Tuesday, March 4, 2014

High-Touch Tech

Meg LaPorte

The world of health care technology is constantly evolving, with the long term and post-acute care sector making rapid rotations in its ability to engage residents, keep families informed, and produce data for caregivers. In this month’s cover story, Contributing Editor Joanne Kaldy scans the horizon for the latest technology that connects patients, families, caregivers, and clinicians virtually and seamlessly. A Chicago-based company, for example, has a quality measures program that enables real-time capture and reporting of clinical data and shares it at the touch of a finger. At the same time, it enables organizations to save and organize all communication and conversations with families, send instant and automated family notifications, communicate easily with family members, and see all outstanding family questions in one place. It’s worth a look.

Medicare’s latest compliance initiative, the Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report, or PEPPER, is underway, and the contractor working on the project is preparing a report for each skilled nursing facility (SNF) that identifies areas of potential improper payments, using data from UB-04 billing claims. In this month’s Management column, Judi Kulus outlines the program’s design and explains why providers need to pay attention to it. She reports that most SNFs will receive their PEPPER report in the mail, addressed to the facility’s chief executive officer or administrator, this May.

This year’s 20 To Watch profiles conclude this month with the final eight emerging leaders in long term and post-acute care. Among the crop of dedicated individuals are several executive directors, a dietary aide, an administrative assistant, a chief executive officer, a chief medical officer, and two directors of nursing.

Rounding out the tech-focused issue this month is the annual Long Term Care Software Suppliers Guide 2014.

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