With the accelerated adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), there is growing recognition of the benefits associated with the use of these technologies – reduced medical errors, faster access to complete information, more efficient communications among busy clinicians, and increasing patient engagement in their healthcare decisions.  At the same time, there is a dialog taking place among all stakeholders on the issues related to busy clinicians taking advantage of data re-use capabilities to avoid re-entering identical information as they create their encounter documentation.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, health insurers are struggling to offset rising costs and are proposing big premium increases for coverage in 2017. Humana, Providence Health Plan, Anthem, UnitedHealth Group and Aetna, are just a few of the insurers considering rate hikes for 2017.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical errors should rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official common cause of death list, this would place medical error just behind heart disease and cancer.

For providers, patient no-shows are a constant and costly source of frustration. According to a Wallace & Hughes study, about 3.6 million people in the U.S. miss or delay medical care each year. Your average practice will have a 5%-7% no-show rate according to MGMA. Time is money for physicians and a missed appointment is a lost revenue opportunity.

In a blog post released earlier this week, CMS announced plans to retire the Meaningful Use program in favor of a new program under the Merit-based Payment System (MIPS). The new program is called Advancing Care Information (ACI).

Healthcare data is attractive to cyber criminals because of the richness and uniqueness of the information that the health plans, doctors, hospitals and other providers handle. Medical records sell for as much as 20 times the price of a stolen credit-card number.

The issue with prior authorizations is that is an antiquated, cumbersome process developed years ago when paper-based processes where the norm. In today’s electronically-driven, real-time response world, prior authorizations are an administrative burden for the provider and patient.

With a population of over 80 million, Millennials have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation of healthcare consumers. And just as each generation expresses its own unique preferences for fashion and music, so is the case with patient engagement preferences. The next generation of healthcare consumers are looking for a stronger relationship with providers as well as more innovation on how they connect and communicate.

Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania wants to keep their customers happy. So when patients are upset about a long wait in the emergency department, or a doctor’s curt approach, or a meal that never arrived, Geisinger is doing more than apologizing. It’s offering money back on their care, no questions asked.

Provider credentialing and enrollment is an absolute necessity when running a successful physician practice. Becoming a provider with commercial and government insurance companies allows you to maintain steady patient referrals and cash flow which is the backbone of any successful practice.