Emergency Medicine FOAM: How To Navigate And Participate

As an employee for a medical technology company, I had never heard of the term FOAM until I started following GomerBlog on Twitter (Who you should follow if you don’t already, he’s hilarious.) GomerBlog uses the hashtag #FOAMed after almost every one of his satirical tweets. At first I thought it was a term he coined for his content, but I quickly realized it was bigger than that after I skimmed through the program topics for the American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s (AAEM) Scientific Assembly this week and stumbled upon a session called “Going Digital: Twitter Basics for Emergency Physicians & Navigating FOAMed.” So I decided to dig a little deeper. It turns out that FOAM is a huge international movement, and if you don’t know it already, will allow you to constantly improve your knowledge as an emergency medicine professional.

What is FOAM? 

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via Emergency Medicine Cases 

FOAM, also known as Free Open Access Medical Education, or “Meducation”, is both a movement and a community. It’s something that emerged from our increasingly collaborative and tech-savvy world of medicine. Don’t think of it as a business strategy, though you can utilize it for thought-leadership if you have the know-how. Think of it more as a way to access medical education resources – on all healthcare topics. This includes tweets, blogs, podcasts, tweets, online videos, white papers, photos, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, and much more. It’s free, crowd-sourced medical education for anyone, anywhere, anytime. It allows healthcare professionals like you to share information on a global scale and learn from each other. The best part? It’s supposed to be fun, which is why writers like GomerBlog are publishing satirical and comical pieces with the #FOAMed hashtag. Now that you know what it is, you probably read or write FOAM on a daily basis and didn’t realize it.

#FOAMed and how to use it.
FOAM is the concept and #FOAMed is the social hashtag that brings it all together. You can search for this hashtag on Twitter to find all sorts of medical information, including Twitter accounts that specialize in FOAM (Which you will see on the left-hand side of the page after you type #FOAMed into the search bar). Use it to follow other advocates of FOAM, start a conversation, or become part of one. Again, this is a great resource to share thought leadership (your reputable knowledge and ideas) with other health professionals like you. It’s also a great way to analyze trending topics within the FOAM network. If you write content that you want to share with the rest of the world, use #FOAMed at the end of your posts. It’s the easiest way to share your content and make it easily accessible for others who participate.

How to access emergency medicine FOAM.
There are a lot of great resources that house FOAM specifically for emergency medicine. Life in The Fast Lane regularly posts something called LITFL Review, a source for the best of the best FOAM EM content. There are podcasts like EM:RAP and AAEM Podcasts that provide up-to-date and interesting topics in emergency medicine for free. The resources are everywhere. EM newsletters, white papers, blogs, infographics, social media posts, videos, and podcasts that you read or watch for free are considered FOAM. However, it’s important that you get your information from a reputable source, especially when searching under the hashtag. So, use good judgement.

Find out more at the AAEM 24th Annual Scientific Assembly!
As mentioned, there's a session at AAEM18 next week on this topic which you can view here. If you’d like to meet the Imagine Team while you’re there, meet us at booth #100 and make sure you enter to win the Echo + Echo Dot Giveaway!

aaem giveaway

Want more ImagineSoftware FOAM? Check out our resources page
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Sam Khashman, ImagineSoftware CEO, accepted into Forbes Technology Council

Sam Khashman, ImagineSoftware CEO, a leading provider of billing automation and revenue cycle management solutions, has been accepted into the Forbes Technology Council, an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives. 

Sam Khashman joins Forbes Tech Council members, who are hand-selected to become part of a curated network of successful peers and gain access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on Forbes.com. 

Forbes Councils combines an innovative, high-touch approach to community management perfected by the team behind Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) with the extensive resources and global reach of Forbes.  As a result, Forbes Council members get access to the people, benefits and expertise they need to grow their businesses — and a dedicated member concierge who acts as an extension of their own team - providing personalized one-on-one support.

Khashman stated “I am thrilled with the opportunity to participate in the Forbes Technology Council.  This organization offers the ability to connect with likeminded peers to share expertise and solve current business challenges.   Leveraging this innovative community will enable ImagineSoftware to continue on its exponential growth path.”

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, says, “We are honored to welcome Sam Khashman into the community.  Our mission with Forbes Councils is to curate successful professionals from every industry, creating a vetted, social capital-driven network that helps every member make an even greater impact on the business world.”

For more information about Forbes Technology Council, visit https://forbestechcouncil.com/.  To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit forbescouncils.com.

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Sam Khashman, ImagineSoftware CEO, accepted into Forbes Technology Council

Charlotte, NC | April 2, 2018 -- Sam Khashman, ImagineSoftware CEO, has been accepted into the Forbes Technology Council, an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives. 

Sam Khashman joins other Technology Council members who are hand-selected to become part of this curated network of successful peers.  These individuals gain access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on Forbes.com. 

Forbes Councils combines an innovative, high-touch approach to community management perfected by the team behind Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) with the extensive resources and global reach of Forbes.  As a result, Forbes Council members get access to the people, benefits and expertise they need to grow their business - and a dedicated member of concierge who acts as an extension of their own team - providing personalized one-on-one support. 

Khashman stated, "I am thrilled with the opportunity to participate in the Forbes Technology Council.  This organization offers the ability to connect with likeminded peers to share expertise and solve current business challenges.  Leveraging this innovative community will enable ImagineSoftware to continue on its exponential growth path." 

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, says, "We are honored to welcome Sam Khashman into the community.  Our mission with Forbes Councils is to curate successful professionals from every industry, creating a vetted, social capital-driven network that helps every member make an ever greater impact on the business world."

About ImagineSoftware
ImagineSoftware is the leading provider of billing automation software and revenue cycle management applications.  Offering powerful technology solutions for medical billing offices, practices, and hospitals, ImagineSoftware currently serves more than 46,000 physicians.  ImagineSoftware solutions improve financial efficiency, build provider reputation, and ultimately improve patient experience.  For more information, visit www.imagineteam.com and follow us on Twitter @ImagineTeam

About Forbes Councils
Forbes partnered with the founders of Young Entrepreneurs (YEC) to launch Forbes Councils, an invitation-only community for world-class business professionals in a variety of industries.  Members, who are hand-selected by each Council's community team, receive personalized introductions to each other based on their specific needs and gain access to a wide range of business benefits and services, including best-in-class concierge teams, personalized connections, peer-to-peer learning, a business serivces marketplace, and the opportunity to share thought leadership content on Forbes.com. For more information about Forbes Technology Council, visit https://forbestechcouncil.com/. To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit https://forbescouncil.com.
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Anesthesia Billing Checklist White Paper

It’s no secret that Anesthesiology is one of the most sensitive and difficult medical specialties to bill for accurately. If you find yourself juggling too many roles and fear that your practice’s level of reimbursement is suffering, consider the following checklist and recognize when it’s time to make the move to an enterprise anesthesia billing software solution.

Please complete the form to the right and you will receive an email with our white paper attached:"HTime is Money: The Anesthesia Billing Checklist."
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The Best Of Charlotte: As Told By The Imagine Team

Now that it’s only a few weeks away, the office is buzzing with talk of the 2018 Client Conference. After things got a little heated last year (Get it… because the air conditioning went out? Too soon?) we’re eager to once again host our clients in our hometown and show them what the Queen City is really made of.

For many of you that attended the 2017 Client Conference, it was your first time visiting Charlotte, NC. You caught a glimpse into what was “On The Horizon” of healthcare and ImagineSoftware. You learned, laughed, danced, and got to know the city we call home. This year, we want you to dig a little deeper and get to know Charlotte the way WE know it. To get you prepared, I asked a few local ImagineSoftware employees about some of their favorite spots, a few hidden gems, and things you simply can’t miss out on while you’re here! 

Question: If there's one thing you'd suggest a client do while they're in town, what would it be?"
Answer 1: "Try Taste of Charlotte or Soul of the South Food Tour!"
Answer 2: "Hop on a rickshaw and take an open air ride through Uptown. Grab a drink at one of our rooftop bars and check out the view of our beautiful city."
Answer 3: "See a Broadway show, experience Uptown, and take in an Imax movie!"
*Most employees responded with: "Try out local breweries!"
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Fun Fact: There are total of 43 breweries in Charlotte and surrounding areas, and that number is growing! Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is an Imagine favorite, Charlotte’s first local brewery. It’s also where we host our company cornhole tournaments! 

Question: What are your favorite Charlotte restaurants?
Answer 1: "Midwood Smokehouse, 300 East, Cabo Fish Taco, and Vivace."
Answer 2: "Copper, Sullivan's and Pinky's."
Answer 3: "Mertz, Cajun Queen, Essex and Foxcroft."
*Most employees responded with: Our local restaurants!
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Fun Fact: Charlotte isn’t just known for our brewery scene, it’s also known for our quantity AND quality of amazing local restaurants. We host two restaurant weeks every year, giving our local chefs the chance to show off their best dishes for a fraction of the price. You can discover many of our local eats on Trip Advisor here, and they’re organized conveniently depending on what kind of food you like!

Question: What in your opinion is Charlotte's best kept secret?
Answer 1: "The Billy Graham Library. Shhh, it's not a real library!"
Answer 2: "We have a lot of really beautiful parks, especially when they're in full bloom during Client Conference!"
Answer 3: "The Comedy Zone is a really cool stand-up comedy theater. Anyone who is anyone in the world of comedy has performed stand-up there. You can see photos of all the famous comedians that have been there over the years on the staircase leading into the theater.”
*Most employees responsed with: NoDa!
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Fun Fact: NoDa, otherwise known as North Davidson, is CLT’s historic arts and entertainment district. This area of the city is dedicated to promoting the arts, living eco-friendly lifestyles, supporting small businesses, and aiding fellow charities. It feels like you’re stepping into a different world as you drive down the colorful streets. A must-see for every Charlotte visitor! 

Question: What do you love most about living in the Queen City?
Answer 1: "The weather, I love that we get to enjoy all four seasons!"
Answer 2: "The people are amazing. Don't be surprised if our Charlotteans stop and start a conversation with you out of the blue."
Answer 3: "It doesn't matter where you're from or how old you are, there is always something fun to do!"
*Most employees responded with: Our location!
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Fun Fact: The bustling city is only a few hours away from amazing beaches AND mountains, all in the state of North Carolina. The Outer Banks is a popular vacation spot in spring and summer. Come back and visit us again in the fall to experience fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway, we’re sort of known for it! 

Question: What are you looking forward to the most about the Client Conference?
*100% of employees responded with: "Spending time with our clients!"
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We can't wait to see you all in May. Until then, Imagine On!

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Case Study: Physicians DataTrust and ImagineSoftware

Marissa Massey, Director of Information Systems | Client Success Story 2018

Introduction

Physicians DataTrust specializes in managing Independent Physician Associations (IPAs) with both commercial and senior managed care (HMO) patients. Utilizing the best available approaches to managed care ensures compliance, integrity, and success for independent physicians in the complex business environment of health care.

"A lot of companies say that their software can do great things, but that’s not always the case. MedMC can actually do the things that ImagineSoftware says it can do. If for some reason they can't, the team will work with you to make it happen."
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Case Study: Steward Health Choice

Leo Pelletier, Systems Application Manager, Client Success Story | 2018

Introduction

Steward Health Choice (SHC) is Steward Health Care’s managed risk platform, which covers 534,000 lives in Arizona and Utah. Since Health Choice was established in 1990, it has significantly grown its core managed Medicaid plan membership, while building a robust provider network. Today, the diverse and growing Health Choice risk platform is comprised of health insurance plans, a management services organization (Managed Services), and accountable care networks.

Health Choice is at the core of Steward’s goal to integrate patient, provider, and payer components of the health care industry under one banner to deliver the best possible care in the communities where patients live.

"They have been nothing but gracious and available. MedMC really feels like our partner."
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ImagineSoftware recognized by CIOReview as one of 50 Most Promising Healthcare Solution Providers in 2018

Charlotte, NC | March 16, 2018 -- ImagineSoftware has been recognized by CIOReview in the February Healthcare Special edition of their magazine as one of 50 most promising healthcare solutions providers in 2018CIOReview is a leading print magazine and online portal that bridges the gap between enterprise IT vendors and buyers.  As a knowledge network, CIOReview offers a range of in-depth CIO and COO articles, whitepapers, and the latest enterprise technology news to help CIOs and IT leaders make smart business decisions.  Once a year, CIOReview posts a list of the best vendors who provide exceptional solutions to enhance the entire healthcare experience for both providers and patients.

This year, CIOReview interviewed ImagineSoftware President & CEO Sam Khashman about staying on the cutting edge of the medical billing industry and how the company is utilizing artificial intelligence to change the world of revenue cycle and practice management software with ImagineAI™.   “Today’s patient collections approach is simply becoming unsustainable for medical billing staff,” stated Khashman.  “The manually-intensive process of verifying coverage and working to obtain patient payments is no longer efficient.  We have pioneered the technology behind ImagineAI™ to create a truly unique, market-leading product that produces results in a fraction of the time and cost.  This is a powerful, innovative approach to digital automation in healthcare, and we are extremely excited to set the new industry standard for revenue cycle management.”

This accolade is a direct reflection of the company’s commitment to continuous innovation and laser focus on servant leadership.  Khashman explained, “We work in a turbulent industry.  With so much uncertainty facing our clients, I think this recognition represents much more than our software.  We are the constant that customers rely on to provide innovation and measurable results, but they are the driving force that allows us to create it.  One does not exist without the other.”

For more information, please visit CIOReview’s website.
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Five Hacks To Prevent Denied Claims

We all know that the statistics are a dime a dozen, but the truth still remains.  Out of the $262 billion claims submitted by health organizations last year, 90% of them were avoidable.  You’ll see a lot of other writers call that 90% “hidden revenue”, but it’s not really hidden, is it?  It’s easy money.  At least it is if you have the right solutions in place.  Fortunately, many pieces are automated.  However, there is also a need for collaboration if you expect to drastically improve your organization’s denial rate.  Here are a few hacks you should be using right now.

1. Confirm coverage automatically.  It comes as no surprise that insurance eligibility is the most common type of denied claim.  Sometimes a patient’s insurance lapses, or the patient switched policies without informing their provider.  Other times, a patient may not be aware of exactly what their insurance will cover and not cover.  There are automated solutions for revenue cycle management, like ImagineDiscovery™, that discover patient insurance coverage that can be applied to a patient visit for payment.  So, you’re capturing revenue upfront - even before the patient’s visit - making the payment process easier for the patient and reducing your denial rate (which we will discuss in more detail in this blog post.)

2. You do the math! There are a few simple numbers and formulas you should have on hand if you want to discover the root(s) of the problem.

Rate of appeals - There’s a healthy balance between appealing no denials and appealing so many that you’re potentially wasting money that should be spent on prevention.  On average, the best rate of appeal is between 85% and 88%.  If you’re appealing over 90%, you’re fighting too many.  If your rate is low, you’re not communicating enough with your payors. 

Denial rate - Which is the percentage of claims denied by payors.  The denials rate is calculated by total dollar amount of claims denied by payers within a given period divided by the total dollar amount of claims submitted within the given period.  This metric quantifies the effectiveness of your revenue cycle management.  If your denial rate is low, it indicates a healthy cash flow, which means fewer staff members are needed to maintain that number.  The industry average is between 5% and 10%, so if you can attain a rate below 5%, you’re in really good shape. 


Average Reimbursement Rate - Which is the average amount your practice collects from total claims submitted.  The higher your percentage, the better revenue will be.  The industry average is between 35% and 40%.  When tracked over time and compared to historical results, you really get an idea of how the practice is performing financially. 


3. Capture accurate patient information with Artificial Intelligence.  The majority of denials are caused by manual error at the front desk.  The single most important task a receptionist can perform to reduce denials is to capture the correct insurance and demographic information upfront, but often times that’s not easy.  Denials based on this type of incorrect information are high-probability candidates for write-offs because the effort to re-work them often drags on past the filing deadline.  Giving your front desk staff the tools they need to capture that information upfront, like ImagineAI™, will allow them to verify and correct patient demographic details immediately.  This will streamline your patient collections process while ensuring that your practice is producing more clean claims.

4. Collaborate and make it personal.  You should involve as many departments as possible in the process of managing denials and discovering root problems, perhaps even developing a team to oversee process improvements.  However, you will undoubtedly struggle to get a buy-in from employees unless you make it personal to them.  At Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS), denials are communicated to employees on a monthly basis by reason code and financial impact to each individual department.  This way, each department feels a sense of ownership and understands the part they play in reducing denials.  Keep this in mind: when it comes to sharing these insights, it’s important to be more collaborative so that colleagues won’t fear that they will be blamed as a root cause.  If employees fear repercussion, you won’t receive the cooperation needed to solve the problems that are causing denials.  Include enough information to put numbers into perspective, instilling trust instead of fear. 

5. Make claims generation and submission hands-free.  We’re human, so naturally we can’t do it all when it comes to medical billing.  If your revenue cycle is built on manual data entry, there’s a lot of room for error.  With thousands of diagnostic codes, insurance policy requirements, payer rules and changing regulations, it can be exhausting for staff to accurately keep up.  Plus, many providers lack the staff or expertise needed to manage denials effectively.  Revenue cycle management software solutions like ImagineAppliance® automate general file transfer, charge coding, checking against payer rules and submitting for payment with automated timers and natural language processing.  Automating the claim lifecycle gives you much more functionality as a department and shifts billing staff responsibility into reviewing claims instead of manual creation, saving staff time and automatically creating clean claims. 
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ImagineSoftware to attend the first CMS Career and Technical Education Fair

Charlotte, NC | February 23, 2018 -- ImagineSoftware, a leading provider in revenue cycle and practice management software, will showcase at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Career and Technical Education (CTE) Fair on Saturday, February 24th, 2018.  With an ever-growing pool of technology related careers in the area, the district’s first CTE Fair will help educate students and their families about career opportunities and CTE course offerings with school staff.  Students also will have the opportunity to meet Charlotte-area employers, including ImagineSoftware. 


“This event will help students connect their passion with a career, network with area employers, and learn how to give their careers a jump start beginning as early as sixth grade and continuing through high school!” said Toni Hall, Information Technology Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The CTE Fair will expose students early to all career paths so that upon entering high school, they can begin to prepare for their careers, regardless of whether or not the career requires a four-year degree.  “ImagineSoftware is excited to team with CMS and participate in their first CTE Fair,” said Elizabeth Suppa, Chief Marketing Officer.  “We recognize the opportunity this provides not only for students in the Charlotte area but also for us a company.  We look forward to engaging with students and building work based opportunities for them as we actively recognize the need for more technology workers in the Charlotte area.”    

The event will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center and will begin at 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  CMO Elizabeth Suppa and Jessica Chasteen, Human Resources Manager, will greet students and parents at the ImagineSoftware booth.  You can read more about this event on the CMS website

About ImagineSoftware
ImagineSoftware is a leading provider of billing automation software and revenue management applications, offering powerful technology solutions for medical billing offices, practices, and hospitals, currently serving more than 46,000 physicians.  ImagineSoftware solutions improve financial efficiency, build provider reputation, and ultimately improve patient experience.  For more information, visit www.imagineteam.com and follow us on Twitter @ImagineTeam.

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