What We’re Reading: November Edition

The month of November came rushing in with midterm elections and ended with one of the wildest acquisitions in modern healthcare. It was also the month for giving thanks, although we learned that not everyone is thankful for healthcare technology. In fact, most doctors hate it.

Here are the top stories from November that we feel are worth a read:

CVSHealth and Aetna Finally Join Forces
A story nearly one year in the making, one of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains and one of the nation’s largest health insurers have officially closed on a $70 billion merger. The goal of the merger is to transform the consumer health experience entirely and build healthier communities through a new model of care—one that is local, easier, less expensive and consumer-centric. Will this be successful? We’ll have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure: the closing of this merger details exactly how transformative our industry is becoming.

It’s Official…Doctors Hate Their Computers 
Atul Gawande, MD, really drove home the sentiment with his article in The New Yorker. Gawande takes the reader through his journey as a surgeon through a costly, and very cumbersome implementation of Epic software. The upgrade a price tag of $1.6 billion, but the ultimate cost was so much more—time, talent, patient satisfaction, and in the worst case, care outcomes. Healthcare technology has promised for a long time to improve healthcare, but Gawande poses the thought-provoking question: are screens coming between doctors and their patients?

Following Midterms, a New Health Care Roadmap Takes Shape
With Democrats now controlling the House, Republicans’ hopes to repeal and replace the ACA have been squashed at least for the next two years. What does this mean for health plans? Insurers will potentially have a more stable, attractive marketplace in which to sell their products. More insurers may even participate in the exchanges. Whatever the case, we’ll be watching closely to see the ramp up for even more change in 2020.

Providers Are Still Hitting Snags in Revenue Cycle Optimization
“Streamlining scheduling, payment processing and debt collection has often been one of the first areas hospital executives address as they aim to cut costs and increase revenue.” Unfortunately, many providers still struggle to optimize revenue cycle-related EHR functions and more are starting to outsource parts or all of their revenue-cycle management operations. In-house or outsourced, technology is no doubt a key component, and should be a top consideration when looking to improve operations.

Missed our news for this month? You can always get an up-to-date glimpse on our press page, but we’ll give you a quick snapshot:

  • CareMount Medical’s CIO was recently interviewed by PatientEngagementHIT on the organization’s journey to implement online self-scheduling. He details the process of selecting a vendor and exactly what considerations led to the final—and successful—decision to implement MyHealthDirect.