As consumers have grown accustomed to the efficiencies of dealing with the Internet, they expect the same capabilities to make handling their healthcare easier.
Clinicians, no longer skittish about information technology, expect the same thing.
Healthcare organizations have lagged a bit in bringing technological efficiencies to their user communities. But with changing incentives in the healthcare industry, the pressure is increasing to make things change.
Providers want to better cater to patients and families, hoping to improve their ability to engage patients, to both meet meaningful use requirements and to get them more involved in their own care. Provider organizations also are looking to pare expenses and become more cost-efficient, as reimbursement increasingly is no longer based on the quantity of services.
The drive to improve efficiency is encouraging a variety of IT startups to address areas of healthcare that have slipped through the cracks. Healthcare organizations are feeling the pressure and starting to look at new possibilities.
SwiftPayMD, for example, is a startup that hopes to improve the efficiency of charge capture and revenue cycle management for medical practices and medical billing companies. The privately held Norcross, Ga.-based vendor has focused on developing mobile physician charge capture apps and medical billing software that help physicians improve the financial performance of their practices.
SwiftPayMD’s applications help healthcare providers strengthen and simplify their financial operations, enabling clinicians to use a mobile phone or tablet to dictate, upload and submit charges on mobile devices. That obviates the use of manual data entry, keyboards or other special hardware to input information.
The software-as-a-service approach “fills a critical gap between the hospital point of care and the physician’s back office, eliminating lost charges and converting accounts receivable to cash more quickly. The end result is more revenue and cash flow for the physician practice,” says David LaBorde, MD, CEO and Founder of Iconic Data Inc., the parent organization for SwiftPayMD.
Another startup, CeutiCare, in Toledo, Ohio, hopes to bring efficiencies in medication therapy by providing pharmaceutical expertise at the point of care. The company is adding chronic care management to what it brings to the point of care, says Ken Bachmann, vice president of pharmacoinformatics.
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is driving the evolution of the company’s offerings, Bachmann adds. “We have become primarily software focused, and are beginning a major initiative to refine our Ceuticare ICG software so that a much wider group of users can deploy and implement its decision-support features.”
CeutiCare’s software provides disease-state algorithms that guide clinicians toward optimally prescribing medications for specific patients with defined conditions.
The company has begun targeting a much broader array of potential clients, Bachmann says. “We are finding success with self-insured entities, third-party administrators, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacist organizations and pharmacist networks, as well as private insurers. We’ve developed clinical intervention models and financial models for each of those lines.”
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