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Breaking Down the Data Silos: How reference data is the cornerstone of an overall data management strategy

The importance of overcoming this challenge was recently underscored in a webinar hosted by Health Data Management. My colleague Brian Diaz, Wolters Kluwer Health Language Senior Director of Strategy, and I took an in-depth look at how healthcare organizations can bring together strategy, systems, and infrastructure to support management of a crucial enterprise asset: reference data.

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Financial Stability in a Fluid Market

Revenue cycle management can leverage systems and workflows that close gaps, tie up loose ends, and ensure submission of a clean claim. Reference data—representing the coded and uncoded data used across a health system—plays an all-important role in strategies that optimize revenue cycle processes and ensure compliance with industry licensing requirements. As the market continues to […]

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Three Reasons DSM-5 Mapping Strategies Matter

The introduction of industry standards such as SNOMED CT, ICD-10, LOINC, and RxNorm is an important step toward achieving the goals of interoperability and information sharing. Yet healthcare organizations still face notable challenges to laying the best frameworks for normalizing data to these standards. Since there is no one standard that addresses all healthcare information, […]

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Are Your Reports Showing Pregnant Men and Smoking Babies?

A goldmine of data exists across the healthcare continuum. Hospitals and health systems, by and large, recognize the opportunity. Many just don’t know how to overcome the complexities of data management to make it work for them. Consider the challenges: Staggering amounts of patient information are regularly accumulated from disparate systems, many with their own […]

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NLP: Unlocking the potential of unstructured text in healthcare

Hospitals and health systems are sitting on a wealth of patient information that has potential to transform care delivery. Yet analytics infrastructures designed to fuel performance improvement have traditionally overlooked much of that data because it resides in health IT systems as unstructured free text. The industry has made notable inroads with structured patient data […]

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Provider Friendly Terminology: A Better Problem List Strategy

Problem lists are not new to healthcare, yet the industry has historically struggled to accurately capture this critical snapshot of patient problems and visit diagnoses. While EHRs now provide an efficient way to gather problem list data, they don’t address the underlying challenge of clean data capture due to the wide variance in terminologies used […]

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Health Language and MediMobile Partner to Improve the Hospital Revenue Cycle

It’s no secret that reimbursement is increasingly complex for today’s hospitals and health systems. In truth, a fair amount of billing inaccuracies and missed charge capture has always been part of the bottom-line challenge. But today’s providers simply cannot afford to let any money slip through the cracks as they navigate new value-based care models […]

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Overcoming the Complexity of Customizable Data

EMR and other healthcare software applications must maintain dropdown lists of codes, which are regularly updated by the standard bodies. As a software vendor you need to ensure that you are monitoring for updates, analyzing each update to determine what actually changed, and then incorporating the updates and shipping updated code to all of your […]

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Release of 2017 ISA is Good News for Interoperability

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released the 2017 Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA), an update to the 2016 version that holds great promise for advancing health information exchange. National Coordinator Vindell Washington hailed the release as “a key step toward achieving the goals” outlined in the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmapand Interoperability Pledge announced earlier […]

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The Impacts of the 21st Century Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law just last month.  This broad law reduces the bureaucracy for drug approval, provides billions of dollars to the NIH for research, and provides funding to state governments to deal with the opioid epidemic.  But along with these touted benefits, this law includes significant impacts for healthcare IT. […]

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New Measures Increase Focus on Semantic Interoperability

National healthcare movements demand an interoperable framework for accurate data exchange across healthcare continuums. As value-based care continues to unfold, the industry at large remains focused on efforts to mature interoperability to support high-level quality initiatives aimed at improving population health and cutting costs. For this reason, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) recently […]

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Meaningful Analytics: Improving Data Integration and Quality by Leveraging the HIE Webinar Recap

Healthcare organizations must achieve mastery of high-quality data and analytics to thrive within value-based care models. Today’s IT professionals are challenged to design systems that improve data exchange with industry stakeholders as well as acquire more complete and accurate patient information for quality measures reporting. Without a strategy in place that addresses each of these […]

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Four Reasons Healthcare Organizations Need to Simplify the Documentation of the Clinician Diagnosis Process

Finding and selecting the right diagnosis code is critical to both patient care and revenue cycle management. The downstream negative impact of using an unspecified code can touch everything from decision support to reimbursement, compliance, and reporting. In addition, unspecified codes are not as useful for other clinicians needing to review the records and for […]

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CMS Audits Raise the Bar on Patient Communication

Two converging trends are moving patient communication strategies front and center for today’s payers: Consumers are demanding greater control of their healthcare decisions; and regulatory movements are requiring better patient experiences. The equation is simple. When consumers understand both the clinical and financial side of care delivery, they are equipped to make better decisions, ultimately […]

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Unspecified Codes: Know Your Financial Exposure

Three Must-take Steps to Minimize Risk On October 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wrapped up its one-year grace period for allowing the use of unspecified codes without consequence. The governing body also rolled out its first update to the coding system in four years, including a mammoth 6,000 new codes. […]

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What is Semantic Interoperability?

Without semantic interoperability among disparate healthcare IT systems, sharing data in a useful way is impossible. While a doctor knows that dropsy describes the same illness as congestive heart failure, a computer typically can’t make that type of distinction. Semantic interoperability, however, creates a common vocabulary that paves the way for accurate and reliable communication among computers. […]

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Terminology Server on FHIR at HL7 Connectathon 13

Two weeks ago Health Language attended the HL7 FHIR Connectathon in Baltimore, Maryland.  An impressive 170 individuals were in attendance with 120 individuals participating in the actual Connectathon. This was a new HL7 Connectathon record! The objective of the event was to achieve the goals pre-established for each of the FHIR technology tracts.  The accomplishments of […]

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Is Your Patient Communication Getting Lost in Translation?

Patients are demanding better insights and transparency into their care. They want to be empowered in their decision-making through better information about everything from diagnoses and care plans to quality ratings and cost.[i] Providers and payers understand current market drivers creating the need for better patient experiences. In essence, higher engagement equates to lower costs.[ii] For […]

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New MACRA Measures Sharpen Focus on Semantic Interoperability

Healthcare’s interoperability quest continues to mature, moving the industry closer to semantic interoperability—the highest level of information exchange as defined by the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). ONC’s recent identification of two metrics to support specific indicators of “widespread interoperability” demonstrate this movement. Responding to directives laid out by The Medicare Access and […]

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The Importance of Standardized Healthcare Terminology

In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of leveraging administrative data for better quality assessment. As the wrap-up to this standards blog series, I want to look back at Crossing the Quality Chasm as a foundational work for improving the quality of healthcare delivery. This paper called not only for better quality but also for a reduction […]

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