[Sponsored] The ‘Magic’ Behind Expediting Physician Signatures

For home health agencies struggling to
complete claims documentation required to secure payments and provide much
needed cash flow, obtaining physician signatures continues to hold them back.

Under the Patient-Driven Groupings Model
(PDGM), claims documentation must now be done in a 30-day window instead of a
60-day one, requiring a quicker turnaround time for the documentation required
for reimbursement. That problem will be exacerbated in 2021 with the
elimination of RAP payments, making timely physician signatures even more
important for home health care agencies as they strive to get final claims
submitted as soon as possible.

“Getting physicians to sign orders can be
incredibly problematic and can slow down everything for a home health care
agency,” says Rob Stoltz, Vice
President of Business Development at Citus Health. “It’s been a problem
for decades, and despite the best efforts of the industry, it hasn’t gone
away.”

Here is a look at the problems inherent in
capturing physician orders, and how a new solution is creating outcomes that
agencies need.

The problem: We make it too difficult
for physicians

In addition to getting a busy physician’s
attention, technology has been a significant barrier. Traditional paper forms are inefficient
regardless of whether the documents are received in person or via fax.

The move to electronic workflows can speed up
the process as providers use web-based forms in portals or applications to
capture signatures and manage documentation. But that shift brings two new
problems. The first is simple: Physicians are reluctant to download yet another
app to simply sign a document.

The second problem is: Physicians hate portals

“Physicians provide a lot of referrals across
the post-acute continuum, so the headache for them is that now they have to
sign into many portals with multiple usernames and passwords,” Stoltz says.
“Industry data shows that portals are not utilized effectively.”

The COVID-19 pandemic poses another problem.
With a remote workforce, it has been difficult for many agencies to track down
physicians and their staff to obtain signatures.

“What worked in the past – physically tracking
down a physician or staff member in the office — is much more difficult in
today’s environment,” Stoltz says.

Fortunately, there is a better way: Magic Link
technology.

The solution: Magic Link

At the end of the day, the responsibility for
easing this process is on the party in need of the signatures, Stoltz says. In
other words, the home health care agency.

“Our contention is that the objection (from
physicians) is, ‘You just have to make it easier for me — so I don’t have to
log into a portal and I don’t have to download an app,’” Stoltz says.

Magic Link technology checks both of those
boxes. It is an app-less path to capturing signatures through a secure link in
either a text or email, based on end-user preference. It requires no login,
making it a “password-less authentication,” Stoltz says.

Here’s how it works:

— The sender — the home health care agency, in this case — sends material to the recipient through its software platform
— That recipient — the physician, in this example — receives a text or email from a known contact notifying them that they have a document awaiting signature
— The notification uses a hyperlink, which brings the recipient into a secure environment to read the document and take the action needed to complete and sign it
— All of this is done without the recipient requiring a password and login, or downloading an app

“This technology gives agencies a chance to
create an easier way for physicians to move past the objections that they’ve
stated for years about portals and applications,” Stoltz says. “Physicians
appreciate a solution that makes their job easier and can save them time.”

The outcome: faster order processing
and reimbursement

Magic Link technology is a time-saving feature
of the Citus Health platform solution, which offers home-based care providers
the comprehensive platform for real-time collaboration and communication
between care teams, patients and family caregivers. Stoltz says Citus Health
customers are raving about the speed at which they can capture signatures and
how easy it is for physicians and family caregivers to use.

And as with any health care IT solution, the
secondary benefit is increased efficiency. When agencies can trim time spent on
documentation and chasing signatures, they can increase time spent providing
care. For home health care agencies, expediting a physician signature can make
a huge difference in cash flow, since they can submit reimbursement
documentation more quickly.

“It’s new technology, and it’s exciting,”
Stoltz says, “Today’s home health care agencies need to consider any technology
that can speed up their workflows, especially the critical documentation
required to start care and secure reimbursement for that care.”

To learn
more about how Citus Health can help your agency improve communication and
collaboration with features like Magic Link,
visit CitusHealth.com.

The post [Sponsored] The ‘Magic’ Behind Expediting Physician Signatures appeared first on Home Health Care News.

[Sponsored] Why Home-based Care Must Catch Up When It Comes To Communication

Communication
technology in home health care is critical to consumer satisfaction, yet many
providers remain behind the times — something all-too-obvious to their
customers. In all other aspects of their lives, home-based care customers are
accustomed to real-time communication with easy-to-use technology.

Yet
when these same people are dealing with a home health agency, that experience
is vastly different.

A
July 2020 survey from Citus Health and Home
Health Care News
revealed that while 74% of home-based care providers hope
that a deeper investment in technology will increase patient and family
satisfaction, 44% of providers do not yet use a platform to directly engage
these stakeholders, while only about a quarter of these agencies claimed to be
“completely satisfied” with their current family engagement technology.

Home health patients and
their families consider this a problem. After all, if people can get real-time
updates on the pizza they’ve ordered or a package being delivered, they in turn
believe they should get that same level of timely communication when they are
receiving care in the home.

This difference between
the experience these patients and family members have with communication tools
in their daily lives compared to the experience they have with home health
providers creates a significant communication gap.

“Unfortunately, home
health and hospice industries are largely communicating with patients and
caregivers through legacy methods such as phone and email,” says Rob Stoltz,
Vice President of Business Development at Citus Health. “We haven’t kept up
with the families that surround those patients, who are running their
day-to-day lives using more modern technology.”

It
is time for agencies to focus on improving the experience of patients and
family caregivers through secure, real-time messaging, video chats, custom
forms that conduct surveys and assessments, electronic signatures and other
tools that expedite important communication and documentation — all flowing
directly into the provider’s electronic health record (EHR). Here is a look at
what that communication gap looks like for home health providers, and how they
can close it.

COVID-19 exposes home
health’s communication technology gap

Face-to-face meetings
between home health agencies and patients and their caregivers are essential to
giving people a positive experience during troubling times. COVID-19 has
obviously limited those. Yet the pandemic did not create home health’s
communication challenge, Stoltz says. It merely amplified it — for two reasons.

First, as people adjust
to a socially distanced lifestyle, they are becoming more accustomed to virtual
communications, and the real-time immediacy it comes with.

Second, face-to-face
health meetings might diminish, but the needs that those meetings filled have
not. These needs might be directly care-based — the telehealth component — but
there are documentation needs, such as signing physician orders, or confirming
delivery of durable medical equipment.

“Patients and family members
want a solution that enables virtual communication, and once they find out how
convenient that is, the demand grows,” Stoltz says. “This need for real-time
communication will stick around well past COVID.”

Implementing a modern
technology solution

Home health agencies now
have many solutions at their disposal to address these communication
challenges, meaning they can modernize their technology tools while
consolidating others. These tools deliver a range of benefits, with different
value and functions. Virtual visits and video chats bring a personalized,
reassuring touch in between in-person visits. Electronic documentation tools
improve logistical challenges by making it easier to capture signatures.

Secure text messaging,
meanwhile, is ideal for real-time communications. As Stoltz notes, that
capability now runs in both directions, from the provider to the caregiver and
the caregiver to the provider.

“How are we responding
to patients and family caregivers today? If the answer is that we’re playing
phone tag, that’s not a great answer,” Stoltz says. “If families can reach out
electronically and we can get them an immediate response, that’s incredibly
valuable.”

Stoltz explains that for
home health care providers, rather than employing several tools to address
these needs, many are turning to Citus Health to deliver all of this in just
one solution. Providers can accomplish all of their critical communication
needs in one easy-to-use option, while empowering patients and caregivers to be
more proactive in their care efforts.

Capturing best outcomes

Improving communication
in all areas of the home health care engagement leads to a series of vital
outcomes that providers want. Above all else, of course, are reduced
hospitalizations, as home health agencies are able to address urgent patient
needs immediately, before the family caregiver dials 911.

Consumer satisfaction
also rises, since increased communication means that treatment happens faster
for patients, as do modifications for that treatment. This leads to happier
patients, happier caregivers and, ultimately, stronger ties to referral
sources.

Consumers may also
reward home health agencies that deliver real-time communication with a higher
census and better reviews. In a striking result of the September 2020 report
published by Citus Health and Porter Research, 80% of hospice family caregivers stated that they would select one hospice
provider over another — and give that hospice higher ratings on the CAHPS
hospice survey — based on whether that hospice enabled real-time communication
via computer, tablet and smartphone.

While this was a hospice
study, logic says that the same applies to home health agencies who depend on
HHCAHPS scores to best position themselves for more referrals. For home health
agencies, a high level of consumer satisfaction may also lead to a repeat
customer down the road.

“It
just makes sense from a patient and caregiver perspective, that if I as a
family caregiver can interact quickly with my care team in real time, I’m going
to give your agency higher satisfaction scores,” Stolz says. “And in the future
if I need home health care, I’m going to remember how easy it was to work with
you. In this way, the home health care consumer behaves like they do with every
other consumer facing industry.”

To learn more about how Citus Health can help your
company enhance its virtual care delivery,
visit CitusHealth.com.

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