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where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.

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Here's The Latest in Health Care:


Hospital revenue cycle transformation is needed to elevate poor enterprise performance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to experts from healthcare management consulting firm Kaufman Hall. Three-quarters of hospital and health system leaders said their organization experienced “adverse revenue cycle impacts” during the pandemic, including a higher percentage of Medicaid patients and increased rates of denials.  Read More

While nearly 16% of doctors' visits by seniors were done remotely, either by phone or online over the past two years, the rural elderly appear to be behind the curve, according to a new analysis of telehealth visits billed to Medicare. One-third of rural older adults had at least one virtual visit in 2020, compared with nearly half of seniors in suburban and urban areas.  Read More

The majority of Americans don’t fully understand the information their provider tells them, leading them to consult third-party resources like the internet, a new survey found. In fact, according to the survey, three in four Americans leave the doctor confused and dissatisfied for reasons that include disappointment in the level of Q&A they have with their doctor, confusion about their health, and a need to do more research.  Read More

More physicians are migrating to hospital employment, changing the traditional physician-ownership models of ASCs. According to ASC leaders, there are a number of contributing factors, including the fear of declining reimbursements combined with the complexity of new payment models. Health care has become a "big cap" business requiring market scale, data analytics, and risk management, concepts that small practices are worried they can’t handle on their ownRead More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


Hospital officials say Anthem Blue Cross, the country's second-biggest health insurance company, is behind on billions of dollars in payments owed to hospitals and doctors. Disputes between insurers and hospitals are nothing new, but this fight sticks more patients in the middle, worried they'll have to pay unresolved claims.  Read More

In the latest Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, CMS proposed for the first time a set of CPT codes for remote therapeutic monitoring. The inclusion of these codes suggests that transformations in digital health policy initiated in response to COVID-19 are beginning to have some permanence.  Read More

The difference between clean claims and initial claims denials is a major key performance indicator (KPI) that hospitals track, and according to a new survey, nearly 80 percent of hospitals are measuring the difference in the rates. But this KPI may not be the best indicator of revenue cycle health according to the survey authors.  Read More

As COVID-19 continues to overwhelm providers across the country, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting smaller facilities with sophisticated healthcare ransomware attacks that cause EHR downtime and care disruptions. A recent study showed that hackers are turning to outpatient clinics, smaller hospitals, and business associates to target their attacks at unassuming victimsRead More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


Traditionally, healthcare data has centered around clinicians and institutions that largely controlled patient interaction. Lately, however, there has been a shift to consumer-centered systems. This is enabling patients to interact with health professionals and get involved in their own care, leading to greater engagement, improved outcomes and increased satisfaction.  Read More

CMS will begin to reprocess claims for outpatient clinic visit services provided at excepted off-campus provider-based departments, following a reinstated site-neutral payment policy. The agency will start processing the necessary claims, with no action needed on the provider side, by November 1, 2021.  Read More

The Lown Institute, a nonpartisan healthcare think tank, recently unveiled their social responsibility hospital rankings, which is based on 54 metrics across three main categories: equity, value and outcomes. Among the metrics are inclusivity, pay equity, avoiding overuse and clinical outcomes, as well as cost efficiency, a new metric that evaluates how well hospitals achieve low mortality rates at a low cost.  Read More

Sicker patients, fewer outpatient visits, and higher expenses for labor, drugs, and supplies will continue to damage the financial health of hospitals and health systems throughout 2021, says a new analysis released today by the American Hospital Association (AHA). Hospitals nationwide are expected to lose about $54 billion in net income over the course of the yearRead More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The American Medical Association (AMA) released updates to its medical codes for 2022 with many tied to new technology services and the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The more than 400 changes include a series of 15 vaccine-specific codes the AMA considers the model for efficiently reporting and tracking immunizations and administrative services against the coronavirus.  Read More

Even though telehealth volumes are expected to decline in the coming months, a recent survey found that many health systems are planning to expand their telehealth services. Chronic care management, behavioral health, and urgent care were the top three service lines cited by survey respondents for the future expansion of telehealth.  Read More

HHS announced the first part of the Surprise Billing Final Rule effective January 1, 2022,  but implementing the requirements under the No Surprises Act is no small feat for provider organizations. Providers need to ensure they are prepared to implement the act in order to uphold these protections and eliminate cost-of-care burdens for their patients.  Read More

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred health systems to adopt new technologies and meet the changing needs of their patients. However, according to Kaufman Hall, greater focus and investments are required for hospitals to compete with heightened consumer expectations, hospital competitors and an expanding list of retail and technology companies entering the space.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


Physician practices are up against a changing healthcare environment and one that has made it harder to survive. Declining reimbursement rates, industry consolidation, and new sites of care delivery are among the latest trends impacting practice management. Practice management best practices can help leaders continue the delivery of high-quality, affordable care while ensuring they can keep the doors of their small business open.  Read More

Reducing the length of stay (LOS) became a major priority for hospitals during COVID-19, and continues to be one as surges continue. Pandemic aside, capitated reimbursement levels and the need to decrease hospital-acquired conditions made LOS reduction key for health systems. While efforts to reduce LOS often focus on specific disease classes, there are general operational factors that are more straightforward to address.  Read More

New research shows that 79% of people who received healthcare services in the past two years experienced an average of three challenges when doing so. Struggles ran the gamut from administrative issues to understanding the care they received itself. Plus, 90% of respondents with complex or ongoing clinical needs faced additional challenges related to tasks such as getting prior authorizations approved.  Read More

The rapid expansion of telemedicine during the pandemic made headlines. What has been overlooked are the changing patterns of its use. According to a recent analysis of 30 million medical claims, which older adults used telemedicine, and how they used it, did not play out exactly as many had expected. Moving forward it will be essential to closely track the evolving use of telemedicine — and which Americans can access their care this way — to ensure that telemedicine does not widen disparities of care.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


A new analysis found that over 100K COVID-19 hospitalizations could have been prevented with vaccines, resulting in billions of dollars in costs for the US health system. With the approximate cost of a coronavirus-related hospital admission being about $20,000, researchers estimated that these preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations cost the US health system $2.3 billion in just June and July alone.  Read More

CMS is encouraging all Medicare Advantage organizations and Medicare-Medicaid plans to waive or relax certain prior authorization requirements amid the COVID-19 surge. In a recent letter, CMS asked these health plans to relax the requirements to facilitate the transfer of patients from acute-care hospitals to post-acute and other clinically appropriate settings.  Read More

At the start of the pandemic, emergency declarations and insurer policies encouraged the shift to telehealth. Telehealth usage has skyrocketed, often leading patients to grow accustomed to relying on virtual care for its convenience and cost-efficiency. Now, as states across the U.S. are putting an end to these policies, telehealth meets one of its biggest hurdles: geographic barriers.  Read More

Hospitals and health systems’ economic recovery hit the brakes in July with mounting COVID-19 admissions, escalating expenses and early evidence that consumers are again postponing elective and outpatient care. Not surprisingly, hospitals in the regions with the highest rates of the variant were most affected in July, and are expected to see those impacts deepen in the months ahead.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The number of nurse practitioners (NPs) has grown rapidly in recent years to meet the growing demand for providers. Over the past two years alone, the number of NPs jumped from 270,000 to 325,000. This massive growth has had a huge positive impact on the availability of care, especially for patients who are underserved or wouldn't have full access to care otherwise. In 2020 alone, NPs across the United States had more than 1 billion visits and are changing healthcare for the better.  Read More

After an exhaustive review of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (CMMI's) more than 50 models, CMS leaders found major challenges in setting benchmarks that determine cost-saving goals for payment models, and providers find it difficult to accept a financial risk without flexibility for caring for certain populations. As a result, CMS has outlined reforms to benchmarks and financial incentives in order to entice providers to participate in the models.  Read More

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration have both approved additional vaccines for people with suppressed immune systems. Now, healthcare providers plan to incorporate the distribution of an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised individuals with their existing vaccination campaigns—and as preparation for future efforts to get extra doses to a larger share of Americans.  Read More

This year at HIMSS experts shared their thoughts on a variety of topics, including the future of digital health, artificial intelligence, and virtual care; methods to tackle health disparities and cybersecurity breaches; evolving fraud regulations; mental health, and much more. But one thing was constant. COVID-19 was the strain running under it all, as attendees focused on how the sea changes brought from the pandemic will reverberate in healthcare for years to come.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


A prohibition on surprise billing is coming at the start of next year and federal agencies have started to release what surprise billing compliance will look like. These new compliance requirements will have a major impact throughout the revenue cycle, directly impacting workflows from admissions to billing, so preparation now is key to meeting the January 1, 2022 deadline.  Read More

Analysts believe Healthcare employers must consider how to make front-line caregiving a more sustainable career, and more specifically, how they'll leverage technology to do so. Healthcare employers may need to rethink the roles and duties of their workers now, if they haven't already, and can start by asking how we work, where we work, and what skills we need.  Read More

The impacts of downgrades from inpatient to observation status can have far-reaching financial repercussions for healthcare providers, affecting reimbursement and revenue recognition. But there are actionable steps for mitigating status downgrades and dealing with them effectively to ensure that organizations receive the full reimbursement for the services they provided.  Read More

The benefits of telehealth have become widely known here on Earth, and it's been an increasingly accepted treatment modality for patients during the pandemic. While the ailments, approaches and technology may be a bit different, telehealth is alive and well aboard the International Space Station as well. It's become a lifeline for astronauts and in some ways, low-Earth orbit has been ground zero for telehealth.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


CMS recently released four final Medicare payment rules for the 2022 fiscal year. The rules cover newly increased rates and other policies for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), hospice agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs).  Read More

Telehealth use has significantly helped cut down on the number of low acuity emergency department visits, helping address a persistent problem that hospitals have faced for years. According to a new survey, nearly one in seven people who used telehealth said they would have gone to the ED or urgent care if the service was not available.   Read More

According to a new study, hospitals with a higher share of Medicare patients had lower profits and were more likely to be acquired or close compared with hospitals less dependent on Medicare.  Read More

Healthcare data breaches are on the rise. A recent breach report highlights the fragility of our online infrastructure and found that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a wide range of vulnerabilities for bad actors to take advantage of. In fact, the healthcare industry experienced a more than 50 percent increase in the total number of patient records exposed compared with 2019.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined how health care is delivered as well as how people pay for it. On the delivery side, patients and doctors offices have embraced telehealth appointments; on the financial side, patients have turned to contactless payment modalities and phone apps to handle their balances. Digitalization can simplify the medical bill payment process and give patients more information, earlier on, about their financial responsibilities, experts say.  Read More

Care coordination and patient outreach is a proactive approach to care management that can drive positive outcomes such as reduced emergency department visits, decreased hospitalizations, and fewer hospital readmissions. A Tennessee-based physician group is successfully utilizing analytics to target patients who have been discharged from hospitals to fill gaps in care and manage transitions of care.  Read More

Ransomware attacks skyrocketed amid the pandemic when hospitals increased their use of remote work and moved more hospital data online. According to a new report, 560 healthcare organizations were victims of ransomware attacks in 2020, costing healthcare organizations $20.8 billion in downtime, double the amount it cost in 2019.   Read More

Large tech giants are jumping into a growing interoperability solutions market as new federal regulations spur the healthcare industry to open up and share medical records data. Google Cloud rolled out a new tool called the healthcare data engine, currently in private preview, that helps healthcare and life sciences organizations harmonize data from multiple sources, including medical records, claims, clinical trials and research data.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, medical billing revenue cycle management, telehealthsecure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.