Retail Clinics Appeal to Consumers

CVS recently announced that it’s planning on buying Target’s pharmacies and retail clinics for $1.9 billion. If CVS buys Target’s 1,660 pharmacies and 80 retail clinics, it will be the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chain.

CVS recently announced that it’s planning on buying Target’s pharmacies and retail clinics for $1.9 billion. If CVS buys Target’s 1,660 pharmacies and 80 retail clinics, it will be the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chain. The deal was proposed after the Affordable Care Act put pressure on medical care providers to control costs, and smaller retail clinics struggled to make profits.

Under the ACA, payments are made based on quality and costs, rather than for services, which has pushed pharmacies to become more involved in coordinating healthcare for patients. CVS’s plan to provide major clinical services shows that retail clinics are becoming popular for consumers.

Surveying Consumers on Retail Clinics

According to a study from management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, 79% of respondents were receptive to receiving care for minor healthcare episodes in an alternative setting, as opposed to a traditional physician’s office. Two-thirds of respondents were interested in receiving advice on diet, nutrition, fitness, and well-being from a retail clinic while 50% were interested in getting advice on managing a chronic condition. 57% of respondents said they would like to receive medical care and advice at a retail clinic, and would be more likely to go to the retail clinic if they had a partnership with a local hospital. Most retail clinics market themselves on the basis of convenience and access, which is important to consumers who are tired of waiting for their appointments.

A survey conducted by PwC’s Health Research Institute revealed that the healthcare sector is beginning to feel like other industries by “catering to customers expecting one-click service.” Patients are opting to go to retail clinics for care instead of traditional doctor’s offices, and expecting lab results soon after leaving.

States are now allowing nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists to expand their clinical duties so they can provide better patient care. According to the report, “technology should ease the transition of care from doctors to others.” Medical groups who are using other staff members for care are more likely to use mobile health technologies and e-visits. Driven by expectations from millennials who were raised on technology, more healthcare providers are increasing the amount of technology in their facilities.

Mobile Technology in Healthcare on the Rise

The increased use of mobile health technologies benefits the retail clinics that are relying on pharmacists to deliver more care because they can save on costs. Retail clinics can use an ID scanner to simplify the process of filling out long medical forms.

Acuant’s SnapShell scanners are advanced camera-based image capturing devices that take high quality images instantly. Acuant’s scanner can be used to capture data from almost any source and can read and authenticate ID cards from all 50 states.

With Acuant, healthcare professionals can just scan their patient’s driver’s license to accurately obtain information about them. Because SnapShell® devices do not have any moving parts, they are maintenance free, extremely high speed and do not require any calibration. This allows healthcare professionals to quickly gather information and keep lines at retail clinics minimal.

Acuant’s MedicScan captures information from most health insurance cards, saving patients the trouble of deciphering their cards. With Acuant, retail clinics can give their patients faster and more convenient healthcare services.

Medical Identity Theft Increases

People are warned to watch out for medical identity fraud after the recent data breaches at Anthem Insurance and Premera Blue Cross. Medical identity theft has increased by 21.7% in 2014, according to the 2014 Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft, a report by the Ponemon Institute and the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance. Victims of medical fraud have had to pay $13,500 per person on average to resolve their issues, and in many cases, the financial burden also impacts the patient’s immediate family.

People are warned to watch out for medical identity fraud after the recent data breaches at Anthem Insurance and Premera Blue Cross. Medical identity theft has increased by 21.7% in 2014, according to the 2014 Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft, a report by the Ponemon Institute and the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance.

Victims of medical fraud have had to pay $13,500 per person on average to resolve their issues, and in many cases, the financial burden also impacts the patient’s immediate family.

Medical Identity Theft is Hard to Resolve

Medical identity theft is a difficult crime to resolve because of the complexity of the American healthcare system. Ponemon’s report says that victims learn about the theft of their identities more than three months after the incident. In an effort to decrease incidents of fraud, healthcare providers should make health records available to their patients.

Some victims of identity fraud knew exactly who stole their medical identities. 25% of medical identity theft victims knowingly let a family member or friend use their personal IDs to obtain medical services and products. Another 24% of victims say a family member took their credentials without their consent. In the majority of cases, medical credentials were stolen to obtain other services, such as Medicare or Medicaid benefits, or prescription pharmaceuticals.

Many victims also struggle to reach a decent resolution following a medical identity theft. The report found that only 10% of victims were satisfied with the results of their resolutions. Victims who had their medical identity fraud crimes resolved spent more than 200 hours working with their insurer to make sure their personal medical credentials were secure from future fraud attempts.

Medical identity theft is just one of the many on the list of identity theft ways that hackers and scammer, and in this case family members, can use your information.

Medical insurance fraud is a growing issue that has affected many Americans. Healthcare providers should use Acuant’s card scanning technologies to verify patient identities and keep healthcare records accurate. Acuant’s technology accurately scans medical documents and verifies patient IDs. When healthcare providers use Acuant’s technology to scan documents and verify IDs, patients know that their confidential information is in safe hands. Acuant’s idScan can scan a patient’s driver’s license, state ID, passport, or medical insurance card when they visit the doctor’s office. By using Acuant’s card scanning technology, patients will know that their medical identities are protected by an extra layer of security. With card scanning technology, healthcare providers can keep their patients safe from medical identity fraud.

Mobile App Use For Healthcare On The Rise

Healthcare professionals are using the latest technologies, and adopting the clinical use of mobile apps. According to a study conducted by GreatCall, a mobile health technology company, there are over 97,000 mobile apps on the market related to health and fitness. The mobile health app industry is expected to grow, and by 2017, the total mobile health market revenue will reach $26 billion. There have been 6 million downloads of mobile healthcare apps that serve as tools and instruments, and 80% of physicians use healthcare related mobile apps in their practices.

According to Electronic Health Reporter, about 82% of clinicians plan to integrate mobile devices into the practices in the next 12 months. An estimated 62% of doctors use tablets for work, and 50% of them regularly use tablets during their day-to-day practice. In addition to this, 72% of nurses and caregivers use smartphones for patient health related purposes. At-home caregivers especially benefit from mobile apps that let them access the tools and information they need from their patients’ homes.

As doctors and clinicians continue to embrace mobile technology, Acuant’s MedicScan gives caregivers the ability to capture critical health data from insurance cards and patient IDs using a mobile device. The patient data can then be auto-populated into a registration page, or any other application. Acuant’s identity solutions can recognize and scan insurance cards and IDs from all 50 US states, and from over 90 countries.

Electronic Health Reporter also reports that 46% of consumers believe that mobile health apps will help reduce healthcare costs substantially.

 

 

Patient Credential Management

It’s unavoidable. Healthcare is news. Whether it’s rising costs, data security breaches or patient care, healthcare is indeed news. But regardless of the headlines, quality remains the predominant theme throughout the healthcare industry.

It’s unavoidable. Healthcare is news. Whether it’s rising costs, data security breaches or patient care, healthcare is indeed news. But regardless of the headlines, quality remains the predominant theme throughout the healthcare industry. As a result, healthcare providers are constantly seeking ways to provide the highest-quality care. And credentialing is an essential part of the quality effort.

When it comes to credentialing, most organizations still rely on outdated, time-consuming and potentially inaccurate approaches (i.e., manual). In fact, it is estimated that nearly 70% of those performing front-line credentialing are using some type of paper-based system or homegrown spreadsheet or database providing limited automation and little added efficiency. Why is this a concern?   Simply put, manual entry can be complicated, time consuming and definitely error prone.

So why automate?

Automated information intake is infinitely more accurate.   It also minimizes customer waiting and irritation, and gives more time for interaction and connection. The process dramatically reduces keystrokes and forms, captures more and better information, and delivers real time insights directly to frontline staff. Plus, the ability to use virtually any device to scan and capture customer information means employees have the freedom to complete this critical task where it’s most convenient for their customers.

An automated process will absolutely streamline registration and workflow. Consider that the process of capturing patient information is reduced to seconds, plus it is far more accurate than manual processes. Integration into Patient Management Systems and EMRs means a near paperless environment and less staff can process more patients even quicker.

The benefits can drive significant increases in productivity, provider satisfaction, improved communication and analytics across the organization as well as decrease risk, but most importantly – it can improve patient care. With fewer manual tasks to handle, your staff can be more focused on patient care and creating the best patient experience.

What else should you think about? Well, consider that insurance claim rejections are often the result if incorrect or missing information. With an automated process, collected data is more complete and accurate, resulting in increased efficiency and accuracy while leading to faster claim processing and reduced rejections.

Automated solutions have also proven to reduce up to hundreds of keystrokes per patient intake. This in turn has shown savings of up to thousands of dollars a week in data capturing resources. For any organization, big or small, the ability to improve service and save time and money is invaluable.

Patients want their medical needs attended to and not be bogged down with administrative processes. By accelerating the registration process, the patient experience is enhanced. Through quicker admin processes, staff can focus their attention more on the patient and their needs.

Patient First

In a world where patients and consumers can look up healthcare prices and hospital ratings online, the industry faces increased competition and transparency, and must enhance patient experience to stay relevant, according to a recent Forbes piece.

“It’s gratifying to see that hospitals and healthcare systems are placing such importance on patient satisfaction. After all, it’s really all about the patient experience and providing the safest care and best service and high quality healthcare.” Blackford Middleton

In a world where patients and consumers can look up healthcare prices and hospital ratings online, the industry faces increased competition and transparency, and must enhance patient experience to stay relevant, according to a recent Forbes piece.

So yes, patient satisfaction is a big deal. It boosts patient attraction and retention, and candidly it reduces the likelihood a patient will file a malpractice lawsuit. It also saves a practice time: Happy patients do not take up physician and staff time complaining. Finally, it is beginning to affect reimbursement. Already for hospitals, and for all physicians accepting Medicare, patient satisfaction scores will determine bonuses and penalties.

So – at a high level – what kinds of things can a hospital or healthcare system do to improve the patient experience?

Reliability. Hospitals must train employees to provide continuous care, pay attention to detail and create consistent positive patient experiences.

Assurance. Doctors and staff should talk openly with patients, provide the big picture issues and discuss specifics, Keller writes. Encourage a two-way conversation and consider hiring health coaches to help patients with concerns.

Tangibles. Give patients instructions for home care after treatment, tips to stay healthy or even glow-caps on prescription bottles to remind them to take their medicine. Patients need to feel like they received thorough care throughout the healthcare continuum.

Empathy. Make patients feel that they are heard and have a say in their treatment by communicating with sensitivity toward their values and aspirations, Keller writes.

Responsiveness. Don’t overpromise immediate results. Manage patients’ expectations while keeping them informed of their care plans.

Healthcare today is a large complex industry, yet the core focus should always remain on the patient. Technology must help, not hinder, the connection between patients and healthcare providers. And this is one reason why we are so passionate about Acuant healthcare solutions. Patients want their medical needs attended to and not be bogged down with administrative processes. By accelerating the registration process in an automated format, the patient experience is enhanced. Through quicker admin processes, staff can focus their attention more on the patient and their needs. Acuant solutions are capable of reading and processing almost all health insurance cards in seconds, thereby reducing work overhead, cutting costs and ultimately, putting the attention back on the patient.

Efficiency Results in a Better Patient Experience

Customer satisfaction has the chance of being increased as medical professionals use technology to reduce wait time.

New Report Shows Market for Quality Care

A report by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative reveals that the patient-centered medical home model of healthcare is an effective way to provide quality care while reducing spending. Quality care includes having a comprehensive view of the patient as a whole person, making patient health information easily accessible to healthcare workers, and improving scheduling procedures. Healthcare facilities strive to have the latest in medical technology to keep their patients well, but the technology on the administrative side for many healthcare facilities remains outdated. Doctors’ offices are expected to manage stacks of patient files. Hospitals are expected to keep track of redundant paperwork. Patients dread the thought of filling out insurance forms in the waiting room.

Efficiency Through Automation

With efficient card scanning technology, healthcare facilities can reduce the time spent filling out and filing forms. Acuant ScanShell scanners can scan ID cards like drivers’ licenses and process data instantaneously, reducing the time it takes for a patient to fill out a form. In addition to scanning ID cards, this technology can process the information on medical insurance cards. Scanning insurance cards reduces insurance claim rejections, which are often the result of incorrect or missing information. With this technology, a patient’s insurance data is collected with complete accuracy, which results in increased efficiency and faster claim processing. Patients will not have to worry about filling out forms, or deal with insurance companies later when a claim is rejected. Instead of fumbling around with cumbersome paperwork, or filling out confusing health insurance forms, patients can scan their health insurance cards and know that their information was accurately processed.

The Benefits Add Up

In addition to improving the patient experience, scanning solutions have proven to reduce hundreds of keystrokes per patient intake, which in turn saves healthcare facilities thousands of dollars a week in data capturing resources. Healthcare workers benefit from this efficiency because they will quickly receive the patient’s information, and they will not have to keep track of paperwork. This technology allows healthcare employees to access organized patient information digitally. This near paperless environment lets healthcare staff process patients quickly.

Patients Could Have A Better Experience

With efficient card scanning technology that reduces wait time and paperwork, healthcare facilities can provide their patients with a better care experience.

 

How Identity Solutions are Changing the Medical Industry

Medical professionals are finding ways to be more efficient replacing data entry with automated technology.

Medical Professionals are Becoming More Efficient

Even hospitals deserve care with real solutions for their challenges. The time of countless papers and various signatures are slowly fading away to a more accurate process that many hospitals are quickly adopting. In the past, human error at the threat of deadlines, held back the efficient flow of patient information flow and transactions. A nurse or doctor might have to go through the following process:

  1. Record patient data
  2. Check for errors
  3. Submit information

Even with the latter identity submission and verification methods, mistakes could still happen through human error.

Identity Solutions and Increased Customer Service

The latter process has become streamlined as registration and workflow has been reduced to seconds by accurately auto-populating this information into a database. This database can then be used for various purposes.

Solutions such as MedicScan have helped reduce problems such as claim rejections due to incorrect or missing information while making patients happy by reducing the time needed for administration. Thus, from the administration professionals, to the patients, to the hospital’s bottom line… each group benefits.

Efficiency for Medical Professionals and More

The only real question is how fast companies will use scanning software to make the changes that will be necessary to save them time and labor costs. While there are s stragglers, many groups have already adopted this new standard for doing business. Dental, mobile health, retail clinics, and other industries all stand to win with respect to the ease in which they can now conduct their transactions and provide added value to their customers.