The Rising Trends in Medical Devices for Superior Care Quality

Emerging Healthcare Trends

Intense competition in the healthcare industry has forced healthcare providers to look for new ways to offer superior care quality. Since traditional methods of healthcare service have proven to be inadequate, the healthcare industry today is embracing new and innovative technology in order to better patient health and well-being:

• Healthcare Apps: Medical apps are revolutionizing the healthcare landscape by seamlessly connecting patients and doctors with medical information. A majority of healthcare apps are being developed with varied capabilities like real time monitoring and high-resolution imaging that can be used to monitor and improve patient health. Today, healthcare apps allow people to receive care anytime and from anywhere in the world, making healthcare more accessible to patients.

• Medical Sensors: Another technical trend that is picking up pace is the implementation of medical sensors. Rising healthcare costs have compelled healthcare providers to gather medical data from real-time sensors in order to improve the decision making process. Creating top-notch algorithms and a visually appealing interface for these sensors has become a priority for medical device solution providers.

• Health-specific Social Networks: The rising success and popularity of social networks can be leveraged to deliver quality health-care services to patients. By collaborating with people suffering from similar health conditions, patients and practitioners can connect with each other on social networks and form relations, and ask questions, thereby empowering patients to play an active role in their personal wellbeing.

The Need for Modern Technology

The healthcare industry consists of a varied assortment of professionals who directly or indirectly provide healthcare: from doctors and clinicians to pharmaceutics, administrators, managers, marketers, lab assistants, and more. With so many people part of the chain, there is also the challenge of dealing with enormous amounts of unstructured and cluttered data; data that is related to patients’ medical history, diagnosis, clinical-trials, treatments, and medicines, in addition to clerical, and research & administrative data. Moreover, this critical data resides in numerous places like physicians notes, lab reports, PCs, enterprise systems etc. Collecting and making sense of this data is not only time consuming but also fruitless. This mandates the need for modern technology that can be leveraged to make better-quality decisions which in turn lead to superior healthcare. Medical device solution companies also need to cater to a wide range of business needs such as interoperability between various stakeholders, a distributed network, mobile customers, healthcare standards, and legal guidelines.

Medical Device Solutions

Several medical device players have been in business, embracing trends around miniaturization, portability, connectivity, consistency and affordability of medical devices. Companies with hands-on engineering experience in FDA Class 2 and Class 3 devices help in monitoring, diagnostics, analysis, imaging, wearable health and telemedicine for medical applications. HIPAA compliant engineering solutions, and process expertise in IEC 60601-1/2/6, IEC 62304, 510K and ISO 1348 enable these companies to develop medical products through the lifecycle: from concept and architecture definition to prototyping, field trials, certification and sustenance engineering. What’s more, medical device and clinical software solutions for mobility enablement that are integrated with cloud infrastructure for remote diagnosis and ease of access is helping medical institutions offer superior quality care from anywhere and at any time. Some of the major services that software companies are offering in the medical space include:

• Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) management and sustenance
• Web, cloud and mobility enablement with EMR integration
• Medical imaging algorithm implementation on GPU and DSP platforms
• Wireless integration with Bluetooth, ZigBee, Wi-Fi, NFC, and 2G/3G/4G technologies
• Medical device miniaturization, localization, re-engineering and obsolescence management
• Mechanical and enclosure design with CAD/CAM modeling
• Low-power design for wearable health devices
• FDA/FCC/CE/UL certification support

Better Quality Care

With modern healthcare facilities at their fingertips, healthcare institutes can now offer better-quality care and improve the overall well-being of patients. Medical apps, mobile solutions, wireless integration, device miniaturization and wearable healthcare devices are gradually being embraced, leading to comprehensive and efficient patient healthcare.

A graduate in technology, Toya Peterson is an avid blogger who is always interested in the recent fads and trends related to wearables, IoT and embedded technologies. A mother of two, she aspires to be a photo-blogger soon as she is honing up her skills in photography. In her leisure time, she loves to go hiking with her friends.

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How to Conduct Self Audits for Your E/M Services

Evaluation and management codes figure at the top of the list of services that medical practices tend to miscode most often. These codes are used almost everywhere and there are very specific guidelines around these codes. And getting the right level of E/M service every time for each patient can be challenging.

For example: Auditors have for long had their eyes on E/M coding and incident-to billing – and the scenario has not changed much even now. One would expect practices to be more watchful with E/M coding; but in actuality, error rates have actually gone up, the latest report from CERT suggests.

According to the 2014 Medicare Fee-for-Service improper payment rate went up to 12.7 percent in 2015, worse than the error rates logged in year 2012 and 2013.

But you can safeguard your organization from potential audits and penalties by conducting internal audits before the payers do. Any organization/practice that’s not conducting self-audits at least once a year is living life on the edge as self-audits can help you identify coding issues before they take the form of a complete crises.

How to conduct self-audits

Example: Physician is performing a level-four established patient office E/M (99214); but he is only documenting a level-three service (99213). Here, a self-audit would help the practice locate the problem and provide education to the physician. When medically appropriate, the service needs to be documented well at the 99214 level or correctly coded at the 99213 level. In both cases, the selection of code was incorrect.

How to self-audit E/M coding

This involves reviewing and vetting a lot of documentation. The encounter notes on your claims must reflect all required elements for the E/M level. To put it in simpler terms, during the self-audit review of E/M charts, ensure the documentation for history, exam, and medical decision-making support the level of E/M you are coding. While reviewing claims, you can follow either the 1995 or 1997 E/M documentation guidelines – but you must make it a point to follow them to the letter.

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