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Health Care Perspectives

Health care is constantly changing. Stay current by following our blog which covers a variety of current topics and our unique insight. Check back regularly for new posts and subscribe to receive the latest posts directly in your inbox.


Six Ways to Increase Cyber Security in the Health Care Industry
Jun 27, 2017

By Rick Ensenbach

In early June 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Care Industry Cyber security (HCIC) Task Force released the “Report on Improving Cyber Security in the Health Care Industry” (the “Report”). The Report provides six primary recommendations for government and health care organizations to “help increase security across the health care industry.” It describes the health care industry’s cyber security issues as patient safety issues and emphasizes that all health care delivery organizations have a greater responsibility to secure their systems, medical devices, and patient data. The release of the Report is particularly timely in the wake of the ransomware attack in May that crippled hospitals and health systems in the United Kingdom and other businesses and industries across the globe. Cyber security planning is important for all industries, including participants in the health care delivery system—providers, payors, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and vendors.

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Strategies to Reduce Physician and Provider Burnout
May 17, 2017

By Tina Nazier

There’s an epidemic sweeping our hospitals and health care organizations, and it is impacting patients, providers, their families, and medical staff. The problem is physician and provider burnout, and it can adversely affect an organization’s bottom line, and even prove fatal for the provider. Numerous studies, including one reported on Current Psychiatry.com, reveal that the suicide rate for physicians is higher than that of the general population. It’s estimated that between 300 and 400 physicians a year, or one or more doctors a day, kill themselves. While the initiatives covered in this article may not have an immediate and widespread impact on these troubling facts, it is important to raise the issue of provider burnout and highlight initiatives that have proven to help address these concerns.

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The Most Sought After Competencies for Executive Talent in Health Care
Apr 26, 2017

By Ron Some

This is the first in a series of blogs highlighting trends in the market for executive talent.

Despite—or because of—wrenching changes initiated by the executive administration in Washington, DC, the demand for health care executive talent remains healthy due to a couple of trends. As boards of directors and executives contemplate yet more tumultuous change in reimbursement models and via executive orders from CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services, many baby boomer executives, with their retirement savings mostly recovered from the 2008 recession and not wanting to lead another retrenchment effort at their organizations, are scaling back by leaving full-time positions in favor of interim executive work or outright retirement. On another front, as boards of directors become more focused on metrics when evaluating CEOs, they have become increasingly critical of performance and have shown a greater willingness to initiate a change in the executive suite.

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"Financial Challenges" Still #1 Issue Facing Hospital CEOs
Apr 12, 2017

By David Kim

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According to a recent survey by the American College of Healthcare Executives, hospital CEOs identified “financial challenges” as their top issue. When the broad category of “financial challenges” is further broken down, 60 percent of CEOs indicated they were challenged with “increasing costs for staff, supplies, etc.,” and 55 percent listed “reducing operating costs” as a concern.

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Preparing for the Revenue Recognition Standard - Health Care Part III
Apr 04, 2017

By Joshua J. Boyle

In Part One of the article series, we covered a high level overview of the revenue recognition standard found in Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 606, implementation issues specific to the health industry, and the high level changes hospitals and clinics will experience from the revenue recognition standard. In Part Two, we covered in more detail, using examples, the five-step process for recognizing revenue, changes to bad debt expense, and the use of portfolios to estimate the transaction price for a group of patients.

What are the next steps hospitals and clinics need to consider as they prepare to implement the revenue recognition standard in the future?

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Preparing for the Revenue Recognition Standard - Health Care Part II
Mar 15, 2017

By Joshua J. Boyle

In the first article of this series, we covered a high level overview of the revenue recognition standard found in Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 606. The following is a quick recap of the five-step process to achieve the core principle under the revenue recognition standard:

  • Identify the contract(s) with the customer (i.e., patient).
  • Identify the separate performance obligations in the contract.
  • Determine the transaction price.
  • Allocate the transaction price to the separate performance obligations in the contract.
  • Recognize revenue when the entity satisfies a performance obligation.

In addition, we discussed implementation issues specific to the health care industry and the high level changes that hospitals and clinics will experience under the revenue recognition standard.

Throughout the remainder of this article, we will illustrate in more detail, through examples, the five-step process for recognizing revenue, accounting for self-pay revenue, changes to bad debt expense, and the use of portfolios to estimate the transaction price for a group of patients. 

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Preparing for the Revenue Recognition Standard - Health Care Part I
Mar 08, 2017

By Joshua J. Boyle

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) completed its revenue recognition project by issuing Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, which can be found in the new Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 606.
 
The new standard is effective for periods beginning after December 15, 2017, for public entities which include not-for-profit entities that have issued or are a conduit bond obligor for securities that are traded, listed, or quoted on an exchange or an over-the-counter market.  The standard is effective for all other entities effective for periods beginning after December 15, 2018.
 
Will you be impacted? Continue reading to learn more.

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Creating High-Functioning Leadership Teams - Part Two
Feb 22, 2017

By Tina Nazier

Leadership is a critical factor in securing success for today’s health care organizations. Now more than ever before, organizations depend greatly on high-functioning leadership teams. Creating and sustaining those teams demands considerable effort. It requires the implementation and cultivation of five key elements—trust, creative conflict, commitment, accountability, and finally, a focus on results.

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Top Eleven Medicare Bad Debts
Feb 08, 2017

By Kelly N. Beth

The following are some questions to ask your bad debt preparer to ensure that the bad debts being claimed will hold up through a Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) audit.

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Creating High-Functioning Leadership Teams - Part One
Feb 01, 2017

By Tina Nazier

The race is on for talent in the health care industry. While hiring talented staff and managers certainly impacts success, what health care organizations really need to survive and thrive is healthy teamwork.

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Top 10 Pitfalls of Participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program
Jan 18, 2017

By Vicki Mueller

Given today’s declining reimbursement landscape, most health care organizations are engaging in additional cost-saving strategies. The federal 340B Drug Pricing Program is one such opportunity that is available to critical access hospitals (CAHs), disproportionate share hospitals (DSHs), and other eligible covered entities.

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Key Trends Impacting Rural and Community Hospitals in 2017
Jan 04, 2017

By Nicholas E. Smith

In our 2016 health care trends article, we anticipated trends that would influence the trajectory of health care and the implications for hospitals and health care providers. Those trends included health insurance, cost containment, the rise of new payment methodologies, technology, analytics, investment, and industry consolidation. These trends certainly gathered momentum throughout the year, and we expect that momentum to continue into 2017 and beyond, with some qualifiers.

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Home Health Care Has Had a Busy Year
Dec 02, 2016

By Caryn Adams

Home health care has had a busy year. There was an increase in audits with Medicare’s focus on retaining its monies, wanting to provide education, and changing the way we assess our clients. Really, it is not as bad as it sounds. We just need to adjust. That being said, change is never easy. 

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Help Your Senior Living Organization Thrive Financially and Operationally
Nov 03, 2016

By Larry Lester

Profit margins for senior living providers who serve Medicaid and low income individuals are razor thin. Without a solid financial plan, an effective budget, and timely response to operational and industry changes, a senior living facility will struggle to survive. 

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Strategies to Help Your Senior Living Facility Establish a Strong Market Position
Oct 06, 2016

By Michael Edwin, Patrick J. Carroll

As the population over the age of 65 becomes an increasingly larger portion of the U.S. population and health care reform is fully implemented, impacting the senior living industry, competition will heat up to meet the growing demand for senior housing and services and the needs of the local health care systems. Consider it a two front approach to the market. You will need to be attractive to your future customers, and you will need to be just as attractive to your referral sources, the health systems in your area. Such competition and environmental changes can breed innovation by accelerating your facility’s strategies for growth, capital improvements, and systems enhancement and integration. 

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Using These Strategies for Your Health Care Recruiting?
Sep 08, 2016

By Zachary J. Lehmann

We all know how hard it is to find good people in today’s marketplace. This is even more apparent in the highly competitive health care industry. How organizations recruit top talent is changing daily as the candidate pool shrinks and qualified candidates become harder to find. Not long ago, running an ad in the local newspaper and posting to the big job boards yielded all the candidates organizations could ever need. This is no longer the case. As the demographics of the candidate pool continue to change and the use of social media increases, it is time to rethink how to recruit in today’s market.

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What are You Doing to Create a Positive Workplace Culture?
Aug 04, 2016

By Stephanie L. Ferrario

Staff turnover rates in the senior living industry continue to be increasingly high. Losing employees impacts your facility tremendously by decreasing the quality of care, decreasing resident satisfaction, and increasing recruitment and retention costs. 

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Can You Answer Yes to Theses 8 Coding Tips?
Jul 07, 2016

By Jeanne M. Chapdelaine

You are currently experiencing some of the most significant and painful changes to how you collect patient service data with the implementation of ICD-10, the increasing focus on cost and quality, and the dependence on providers to effectively use electronic health records (EHR) all happening at once. You are no longer coding simply for insurance claims payment purposes. Codes are now used for severity adjustment, quality of care assessment, case mix management, public health surveillance, patient safety evaluation, and even marketing efforts. As a result, health care organizations that focus on capturing the most specific and accurately coded data for each patient encounter are collecting powerful information about their patients’ status and condition over time. Certainly, this is important for providing the best care to their patients, but it’s also key to ensuring their practices remain profitable as the Affordable Care Act continues to unwind.

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Chronic Care Management (CCM) Services—Not Just Professional Services
Jun 02, 2016

By Jeanne M. Chapdelaine

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January 1, 2015, Medicare began paying separately under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) for the AMA’s CPT code 99490 for non-face-to-face care coordination services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions. These services have been overlooked by many hospitals as a “professional-only” service, thus missing a revenue opportunity (hard to find in the world of Medicare payments). Although CMS does not recognize CCM as an RHC or FQHC service, an RHC or FQHC may have the opportunity to bill for CCM on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, provided it satisfies the applicable billing requirements for non-RHC/non-FQHC services.

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Is Your Senior Living Facility Focusing on These Four Critical Benchmark Categories?
May 05, 2016

By Kimberly K. Heller

The sheer size of the baby boomer generation has caused tremendous shifts in cultural paradigms over the last six decades, and boomers’ impact on the practices of our health care system is no exception. Amid a sea of changing health care laws, the needs of the country’s largest demographic are once again making waves across the health care delivery continuum. 

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Is Your Back Office Working For You or Against You?
Apr 07, 2016

By Inga Arendt

There are many tasks required to run a business beyond the provision of day-to-day services to residents.  “Back office” tasks do not bring in income and can significantly increase or decrease the costs to run the business.  The challenge is to find the most cost- and time-efficient means to accomplish these tasks so that the business runs smoothly and profits are maximized.

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Six Key Behaviors to Achieve Value-Based Care
Mar 04, 2016

By Tina Nazier

By 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services has a goal of having 30 percent of fee-for-service Medicare payments tied to quality or value through alternative payment models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs), value-based reimbursement, or bundled payments. According to the HHS news release on January 26, 2015, this will jump to 50 percent by the end of 2018. Is your organization ready to meet the challenge to achieve value-based care by next year?

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Top Ten Questions Regarding Provider-Based Clinics
Feb 04, 2016

By Vicki Mueller

Each month Wipfli’s Revenue Cycle Team contributes insights to the Health Care Perspective newsletter. This month we highlight questions regarding provider-based clinics and the filing of an attestation. Provider-based clinics are under more scrutiny than ever before, so it is important for facilities to ensure their clinics are meeting CMS criteria.

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TRUST: The Most Powerful Innovation in Health Care
Jan 07, 2016

By Tina Nazier

As a health care leader in an ever-changing world, you know the importance of constantly rethinking the way you deliver care. In order for health care organizations to survive, they must consider how to transform traditional health care by harnessing the power of innovation.

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