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It's the time of year to prepare for tax reporting.
This year, don't let your vendor master file contribute to the madness of tax reporting. Inconsistencies in vendor master files are typically the root cause of tax reporting headaches. It's important to organize and cleanse your file of incorrect or missing supplier information, missing or invalid Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), missing and inaccurate W-9s, duplicate and inactive vendors, and other inaccuracies.
Use technology and automation
Using a vendor registration and authentication process is a common practice outside of healthcare to lower risk, uncover errors, detect fraud and avoid costs that can equate to millions of dollars. Using technology and automation in this manner also provides for a more efficient means to deal with year-end tax requirements.
At the Healthcare Roundtable last week, I spoke about work I facilitated at a West Coast community hospital.
The work arose from the hospital's need for a new facility to remain in seismic compliance with California Senate Bill 1953. Marked uncertainty arose about what services to offer when physicians took business offsite with an ambulatory surgical center, gastrointestinal service and pain management unit.
Admitting uncertainty, the hospital invested in a medical advisory panel that remains in existence today to assist with strategic planning for an uncertain future. The returns included:
I met with a colleague last month with whom I'm partnering to create a system that can help organizations monitor and respond to patient and family concerns, questions and compliments in real time using their own devices.
Who wouldn't want that in their organization? Get on top of situations. Promote positive word of mouth. Set up the organization for better HCAHPS responses.
Turns out some organizations want to run the other way.
The platform allows organizations to get data in real time. And with that comes responsibility. The organization must act on it and align their processes and workflows to become a responsive organization. Not every organization is ready to or willing to do this.
Recently, I attended an interdisciplinary team meeting. There was a knock on the door to the conference room. Before I could rise to open the door, it swung open and one of our attending physicians scanned the room, made eye contact with me and beckoned me to step outside.
The two of us made our way to my office, where this physician, visibly upset, explained to me her interaction with the wife of one of her patients. She described the spouse (whom I'll call as Mrs. Jones), as aggressive, unrelenting, and dare I say, hostile. I was taken aback, as the patient was admitted the day before. What could possibly have gone so wrong in such a short period of time?
The physician asked me to accompany her to the patient's room, as she wanted me to witness the interaction between the patient, Mrs. Jones and the staff. After quickly reviewing the patient's admission notes, I accompanied the physician to the patient care unit, where we came upon Mrs. Jones standing at the nurses station. She was visibly upset, evidenced by her raised voice and demand to see someone in charge. As I approached the desk, I reach out my hand to introduce myself with a calm, low voice. The staff stood wide-eyed waiting to see what would happen next. The physician gave me the, I told you so look, but I stayed focused on the family member.
In boardrooms, at universities and in executive offices throughout the U.S., top healthcare leaders have worked feverishly for years to combat escalating healthcare costs and middling, if not downright poor, health outcomes when compared to other nations.
The efforts resulted in a number of innovative experiments in different states. The outcomes remain to be seen, but one of the early findings suggests that healthcare providers have failed to engage patients and, in effect, make them full partners in their own healthcare.
Patient engagement at its heart is a simple concept--empowering the people in our care to take more control of their individual health. But for hospitals, putting that concept into action took a back seat under traditional fee-for-service models. The new experiments throughout the nation exploded those models and patient engagement has come to the forefront.
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