Online medical consultations are spreading fast, delivering effective health care with comparable standard care outcomes and a high level of patient satisfaction. According to a study published in Health Affairs, 98 percent of those surveyed said they would recommend online doctor services to others. Also known as virtual visits, telemedicine, telehealth, and remote health care, online medical consults are replacing office visits, trips to the ER, urgent care services, and retail clinics.
Inspections by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are not new to regulated industries and laboratories, as are compliance, enforcement, and criminal investigations. With the goal of addressing and minimizing significant health risks, an FDA inspection can either make or break a company, making a good and lasting impression or tarnishing its image, costing the company time, money, and business. For pharmaceuticals, laboratories, biotech leaders, and drug companies, proving quality systems is paramount.
Access to FDA guidelines and regulations is only the beginning. To achieve a five-star rating, pharmaceutical industry manufacturers and suppliers need to understand what FDA inspectors are looking for and how to respond to enforcement measures in a timely and effective manner.
The introduction of the electronic health record (EHR) ushered in a new era as health care went digital over the past decade. The plan was to digitize patient medical histories in order to enhance professional collaboration, improve patient care, reduce system-wide costs, and other benefits.
Today, the original aims and promises of the EHR system are in question. Debates are stirring regarding the safety and security of electronic health records while limitations of the system itself are surfacing.
Given the ubiquity of handheld devices, the increasingly reliable technology of wireless tools, and the fact that medical services and accessories are now available in the palm of every person’s hands, it is safe to say that the move toward virtual medicine has firmly taken root.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute (PwC HRI), not only is physician reimbursement contingent upon quality of care versus quantity of services, and not only has the health-care system moved from fee-for-service toward value-based reimbursement, but with handheld medicine on the rise, patients have become consumers—and often very demanding consumers. What are they shopping for? Under the new health economy, people are seeking the most convenient and affordable means of getting their health-care needs met. In other words, they want the best return for their buck.
The existing health-care billing and payment system is getting a facelift. Reflective of the new health economy wherein patients have become purchasers demanding quick, convenient, affordable, and transparent methods of medical billing and payment, the modern makeover also reflects the one-click modality of the digital age.
As many patients now shoulder the bulk of their health-care costs on their own, the survival of health-care providers increasingly depends upon their ability to adapt and run their practice as a business catering to the demands of consumers.
According to studies by PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI), the dawn of a new health economy is upon us. As consumers take charge of their own health, outdated care-delivery models are being reinvented and replaced by new technologies and innovations. In what has been dubbed “the new health economy,” other sectors—such as telecommunications and retail—play a key role in the delivery of health-care and market-price values.
Providing expert research and analysis on trends affecting health-related industries, HRI’s findings point to a powerful global reality in which a new ecosystem serves the consumer. With the aim of pleasing the customer, new technologies are revolutionizing the $2.8 trillion health-care sector, turning the traditional industry into an open market. The new entrants into the field, also known as “market disruptors,” have largely come about in response to complex regulatory and reimbursement systems that confuse and frustrate patients.
To outsource or not to outsource medical billing—that is the question. The answer? According to most health-care experts, the answer is yes!
First, medical collections operations are essential for the success of any medical practice, not only to achieve the required degree of regulatory compliance but to receive proper reimbursement. Medical billing specialists are expensive to employ, and as your practice begins to grow, so too will your medical billing and coding needs and workloads. Outsourcing medical billing changes your fixed-cost expenses to variable costs, allowing you the flexibility of hiring a billing expert part time or as needed. Moreover, collecting money from patients is a time-guzzler and headache for most doctors and health-care providers. An expert in medical billing processes will help you manage your business, take care of all the administrative duties involved, and free you to concentrate on the lifeblood of your practice: delivering high quality patient care.
Wearable health-care devices, otherwise known as wearable technology, wearable tech, and clinical wearables, are the hottest items on the market. Among the stakeholders interested in expanding the demand and supply of wearable health-care devices are doctors, insurance companies, employers, patients who pay for their own medical bills, and patients everywhere. In an era championing preventive medicine, early detection, and physical and health fitness, and in the post-millennium when even the average Joe has become a techie, the popularity of wearable tech is not surprising.
Not only have digital medical devices become fashionable and trendy, but they are being cited by experts as a boon to the health-care industry as a whole, reducing hospital stays, emergency room visits, doctor’s office visits, work downtime, and costs. In fact, a growing number of health insurance providers are offering reward incentives and reducing premiums to those who successfully invest in specified wearables.
Smartphone health-care applications have mushroomed in recent years, with proven results of enhancing mobile communication among health-care providers, increasing patient access to medical services, and improving patient care. Used widely by health professionals, medical and nursing students, and patients, smartphones have become the go-to tool for medical practice at the point of crisis. With the number of applications growing and with more advanced functionalities available with each new release, smartphones are rightfully receiving noted attention in the health-care industry as medical researchers explore the design, software, and potential of mobile technology.
Health-care professionals know that keeping up with the latest marketing trends is one of the keys to the success of their practice in the twenty-first century. With over 75 percent of patients using the Internet to access health-related information—including looking up health professionals and viewing websites before booking an appointment—knowing how to leverage technology and marketing is paramount to being a player in the industry.
For medical practices to thrive in the digital age, cookie-cutter marketing strategies no longer fit the bill. With increasingly Internet-savvy patients, technological know-how mixed with innovation are required to target and attract patients. In fact, industry experts recommend that all health-care professionals create a personalized medical-marketing plan and even a hire a professional to put these strategies into action.