The competitive natures of the healthcare industry are driven by a number of sources. From the competitiveness of the education sector to a shift toward more customer service-driven care, the healthcare industry is in the midst of a dynamic period allowing them to make changes on all levels of care. But these changes aren’t just about the quality of service; these changes are driven by patient engagement and financial initiatives. As a leader among healthcare SaaS companies, Iron Bridge works hard to make healthcare integration work for you, which is why we’re here to share the latest news on initiatives in healthcare interoperability.
Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed new rules involving healthcare integration that could increase patient engagement and quality of care. How does this work, and what will this look like in practice? We're here to break it down for you.
CMS Initiatives for Healthcare Integration
Using Healthcare SaaS Companies to Tackle Barriers in Patient Care
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently introduced new policies that are designed to expand access to health information on all levels of the patient experience, including billing, insurance, physicians, and the patients themselves. The idea is to implement software that allows for the seamless exchange of data from one level to another.
This seamless exchange is expected to - based on initiatives already put into place by healthcare SaaS companies - improve care coordination, better patient outcomes, and reduce costs of doing business over time.
Interoperability in the healthcare industry is not a groundbreaking idea. Interoperability is a practice that nearly all hospital systems hope to implement, but are often held back by the costs of implementing healthcare integration using an in-house team.
The proposal of the CMS interoperability rule requires plans within Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare Advantage, and the ACA to provide beneficiaries with free electronic access to their personal health data within the next year. This is typically done using integration from healthcare SaaS companies to create, in essence, a core location from which medical information is communicated, dispersed, and accessed. For patients, the point of access typically comes in the form of a patient portal that features simple access to health and immunization records, appointment summaries, billing, and secure messaging with practitioners.
How the CMS Interoperability Rule Improves Patient Engagement
Using Healthcare SaaS Companies to Increase Patient Engagement
While this, of course, helps CMS create better benefits for its beneficiaries, there are a number of benefits that this leads to across the healthcare industry as a whole. Particularly, this type of information can help improve the way patients engage with and utilize their health information.
While not typically known, patients have a right to access their protected health information under HIPAA and can request this information at any time. This is an underutilized action because of the time it traditionally takes offices to provide this information: a request, wait time and pick up or mailing at/from the office itself.
Healthcare integration allows all of this information to exist securely online, making it readily accessible for people looking to be more engaged with their health. This comes as a result of shifting attitudes within the industry in which patients take a more head-on approach to their own care.
Having access to and staying informed about health information not only keeps patients in the loop on their health status but can help improve the likelihood of adhering to treatment plans administered by physicians. Additionally, patients are empowered by this type of access. Physicians are busy, and can sometimes not be fully in touch with a patient’s health history. Easy access to medical records can help patients learn to ask the right questions even when physicians aren’t tuned in to that specific issue.
How Healthcare SaaS Companies Can Make the CMS Interoperability Rule a Reality
Integrated EHRs Help Drive Patient Engagement
It’s clear that using healthcare integration to overcome patient engagement issues - among a number of other challenges within the healthcare industry - is a valuable approach for hospital systems across the globe. But what does implementation entail, and why aren’t more hospital systems doing this?
There are a number of hurdles to overcome when implementing healthcare interoperability, ranging from financial to semantic barriers. However, integrated EHRs provided by healthcare SaaS companies created an added layer of value to patients in an increasingly competitive industry. Additionally, patients claiming a more active role in their own health can help improve outcomes as a whole, allowing the healthcare industry to thrive in terms of research and advancement.
Best of all, it’s more affordable to implement healthcare integration than many people may think. Iron Bridge - a leader among healthcare SaaS companies - offers affordable managed healthcare integration services at a rate only a fraction of building it yourself, allowing hospital systems to grow and provide high-quality care without the hefty price tag they expect.
Think it’s time to put growth and patient care at the forefront of your health system? Learn more about Iron Bridge’s affordable managed healthcare integration services for a simple breakdown of the effective, transparently-prices interoperability software that your system needs.