Featuring posts written by the DoseSpot e-Prescribing Integration Team!

Maine’s New Mandate and What It Means for Opioid Prescribers

Posted: November 28th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Controlled Substances, In the News, Public Policy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Maine is well known for its rocky coastline, iconic lighthouses, sandy beaches, and lobster shacks. However, past the classic scenery is where you’ll find the state dealing with a crisis that others across the United States are also experiencing: the opioid epidemic.

In 2015, Maine suffered an astounding 272 drug overdose deaths, following 208 deaths of the same cause in 2014. Sadly, there is no end in sight. Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills declared that drug overdose deaths are up 50% in 2016, with the first 6 months of the year experiencing 189 drug overdose deaths alone. What’s worse, the number of overdose-related deaths in 2016 is expected to reach a new record, surpassing those numbers of 2014 and 2015.

“Heroin addiction is devastating our communities,” Maine Governor Paul LePage said in a statement. “For many, it all started with the overprescribing of opioid pain medication.”

As a state with the largest number of patients per capita on prescription for long-acting opioids, the news that prescribed pain medication is further fueling opioid addiction is unsettling.

This is why Maine has decided to take action.

Maine’s new statue, “An Act to Prevent Opiate Abuse by Strengthening the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program,” entails a number of rules and regulations designed to reduce the harm of over-prescribing opioids relative to the abuse and misuse of such substances. This bill, signed into law by Governor LePage, mandates a number of changes for doctors and dentists who prescribe controlled substances in Maine.

[Read: The Maine Mandate – Confronting Controlled Substances Head-On]

What changes will be implemented?

Dosing and Duration of Schedule II Medications

First, this law imposes limitations on the medication dosage, as well as the duration of a prescription, that can be prescribed to a patient. According to Gordon Smith, JD, Executive Vice President of Maine Medical Association (MMA), the original bill limited opioid prescriptions to three days for acute pain and fifteen days for chronic pain. However, this legislation will now mandate a limit of seven days for acute pain and thirty days for chronic pain on opioid prescriptions. This law goes in to effect January 1, 2017.

In terms of dosing, prescribers may not prescribe any combination of opioid medication in an aggregate amount of more than 100 Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MMEs) per day to new opioid patients (after July 29, 2016). Existing opioid patients with active prescriptions in excess of 100 MMEs per day are referred to as “Legacy Patients” and prescribers may not prescribe any combination of opioid medication in an aggregate amount of more than 300 MMEs per day from July 29, 2016 to July 1, 2017.

Prescription Monitoring Program

Maine prescribers are required to query the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database prior to prescribing opiates. Although this requirement has been in place since 2005, surveys indicate that only 7-20% of Maine prescribers currently utilize the state’s PMP.

The purpose of checking this central state database is to identify patients who may be doctor shopping and minimize multiple controlled substance prescriptions for one patient. This aligns with the state’s hope of empowering healthcare providers to recognize potential substance abuse and treat patients accordingly.

PMP’s can also be most effective when linked with an e-Prescribing solution. Working together, e-Prescribing eliminates the need for paper prescriptions, thus reducing the risk of altered dispense quantities, stolen prescriptions or prescription pads, and the reselling of such prescriptions before they’re filled as a means of lessening the red flags if a patient is doctor shopping.

[Read: The Link Between PDMP’s and e-Prescribing]

Continuing Education

Via this statute, prescribers must complete three hours of continuing education every two years as a condition of prescribing opioid medications. This specific addiction training is only required if a prescriber wishes to continue prescribing opioids.

Electronic Prescribing

All opioid prescriptions must be sent electronically as of July 1, 2017.

What exceptions are part of this mandate?

The Maine Medical Association (MMA) confirms that exceptions from the law’s provisions may be granted for the following:

  • Cancer Patients
  • Hospice Care
  • End-of-Life Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Patients on Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)
  • Patients receiving medication in hospitals and nursing homes

The MMA is currently seeking an exception for burn victims as well.

Due to the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, federal law takes priority over state law, therefore prescribers within the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) cannot be regulated by this type of legislation so long as the medication is dispensed at a VA pharmacy. Furthermore, dosage and duration limits would not apply to a prescription written for a veteran by a prescriber outside of the VA system if the prescription were filled in a VA pharmacy.

How does this bill measure up?

With this bill, Maine becomes the third state behind Minnesota and New York to require e-Prescribing and the second to require the electronic sending of a controlled substance after New York imposed a similar mandate in March of 2016. Since the implementation of New York’s mandate, total numbers of opioid analgesics prescribed fell by 78% within the first four months.

Important dates to remember:

7/29/2016

Prescribers may not prescribe any combination of opioid medication in an aggregate amount of more than 100 Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MMEs) per day to new opioid patients

7/29/2016 – 7/1/2017

Prescribers may not prescribe any combination of opioid medication in an aggregate amount of more than 300 MMEs per day to “Legacy Patients”

1/1/2017

Duration limitation goes into effect. All opioid prescriptions cannot exceed seven days for acute pain or thirty days for chronic pain.
7/1/2017 All opioid prescriptions must be sent electronically

Lastly, as part of the state’s strategy, Maine has launched Dose of Reality, a website to help educate and inform their citizens of the dangers of painkillers and where to turn for help.

Sources: Maine Medical Association; Maine.gov; Medscape; WCSH6; Bangor Daily News

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit www.DoseSpot.com.


Climbing the Ladder to Success: An Evening with the Power Women of Health IT

Posted: November 14th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Basics | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

On Monday, November 7, 2016, Health 2.0 Boston held a panel discussion with three of 2016’s 75 Most Powerful Women in Healthcare IT named by HealthData Management and the DoseSpot team was fortunate to be in attendance. The three influential women brought up many interesting points and offered inspiring words of wisdom to the crowd, the majority of which were females. Although the event was structured with prepared questions for the panelists, these power women provided answers that were honest, open and personal, thus creating a comfortable and therapeutic-like atmosphere. This event navigated the different paths that were taken by each of the female leaders and highlighted the trials and tribulations that they encountered while on the rise to success in a primarily male-driven industry.

The Panel

  • Helen Figge, PharmD, MBA, FHIMSS – SVP, Global Strategic Development, LumiraDx, Inc.
  • Sue Schade, MBA, LCHIME, FCHIME, FHIMSS – Principal, StarBridge Advisors
  • Cara Babachicos – Corporate Director/CIO, Community Hospitals at Partners Healthcare

Here are DoseSpot’s key take-away points from the panel discussion:

Culture

All three Health IT leaders agreed that when it comes to the topic of company culture, it is not only important to be a part of a workplace where women are valued, but also to be part of a workplace where women have the ability to flourish and be the competent employee they worked and studied so hard for. Cara Babachicos, specifically, mentioned that internal happiness and success are the most important components of one’s career and the company someone works for should be promoting those components. It is one thing to be qualified for a position, yet another to be the right fit. Consistently evaluating if you are the right fit for a specific position or company is crucial in your path to success.

Mentorship

Are mentors a necessity to rise to the top? All three women agreed that it is not necessarily a career killer if one does not have a mentor. However, being able to navigate and find someone whom you can model after is going to immensely help on your career journey.

Helen Figge mentioned that even if you don’t have a mentor per se, you can still find a particular skill(s) in someone that you can model yourself after and learn from, as long as you don’t set boundaries for yourself of who you could one day become.

Another interesting point made was that a mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be a person you WANT to be; it can be a person who makes you realize who you DON’T want to be. Lessons can be learned from all types of people, of all different backgrounds, personalities and roles.

Rising Above

Each one of the ladies on the panel highlighted the largest obstacle they were required to overcome in order to become who they are today. Helen, who addressed a disability she has experienced her whole life, had to adjust and overcome many challenges to work harder in school and in her career. She courageously saw past her physical obstacle to see the trajectory of what she wanted to be in the long run. Her advice? Like yourself. No matter what.

Cara’s biggest obstacle was having patience. As with building anything great or influential, it takes time. Her advice was to be more patient with yourself and your life, both personally and professionally. Eventually, all of the pieces will come together.

Lastly, one of Sue’s greatest obstacles was dealing with bullying behavior from colleagues, primarily men back in the 80’s when a woman with authority in IT was a rarity. She made it clear to always be willing to speak up for yourself and make sure your superior is aware of what is going on in the workplace, even if stepping up is the hardest thing to do. As a leader of hundreds of employees, she further pointed out that she may not know everything that’s going on in her department. An employee may act differently in front of leadership than they do in front of their peers.

Words of Wisdom

The three power women of health IT left us with a few final points to think about when climbing the career ladder of success:

Speak Up! – Stand up for yourself and for what you deserve, even if it may feel uncomfortable.

Know Your Stuff – Constantly challenge yourself and learn new things. Be an overachiever. Success comes to those who work for it!

Don’t Question Yourself – Even if you feel nervous or anxious, strive to be authentic and confident in everything you do.

Trust Your Gut – If you have to question something, always do what’s right for the organization. Your company will thank you for it.

And finally, at the end of it all: Always do what’s right for you.

About Health 2.0

The Boston Chapter of Health 2.0 is a part of the national Health 2.0 organization, which is the premiere showcase and catalyst for the advancement of new health technologies. Through a global series of conferences, developer competitions, and leading market intelligence, Health 2.0 drives the innovation and collaboration necessary to transform health and health care. For more information, please visit: http://www.bostonhealth20.com.

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit http://www.DoseSpot.com.


Addressing Dentistry’s Role in the Opioid Epidemic

Posted: November 8th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Basics, Controlled Substances, Dental | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Unfortunately, the opioid epidemic that is currently grappling the United States isn’t exactly news. Headlines appear on a daily basis in regards to this addiction, the overdoses and fatalities, as well as the healthcare community’s contribution to this crisis, both the good and the bad.

We’ve seen Congress, the Surgeon General, and many other organizations make extreme efforts to combat this crisis, yet despite the widespread media attention, many healthcare professionals still don’t realize how dangerous the drugs can be or how addictive they are.

DoseSpot recently conducted a live webinar in an effort to educate and discuss the critical role that dentists in particular play in mitigating the current opioid epidemic that is upon us and during that time, the following crucial points were made:

The blame game needs to stop

Blaming others only diverts the necessary action of collectively coming together as a nation, regardless of one’s associated industry. Healthcare, Law Enforcement, Politics – there needs to be a strong, unified foundation for which we can assemble and fight this battle together.

Break the habit: prescribing patterns of pain medication

Dentists serve a unique role in overcoming this epidemic due to the nature of their work and the procedures they perform, specifically wisdom teeth extraction. It’s a fair statement that the majority do not enter the healthcare industry with ill intent of harming their patients, yet it’s also fair to say that lack of proper education and prior pharmaceutical marketing tactics have fueled poor prescribing patterns. In order to change one’s behavior, programmed thoughts and approaches must be reevaluated.

Opioid addiction does not discriminate

This addiction can affect anyone regardless of one’s socioeconomic status or in some cases, a person’s relationship to their dentist. What DoseSpot coins as “The Insider Threat,” we reveal how certain folks pose a potential risk relative to obtaining controlled substances, both knowingly and secretively. Stories of addiction that are shared during our recent webinar further prove that opioids do not discriminate.

Solutions are available

The truth of the matter is, there is not one single solution that can work independently. It needs to be a collective effort and innovation is critical to success. There needs to be multifaceted solutions to tackle this complex problem ranging from increasing specialty training and education to proper treatment technology, data, and analytics.

To learn more on dentistry’s role in the opioid epidemic, watch the full webinar here.

Presenters:

Greg Waldstreicher, CEO, DoseSpot

Dr. John Zweig, Chief Dental Officer, Dental Associates

Donald Whamond, Chief Technology Officer, Dental Associates

Jason Wolan, Director of EHR Implementation, Great Expressions Dental Centers

Daniel Smelter, Director of Business Analysis, Benevis, Inc.

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit http://www.DoseSpot.com.


What is the Impact of Digital Health on the Ages?

Posted: November 1st, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Basics, Telehealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

How does digital health affect the circle of life?

Digital Health, also known as telelehealth or telemedicine, is an emerging delivery model that delivers health services effectively and efficiently, while improving access to care by facilitating collaboration, coordinated care and consultation with specialists that may not be readily available.

Essentially, it allows patients to say goodbye to time spent waiting in a doctor’s office and say hello to a healthcare delivery model that’s positioned to revolutionize patient engagement.

In keeping up with this new delivery model, this free eBook addresses:

  • What exactly is Digital Health?
  • How do individuals of all ages attribute to the nation’s overall population health?
  • What are its effects on the healthcare system as well as the nation’s bottom line?
  • The current digital health landscape and what’s ahead
  • 3 specialties positioned for digital health growth
  • Company spotlights: paving the way for digital health adoption
  • The role of technology as we shift to value based care
  • Missing pieces of the digital health puzzle

Download your free copy here!

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts™ certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit www.DoseSpot.com.


3 States Laying Down the Law on Opioids

Posted: October 27th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Basics, Controlled Substances, In the News, Public Policy, Security, Standards | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

On par with our last post, the widespread media attention and devastating losses associated with our nation’s current opioid epidemic has sparked certain state legislatures to regulate and improve providers’ prescribing habits for prescription painkillers.

With good intentions in tow, some rulings seem to lack readily available solutions that are proven to curb this crisis. However, they do realize that their recent proposals do not mark the end of this uphill battle, rather multifaceted solutions need to be in place to truly, and successfully, overcome this epidemic.

[Read: Overdose Awareness – The Time to Stand Together is Now]

Here are three states that have recently proposed rulings on how opioids should be prescribed:

Vermont

Coined as a “cutting-edge” approach to overcoming the opioid crisis, Governor Peter Schumlin announced proposed limits on the number of opioid medications that could be prescribed.

Like every other state, Vermont has seen an incredible increase in deaths related to opioid and heroin overdose in recent years and Governor Schumlin is no longer sitting on the sidelines.

Earlier this year, he approached both the FDA and pharmaceutical industry in his State of the State address claiming that OxyContin “lit the match that ignited America’s opiate and heroin addiction crisis,” and that the booming American opiate industry knows no shame, an outcry after the FDA approved OxyContin for children a few months ago.

The proposed ruling states that the severity and duration of pain will determine the specific limit for a prescription of opioids. For example, a minor procedure with moderate pain would be limited to 9-12 opioid pills and the amount would increase based on the procedure performed and the level of pain a patient claims. The ruling would also require providers to discuss risks, provide an education sheet to the patient and receive an informed consent for all first-time opioid prescriptions.

The Green Mountain State’s Governor believes that limiting the number of opioid pills prescribed would be an effective way to reduce addiction, yet some folks believe the ruling would only encourage patients to seek illicit drugs elsewhere if they cannot receive pain medication through their provider.

This does make sense considering many former and current heroin abusers have stated that their addiction started from a prescription and when the pill bottle ran out, they were left seeking these drugs on the streets, which have proven to be very, if not more, dangerous than the prescription.

However, the intent of the Governor’s ruling is to prevent addiction from ever happening in the first place. His ruling is specific to cases of acute pain, therefore changing the over-prescribing habits and learned behavior of utilizing opioids as first-line therapy; habits that ensued in large part due to incentives, the surge of pharmaceutical marketing tactics and claims that painkillers were not addictive.

[Read: How Costly Are Prescription Pain Meds?]

New Jersey

With the rate of drug overdose deaths on the rise by 137% since 2000, New Jersey is another state to recently propose new regulations on how and to whom opioids are prescribed.

New Jersey, much like many other states, believes that prevention is key when fighting this crisis and they couldn’t be more correct. Unfortunately, several barriers often occur when seeking appropriate treatment after a patient becomes addicted, (for example, providers are limited to certain amounts for which they can administer reversal drugs), and therefore why not PREVENT addiction, rather than simply TREAT addiction when at many times, it’s too late?

Senator Raymond Lesniak has introduced a bill that would put restrictions on health insurance coverage for opioid medications, while also requiring prescribers to first consider alternative pain-management treatments, follow federal prescribing guidelines and explain the risk of addiction with such substances to their patients before prescribing. Furthermore, providers will need to complete several steps before receiving approval of an opioid prescription. These steps include providing a patient’s medical history, conducting a physical exam and developing an appropriate medical plan for treating a patient’s pain.

While new rulings in place can certainly shift this epidemic, Angela Valente, the executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, said it best:

“Awareness and education is the key factor in preventing the abuse of opiates—everyone must have a role in reversing this epidemic, including lawmakers, parents, coaches, educators, and yes, even doctors and dentists.” – Angela Valente

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, executive director of Physicians Responsible for Opioid Prescribing, further backs Valente’s point while also motioning that the medical community has been prescribing too aggressively.

[Read: The Opioid Epidemic: Are Dentists the Black Sheep?]

Pennsylvania

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania experienced 3,500 deaths last year as a result from drug overdose, one of the highest overdose rates in the nation.

The state has had a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for quite a few years now, however it wasn’t functional until August 2016, when their new program was officially rolled out. Pennsylvania requires providers to query the state’s prescription drug database the first time they prescribe a controlled substance to a patient or if they have reason to believe that the patient is doctor shopping.

Governor Tom Wolf addressed other initiatives underway including requiring providers to query the database EACH time they prescribe opioids, updating medical school curriculum and continuing education, changes to the process of pain care to lower inappropriate use of opioids, and improved screening, referral and treatment for addiction.

What’s bothersome in Pennsylvania, is the method in which these substances have to be prescribed. The Pennsylvania Controlled Substance Act requires narcotic prescriptions to be handwritten on paper prescription pads, yet every other substance can be electronically prescribed. This allows the risk of written prescriptions being lost, stolen, or sold. Luckily, Senator Richard Alloway intends to introduce this measure before the legislative session’s end.

It’s promising to see how the above states are utilizing their state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP. All three require their prescribers to query the affiliated state database, however the parameters in which, or how often, they check varies.

While said efforts are better than no effort at all and states are starting to fully understand the need for multifaceted solutions in order to overcome this epidemic, one key solution is missing. E-Prescribing.

[Read: The Link Between PDMP’s and e-Prescribing]

How does e-Prescribing help combat this epidemic?

  • e-Prescribing diminishes the possibilities of duplicate or lost prescriptions since the prescription is sent directly to the patient’s pharmacy
  • A patient will no longer have a paper prescription where the dispense quantity can be altered
  • Prescribers will have access to a patient’s medication history, therefore they can determine if a patient is “doctor shopping” or has a history of substance abuse

To learn how to incorporate e-Prescribing as a solution to the opioid epidemic, schedule your free demo with DoseSpot today.

Sources: NY Times; Boston.com; ABC News; Press of Atlantic City; PennLive

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts™ certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit www.DoseSpot.com.


Massachusetts’ Prescription Monitoring Program Takes a New Turn

Posted: October 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Controlled Substances, In the News, Standards | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

For the first 6 months of 2016 in Massachusetts, there have been almost 500 confirmed cases of unintentional opioid overdose deaths and an estimated 500 additional cases have not yet been confirmed.

The majority of overdoses found in MA are due to substances such as fentanyl and heroin, but rates of cocaine and benzodiazepines present in opioid deaths have been steady since 2014. Although the rates of heroin and prescription drugs present in opioid deaths have been decreasing due to many efforts that have been implemented across the nation, the rate of fentanyl has been on the rise. This is in large part due to the fact that many opioid addictions start at the hands of a prescriber with a prescription and when the pill bottle runs dry, patients are left seeking other options that produce the same euphoric effect.

With the rapid increase of deaths and devastation by way of the current opioid epidemic plaguing the state, Massachusetts has recently implemented further requirements concerning practitioner’s prescribing protocols. Specifically, with the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program, or PMP.

The PMP serves as a database for all prescription drugs that are dispensed across the state, including those that are highly sought after for non-medical use and represent the highest potential for abuse, better known as Schedule II-V drugs such as narcotics, sedatives, and stimulants.

When properly used, the PMP aids in the identification and prevention of drug misuse, diversion, and potential doctor shopping by providing a patient’s medication history of the past 12 months. It is meant to be utilized as a key clinical decision-making tool that allows providers to receive a big picture view of the patient they are treating in real time.

As a solution to this widespread epidemic, Massachusetts has introduced new legislation and requirements when utilizing the MassPAT (Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool).

Effective October 15, 2016, practitioners must abide by the following:

  1. A registered individual practitioner must utilize the prescription monitoring program each time the practitioner issues a prescription to a patient EACH time for a narcotic drug in Schedule II or III.
  2. A registered individual practitioner must utilize the prescription monitoring program prior to prescribing to a patient for the first time:
    1. A benzodiazepine; OR
    2. Any controlled substance in Scheduled IV or V which the department has designated in guidance as a drug that is commonly abused and may lead to dependence. At this time, there are no drugs that have received this designation.

Prior to the aforementioned requirements, legislation ruled that practitioners, among other factors, need only check the state PMP when prescribing a controlled substance to a patient for the first time, while it is now required for a practitioner to check the system EVERY time when prescribing Schedule II or III drugs.

An example of just how serious Massachusetts is about this crisis, and also believed to be the first agreement of its kind, CVS recently paid almost $800k to the state because pharmacists were not checking prescriptions or the database thoroughly. In exchange, CVS agreed to provide its pharmacists access to the PMP website, train its pharmacists to register for and use the PMP as appropriate, and has further agreed to implement policies that would require pharmacists to consult the PMP before dispensing certain opioids in MA.

Massachusetts and CVS, among many other organizations, recognize the importance of the state’s PMP as a tool to detect and prevent the abuse and misuse of controlled substances. The PMP is not meant to be another government-controlled, green monster hanging on a practitioner’s back at all times; it is meant to serve as a safety extension for practitioners, but most importantly for their patients.

PMP’s can also be most effective when linked with an e-Prescribing solution. Working together, e-Prescribing eliminates the need for paper prescriptions, thus reducing the risk of altered dispense quantities, stolen prescriptions or prescription pads, and the reselling of such prescriptions before they’re filled as a means of lessening the red flags if a patient is doctor shopping.

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts™ certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit www.DoseSpot.com.


Docity Meets Increasing Patient Demands with Innovative Telehealth Platform and Integration of DoseSpot e-Prescribing Solution

Posted: October 19th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Basics, Telehealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 

NEEDHAM HEIGHTS, MA – Docity, a veteran-owned, connected telehealth platform that enables real time HIPAA-compliant communications between healthcare providers and patients, has announced their strategic, patient-driven integration of DoseSpot’s e-Prescribing solution.

The key component of Docity’s business model is simple: to put patients first by listening to their needs and adapting a digital healthcare system based on those needs.

“Docity’s business is driven solely by the patient-centric model and DoseSpot understood that crucial factor from the very beginning,” said James Cowan, CEO, Docity. “As part of this model, Docity knew that incorporating e-Prescribing was a non-negotiable. E-Prescribing isn’t just a feature; it’s something you must have in today’s competing market.”

Prior to integrating DoseSpot, Docity was offering their connected health platform to several clinics with existing patients, but prescribing was done on the clinician’s own terms. Since the integration with DoseSpot’s e-Prescribing solution, Docity will now be able to offer a comprehensive digital platform to serve the needs of individual patients on a subscription basis.

“The integration process with DoseSpot was a breeze,” Cowan added. “Their team was very flexible and actively engaged, working around the clock to ensure that Docity met al Surescripts certification requirements in a timely manner. Furthermore, they were able to work directly with our developers and their project management tool kept everyone organized which made for a seamless process overall.”

Docity is not only meeting the increasing demands of patients and providers, but the DoseSpot integration has better leveraged relationships with key stakeholders, primarily from a compliance perspective.

“Since integrating with DoseSpot, Docity has seen significant buy-in from highly sought after individuals, providers and companies in the healthcare community who are more eager than ever to stand behind our vision,” said Cowan. “It’s a win-win for both parties.”

“Our partnership with Docity is rooted in understanding and listening to both the patients’ and providers’ demands. Patient-centricity is a current healthcare trend we are committed to upholding as the healthcare landscape continues to evolve,” said Greg Waldstreicher, CEO, DoseSpot. “As a telehealth company, Docity recognized that e-Prescribing is a key component of the value-based delivery model and should be interwoven at the forefront to create a seamless healthcare experience for all involved.”

To learn more about how Docity is meeting the demands of the healthcare community with comprehensive and innovative solutions, please visit www.DoseSpot.com or contact Shauna Leighton, Shauna@DoseSpot.com.

About Docity

Docity Health is a connect health startup headquartered in Chattanooga, TN. Their mission is to connect providers with patients and patients with their health through on demand access to healthcare. For additional information please visit www.Docity.com.

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts™ certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit www.DoseSpot.com.


DoseSpot Forecast: 3 Segments Positioned for Telehealth Growth

Posted: October 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Controlled Substances, Telehealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s no surprise that technology should be considered a key player as we shift to value-based care. With smartphones, tablets and computers, health information is readily available for patients with a simple click of a button. Why should a consultation with a healthcare professional be any different?

Telehealth greatly increases the scope of the healthcare industry and is bound to open huge opportunities in increasing the quality of healthcare. The ultimate goal here, is to prevent hospital readmissions through better management of individuals with chronic conditions, while also reducing associated costs. By enabling remote patient monitoring and remote access to clinicians, market growth is inevitable as awareness and implementation of standards for reimbursement and adoptions of these care models expands.

While several reports claim that “technology gets in the way of the patient experience,” patients are in fact the ones demanding such access to care. This increase in patient demand for telehealth services has prompted many companies and healthcare organizations to think outside of the box and reevaluate the patient-centric model, while questioning what that care model really means to a patient.

Well, it’s simple. Patients want a customized, cost-effective and convenient healthcare experience to which telehealth can provide.

A recent report states that the global telehealth market was valued at $14.3 Billion in 2014 and is estimated to reach $36.3 Billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 14.30% from 2014 to 2020.

With these numbers in tow, we predict the most growth in three different segments:

Behavioral Health and Addiction

As mentioned in a previous post, telehealth has the ability to bridge the gaps in care of behavioral health patients and providers. Not only does it provide a convenient, more comfortable and less expensive medical consultation, but it broadens accessibility to patients whom may not have many options when seeking a behavioral health provider, especially in rural areas. Unfortunately, the lack of psychiatrists and addiction specialists across the nation, as well as the stigma often involved, are contributing to the mental health and addiction issues and creating barriers to appropriate care.

Patients will see their primary care physician and may not receive the exact treatment plan that they need; after all, primary care physicians do not specialize in behavioral health or addiction and often, these illnesses require a lot of time and patience to which the physician may not be able to accommodate. Telehealth will be able to connect patients in need with specialists regardless of their location who know how to treat these specific health issues.

This effective care model will not only lessen the hit on the nation’s bottom line as more and more individuals grapple with suicide, addiction, and other mental health issues, but also revolutionize the way people view the stigma involved and encourage patients to seek help as they are able to receive treatment from the comfort of their own home.

Geriatric Care

Geriatric patients stand to benefit tremendously as a digital health consumer. As mobility can be especially difficult for these patients, the ability to see a physician remotely removes one of the largest barriers to care. Furthermore, transporting patients of this age may potentially do more harm than good.

With telemedicine, providers can more quickly spot at-risk patients and provide interventions to avoid an otherwise unnecessary hospital admission. Similarly, nursing homes can partner with health systems to provide bedside care for their residents at a fraction of the price of an onsite physician.

These infrastructure synergies provide connectivity with electronic health records (EHRs) and create clear communication among hospitals, senior care facilities, referring physicians and patient families. They also provide the link to population based management databases and other health care analytic functions to measure value.

Surgery

Many surgical departments find telehealth to be a more convenient and cost-effective way for pre- and post- operative instructions for procedures of all magnitudes including wisdom teeth extraction, colonoscopies, stent placement and more.

With in-person visits and paper instructions, patients may misinterpret or even forget important information relative to their surgery. This includes what medications to stop taking and how to physically prepare for surgery, while providing a clear, direct line of answers for any questions a patient may have. With instructions digitally delivered prior to surgery, telehealth reduces patient no shows and saves valuable scheduled operating room time.

For post-op patients, providers can check the patient visually, ensuring that patients are following their treatment plans and making adjustments as needed. Through this continuous connection, providers are empowered to deliver the guidance that many patients need as they go through the healing process. These virtual check-ins ensure the patient is on the road to recovery, thus reducing readmission rates all without the patient ever having to leave their home.

Furthermore, telehealth can improve treatment and medication compliance, specifically with controlled substances, i.e. pain medication. Opioid addiction often begins at the hands of a prescriber and with the nation currently facing an opioid epidemic, marrying technology and follow-up appointments when prescribing these types of medications serves as the optimal solution for the safety of all involved.

Technology should no longer be viewed as a barrier to care, but rather embraced in order to improve the healthcare industry, including the improvement of interoperability as well as patient outcomes. Telehealth not only meets the ever increasing demands of patients, but it also assists in preventative care by creating greater access to such care, thus reducing down-the-road costs and burdensome associated with chronic disease. With many chronic diseases being completely preventable, the prevent vs. treat mantra should be sound in every healthcare professional’s mind, while realizing that telehealth is a seamless way of delivering healthcare for all involved.

There may currently be barriers in place regarding reimbursement from payers, but that’s sure to change as more and more payers jump on board for this new delivery model. After all, who’s to say telehealth won’t become the norm and be known as simply….health?

Sources: American Well; OpenPR; mHealth Intelligence; Healthcare IT News

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit http://www.DoseSpot.com.


The Uber of Healthcare…No, Really.

Posted: September 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Basics, In the News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

As the healthcare industry shifts to a value-based care delivery model, that is, the value equivalent to patient outcomes over cost, more and more initiatives are being introduced as a way to combat the ever-increasing wasted costs our healthcare system experiences. This includes efforts to reduce hospital readmissions, better manage pharmacy drug spend and medication adherence, and broaden access to care, especially for the elderly, disabled and low-income patients.

While many programs are in place to provide services for the above mentioned, one may not realize how transportation costs are attributing to the rising healthcare spend. One may also not view Uber as an innovative solution for reducing such costs, however the company, partnered with Circulation, has recently announced a HIPAA compliant pilot program with certain hospitals that will provide non-emergency medical transportation in urban areas within Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Why does this matter?

In a given year, 3.6 Million Americans, including almost one million children, will miss doctor’s appointments due to a lack of transportation or one’s inability to drive, resulting in wasted spend for the healthcare system. More specifically, Medicaid spends $3 Billion per year on non-emergency medical transportation, with a third of those payments being deemed inappropriate.

How does it work?

Circulation is integrated with existing and on-demand secure healthcare information systems that schedules non-emergency medical rides that are affordable and tailored for patients’ specific needs such as wheelchair accessibility. Patients do not even need to utilize the Uber mobile app or own a smartphone. They can simply call to schedule their pick-up time and after dispatch confirms their eligibility and transport authorization, they will receive a text, call or email confirming the driver’s estimated pick-up time and description of the vehicle to which they are then safely driven to and from their destination.

Research thus far has proven to reduce wait times for transportation by almost 30 percent and cut costs by almost a third, while boasting patient satisfaction at 80 percent.

Uber and Circulation provide more than just a ride – they are creating a seamless experience for patients, providers and hospital staff all from one convenient interface and in real-time. The system not only allows the scheduling of transportation, but also notifies providers when a patient has arrived for their appointment.

With the current unmodernized healthcare transportation system in place, this program proves to be an innovative step in the right direction.

Sources: Business Wire; HealthcareIT News; Circulation; JAMA

Photo Credit: Google Play

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit http://www.DoseSpot.com.


3 Takeaways from Boston’s Opioid Summit and Hack-a-Thon

Posted: September 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Basics, Controlled Substances, Public Policy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Recently, DoseSpot was fortunate to attend Boston’s first ever opioid epidemic hack-a-thon to hear from key opinion leaders in an effort to pitch solutions on how to combat the country’s rising opioid epidemic. Sponsored by the GE Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the event was comprised of like-minded individuals from all walks of life and specialties, many whom normally wouldn’t sit side by side in the same room until this specific event brought them together. Attendees were given the opportunity to innovate, think differently about this issue and further realize that a significant change is needed in order to tackle this fatal crisis currently grappling our nation.

After attending the summit, the message was clear: we can no longer sit back and believe that there is a one-stop solution. Collective efforts must be put in place and educating and incorporating all components of the healthcare system is imperative to its success.

Here are DoseSpot’s 3 takeaways from the summit:

Opioid addiction does not discriminate

Athletes, politicians, police officers, clinicians, mothers, fathers, siblings, children. Regardless of one’s socioeconomic status, opioid abuse and addiction can affect anyone. In MA alone, there are 4 deaths per day due to opioid overdose and in 2012 there were enough opioid prescriptions to give every American adult their own bottle of pills. However, beyond these statistics are the stories and these courageous stories rang loudly throughout the entire event.

Treat opioid addiction just like any other chronic illness

The stigma associated with addiction often deters people from receiving the treatment they need, and worse, sometimes that stigma is put in place by the very people meant to help them. As many of the speakers at the summit expressed, overcoming stigma should be of utmost priority and addiction should be treated in an effective, mainstream way just like any other condition. Addiction is not a choice; it is a disease.

There needs to be multifaceted solutions to tackle this complex problem

One panelist pointed out that the nation is not thinking big enough or differently enough. Clinicians and healthcare professionals may have blinders on when treating patients, but “one size does not fit all” should be the mantra that everyone utilizes when evaluating their treatment approach. A provider shouldn’t refer to themselves as a one treatment option provider, but utilize all best practices available. As Governor Baker asked, “Wouldn’t you be a better clinician if you expanded your knowledge through a variety of options and techniques?” This includes big data, analytics, e-Prescribing, Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) and much, much more.

As part of this ongoing initiative, DoseSpot will be hosting a live webinar discussing the opioid epidemic, industry’s role, and helpful tools and resources. Register now and let’s combat this epidemic together.

Sources: WBUR; Boston Globe; The Daily Free Press; Boston Business Journal

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit http://www.DoseSpot.com.