I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2015 UNOS Transplant Management Forum. The number of conversations and topics ranged from the very emotional aspects of organ donation to the very practical and necessary aspects of running a Transplant Department. Given that this was my very first time attending the forum, I listened intently to eHealth Technologies’ customers relate how our systems and services are helping them do their job and what opportunities exist to continue expanding this partnership.
1) Medicare Reimbursement for Record Consolidation
Record aggregation and consolidation is a tedious and time-consuming task. Customers told me that they prefer to spend time taking care of the patients rather than making phone calls to get the patient’s historical records. Customers that use eHealth’s Record Management System told me that for them, this record consolidation process is easy and painless. With eHealth, the transplant center’s nurse or intake coordinator can submit a record collection request electronically to eHealth’s Customer Operations Center in a matter of minutes. Our customer service representatives go to work gathering, digitizing, indexing and delivering an intelligently organized medical record that is easy for the treating physician to navigate. What took them hours is now taking minutes and, on top of that, the fee for eHealth’s record services can be reimbursed for pre-transplant patients. All in all, this is a win-win situation.
2) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Form 2728 Requests
The new national kidney transplant allocation system went into effect December 2014. This new system takes into consideration the date a patient begins dialysis in the waiting time calculation which is one of the key parameters in the allocation priority evaluation. This date is typically documented in CMS’ Form 2728 (End Stage Renal Disease Medical Evidence Report Medicare Entitlement and/or Patient Registration). Form 2728 is one of the standard components that form part of the consolidated record we provide to customers. Once it is part of the record, the department can easily reference the dialysis start date.
3) Referral Network Tracking
We learned that while transplant departments’ mission is to take care of patients, it is also a business that needs to develop strategic plans based on data. In one of the presentations at the Forum, one of the presenters shared a great story about his experience in developing the strategic plan. He said that his department thought that the referrals were coming from specialists. Contrary to this belief, data showed that patient referrals were coming from primary care physicians (PCPs). This piece of data helped shape the strategic plan. PCPs became a target for customer referral and retention. Using this data, PCPs could also receive better information regarding the best time to refer a patient for organ transplantation to increase survival rates. eHealth Technologies has developed a portal that allows for an easy referral process for the PCP in addition to a communications portal that keeps the PCP informed of his or her patients’ treatment. In addition, referral data is available through an intuitive, cloud-based dashboard that graphically shows the geographic location of PCPs, patients and records.
4) Operational Data for the CMS’ Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) Program
Lastly, Transplant Department Managers and Directors told us that, as part of the CMS’ QAPI program, they are required to provide evidence that there is monitoring and evaluation of the contracted services connected to the transplant program. As a service provider to transplant departments, eHealth Technologies has incorporated this type of operational report into the cloud-based analytics dashboard allowing our customers to access the data anytime, anywhere. The reports are specific to the terms and conditions as specified in the agreement with the customer.
Some of the capabilities listed here are very specific to Transplant Departments. However, we have also partnered with Cancer Centers, Cardiovascular Departments and Children’s Hospitals to help with their operational processes. If you think any of these services can be of help to you or there are other ways in which we can partner, please feel free to contact us.