This week I’ve been attending the Medical Practice Excellence Conference #MPEC20 – MGMA’s annual event. On Day 2, I took the opportunity to go through the virtual exhibit hall and had a number of great conversations. It wasn’t the same as being there in-person, but it was pretty close.
Like all events since March, MGMA had to move their event entirely online and they have done a fantastic job. I have found online exhibit halls are hit-or-miss. Most are virtual ghost towns, partially because the navigation is convoluted or because the organizers don’t promote the exhibit hall. The MPEC20 exhibit hall was easy to navigate and full of useful information about the sponsoring companies.
Here is a brief summary of some of the interesting stories and comments from MPEC20 exhibitors.
“We had a hard stop in healthcare because of COVID-19,” recounted Justus. “Then we took a hard left and pivoted to telehealth in a big way. But the rules had changed quickly, especially around how to bill and code telehealth visits. The led to a lot of confusion.”
himagine’s customers were able to lean on the company’s internal experts to help them navigate through the coding and billing confusion, which was a boon for practices who were spinning back up quickly through telehealth.
“In the end it’s all about relationships,” said Mongomery. “Right now we all need to rely on our
business and personal relationships to get through the ups and downs caused by COVID-19.”
Like himagine, Waystar experienced a big increase in requests for telehealth help from their customers, especially around how to ensure their claims were in order. That wasn’t surprising to company officials.
What was surprising however, is that Waystar clients continue to show interest in the company’s price transparency services, expertise and tools. Starting January 1, 2021, each hospital will be required to provide clear, accessible pricing information online. With the pandemic, many are betting that these price transparency mandates will be delayed. Waystar customers seem eager to continue pushing forward, perhaps to get ahead when these rules inevitably become active.
Unlike some of their competitors, Waystar experienced no disruption in their service due to COVID-19. Since they do not outsource any of their operations overseas, the company was able to pivot to remote work quickly without impacting customer service.
“The ability for our customers to send messages quickly and easily to a large number of their patients is not just useful for COVID-19,” explained Julie Catron. “It is also helpful for organizations affected by wildfires, hurricanes and other crisis situations.”
The update included improvements to the user interface and message templates which gives their customers a starting point for their broadcast messages. Their customers have appreciated the self-serve aspect of the broadcast module (ie: they don’t have to call into Relatient’s support team to have messages crafted).
Winners of the Excellence in Action Challenge Series at #MPEC20, PatientPoint was excited to talk about their free telehealth program that is available to customers. They partnered with Doctor.com to provide the service and they have seen a significant uptake of it as the pandemic has continued to disrupt regular visits.
The company was also excited about the significant increase in use of their texting platform that allows providers to send out information to patients quickly and easily. Clearly as visits have moved online, so too has other aspects of patient engagement.