Thursday, April 26, 2012

CMS final rule aims to save $1.6B in fraud

This article was originally posted on

 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a final rule yesterday that requires stronger protections against fraudsters ordering and certifying medical services, supplies and services. 

The goal of the final rule is that only qualified, identifiable providers and suppliers can order or certify certain medical services, equipment and supplies for Medicare beneficiaries, and CMS will verify provider credentials. Providers and suppliers still will need to include their National Provider Identifier number (NPI) when they apply for Medicare and Medicaid and when they submit claims for reimbursement. CMS and states can then tie specific claims to the ordering or certifying physician or eligible professional and check for suspicious activity, CMS said.

"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are expanding our work to combat fraud," Deputy Administrator for Program Integrity Peter Budetti said in a statement yesterday. "This rule will save money for taxpayers and ensure people with Medicare get high-quality care."

Despite the critical eye of the Office of Inspector General on how well CMS is doing on actually combating fraud, CMS said it will save taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion over 10 years through anti-Medicare fraud efforts.

For more information:
- see the CMS announcement
- check out the final rule (.pdf)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Role of Social Media in the Healthcare Industry

We can all agree that social media has become a part of everyday, mainstream life. As with many new technologies, some industries are slower to adapt than others. In this case, the healthcare industry has been a little on the slow side of social media adaptation.

However, a recent report found that,
"In a survey of more than a thousand consumers, more than two-fifths of individuals said social media did affect their choice of a provider or organization. Forty-five percent said it would affect their decision to get a second opinion; 34 percent said it would influence their decision about taking a certain medication and 32 percent said it would affect their choice of a health insurance plan."
These findings are not implying that social media is the deciding factor for choosing a healthcare providor, but they do provide very valuable information. 

The most important of this information can be summed up in a quote from Farris Timimi, medical director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media:
"Our patients are there. Our moral obligation is to meet them where they're at and give them the information they need so they can seek recovery," Timimi said. "This is not marketing; this is the right thing to do."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Healthcare Technology: Post-Surgical 'Telerounding' with iPad

Last week we told you about the first hospital every to live-tweet during surgery, and this week, it's more on HIT.

According to a Fierce Healthcare article:

"Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit is using the iPad to enable post-surgical 'telerounding.' Doctors can video-chat with patients, view scars, check for symptoms of pain, and other issues."

This isn't entirely new... many healthcare providers have been using wireless laptops that could be transported from room to room. However, introducing the iPad into the mix shows that some are ready to take it to the next level!

How is your business using technology to improve the customer's experience in everyday situations?