• The form #10 does not exist or it is not published.

The Future Dictates the Present

The Future Dictates the Present, Sam KhashmanLess than a decade ago, technology promised to form the future. In today's rapidly changing, collaborative setting, the future dictates today's technology.

Technology of the present must be built to anticipate and accommodate changes of the future. Regardless of how the version of standards regulating the electronic handling of health care transactions change, systems must possess the characteristics, foundation, and structural underpinning necessary to allow for tweaks in a day-to-day environment as well as leaps for future requirements.

This means the technology company's organizational infrastructure has to be in lockstep with the practice plans, while both are anticipating and overall industry future trends. Your technology vendors should be able to articulate where they see the industry going and how their research and development (R&D) investment is ensuring they will be leaders in the game not only next year, but five and ten years from now. For example, a decade ago we focused on the cost and complexity of interfaces and each time a new hospital was added to the billing system, it could involve a fairly substantial amount of time and money. Groups would often interface only to the largest hospital served and work smaller entities from paper. As time went on and interfaces became standardized (and cheaper), it became practical to add even relatively small sites via electronic interface. So what did we focus on instead? Further automating traditionally manual billing process—from charge reconciliation to claims submission to coding to claims follow-up. Obviously this means your partners in technology should be a vital part of practice initiatives to maximize employee productivity and reduce costs.


The Forces Shaping Healthcare: 2017 Trends You Should Know

It has been quite the year for healthcare providers and their patients. Major shifts in policy like the MACRA Final Rule and the end of the ICD-10 grace period have ushered in a new era of value over volume. Not to mention a new president-elect, declaring the repeal and replacement of the ACA one of his top priorities. The future of the industry is hazy, but what’s certain is the undeniable growth of value-based care. It can no longer be ignored. To survive this new world, health organizations must adapt, innovate, and create value. Let’s discuss some emerging trends you should know for 2017, and how to tackle them head on. 

  • The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), weighing in at a whopping 24 pounds when printed, marks the shift to quality-based physician reporting. Replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate formula with the Quality Payment Program, physicians now have two reporting tracks to choose from: The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM). Under MIPS, providers earn a payment adjustment based on providing quality care supported by technology (think EHR). Under APM, providers earn more for taking on risk for patient outcomes. 
  • Key Takeaways - The Final Rule is meant to enable providers to embrace MACRA with confidence, so don’t waste time! It’s important to start reporting as early as possible. The more you measure and report on outcomes using proactive and intelligent practice management models, the more you’ll see payment premiums in your future. If your head is rolling from information overload, have no fear. Our MACRA Final Rule whitepaper simplifies everything you need to know – including deadlines, tips and best practices. 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • We may not live in an age of robots and flying cars, but a computer helping a doctor form an accurate diagnosis on a patient’s MRI in real-time is on the horizon. In fact, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human in 2020. This innovation is possible through machine learning – an automated approach to analytics that enables computers to draw conclusions from data and perform a specific task, all while continually learning and refining its outcomes. It basically gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. 
  • Key Takeaways - There is so much possibility in the realm of AI. In the not so distant future, machine learning will not only play a large role in routine workflow and diagnostic support, but also early detection and diagnosis of disease. However, it’s important to note that AI should never be viewed as a replacement for clinical care, rather compliment it. It’s really up to the provider to determine interaction with this field. Do your research and determine whether or not AI is right for your practice. You can learn more about machine learning here

Rising Healthcare costs and the power of Consumerism
  • Insurance premium increases, heightened patient out-of-pocket spending, growth in high-deductible plans, hiked pharma prices… it’s enough to scare anyone away from routine visits to the doctor’s office. As I mentioned in this blog post, patients are beginning to comparison shop before they choose a provider, before they go in for surgery, or before they decide to purchase medication that their doctor prescribed. With value-based care in full swing, patients have essentially become healthcare’s window shoppers. These changes aren’t only affecting patients, though. Pressure to reduce costs travels from employers to payers and onto providers. Now, providers must make the changes necessary to curb costs but also satisfy their patients’ needs for top notch, quality care, all the while facing the prospect of declining reimbursement and narrowing provider networks. 
  • Key Takeaways - Communication between patient and provider is really crucial here. Make sure patients know upfront how much services will cost. Educate them on practice payment policies. Basically, act as the patient’s coach. Teach them to speak up about the price things like medication, X-rays, etc. if it’s an issue. Often times, patients won’t communicate their concern simply because they’re embarrassed, so meet them halfway. Encouraging patients to discuss their financial barriers will not only save both parties time, but strengthen the provider to patient relationship. It also prevents a lot of wasted physician time. So, check on costs and educate the patient, before care is provided if possible. 

Prior Authorization 
  • Requirements for prior authorization have increased steadily in recent years, and there are no signs of slowing down in 2017. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Medicare data found that 23% of drugs in private drug plans are covered by Medicare Part D required prior authorizations, up 8% from 2007. During that same period, the percentage of drugs carrying some type of utilization management restriction more than doubled from 18% to 39%. As prescription drugs become more expensive, especially ones that are complicated and require a whole slew of questions about appropriateness, there’s a heightened use of prior authorizations. Also, the nation’s changing demographic is playing a large role. As more of the population becomes eligible for Medicare Part D, drug costs rise and plan administrators turn to prior auths to control costs. 
  • Key Takeaways - The good news? There are products and services available to practices that speed up and streamline the process, as well as minimize that amount of practice time they consume. Imagine uses an engine that includes over 27,000 payer and provider-specific rules to determine whether a prior-auth is needed, while checking CPT-specific eligibility and benefits. There is also a possibility that value-based payment models will decrease the number of drugs and procedures that need approval before payers will cover them. The healthcare industry is moving toward rewarding outcomes, so there’s a possibility that value-based care could end the need for pre-auths entirely!

Cyber Security 
  • Words typed on a keyboard can’t possibly express the level of risk associated with the exposure of patient medical records. Personal medical information is one of the most valuable types of data for hackers. Patient data really provides a double whammy when it comes to theft – both identity and its variant, medical identity theft. When a person uses another’s identity to obtain medical treatment, not only is the victim’s medical records meddled with, their insurance company is defrauded as well. Medical identity theft victims actually spend an average of $13,000 or more to get their life back. Beyond financial risk, any loss of patient protected health information (PHI) could cost practices their reputation and the trust of its patients. Health networks are really a prime target for attackers, since data is spread over different networks, making it harder to defend.
  • Key Takeaways - There are steps that can be taken to improve your defenses. Sam Khashman, CEO of ImagineSoftware made several suggestions: "Education and training of health organizations are vital, ongoing mitigation steps allowing for discipline, documentation, compliance, and buy-in from staff and stakeholders. Healthcare providers should properly vet and re-vet their human resources, using technology to detect any departure from the lines of compliance. Providers could either lean on readily available data loss prevention systems (DLP) that stop PHI from being exploited, or choose to implement a tokenizaton system that will render the data useless without its environment." 

2017 will be the year of the patient. They're becoming much more involved in their own health, taking control and making their own decisions. To succeed, healthcare providers must embrace value-based care and meet their patients halfway, becoming the helping hand they need. 

ImagineSoftware Wins New Contracts

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Charlotte, NC - ImagineSoftware, a leading provider of medical billing solutions, announces the successful gain of five new clients over the past two months.

Each client will be implementing Imagineradiology™ at their respective locations in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, and Washington. Developed exclusively by Imagine, the complete practice management software solution incorporates billing, collections and reporting to increase cash flow, improve operational performance and increase practice profitability in the most cost effective manner.

ImagineSoftware Recognized For Corporate Volunteer Program

Charlotte, NC – Technology Partners, Inc. (dba ImagineSoftware), a leading provider of medical billing technology, was recently selected as a finalist by the Charlotte Business Journal in the Corporate Volunteer Program category of the publication’s 1st Annual Charlotte Business Journal Corporate Volunteerism Awards.

The Charlotte Business Journal Corporate Volunteerism Awards recognizes companies either headquartered or located in Charlotte that perform exceptional acts of philanthropy for the city in areas such as Improving Our Schools, Volunteer Spirit, Outstanding Partnership, Sustainable Communities, and Most Outstanding Company Project. ImagineSoftware was selected as one of three finalists in the Corporate Volunteerism Program category for Imagine Gives, an internal charitable initiative that provides Imagine employees with the opportunity to support their community through volunteering...

ImagineSoftware Announces New Imagine 10th Anniversary Edition

Charlotte, NC – Technology Partners, Inc. (dba ImagineSoftware), a leading provider of medical billing technology, announces the latest edition of its flagship product, Imagine 10™, in honor of the company’s 10-year anniversary.

In preparation for the full release of Imagine 10™, the industry’s first intelligent multi-platform channeling practice management system, specific user-driven functions have been implemented to include new templates, filters, builds, and drill downs for reporting, ticklers, and dashboards, as well as enhanced VoIP capabilities, advanced product integration features, and exclusive utilities to aid users with auditing, PECOS, and ICD-10. Additionally, custom configurations have been added to increase existing “hands-free” billing automation capabilities within the ImagineAppliance®, boosting efficiency and reducing costs.

An Interview with Imagine CEO, Sam Khashman

Imagine’s fearless leader and CEO, Sam Khashman, sat down with the team at the RBMA Bulletin to talk about taking business risks, data security, and the changing trend in practice collections. Take a look at what he had to say in the RBMA May-June Bulletin Thought Leader spotlight:

When you founded the company, did you have a sense of what it would grow into and that you would still be running it today?
Thinking back to the beginning, our vision, endless ideas and drive would have had us bigger and more successful in our own minds. I think we always thought of super success without an end in sight. We probably didn’t quite think about all the mountains we would have to climb and the hurdles that we would have to overcome; and that endless ideas and drive command an equal amount of resources. I am certain that every entrepreneur firmly believes in their success and the immortality of their idea, their company and their team. In our case, we set nonnegotiable goals. Success and servant leadership are on top, and we are grateful that they have been well received for 15 years.

How important has taking risks and innovating been to your company’s overall success?
I believe that taking more risks than anyone else thinks is practical and surrounding yourself with a very creative team that can execute is key to any company’s success. The French romantic Victor Hugo wrote, “nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” In modern times we might add “…and a strong team and likeminded partners that can execute and maintain relationships.” Additionally, we believe that servant leadership and continuous innovation of systems, processes and products play a vital role.

Data security is becoming a big challenge for healthcare. Have you seen the need for security go up since ImagineSoftware was launched?
The healthcare IT landscape has changed significantly and the need for security has dramatically increased since we first began our journey. Cybersecurity was a Star Trek, insider, geek term in 2000. Today cyber-attack, -breach, -security are on the minds of most Americans and front and center for any business with sensitive data. Particularly scary breaches are the ones that involve PHI and surrounding information because these constitute the most severe breach of privacy. It seems that not a week goes by without news breaking of a healthcare system, practice or cloud provider being breached. Unfortunately, most breaches are successful on the attacker’s end and a failure on the side of the folks charged with safeguarding the data. The short version is that if an individual actor, an organization or even a foreign government spends enough time and resources, they will likely be able to get in.

Our company has implemented multilevel systems to include intrusion prevention and intrusion detection at the n-point in addition to putting in place the proper protocols for stop-of service and risk mitigation. We have added an entire department of high powered cyber folks headed up by our chief strategy officer, a veteran in the cyber field who has implemented mission-critical systems for national interests. These folks are available to our clients and assist in critical infrastructure design well beyond the Imagine system. Finally, we have built our own data center to ensure that we provide clients who like the convenience that cloud-based systems bring but don’t want to take a gamble on a third party with a viable alternative.

What do you anticipate will happen to practice collections and how will Imagine play a role?
The recent reimbursement cuts and the combination of procedures that hit radiologists’ pocket books may have been just a preview to what the mounting patient responsibility component will become. The theory was that true self-pay would disappear, but the reality is that the dollar volume simply shifted from one bucket to the next. Deductible, self-pay after insurance, enrollment periods, etc. impact collections more now than ever before. In anticipation of this shift, we helped create a number of patient payment solutions that assist our clients in the collection effort while maintaining a healthy and positive relationship with the patients. Imagine makes these options and systems available to its clients without the need or cost of additional software licensing. Our clients have had great success in not just the mitigation but also the increase of income on this journey.