3 considerations for ASCs to succeed in 2019

New regulatory requirements, evolving payment models, advancing technologies and rising patient expectations will drive healthcare organizations' priorities in 2019, according to Robin Ntoh, a senior professional services consultant at Nextech.

"It is an exciting time to be in healthcare, but it can also be a challenging one," Ms. Ntoh told Becker's ASC Review. "By focusing on ensuring regulatory compliance, preserving information security and enabling robust data use, ASCs can successfully weather and thrive amid the change."

Ms. Ntoh shared three recommendations to help ASCs succeed in 2019:

1. Address the recent MIPS updates. "In early November, CMS released its most recent updates to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. The new requirements — while similar to those of 2018 — have made a few changes, such as increasing performance thresholds, adding cost measures and eliminating certain bonuses. Becoming familiar with what's new is wise, however, it can be difficult to wade through the latest information and tie it back to organizational next steps. As such, it is also beneficial to leverage clinical and financial systems that seamlessly update to meet the most current regulatory standards while remaining focused on organizational goals and objectives. Such solutions let organizations automatically respond to changes and avoid missing opportunities."

2. Pay attention to security. "The news is full of stories about hackers breaching systems to obtain protected information, making data security a top priority. A key method for mitigating the risk of theft is to employ technology that offers the latest protections. When solutions are designed with robust and continuously-updated security protocols, such as cloud-based technology, they can go a long way toward reliably safeguarding health information."

3. Embrace smart technology. "Whereas the primary goal of information technology used to be storing and sorting data, more and more it is incorporating artificial intelligence to analyze it, make predictions and offer recommendations, pointing out things that may have gone unnoticed before. By leveraging this progressive technology, ASCs can make better decisions more efficiently, improving quality while reducing costs. For example, tools like auto-complete charting within an EHR help providers document faster with greater accuracy and specificity, facilitating easier patient identification, quality reporting and denials prevention."

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