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Addressing Regulatory Burden, Patient Payments Top HIMSS18 Trends

Sessions dedicated to reducing regulatory burden, collecting patient financial responsibility, and implementing finance data analytics tools will dominate HIMSS18.

HIMSS18, regulatory burden, patient financial responsibility

Source: Xtelligent Media

By Jacqueline Belliveau

- Healthcare finance professionals can bet on discussing compliance, innovative health IT systems, and patient financial responsibility at the 2018 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition (HIMSS18) in Las Vegas.

Over 45,000 healthcare stakeholders will step through the doors of the Venetian Palazzo Sands Expo Center on March 5 for five days of education on the hottest topics in healthcare. With over 300 education sessions, 1,300 vendors, and hundreds of other programs and networking events, HIMSS18 promises to have something for everyone in the healthcare industry.

While the main focus of HIMSS18 is health IT and connected health, the conference offers a wealth of information for healthcare finance and revenue cycle management professionals. In fact, HIMSS is offering a separate Revenue Cycle Solutions Summit on March 5 in addition to hundreds of sessions throughout the week.

To prevent attendees from getting lost in the maze of sessions and people, will explore the top healthcare finance and revenue cycle management trends and sessions at HIMSS18.

Compliance and regulatory burden

Addressing regulatory burden and compliance has risen to the top of the priority list for provider organizations and CMS. And now, the topic has also hit HIMSS18.

READ MORE: What Is Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management?

Hospitals and health systems spend nearly $39 billion each year on administrative tasks related to regulatory compliance, the American Hospital Association recently reported.

While provider organizations are dedicating more funds to compliance, providers are also redirecting a greater portion of their day to administrative tasks. A recent University of Wisconsin and American Medical Association (AMA) study found that primary care providers spend almost six hours of their typical 11.4 hour workday on EHR data entry to complete clerical and administrative duties and inbox management.

While CMS intends to focus on reducing regulatory burdens in 2018, healthcare finance professionals are also seeking methods to reduce burdens and implement improved compliance programs as evident by the HIMSS18 schedule.

In the first session on March 5, Barry S. Herrin, the founder of Herrin Health Law, PC, will discuss regulatory compliance in relation to alternative payment models. Herrin explains that alternative payment models require payers, self-insured payers, third-party administrators, and providers to collaborate in non-traditional ways.

Herrin expects to help C-Suite, public policy, and finance professionals to identify regulations that could impact their choice of relationship in alternative payment models, understand antitrust statutes and regulations that impact provider network creation and payment negotiations, and learn about limitations imposed on taxable entities and tax-exempt public entities engaging in alternative payment models.

READ MORE: Top 4 Healthcare Revenue Cycle, Finance Trends to Watch in 2018

Later that day, Amy S. Leopard, Partners at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, and Leslie M. Cumber, Healthcare Associate at Gordon Feinblatt LLC, will discuss what provider organizations need to develop a risk-based approach to compliance management.

The session will include tips on allocating resources to compliance management and creating a position or team to handle compliance.

Another key session on March 8 will focus on reducing reporting burden through health IT systems. Ed Bolding, Manager of Finance and Value-Based Care at Northside Hospital, and Juliette Hoffman, Business Consultant at the Advisory Board Company, will discuss a framework to implement a “health IT-driven quality reporting strategy.”

While reducing quality reporting burden, the framework also promises to help provider organizations maximize incentive payments offered by value-based reimbursement programs, like MACRA’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

HIMSS18 will also offer a separate Compliance Symposium on March 5 focused on compliance in the health IT space.

Finance, RCM data analytics and artificial intelligence

READ MORE: Preparing the Healthcare Revenue Cycle for Value-Based Care

Data analytics are the backbone of an effective revenue cycle management strategy. Finance professionals need data to glean insights into operational efficiency, staffing, and revenue management.

This year at the HIMSS conference, finance professionals will learn how to apply their data analytics tools to specific finance areas, such as addressing the Quadruple Aim or reducing nursing leakage.

One of those sessions will be led by Michael J. Gillen, Vice President of Operations at Mercy Hospital, and Stacey Blankenship, Chief Nursing Officer at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. The March 9 session will discuss how Mercy used predictive analytics to reduce nursing leakage and save $4.3 million in one year.

The session will draw from Gillen’s discussion with in December 2017 on the analytics platform that helped Mercy optimize staffing schedules for nurses.

On March 9, Memorial Hermann’s Healthcare Analytics team will share how their organization implemented a data-driven strategy to manage the Quadruple Aim.

The session will cover the health IT systems, staff, and workflows used at Memorial Hermann to bring together data to improve costs, outcomes, and patient and provider experiences while boosting the number of covered lives and maximizing reimbursement.

Other key sessions on realizing savings through data analytics include “Building an Analytics-Driven Laboratory Outreach Business,”From Big Data to Big Knowledge: Optimizing Medication Management,” and “Using Market Data to Move the Needle on Performance.” The sessions will feature speakers from leading institutions, such as John Hopkins Health Systems and the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Additionally, As reported, HIMSS18 is all about AI in healthcare. And the conference will show attendees that the innovative technology can also be applied to healthcare finance and revenue cycle management.

In a session on March 6, Valier Barckhoff, Principal of Advisory Services at Windham Brannon, and Brooke Moore, CFO of the Emory Clinic, will show how AI can be used in provider organizations to reduce costs, increase productivity, and maximize revenue.

Panelists will share their experiences with AI in healthcare revenue cycle management, including introducing an AI assistant for pre-certifications.

Another session on March 8 will address how provider organizations can achieve a return on investment with AI tools. Bobbie J. Rimel, Gynecologic Oncologist and Associate Director for Gynecological Clinical Trials at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Wout Brusselaers, CEO of Deep 6 AI, will partner to explain how the medical center used AI to perform more clinical trials, increase revenue, and attract and retain patients.

Patient financial responsibility

With nearly three-quarters of providers seeing an increase in patient financial responsibility, it is no surprise that patient engagement with payments emerged as a top trend at HIMSS18.

Patients are becoming the new payer as more individuals enroll in high-deductible health plans. However, providers only expect to collect between 50 to 70 percent of a patient’s balance after a visit.

Finance and revenue cycle management professionals will learn how other provider organizations and vendors are collecting patient financial responsibility and engaging their patients in the process.

Patient financial responsibility is a major feature of the Revenue Cycle Solutions Summit at HIMSS18, with sessions devoted to understanding the patient as a payer, discussing costs with patients, and integrating patient payments into the healthcare revenue cycle.

But finance professionals can also access sessions on patient financial responsibility with just their general HIMSS18 badge, too.

On March 6, Yale New Haven Health will share how the organization implemented a “world-class financial service center” in response to the healthcare consumerism shift. Sharlene Seidman, the organization’s Executive Director of Corporate Business Services, will discuss how Yale New Haven Health empowered its staff to deliver efficient, consistent patient experience using real-time data for financial counseling and medical billing.

Attendees can also learn about how patient engagement can boost revenue at a session on March 7. John A. Marzano, Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs at Lehigh Valley Health Network, will discuss how his organization improved patient engagement as a marketing strategy.

With Medicare dominating their payer mix, Lehigh Valley Health Network used patient engagement to attract and retain patients, resulting in new revenue.

HIMSS18 promises a little something for everyone in the healthcare space and that rings true for healthcare finance and revenue cycle management professionals. From innovative health IT systems to healthcare consumerism, HIMSS18 attendees will gain access to how leading organizations in the healthcare space are responding to the top trends in 2018.


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