Are Fax Machines across Healthcare Finally in Jeopardy?
Anthem has announced a collaboration with Epic to facilitate secure, bi-directional exchange of health information between providers and Anthem’s affiliated health plans.
The interoperability capability is intended to help close clinical and medication gaps.
It will also help to streamline administrative processes, such as prior authorization, which has been an issue for hospitals and physicians.
Providers will be able to send prior authorizations through Epic instead of using the phone or fax. Health plans can then quickly make decisions and electronically communicate back to the provider.
As I was reading this article I started to wonder why this couldn’t have been done 5 years ago. Was it the technology? Was it the demand for this capability? Why was this not a priority five years ago? Just wondering.
Today in health. It, the story is prior authorizations electronically. Wow. Slow down. I’m getting whiplash. My name is bill Russell. I’m a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week in health. It. A channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. I want to thank our sponsor for today’s serious health care. They reached out about this time last year and said, we love what you’re doing, and really appreciate your mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. The rest is history, as they say.
If you believe in our mission and want to support the show, please shoot me a [email protected] All right. Today’s story comes from healthcare finance news, and it is that Anthem is collaborating with epic to give providers more data-driven insights and specifically. Providers will be able to send prior authorizations through epic instead of using a phone or fax.
This just in 2021. We don’t have to use a phone or fax. We can actually do this digitally in healthcare. Let me give you some excerpts. Anthem has announced a collaboration with epic to facilitate secure bi-directional exchange of health information between providers and anthems affiliated health plans. The initiative leverages epics pair platform for data-driven insights in care decisions, clinical data, as well as admissions.
Discharge and transfer data from the hospital stays. Will be integrated with Anthem’s operating system for an interoperable exchange of information between health plans and providers. As an organization committed to a digital first approach, we know that enhancing the interoperability of health data is critical in redefining the future of healthcare.
I said, I shuck Chinara chief data and insights officer at Anthem Anthem’s work with epic stands to benefit more than 14.7 million customers in Anthem’s affiliated health plans. Who see clinicians using epic software Shannara said. By better bridging communications between providers and health plans. This connection is making possible for patients to receive timely access to appropriate care.
Said Alan Hutchinson, vice president of population health at epic. There you go, there’s your press release. All right. So the reason I like these stories is because they actually break it down. They do a, so what they do a why this matters and here are some of the things they gave us why this matters. The interoperability capability is intended to help close.
Clinical and medication gaps. It will also help to streamline administrative processes such as prior authorizations, which has been an issue for hospitals and physicians. Providers will be able to send prior authorizations through epic instead of using phone or fax health plans can then quickly make decisions and electronically communicate back to the provider.
Anthem will be able to capture consumer health information provided by clinicians, analyze that data and develop data-driven insights. These insights can then be delivered back to the care team. In near real time to flag potential care needs and address care gaps such as medication adherence. Providers will be notified when their patients are discharged from the hospital and, and encouraged to conduct more timely followup care.
And let’s see finally, to advance digital health as part of its broader health OSTP strategy. Anthem will also integrate this near real-time data. With claims data and health information that Anthem receives from sources, such as health information, exchanges, , lab companies, and other partners. This approach enables providers to have a longitudinal view of a consumer’s health, helping clinicians make more informed decisions. Anthem said. All right. So here’s my take on this. My, so what if you will.
, there’s a couple of really good insights right here. So let’s just go through those real quick. , we get closer to near real-time prior authorizations that can close clinical and medication gaps. Awesome. It will also help streamline administrative processes such as prior authorizations, which has been an issue for hospitals, physicians. Again. Awesome. We get closer to axing. The fax fax machines are an indication that something is broken in your digital process. Somewhere. I talked to a CIO once.
And he said he just walks around and wherever he sees a fax machine, he knows that there’s a digital process broken in their house. As somebody tries to route those out and get rid of the fax.
That is just an easy way to spot the areas where your digital process is not working. And finally providers will be notified when their patients are discharged from the hospital. This is also fantastic. We can get more timely followup care. So those are the things that the article identified. I’m going to put on my cynical hat for just a second. Why now?
Why not five years ago. Perhaps, this is the interoperability and information blocking rules, starting to loosen things up. I don’t know.
It’s not like this couldn’t have been done five years ago. It’s not like this is rocket science. There was just no institutional will to make this happen on all sides, payer and provider. It’s a shame really when these breakthroughs such as the digitized medical record and interoperability become a capability, we’d all like to think that these will be used first to improve the life and health outcomes of the patient.
This would indicate that this wasn’t the first on the list of priorities, unless I’m not aware of the reason this couldn’t have been done in 2016, between African Anthem to well-funded and technology, advanced organizations.
You know, someone might ask. , why take the cynical approach on this? So I’m not really trying to shame epic and Anthem as much as I’m trying to say what opportunities the entire industry, what opportunities have been enabled as a result of the digitized medical record and the interoperability that’s now available, that we can improve health outcomes in our communities and make the experience better for the patient.
That’s really what i’m
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