Posts By: Beth Osborne

Solutions for Home Health Data Archiving

home health data archiving

Home health services have traditionally been narrow and costly. Payors and the industry were not keen to pay for or invest in it. Then the pandemic hit, and suddenly, everyone realized the value of home health. With a fast acceleration and adoption, which is unlikely to cool post-COVID, it puts operators in a new position of having many more patient records. This strain on applications indicates the need for home health data archiving solutions. 

The Perspective on Home Health Is Changing

In November of 2020, a survey of health plan executives revealed 97% believe more care at home is better for organizations and patients. They realize that the model works since the pandemic forced adoption. It also seems to be reducing the total cost of care, a critical metric for payers. 

Federal and state regulators are also warming up to the broader use of home health. CMS issued a hospital-at-home waiver in late 2020. It granted hospitals “unprecedented” flexibility in the delivery of care at home. 

Additionally, the home health benefit under Medicare, which has been very rigid, is evolving. The value of these services is more visible, and they provide versatility. 

An Aging Population Keeps Home Health Growing

As the population ages, the need for home health will expand. Currently, around 25% of home health patients are over 85. However, only 10.9% of Medicare members are over that age. With the Medicare population growing older and living longer, the demand for home health will only swell. The consequence for home health providers is a tsunami of patient data. 

Home Health Data Archiving Delivers Solutions

Home health data archiving is a strategic solution for providers. It removes older files from your applications while still providing access. Such a system also meets medical record retention mandates and HIPAA compliance standards. 

A web-based system also means your clinicians can log into it from anywhere. This functionality could be useful during visits to look up patient history. If you currently still have a legacy system holding old files, an archiving platform eliminates the need for it. You can officially retire it and reduce costs associated with keeping it up. 

Explore Home Health Data Archiving with InfoWerks

We’re leaders in healthcare record archiving. Our simple, intuitive application, ViewMaster, offers lots of features at an affordable price. See how it works today by requesting a demo

InfoWerks: Expert Healthcare Data Movers

data movers

Healthcare data, it’s complicated. It’s also the engine of modern care delivery. Providers depend on access to the data, regardless of where it lives. Systems need to share it, and it has lots of regulatory demands around it. With so many challenges, healthcare organizations seek out experts like InfoWerks. We are professional data movers specializing in data conversions, archiving, and sharing. 

Here’s what we can offer the healthcare ecosystem.

Data Conversion Pioneers

Our roots are in data conversions, and our founders performed the first one for a pharmacy way back in the 1990s. Before that time, if you wanted to move to a new system, the conversion was manual. Now, over two decades later, we continue to perfect this process, ensuring accuracy and compliance. 

We can work with any platform and have the expertise to overcome hurdles such as field matching. Our team of in-house programmers and analysts has conducted thousands of conversions. Our objective is to make it as stress- and pain-free as possible.  

Data Archiving: Retain Records, Ditch Legacy Systems

The next solution we created was data archiving. We found that many organizations didn’t want to convert all their data to a new system. They also didn’t want to leave a legacy system running, as it’s risky and expensive. This need in the industry influenced us to create ViewMaster.

ViewMaster is a centralized, web-based platform that lives in the cloud. It’s HIPAA-compliant and offers accessibility to old records. It meets record retention mandates and has features to create audit reports in a few clicks. This cost-effective solution helps you say goodbye to clunky, hard-to-use legacy systems.

Data Sharing: Breaking Down Interoperability Barriers

Moving PHI data can put a lot of stress on IT teams. However, it’s often a necessity to ensure that two systems can talk and exchange. Without data feeding between the two, those applications may be useless. Scaling such operations can be difficult, as well. 

To alleviate some of the pain points of healthcare organizations, we can facilitate easy data sharing. It’s a better, secure way to transfer your PHI. 

Data Movers to Ensure Accessibility, Portability, and Interoperability 

As adept data movers, we’ve yet to encounter a project that was impossible. Our technical and business folks are able to work out plans for the most complex data problems. We welcome a challenge and have the capabilities and experience to move your data wherever it needs to go.

Contact us today to chat about your healthcare data management needs. 

Medication Affordability Impacted by COVID-19 Says New Survey

medication affordability

COVID-19’s impact on healthcare, the economy, and everyday life will stay with us for some time. One consequence of the pandemic is the ability of patients to afford their medications. GoodRx published a recent survey on mediation affordability, with some important takeaways for pharmacy and medical leaders. 

In this post, we’ll dive into the data and what it means for the healthcare ecosystem.

Almost 40% of Americans Struggled with Medication Affordability

goodrx medication affordability graph

Image: GoodRx

The survey’s biggest takeaway is that a large portion had difficulty affording their prescriptions last year. The survey received answers from over 1,000 individuals that take regular drugs for chronic conditions. Almost 30% said that out-of-pocket costs for their medications went up. 

In the last year, many have lost their jobs and access to health insurance. Some individuals even said increased prescriptions affected their ability to afford necessities. Choosing between food, shelter, and medication shouldn’t be a battle, but it is. That was the reality for many before the pandemic. Now more are vulnerable. 

Patients Incur Debt to Pay for Meds

The survey also asked how people were paying for their prescriptions. Many tapped into their savings if they had any. Over 20% of those surveyed said they took on debt or filed bankruptcy to afford their medications.

Medication Affordability Increased Medication Nonadherence

Medication nonadherence was already a problem that costs the healthcare system substantially, with expensive hospitalization and deaths. Per the data, patients delayed getting refills, rationed, stopped taking them, and other behaviors. 

medication nonadherence goodrx

Image: GoodRx

That’s dangerous and risky for patients and overburdens already maxed out hospitals. Undeniably, the pandemic made healthcare even less affordable. Nearly 24% of respondents said COVID-19 affected their ability to afford insurance. 

What’s the Solution for Medication Affordability?

It’s a complex problem with lots of stakeholders. Pharma, payors, providers, pharmacies, regulators, and consumers are all at the table, having different expectations and motivations. However, people shouldn’t die or become sicker because they can’t afford their prescriptions. 

Some resources are available to supplement patients. Payment assistance programs operate independently but receive funding from pharma. It can be hard to qualify for these. Medicare and Medicaid take care of many of the most vulnerable, but prescriptions can still be very costly to seniors. 

There is perhaps some competition in the workings to deliver affordable medication for all. Mark Cuban is getting tin the drug business. He’s working with Cost Plus Drug Company to offer “radical transparency” to drug pricing. The company will manufacture, distribute, and market all generic drugs with a flat 15% margin. They are working to have 100 drugs available in 2021. That could reduce costs across the board and be good for pharmacies and patients.

Other opportunities for prescription affordability are discount programs like GoodRx. Their platform aggregates current prices and discounts for prescriptions by pharmacy. It lets you know which one has the best pricing and offers coupons. 

Is Transparency Becoming Industry-Wide?

In these scenarios, transparency is a driving factor. Regulators are attempting to receive that same transparency from pharma and payors. The Transparency in Coverage final rule requires payers and health plans to disclose and post negotiated during prices. 

For pharma, there isn’t a federal statute yet. However, multiple states have their own laws that require life sciences organizations to report their WAC (wholesale acquisition cost). Most of these programs are new, so there’s no definitive data on if disclosure will actually reduce drug prices. 

Prescription Drug Costs Are Big Piece of Industry Pie

There are many drivers of increased costs in healthcare in the U.S. Prescription drugs continue to take up a large piece of the pie. A new report found U.S. drug prices are 2.56 times higher than other nations. It’s a spotlight issue that affects millions of Americans. Medication affordability was always a problem; the pandemic just expanded the impact.