Using Health Maintenance Reminders to Improve Your Bottom Line

Caring for patients is still the key to your bottom line – getting them in the office when they need to be seen.

New payment models like MACRA also mean that keeping patients out of the hospital and healthy will also mean higher reimbursements from Medicare and other insurers.

Automated Health Maintenance Reminders help you do both by:

  • Allowing you to set up reminders unique to your specialty and practice – without the clutter of reminders that don’t apply to your practice
  • Adjust the reminder at a patient level when needed
  • Incorporating alerts when the patient arrives and is past due for health maintenance
  • Providing Past Due reports that also allow you to easily send letters, call patients or even better – automatically send reminders through the Patient Portal

Building Your Health Maintenance Capabilities:

Ideally, your EHR is going to have a health maintenance reminders system so the first step is checking with your vendor and asking and then learning about your system’s capabilities. If your EHR does not have such a system inquire about “work arounds” or ways the system could be used to assist with health maintenance.

Once you have been trained on your EHR’s capabilities, prepare to use them (note that not all EHRs may have these capabilities):

  1. Review the EHR’s possible health guidelines with your provider team and eliminate/turn off those that don’t apply to your practice and patients
  2. Review the applicable guidelines – do they follow USPTF? Do you want to make adjustments? For example, many OB/Gyns still want all women over 40 to receive a regular mammogram.
  3. Review your final guidelines with your primary insurers to insure the services will be covered.
  4. If your EHR includes an alert for past due health maintenance when the patient is being seen decided whether or not you want the alert turned on
  5. Determine how often you will run Health Maintenance Due reports and who will run the reports. Since this drives patient visits you should consider running the reports at least weekly.
    • Keep a log of when the reminder reports run and the number of patients on each report
  6. Set up a workflow and accountability for sending the reminders immediately after reporting. Will you mail letters? Make calls? Send reminders through your Patient Portal? Research suggests that people are most likely to take action when they receive at least 3 reminders at least 2 different ways (such as 2 portal reminders plus 1 phone call).
    • Make sure you are noting (or your EHR automatically notes for you) when you contacted patients with Health Maintenance Reminders.
  7. Schedule and hold a review session in 6 months – how well did health maintenance reminders work? Do you have any patients where you believe your reminders program caught a serious issue?

Last step – celebrate your success! You are improving patient’s lives AND helping to make your practice successful – the best combination!