100,000 providers strong!

Hi All! Had a great strategic client forum for Athena Health the past few days. There are a lot of very cool things happening with Athena that by virtue of the cloud and network…no other partner can do.  A few of the new things:

  1. Secure mobile app for Athena Net to be on your phone/mobile device
  2. 100% pre-auth service…this takes their rules engine, live operators and power of the network to auth all procedures from surgeries to medications to DME…the statistics on their success is amazing. In fact insurers are very happy with how they do this. A top 5 reason for denial is lack of pre-auth. They can obtain a pre-auth within an hour for urgent exams.
  3. Increasing the speed of their network
  4. They have over 100,000 providers on the network

Due to having this many providers on the network they can drill into data quickly to show that:

  1. Text message reminders are the best at preventing no shows. 4.2% of patients that received a text message no-showed compared to 10% for phone call reminders. This includes Medicare patients!
  2. A spike in Lyme disease has enabled Athena to assist the CDC to get warnings out to the public about tick bites.
  3. They can see that while the average wait time for the US for a wellness exam is 30 days, 27% of schedules are never filled in the past 30 days…meaning that with the daily cancellations and no shows every day schedules go unfilled, so they developed a new text feature that when a no-show or cancel happen it will send text messages out to people that are on the schedule with similar appointments to ask if they want to be seen now and give the practice a call to schedule ASAP. Pretty cool
  4. They are collecting data on the hospital side that re-works the medication bar code scanning workflows for improvements…these are just a few of the new items.

This is a great segway to the first question: Senior Management is always out for education, what about other employees who work directly with patients, could they go off site for education or training? ABSOLUTLEY! I don’t believe I have turned down a request for this, unless it was a timing issue, extravagant cost (I was asked about a $6,000 off-site 1 week course once) or did not pertain to the job. I always encourage to look for the free trainings first. For example, Athena Health has paid for this trip to Boston. At a strategic lab trip I took to Austin last month that organization paid for. The trips for Athena implementation team, selection teams etc. Were all paid for. For the Colorado Rural Health Center Rural forum and annual conference there is typically a scholarship to help offset the costs.   

I understand that not everyone can find these and afford them, however, I encourage offsite training as needed as it pertains to your job. However, be prepared to present what you learned to me or others to ensure that you all are learning. Also, training costs over a certain amount are subject to employment contracts. Unfortunately, some folks will get a lot of training and then leave the organization. As an organization we should invest in our employees, however, we also have to protect that investment as well.

Specialty Clinic along with the Specialty Clinic Providers and our patients we provide so many different services and our patient care is our main priority. The specialty clinic is a pretty special area (pun intended). It is our strategy to create access to our community, this includes specialty clinic. It was our goal this year to surpass a 50% specialty clinic market share…we are projecting to beat that even with-out the Coumadin clinic and eye clinic numbers. Add those numbers in and the specialty clinic is projected to see nearly 5,000 patients this year compared to the 7,300 in the primary care clinic. This creates access access access all around. What is cool also is that the primary care clinic is on schedule to have its 3rd best year in history. Keep it up!

I like my co-workers and having adequate ancillary help, ward clerks, CNA’s etc.  I love all of my co-workers (you all!) Glad to hear on the rest.



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