AVIA Releases Novel Benchmarking Data Revealing Health Systems’ Progress on Digital Consumerism Strategies

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AVIA, the nation's leading healthcare digital transformation partner, released findings from an industry-first Digital Benchmarking Initiative, delivering critical primary research data sourced from the country's most digitally progressive health systems. The digital benchmarking survey data reveals trends in patient access, engagement, and virtual care delivery, and identifies opportunities for healthcare organizations to optimize in critical areas such as telehealth, online scheduling, and patient portal utilization. As the leader in healthcare transformation through digital, AVIA is committed to developing sophisticated metrics to measure progress, identify gaps, and prove impact of digital to support health systems’ strategic roadmaps. AVIA partnered with digital leaders from progressive health systems to define standards for foundational metrics to enable modern, consumer-centric experiences and measure digital front door performance. Leading health systems, such as NorthShore - Edward-Elmhurst Health (previously Edward-Elmhurst Health), Sentara Healthcare, and St. Luke’s University Health Network, participated in the digital benchmarking to track patient engagement with online scheduling platforms, patient portals, and virtual care offerings. "Digital transformation is integral to our overall business strategy, and like many other healthcare organizations, we have looked predominantly to other industries to identify success metrics," said Jennifer Bollinger, Senior Vice President of Consumer Strategy at Ochsner Health.

Qualtrics EX25 for Healthcare Helps Organizations Deliver Better Employee Experiences Amid Record High Burnout and Turnover

PROVO, Utah & SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Qualtrics (Nasdaq: XM), the leader and creator of the experience management category, today launched EX25 for Healthcare, a new methodology that provides hospitals and clinics with key questions to ask their employees so they can understand what matters most to their people and take action on what they hear. During this time when healthcare organizations are dealing with staffing crises, exhaustion and turnover among nurses and physicians, the ability to deliver better employee experiences with empathy, speed and scale - has never been more critical. By identifying the key drivers of employee experience and understanding how they differ between nurses and physicians, healthcare leaders can take meaningful, timely and empathetic actions on the things that matter most. EX25 for Healthcare provides a modern framework that enables organizations to keep a pulse on six key outcomes of employee experience: intent to stay; engagement; experience vs.

By asking the right questions at key moments, organizations can understand what influences the employee experience, and how those signals vary between nurses and physicians, in order to take informed and targeted actions that create a caring workplace for all. In a recent panel study of nearly 5,000 nurses and physicians,1 Qualtrics found that growth and development and strategic alignment are two of the top five drivers behind both nurses’ and doctors’ intent to stay with their organization. By identifying the top dimensions affecting employee experience, EX25 helps healthcare organizations go beyond engagement to amplify empathy by prioritizing the most important focus areas to improve retention. Our EX25 methodology empowers healthcare organizations to understand the key drivers of employee experience across roles and departments, and then act with empathy, speed and scale.” Qualtrics XM for Healthcare helps hospitals, health providers, retail, payer and life sciences organizations design experiences and products that create joy, build loyalty and earn trust. Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, is changing the way organizations manage and improve the four core experiences of business-customer, employee, product and brand. Over 16,750 organizations around the world use Qualtrics to listen, understand and take action on experience data (X-data™) the beliefs, emotions and intentions that tell you why things are happening, and what to do about it.

How point of care ultrasound devices speed diagnostics and support health equity

How Telemedicine can leverage the shrinking number of Physicians

Clinicians and other experts at telehealth technology and services companies across the country are raising their hands, saying they could be at least one part of the solution to physician burnout. She contends that telehealth could partially be healthcare’s answer to helping alleviate burnout and staffing struggles, but cautions that resources and support are needed so the industry doesn't just create a new burnout cycle for clinicians. We interviewed McDermott to talk about these issues, how to support clinicians in a telehealth environment and what real engagement looks like for clinicians. Telehealth could help decrease that financial impact by reducing physician burnout as we’re experiencing it now through investment in solutions that reinvent how healthcare is delivered. These solutions have the potential to help with the work-life balance struggles physicians experience.

The worst part is that so much of that administrative work keeps physicians away from seeing patients and the ability to operate at the top of their license. Seeing patients via telemedicine allows physicians to see more patients, increasing access to necessary services and allowing more opportunities to complete documentation in real time. The telehealth boom during the pandemic has resulted in new technology providers and resources that help patients get care when and where they need it. After I’ve assisted them with a task, I make sure to use the time to check in with them, ask what’s going on in their life and look for ways to recognize how I can help make their work more fulfilling and enjoyable. To engage with physicians, you need to consider what they interact with during their work and how you can show them that you appreciate them. While not a single health system has determined how to define or measure it, physician engagement has been widely looked at in a cause-and-effect way: Physicians who feel more engaged will mean improvements in work and patient outcomes. For example, with telepsychiatry, physicians want to document in real time while seeing a patient.

Medicare Billing Codes For Digital Therapeutics: A Path Forward

Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) currently has the statutory authority to interpret and modernize its Medicare benefit categories to include digital health technologies and there have been multiple efforts to lobby CMS to include PDTs within the Durable Medical Equipment benefit category, the agency has yet to act. Dissecting the implications of CMS coding and billing mechanics on the diffusion of PDTs and considering alternative regulatory pathways in the design of future payment rails may lay the groundwork for a path to federal coverage for digital therapeutics. Claims-based reimbursement for a given medical device requires FDA clearance or approval, prescription by a qualified provider, and a compendium of clinical evidence with reimbursement set by the payer. Some providers have received claims-based reimbursement for use of PDTs indirectly through service-based billing codes that compensate time spent reviewing digital therapeutics data; however, direct CMS billing codes for the products themselves remains a relatively new and malleable process.

Covering PDTs under the service route of claims-based reimbursement to date has largely been achieved by HCPCS Level 1 codes, more commonly known as Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes, which cover health care procedures and services. In the case of PDTs, CPT codes reimburse licensed providers for their time setting up and monitoring data generated by patient interactions with PDT products. PDT manufacturers, seeking independent product reimbursement, have argued that HCPCS Level II codes are better suited for PDTs since the products themselves are not a clinical service and not typically used in a clinical setting. Although this code will make it easier for commercial payers to process billing for PDTs as a medical benefit, it also introduces new concerns with pricing a future Medicare physician fee schedule for these products. Multiple PDT manufacturers have lobbied CMS for individual HCPCS codes unique to each of their FDA-cleared products; however, CMS responded by saying that, at this time, the new A9291 code alone should be sufficient for billing purposes.

Although either a new Medicare benefit category or a revised interpretation of existing benefit categories to incorporate digital health technologies is eventually likely, the federal reimbursement conversation to date has tiptoed around the development of concrete evidence standards for CMS coverage and policy frameworks to value and price these products in the Medicare physician fee schedule. To avoid both facing a glut of FDA-cleared products awaiting CMS review despite insufficient data and delaying patient access to novel treatments, it will be crucial for CMS to clarify evidence standards for PDT coverage. CMS can take advantage of infrequently utilized regulatory pathways to both supplement the evidence base for PDTs and help guide the development of a fair, cost-effective fee schedule for these products in line with the level of clinical value they provide to patients. Given the differences in evidence standards between the FDA and CMS as well as the less thorough evidence base supporting most device clearances by the FDA relative to pharmaceuticals, CMS occasionally employs a performance-based risk sharing arrangement known as Coverage with Evidence Development (CED), which typically conditions CMS coverage of a drug, device, or diagnostic on the completion of another randomized controlled trial showing reasonable clinical benefit.

The highest value capture for PDT manufacturers may arguably be as virtual care providers collecting claims-based reimbursement of PDTs directly via product-level HCPCS codes and indirectly via service-level remote monitoring CPT codes or alternatively, via packaging both PDTs and remote monitoring over the course of the treatment course into a bundled payment solution for payers. A legislative mandate funding CMS to test value-based payment rails for medical devices in the same fashion as they have for inpatient global payments and performance-based reimbursement through innovation models at the Center for Medicare and Medication Innovation would also provide flexibility for the agency to collect granular outcomes and cost data for novel medical devices and directly compare them to current standards of care.