Orchard Software’s 2018 User Group & Symposium was a fun-filled two days chock-full of learning opportunities. Held in downtown Indianapolis, the symposium was attended by more than 100 customers from 35 states, as well as many Orchard employees. Based on feedback from attendees, we are busy making plans for our 2019 meeting. If you missed this year’s event, or would like to come back for more, save the 2019 dates: June 18 & 19.
Encouraging the Lab to Extend Its Reach
Day one of the User Group & Symposium gave attendees an opportunity to hear from industry leaders to gain insights into overall healthcare changes that affect the laboratory. After an industry update by Orchard’s Curt Johnson, COO, and Matt Modleski, VP of Business Development, Brad Brimhall, MD, MPH, University of Texas Health Science Center, shared several exciting analytics projects he has successfully implemented that use laboratory data to demonstrate the lab’s value beyond providing test results. Discussion included an overall focus on the laboratory’s growing role in population health management and point-of-care testing (POCT)—opportunities for the lab to extend its reach and demonstrate added value.
POCT, Stewardship, & Attitude
Jock Murray, President of the Jock Murray Group, and I discussed opportunities for laboratory professionals to oversee and lead POCT initiatives. Michael Astion, MD, PhD, Seattle Children’s Hospital, lead a hilarious and well-received discussion on laboratory stewardship and the need to “nudge” providers in the best direction regarding lab usage. The day closed with an audience favorite, Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy©, who used his gifts of humor and art to share his insights on how to maintain a positive outlook when faced with challenges.
CPT II Codes--What?
Orchard’s Nancy Stoker and Greg Lyons lead a dual presentation that highlighted the continued growth of POCT. Nancy discussed the use of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Category II codes that many insurance companies are now using to close care gaps and to assess Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) and Star rating scores. Many symposium attendees were unfamiliar with these codes and appreciated the learning opportunity.
HEDIS & Star Ratings Measure Quality
HEDIS is a set of standardized performance measures developed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) used to measure and compare quality across health insurance plans. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Five-star Quality Rating System is used to measure the quality of care for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) beneficiaries.
Both HEDIS and Star ratings affect healthcare organization reimbursements. They are improved by encouraging patients to have preventive health visits, screenings, and tests; educating patients about medication adherence and side effects; and reaching out to those who are non-compliant.
Some CPT II Codes Are Based on Lab Test Results
CPT II codes are tracking codes used by CMS to “grade” performance. These “follow-up” codes come into play as additional information that demonstrates the level of quality to the insurance provider. For example, in tracking Hgb A1c levels for diabetic patients, the CPT II codes correspond to the Hgb A1c result (see the table below). Laboratory professionals need to be aware of these types of reimbursement policies and determine where lab data applies in new reimbursement models and quality scores.
Learn to Maximize Orchard’s Products
The two-day symposium format offers time to gain an industry background and to delve into Orchard products and exciting news within the company. Many attendees also appreciated the opportunity to speak with their Account Managers to touch base on ideas and future prospects.
Orchard is committed to keeping you informed and being a trusted resource you can turn to for industry-related education. As always, we welcome your feedback. Follow us on Twitter at @OrchardSoftware, and feel free to respond to this post by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.