Evolving with the times: Greenway partnership gives Oak Street a healthcare technology edge
Oak Street Medical is committed to leveraging technology to meet today’s shifting patient needs and growing healthcare challenges. The Eugene, Oregon, practice provides a unique combination of services that include primary care, diabetes, and mental health, as well as allergy, asthma, and immunology. Since its inception, the practice has used technology to improve clinic efficiency, patient care, and the patient experience. Oak Street was one of the first in its area to adopt electronic health record (EHR) software, and it continues to participate in government programs devoted to helping the practice better interact with and gather data from patients through the improved use of technology.
Today’s practices face daunting challenges when it comes to the delivery of care and getting paid for services. “Insurance providers continue to require more and more prior authorizations and different hoops to jump through before they’ll authorize a certain medication or procedure,” says Betty Evans, CEO. “The amount of administrative time it takes to care for a patient is increasing, yet reimbursements are going down.”
The current focus on “Triple Aim” (Improving patient experience, Improving health populations, and reducing the overall cost of care) transitions the payment model from volume based to outcome based. In fact, the requirement to participate in government programs such as MIPS or APMs will determine the future of practice reimbursements for patient care. These new reimbursement models require advanced data collection capabilities to meet attestation requirements.
Amid all of this, practices must remain profitable. That means technology-generated efficiencies and data analytics become increasingly crucial to a thriving practice.
“Because of the way we have Intergy structured — and we have many different touch points throughout the billing cycle — I believe we capture close to 100% of the information needed to see that billing goes through.”
Betty Evans, CEO, Oak Street Medical
Meanwhile, patients are becoming savvier and more empowered through technology such as patient portals and online reviews as they seek a satisfactory, consumer-like healthcare experience.
Over the years, Oak Street has consistently partnered with Greenway Health to determine how to best integrate technology to meet its unique — and evolving — practice needs. The partnership began when Oak Street shifted from a cumbersome, UNIX-based system to Greenway Health’s Intergy. This immediately offered providers and staff a more intuitive experience, which increased usage and promoted attendant efficiencies.
Since those early days, healthcare has changed, and so has Oak Street. Through Pilot/Beta programs and usability testing, Oak Street has worked closely with Greenway, providing feedback and recommendations on meeting end user needs. “Oak Street has grown with Greenway,” Betty says. “As Greenway has evolved its technology, Oak has evolved with them.”
Intergy helps Oak Street providers maximize efficiencies and improve the patient experience in multiple ways. Intergy’s intuitive, customizable interface helps the practice develop a patient recording system that’s just right for its needs. “Oak Street uses scribes who enter data into the Intergy system as the doctor speaks with the patient,” Betty explains. “This allows for a more accurate documentation process. It also maximizes the provider’s time with the patient. In order for a practice to stay viable it is imperative that the provider’s time is spent in direct face to face contact with patients, thus leaving all administrative tasks to their appropriate support staff.”
Intergy helps maximize provider and patient face-to-face time with customizable forms and workflows. Many parts of the system can be set up in accordance with individual provider preferences. This allows the providers more flexibility in how they utilize the system. “The physician doesn’t have to match to the system,” Betty explains. “We can match the system to the physician.”
Accurate documentation is critical to insurance reimbursement. While patients are the priority, to provide the best care a practice must be financially viable. “Because of the way we have Intergy structured — and we have many different touch points throughout the billing cycle — I believe we capture close to 100% of the information needed to see that billing goes through,” Betty says.
As payer reimbursements shrink, technology enabled efficiencies can help offset those losses. With Intergy, Oak Street staff can track patient flow through every phase of an office visit, from check-in to exam room, physician entry, and check-out. Oak Street uses Intergy Practice Analytics dashboards to access detailed clinical data that helps it develop time- and cost-saving processes. They can perform workflow analyses to identify bottlenecks, and make adjustments that improve the patient experience.
• 10–15% increase in the efficiency of patient record-keeping processes.
• Improved patient experience.
• Maximized insurance reimbursements.
“Everything in Practice Analytics is just huge,” Betty says. “We use it every day, whether it’s dashboards for tracking our clinical quality or operational measures, to the actual custom reports that we can build. We have the flexibility of scheduling reports which can be forwarded to a specified email address(es) at designated intervals.
“There’s a dashboard that tracks appointments against capacity,” Betty continues. “Or, you can drill down to see how many patients you see by reason code each day. It’s almost limitless in many ways because if it’s not already in a dashboard, you can query any data from the system to generate custom reports.”
Like all practices, Oak Street focuses on its patients as it strives to meet financial challenges. Intergy helps Betty and practice staff create an efficient, caring environment where providers can focus on patient care instead of administrative tasks.
“We take pride in the care that we give our patients and want to go above and beyond anything they could get someplace else,” Betty says. “We’ve been able to use Greenway Health technologies to help us achieve those goals over the years.”
For more information on Greenway Health, call 866-242-3805.