Prevent a Healthcare Data Breach: Improving Your Patient Health Information Security

Posted on April 14, 2016

If you’re an executive in the healthcare industry in 2016, you know one of your primary concerns is how to prevent a healthcare data breach. We discuss patient health information security, healthcare IT, new types of hacker attacks, and the latest breaches with our clients on a daily basis. It’s on all of our minds all the time.

Last year alone, the Office of Civil Rights recorded 253 data breaches that put 112 million private health records at risk.1 This is no longer “the IT person’s problem.” Bolstering an organization’s defenses against a data breach should be a cross-departmental initiative driven by leadership.

Continue Reading

Healthcare Data Breaches in 2016: How Your Practice Could Be at Risk

Posted on April 12, 2016

We’ve been hearing a lot of “did you hear?” from our clients lately.

“Did you hear about that Southern California hospital that paid $17,000 to hackers to unfreeze their systems?”1

“Did you hear about ——”

Data breaches and the security of protected health information are on everyone’s mind these days and for good reason. As attacks and breaches rise and intensify, healthcare executives are confronting the need for increased attention and expenditure on healthcare IT.

Continue Reading

Codes And Conduct: Maintaining Effective Relationships With Your Payers After The ICD-10 Transition

Posted on January 27, 2016

Just the other week, we spoke to a Western regional provider of diagnostic and outpatient services who told us that the most surprising thing about the healthcare industry’s ICD-10 transition wasn’t the coding changes themselves, but the unexpected ways in which their payers responded to the changes.

“We felt like we did everything right,” the chief financial officer told us. “We trained our staff and physicians; we prepared all our systems and technology. We just never thought to ask the payers, ‘so what are you going to change when ICD-10 hits, and how can we make sure we’re working together?’ We ended up doing some scrambling after Oct. 1.”

Had this provider been working with us on revenue cycle preparations for ICD-10, we would have definitely advised them to add “remember that ICD-10 impacts your payment partners, as well” to their preparation list.

Focusing internally probably helped ensure that everyone and every system within your organization was prepared for the ICD-10 transition. In fact, early reports after the Oct. 1 implementation indicated that most organizations were adequately prepared. But you might be operating completely in the dark about how your payers have been impacted by ICD-10, or what they may be planning to change.1

Continue Reading

Let It Begin With You: ICD-10 Training for Physicians and Coders Reduces Rejected Claims

Posted on January 25, 2016

Now that October 1 has come and gone, many of us in the healthcare world are breathing a sigh of relief that the move to the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) and its more complex codes appears now like our equivalent of the Y2K scare — much ado about nothing. For the most part, healthcare organizations used the grace year when implementation was pushed back from Oct. 1, 2014, to Oct. 1, 2015, to prepare for ICD-10’s massive code expansion. Recent reports cite successful implementation at 80 percent of surveyed healthcare organizations, with few reported technological snags and mostly uninterrupted claims processing across the board. 1

So is there a problem? Underneath the rosy trend reports celebrating a smooth transition, healthcare organizations who are struggling may be wondering what went wrong in their situation, and even those who navigated the transition without a ripple might find some issues lurking under the surface. For one thing, professional claims rejections have risen, and coder productivity has dropped almost 40 percent. Regardless of your size and the current success (or not) of your organization’s ICD-10 transition, it’s a good idea to make sure you and your professionals and partners understand all the changes, and why education can help bridge some of the remaining gaps.2

Continue Reading