Homegrown data repository supports large specialty group practice

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BendCare, a large rheumatology group practice in Boca Raton, Florida, has built its own virtual private network and data repository to support its 160 clinicians that include physicians, nurses and physician’s assistants across 24 states.

The practice gathers information from point of care electronic data from its private clinical ecosystem of rheumatologists across the nation.

Unlike other registries whose data is collected from fragmented sources, the practice uses its own proprietary data to identify specific characteristics and follow a controlled population of patients until the conclusion of treatment, research, or study, according to the organization.

The practice analyzes data from its CareCloud electronic health record, laboratories, health plans and other sources to offer providers clinical decision support, value-based care, and revenue cycle management services.

The patient experience platform, called Breeze and also from CareCloud, is the only rheumatological patient database available that is comprised of real-time, real world data, says Brian Owens, chief information officer.

The participating physicians are all under one tax identifier but run their practices independently. Practices joining the group realize a 30 percent increase in revenue within a year, the organization contends.

“We integrate to pharmacies, purchasing organizations and specialty labs to be able to show real-time data to physicians at the point of care,” Owens says. “We use analytics to slice and dice the data.”

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A technology platform holding the data helps physicians manage their business, cancellations and billings, as well as talk to other doctors. The platform also integrates apps with wearable software such as heart rate monitors to be able to remotely assess how patients are doing in real-time.

CareCloud also offers its Breeze patient engagement platform that enables patients to check-in, schedule appointments, and process payments using virtually any type of computing device. In addition, a personalized URL enables practices to offer the platform to patients under their own brand name.

When a recall is made on a type of medication, Columbus is able to send out a broadcast to all physicians—as well as provide doctors with contact information on all their patients—to ensure they stop using the medication.

“We’re giving power back to doctors and patients,” BendCare CIO Owens says. “A doctor may have a new treatment that could be a best practice, so we partner to put together evidence on whether the treatment works.”

Owens recalls a particular drug that was prohibitively expensive and no insurer would cover it until the patient was toward the end of life. However, the drug helped regrow bone and patients started getting better, he contends.

“We asked insurers why they only pay for sick patients when they should pay this higher amount to have healthier patients,” Owens adds. “And we showed payers why treatment should come early and be paid.”

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