Can billing offices save time and money in insurance payments through EHRs?
Last month, five national health insurance plans along with the two largest plan industry groups announced that they would be launching a groundbreaking initiative in New Jersey to cut insurance paperwork for doctors' offices.
If it's successful, the initiative will be the first experiment in EHR adoption to cut down on chasing insurance money, what providers say is the biggest time and money drain on their practices.
According to a New York Times article about the initiative, the five plans – Aetna, AmeriHealth New Jersey, Cigna, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and United Healthcare represent about 95 percent of privately insured patients in New Jersey.
The plans are collaborating with two industry groups, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), and are using a multi-payer web portal developed by NaviNet, Insurer Connect.
According to AHIP, five physician groups are also collaborating on the project, previously, the Medical Society of New Jersey; New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians; New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons; New Jersey Medical Group Management Association; And Partners in Care, Corp.
The health plans will provide the portal service to 50,000 providers at zero cost, and NaviNet says it will offer them one place where they can, in real-time: check eligibility and benefit information; Submit and inquire about claims; And check referral and authorization submissions.
A probable twist in the system is that the individual plans still have to feed the site information, and not all the plans provide the same level of electronic health data, according to the Times. This means that doctors will still be obtaining different levels of individual EHR info from different subsections of the NaviNet portal.
However, provider groups are hopeful. Leaders at the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians, one of the collaborating physician groups, continue to state their concern that administrative responsibility on physicians grow every year, but they affirm that this initiative is at least a step in the right direction.
A study put out late in 2009 by the Center for Learning Health System Change and referenced on the NJAFP's web site found a gap between policymakers 'expectations of and practitioners' experience with EHR. According to the study, what's really required to make EHR work is to reform payment policies to address coordination of care, even within a single providers' office, but certainly among practices. …
Who’s sexier – Jennifer Lopez or Olive Oyl from the old Popeye cartoons? Most people would emphatically reply, “J-Lo!” Some of us are naturally endomorphs, and have difficulty losing weight. At the other end of the spectrum are ectomorphs, who are thin and actually have trouble gaining weight. Being skinny can be emotionally difficult. That may be hard to believe, especially for women, given our current “thin-is-in” culture of beauty. Others who may want to gain weight include body builders and those who are overcoming eating disorders.
The idea behind gaining weight is not to become obese of course – so fast food is definitely out of the question. That’s because obesity is accompanied by serious health risks such as heart disease and diabetes. Rather, people who want to gain weight need healthy high-calorie foods for weight gain. The healthy way to gain weight naturally is with high-protein foods – which will also build attractive, lean muscle.
The three primary nutrients for the human body are protein, which supplies amino acids; fats, which supply fatty acids; and carbohydrates, which supply glucose. These three primary nutrients are also the foods to gain weight with! Here’s a snapshot of how to optimize your diet with healthy high-calorie foods for weight gain.
Protein should be the building block of every meal and snack. Protein builds lean muscle. This does not mean fast-food burgers! Be sure that your protein sources are lean: chicken, fish, or vegetarian alternatives such as beans and tofu. Red meat and dairy products are not generally recommended because they’re high in saturated fat. However, there are healthy ways to eat red meat and dairy products, which we’ll discuss shortly. Your serving of protein should be the largest portion on your plate. Lean protein snacks include hummus, nuts, low-fat cheese and yogurt.
Enjoy hearty whole-grain carbohydrates. This does not mean white, highly processed carbs such as potato chips, white bread and bagels! Think brown. Whole-grain carbs include items such as multi-grain crackers, whole wheat bread and basmati rice. People who are watching their weight avoid highly processed carbs and reduce their intake of whole-grain carbs to one or two servings per day. Since your goal is to gain weight, feel free to eat whole-grain carbohydrates with every meal. Seven-grain crackers dipped in hummus makes a hearty snack!
Eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. You can boost your serving intake by also drinking 100 percent natural fruit juices. Also, be sure to add a fruit or vegetable to every meal. We could change that old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” to “Five servings a day keeps sickness at bay!”
Enjoy healthy fats. Fats encourage nutrient absorption, facilitate nerve transmission, and maintain cell integrity. This does not mean eating greasy french fries! Not all fats are created equal. There are good fats and bad fats. The good guys are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol and they also …