ORLANDO — The patient got a lot of attention at this year's Healthcare Financial Management Association Annual National Institute.
By my unscientific count, there were about a dozen sessions explicitly focused on the patient's health care experience, while population health, ACOs and new models of care together were the focus of fewer than 10. [I didn't bother counting the number of sessions devoted to the bread-and-butter HFMA topic of revenue-cycle improvement.]
Despite all that's been written about the retail aspect of health care provided at places like CVS Health, there is still more to learn about their capabilities. On Wednesday, CVS Health's William Shrank, M.D., a featured speaker, said that the company will soon be rolling out a program to synchronize the prescriptions of customers so that they can make just one trip a month to pick up their medicine.
Adherence to prescriptions is a common and costly problem both financially and clinically, and getting multiple prescriptions synchronized can help.
Shrank said estimates of the cost of non-adherence have ranged from $150 billion to $300 billion.
And the difference in medicine adherence rates between those patients who synchronize and those who don't is about 13 percent.
"That's a huge, huge difference,” said Shrank, who is chief scientific officer and chief medical officer of provider innovation and analytics.
Among its burgeoning trove of statistics on its customers, CVS has the ability to apply predictive analytics to a patient's adherence history to "predict with great precision" whether that patient is likely to take his or her meds properly, Shrank said. By combining that information with the patient's risk factor for not taking their meds, the chain can target those patients most needing extra attention.
Taking a more microview of the patient was speaker Jerry Thompson, who is director of patient access for Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas in Beaumont.
Thompson described a variety of different tactics and strategies Baptist Hospitals uses to get patients to pay more of what they owe for their care when they can. Thompson is an advocate of quick and personal consultation with patients all aided by technology.
One area of focus is in managing the provision of care for non-emergent needs in a way that both the patient and hospital can be satisfied, such as for elective scanning procedures.
"My job is like a used car salesman," Thompson told attendees. "What do I have to do to get you in that MRI?