5 Benefits of Recognizing and Eliminating Care Gaps

Population Health

When implementing a care gap program, providers need to first identify the high-priority population on which they will concentrate so they can select the critical care components for each substrate.

Improving quality metrics can be directly correlated to addressing care gaps in order to improve practice and overall population health. Perhaps one of the most significant tools in the search to identify and close patient care gaps is the electronic health record, or EHR. In order to receive medical care today, patients may very well see several physicians or specialists. They might require diagnostic tests in various facilities, or they might need some type of in-patient care. The primary physician needs instant access to a comprehensive array of data and prescription information in order to address the entire range of care needs and develop an in-depth care and treatment plan. Electronic health records reduce errors and improve time management by giving care providers instant access to crucial patient background information, and making it easier to share information with other care givers.

5 Benefits of Identifying Patient Care Gaps

Using technology and implementing processes to identify and eliminate patient care gaps can have many benefits for the patient and the provider. The top five include:

1. Saving Time

As a medical care provider, your time is at a premium. If you can consistently maximize the number of patients you can see and efficiently treat, that will lead directly to an increase in practice revenue. For patients, a faster timeline is also a benefit for early intervention and improved pain management. Instant access to organized data from the individual practice as well as other providers will help in more quickly confirming a diagnosis or developing an appropriate treatment plan.

2. Better Patient Care

Time and again it has been proven that patients who are more engaged in their care experience better outcomes. This can be achieved when providers have better access to the entire spectrum of care a particular patient is experiencing. This allows the primary provider to note gaps, and more closely coordinate treatment plans with other providers. Providers can then involve patients more actively in their own care in order to reduce office visits, lower costs, and improve outcomes.

3. Improved Population Health

Practices can easily use data to identify patients who fall into a health care gap. Before the end of the fiscal year, for example, the provider can generate a list of patients who are in need of immunizations, lab tests, or preventive screenings, and schedule appointments with those who have not yet been seen. This generates a constant flow of revenue to the practice, but also ensures that patients are taking all necessary proactive health measures. Making sure that each patient has at least one face-to-face appointment with a primary care provider each year is one undeniable way to close the patient care gap. Medical services can be provided before the patient’s condition devolves into a critical and costly phase.

4. Faster Reimbursements

The reimbursement paperwork has becomes frustratingly overwhelming for small medical practices as each payment remitter demands different information, or rejects claims due to a lack of information. Using a digital program to gather and provide quality metrics makes it much easier to communicate with third party reimbursement entities such as CMS or insurance companies.

5. Financial Growth

By eliminating the patient care gap and improving the quality of care provided, a medical practice ensures that it provides the full range of available services to each patient. This not only improves patient health, but also benefits the practice financially. Focusing on quality care and coordinating with other medical providers allows the small independent practice to fully optimize its fee schedule while transitioning to the value-based model. Instead of investing time and resources trying to get paid, the process becomes more automated and automatic. Providers will also be able to increase revenue by billing for additional services that were provided as being necessary to close care gaps.

By eliminating the patient care gap and improving the quality of care provided, a medical practice ensures that it provides the full range of available services to each patient. This not only improves patient health, but also benefits the practice financially. Focusing on quality care and coordinating with other medical providers allows the small independent practice to fully optimize its fee schedule while transitioning to the value-based model. Instead of investing time and resources trying to get paid, the process becomes more automated and automatic. Providers will also be able to increase revenue by billing for additional services that were provided as being necessary to close care gaps.

To learn more about eliminating care gaps within your practice, watch our on-demand webinar here.