Tag Archives: follow up care

Healthcare Transparency – Call to Action

A recent Fast Company article, Why We Need Health-Care Business Innovation More Than Ever, lambasted the current flow of information in the current healthcare system paradigm and expressed a call to action for “transparent business models and processes need to be established to enable collaboration.”

Some disturbing facts from this article:

  • Three out of every 10 tests are reordered because results cannot be found.
  • Patient charts cannot be found on 30% of visits.
  • One-fifth of medical errors are due to the lack of immediate access to patient information.
  • Thirty to forty percent of the money we spend on health care–more than half a trillion dollars a year–is spent on costs associated with “overuse, underuse, misuse, duplication, system failures, unnecessary repetition, poor communication and inefficiency.”

MedVoy was designed to address precisely these issues with transparency and collaboration.  By improving the referral workflow, doctors have immediate access to patient records – eliminating the duplication of procedures, improving efficiency and improving the continuum of care.


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Why you Need a Referral Management System with your EHR

medical-advice-lApproximately 60 percent of ambulatory providers are unsatisfied with their electronic health records (EHR), according to a new IDC Health Insights report.  The key complaints are usability and workflow; the paramount concern being lost productivity – 85 percent surveyed said that they were spending more time on documentation and 66 percent cited that they were seeing fewer patients.

Using a referral system, such as MedVoy can integrate with your existing EHR to help fill these gaps

Enhances Provider Communication

Healthcare relies on effective communication amongst the providers, specialist and staff.  MedVoy enables the ability to track and manage referrals – even across disparate EHRs and patient management systems.  A specialist can understand their cases before they see the patients – allowing them to use their limited patient time most efficiently.

Improved Documentation

MedVoy’s secure, HIPPA compliant platform has a very lightweight workflow and then uses push/pulls to other EHRs to allow access to all documentation in one place and to help avoid the duplication in procedures – eliminating the onerous data entry and documentation concerns.

Feedback Loops Aids with Continuum of Care

A current constraint with referrals is that they often fall into a “black hole”, where the referring providers do not know what happened with the patient.  Using MedVoy, the referring providers can easily look at the referral status, follow up notes, appointments and ongoing patient care.


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MedVoy 2.0 Limited Launch!

MedVoy 2.0 is now available for select group of providers for a limited launch!  MedVoy has been redesigned as a simple, secure healthcare referral management platform that enables healthcare entities to generate referrals, to track, to manage and to promote continuum of care.
In the current referral paradigm, 70 percent of referrals go unscheduled and 25 percent of scheduled appointments are missed.  MedVoy flips this dynamics and stops the endless paper shuffling – putting providers in control of their referrals.
Here is a sneak preview of some new features for MedVoy
•    Tracks and manages the referral workflow
•    Provides a lightweight HIPAA-compliant user portal
•    Garner Business Intelligence (BI) insights using our BI reporting platformfree
•    Schedule appointments immediately online
Sign up today to get started!

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Chat with MedVoy

The MedVoy website now has chat functionality enabled. Patients can now chat in real time with an expert which allows patients’ questions to be answered immediately and to deliver high quality customer service.

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How to make money investing in the medical travel industry

By now, you’ve heard all the hype about the potential growth of the medical travel industry and how US patients are fleeing the country to get affordable care. Unfortunately, the experts agree, that there are few reliable statistics about the size and growth of the market, there are no common definitions of a medical traveler, comparisons of revenues and costs are hard to make, and there remain persistent, nagging barriers to widespread adoption by patients, payers and physicians.

That said, investors are still clinging to the promise of big returns fueled by patients losing their health benefits because of high unemployment, the aging population requiring more units of care and exploding costs of healthcare. If you think the medical travel industry is set to explode, there are some areas of investment to consider:

Foreign Healthcare infrastructure

  • Hospitals and systems
    Ambulatory surgery centers
    Clinical labs and imaging centers
    Disease specific treatment facilities like cancer centers, stem cell centers, etc
  • Foreign Travel and hospitality infrastructure

  • Hotels and Surgical Hotels
    Airport development

  • Tools and support companies

  • Players in global healthcare information exchange
    Data analytics and business intelligence
    Quality, price and value determinations
    Companies offering alternative pricing mechanisms

  • Supporting global healthcare insurance and travel products

  • Trip cancellation
    Follow up care
    Emergency evacuation
    Professional liability
    Infectious disease management
    Geopolitical risk insurance
  • Firms in the medical travel supply chain

  • Travel medicine clinics
    Medical travel facilitators and specialty travel agents
    Medical concierge ground operators
    Currency exchange risk managers

  • Expatriate retirement health cities and communities

    Like other industry sectors, gold, for example, you can invest in the product itself, the people who create the product, or investments that pools risks, like mutual funds or exchange traded funds.

    Look for companies in markets where the supply of care does not meet the demands of a growing middle class, that provide products and services delivering low, cost high volume care, and that provide platforms and infrastructure designed to reduce transaction costs for billing and collecting and value-based information.

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    SURGICAL HOTELS: An Emerging Opportunity

    With more and more patients seeking care away from home, there is an opportunity for the hotel and hospitality industry to offer customized services to patients recovering from surgery and treatments and their companions. Neither a hospital nor a hotel, a surgical hotel is a place designed to provide a level of care below that required in a hospital, but yet accommodates the healing needs of patients in a comfortable environment.

    So, what does a surgical hotel offer?

    How does a hotel providing services to a postoperative patients and their companions provide value and differentiate themselves?

    A surgical hotel, part hospital-part hotel, would offer the following:

    1. location convenient to healthcare facilities
    2. transportation to facilities/airport/other
    3. availability of emergency medical care
    4. amenities
    5. sensitivity to the needs of specific postop patients; connected rooms.
    6. things to do for companions
    7. information and communication technology links with providers
    8. alternative/complementary services for postop patient
    9. security
    10. privacy/confidentiality in check in and exits
    11. disability accommodations in architecture, transportation vehicles
    12. medical concierge
    13. accommodate in-room stay by nurse or companion
    14. availability of equipment to take vital signs by medical professional
    15. availability of wound management supplies
    16. online medical education and postop care resources
    17. nutrition counselor, special dietary restrictions
    18. evacuation preferences
    19. brand awareness and snob appeal
    20. new design for bedding and furniture?
    21. allergy free environment
    22. medication reminder system (part of automatic wake-up call system?)
    23. mini-kitchen facilities
    24. real time patient feedback and request system
    25. panic button
    26. prevention of nosocomial (need a new word for hotel acquired) infections
    27. modified housekeeping schedule
    28. separate parking a minimal distance to room
    29. wheelchair management
    30. quiet
    31. bathroom amenities (antibacterial soap, hand lotion, etc)
    32. antibacterial surfaces on furniture
    33. billing and collecting interface with medical insurance ?
    34. disposable cell phones for companions
    35. pet accommodations?

    The global medical travel industry in rapidly growing and expected to reach $1B by 2012. Developers and the hospitality industry have an opportunity to participate and profit by offering differentiated, value added services to patients and their family members and companions that accompany them for care away from home.

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    Global Healthcare Is Not Just About The Cost

    3 Million people spent $76B on care away from home in 2010.
    A recent Frost and Sullivan research report on the medical travel business predicts that medical tourism will come a $100 B business by the end of 2012 and that hot spots to watch will be: the Middle East, Asia and Germany.
    While most believe that cost is the main driver this is not true across the board. A McKinsey and Company 2008 report emphasizes that 40 per cent of medical travelers seek advanced technology, 32 per cent seek better healthcare, 15 per cent seek faster medical services and only 9 percent of travelers seek lower costs as their primary consideration. Click to view the full report.

    As reimbursements for Medicaid and Medicare continue to decrease and increasing numbers of US doctors indicate they will cut back seeing patients insured by these government insurance plans, or stop seeing them altogether. This will fuel access, rather than cost, to the forefront of medical travel.
    Inbound tourism is the flip side of the same coin – as US healthcare continues to get more expensive and more difficult to access, hospitals are looking for ways to fill the beds. Foreign patients are attractive market and also pay in cash.
    As I””ve pointed out before, these market eruptions present entrepreneurs with big opportunities. Healthcare reform might change the rules, but I don””t think significantly, given the big picture patient demographic and manpower supply and demand challenges.
    Global referral communications, coordination and care is a growth industry begging for talent and $100B is likely to get a lot of attention. It certainly got mine.

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    Former VP of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Joins MedVoy

    MedVoy announced today that they have added Lew Emanuelson to its advisory board to support and develop strategies for the employer benefit marketplace. MedVoy will now have an additional 32 years of specialized insurance experience in underwriting, sales and consulting for group health insurance plans and insurance brokerages in order to provide invaluable insight into the increasingly complex insurance vertical. It will enable MedVoy’s partners to draw from a new pipeline of patients to increase revenue streams, while also fulfilling MedVoy’s mission of connecting patients to domestic and international healthcare providers that administer the highest quality of care and accessibility at an affordable cost.

    Read the full press release

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    Five things will need to happen before medical travel gets real

    Despite the research reports, eco-devo white papers, industry analyses and industry marketing hype, medical travel/medical tourism is still an early stage industry looking for the right formula for success.

    In my view, five things will need to happen before medical tourism and global healthcare referrals get real traction: 1) the creation of a sustainable business model, 2)global healthcare IT connectivity and integration, 3) a physician generated global healthcare referral network, 4) a global regulatory, legal and socioeconomic ecosystem, and 5) patient awareness and acceptance.

    The creation of a sustainable business model
    Industry players including payors, providers, partners and facilitators are still looking for the the most successful way to make a profit and scale the business. With an eye towards what happened when Expedia disrupted the travel agency business, participants understand that margins for travel arrangement services are thin and that there is high price elasticity for global medical care. Few have found the magic key that fits the lock that opens the doors to profits. Payors and employers are hesitant to accept the value proposition without a better way to reduce their risk and demonstrate tangible, meaningful cost savings to their insureds and employees.

    Global healthcare IT connectivity and integration

    The US national healthcare information architecture is evolving. Eventually, the network will be a portal to the world and will allow for seemless, secure, confidential transfer of personal health information thus assuring some continuity of care and quality improvement. Similarly, it will take a while for health information systems to evolve in host countries that can talk to non-host systems. Short term solutions, like personal health records or mobile health applications, might fill the void temporarily.

    A physician generated global healthcare referral network

    Most medical tourism models connect patients to healthcare facilities, bypassing doctors in the initial stages. Doctors will get in the game when the model feels better, and they have the resources and ability to make referrals to consultants directly, like they do now. Since MedVoy was founded by an American doctor, MedVoy connects patients directly to doctors which is unlike other facilitators. Given the rise of international members, professional medical societies should be more proactive in building global referral networks, rather than seeing them as threats to existing domestic members.

    A global regulatory, legal and socioeconomic ecosystem

    The barriers to adoption and penetration of medical travel are many and include liability, reimbursement, quality assurance and impediments to continuity of care. As healthcare goes global, so will the rules and regulations that facilitate or obstruct its use. How about a World Trade Organization Treaty on Medical Travel?

    Patient awareness and acceptance

    According to the most recent polls, 50% of consumers understand the meaning of the term “medical tourism”, leaving home for care. Social network buzz and media stories find the medical travel story sexy, particularly given all the noise about escalating healthcare costs and consumers, employers and payors are hungry for more information. Moving patients from awareness to intention to decision to action, however, will take more time and use innovative marketing approaches directed towards granular market segments.

    Global medical travel is projected to be a $1B industry by 2012. While the bones are in place, it will take more time to add the flesh. Until then, to quote Karl Mauldin, people won’t leave home without it.

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    Connecting to your Doctor through your Terminal

    In our recent blog, (What’s Hot), one of our emergent trends was telemedicine. Innovations have made the world flatter and have helped with continuity of care, which is absolutely essential in global healthcare. By providing global information and communication technology networks, patients can now get a preoperative consultation and postoperative tele-care wherever and whenever they need it. While not always appropriate, in several instances, like cosmetic surgery/plastic surgery or procedures that involve mostly postoperative wound care, telemedicine image and data devices can be utilized to monitor wounds and healing while maintaining contact with the patients – regardless of location.

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