottom line (make generic drugs, make simple medical devices themselves, etc.). The future is looking like a branded experience for patients.

Contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com to discuss more...

ID Associates Select AlertMD to Make it Easier to Coordinate Care

AlertMD gives providers about 2 hrs back in their day to spend with patients and go home earlier to their own families

Here is how...

  1. Automatic provider-to-provider consult notifications when such order is entered in the chart
  2. PCP notifications of admissions/discharges
  3. Simplified patient assignment and transition of call schedule
  4. Pro fee charge capture
  5. Post discharge care coordination
  6. Quick and easy signout
  7. Critical lab alert
  8. Call the patient room directly without waiting on the switchboard line and we are just getting started...

We help deliver a 7-16% increase in pro fee revenue and a 9 day acceleration in cash flow. We help reduce medical experience and we make it easier for you to focus on the patient instead of paperwork.

AlertMD optimizes provider-to-provider consults and nurse-to-provider consults - we put it on Auto-pilot - contact to learn more. This has changed a lot of workflows at the hospital and the practice.

Benefit from several customizable, real-time, mobile alerts that are timely and actionable.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Hospitalist Physicians Medical Group Pick AlertMD

AlertMD gives providers about 2 hrs back in their day to spend with patients and go home earlier to their own families

Here is how...

  1. Automatic provider-to-provider consult notifications when such order is entered in the chart
  2. PCP notifications of admissions/discharges
  3. Simplified patient assignment and transition of call schedule
  4. Pro fee charge capture
  5. Post discharge care coordination
  6. Quick and easy signout
  7. Critical lab alert
  8. Call the patient room directly without waiting on the switchboard line and we are just getting started...

We help deliver a 7-16% increase in pro fee revenue and a 9 day acceleration in cash flow. We help reduce medical experience and we make it easier for you to focus on the patient instead of paperwork.

AlertMD optimizes provider-to-provider consults and nurse-to-provider consults - we put it on Auto-pilot - contact to learn more. This has changed a lot of workflows at the hospital and the practice.

Benefit from several customizable, real-time, mobile alerts that are timely and actionable.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

HealthFocus Physician Partners Pick AlertMD

HealthFocus Physician Partners sees patients at nursing homes and acute care facilities. They will now adopt AlertMD to streamline workflows.

  1. Save nursing labor via automatic consult notifications when such order is entered in the chart
  2. PCP notifications of admissions/discharges
  3. Simplified patient assignment and transition of call schedule
  4. Pro fee charge capture
  5. Post discharge care coordination
  6. Quick and easy signout and we are just getting started... We help deliver a 7-16% increase in pro fee revenue and a 9 day acceleration in cash flow. We help reduce medical experience and we make it easier for you to focus on the patient instead of paperwork.

Benefit from several customizable, real-time, mobile alerts that are timely and actionable.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Another Texas Practice Joins AlertMD

Providers at Special Health Resources of TX adopt AlertMD to streamline workflows and AlertMD announces major nursing workflow improvement.

  1. Automatic consult notifications when such order is entered in the chart
  2. PCP notifications of admissions/discharges
  3. Simplified patient assignment and transition of call schedule
  4. Pro fee charge capture
  5. Post discharge care coordination
  6. Quick and easy signout and we are just getting started...

We help deliver a 7-16% increase in pro fee revenue and a 9 day acceleration in cash flow. We help reduce medical expense and we make it easier for you to focus on the patient instead of paperwork.

AlertMD announces a major nursing workflow improvement - we go from consult to your phone without nursing labor. This has changed a lot of workflows at the hospital and the practice. Inquire to learn more.

Benefit from several customizable, real-time, mobile alerts that are timely and actionable.

For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

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