Disclosure Management leader expands footprint; builds development, quality, service teams
ALEXANDRIA, VA. – Dec. 19, 2017 – Verisma Systems, Inc. will post a 60 percent increase in new client acquisitions for 2017, according to CEO Marty McKenna. The company likewise reports 98 percent client retention.
To support ongoing growth and ensure an exceptional client experience, Verisma significantly increased staff this year.
“It has been an incredible year for us,” McKenna says. “We are grateful to our long-standing clients for their loyalty and excited to welcome so many new organizations—including several large, complex health systems – to the Verisma family.”
The growth can be attributed to Verisma’s commitment to technology-assisted disclosure management across the health enterprise, McKenna adds. “We’ve automated and added quality control to a highly manual process. Our technology streamlines the release-of-information process, supports a stronger revenue cycle, and increases both staff and patient satisfaction.”
The company’s flagship product, Verisma Release Manager™ (VRM), delivers next-generation technology with highly trained teams of release of information (ROI), IT, legal and business experts to facilitate the secure electronic exchange of patient information. It features integrated HIPAA guidance and compliance review support, as well as an advanced workflow engine, quality assurance to reduce errors, and an analytics dashboard for full transparency and accountability into the ROI process.
Fueling the company’s success this year was the expansion of Verisma Request Application™ (VRA), a self-service solution that enables patients and proxies to request medical records online, and the introduction of Verisma Spotlight™. Enhanced VRA functionality allows internal requestors, commercial health plans and attorneys to benefit from convenient self-service options. Spotlight helps clients respond effectively to requests for protected health information that might pose a risk to their organizations – court-ordered subpoenas, for example, which often represent tight turnaround times.
To support its rapid growth, Verisma expanded its development, client services and quality assurance teams in recent months as well. The company anticipates adding 55 percent more associates by early 2018.
Verisma’s progress has likewise enabled the company to support clients by engaging with industry leaders, adds McKenna. Linda Kloss MA, RHIA, FAHIMA, president of Kloss Strategic Advisors and former CEO of AHIMA, serves at the company’s strategic advisor, for example, and Deven McGraw, former deputy director for health information privacy at the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), was featured as the keynote speaker at Verisma’s Disclosure Management Summit in May 2017.
“These relationships allow us to share insights into industry trends,” McKenna says. “Plus, they open doors for clients to learn about best practices and how to earn a seat at the table when their organizations consider the future of health information management.”
Verisma is a health information technology provider focused on delivering unparalleled Disclosure Management solutions to the healthcare industry. The company’s flagship automation system, Verisma® Release Manager (VRM), is utilized by well-known healthcare organizations nationwide. VRM automates workflow to improve turnaround times, reduce errors and drive down costs – effectively automating medical records release while delivering comprehensive release audit capabilities. It is the only release technology with integrated HIPAA guidance and compliance review support. For additional information, please visit our website at www.verisma.com, call 866-390-7404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone (770) 317-8831
Date: December 13th, 2017 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
Heidi Hale, RHIA, Release of Information Manager, Saint Luke’s Health System
Linda Kloss, MA, RHIA, President, Kloss Strategic Advisors, Inc.
Today, Release of Information (ROI) practices are inconsistent in many health system areas. Hospital ROI may be uniform and compliant; however, ambulatory, home care, and other settings use inconsistent, ad hoc methods. These siloed ROI practices are risky and costly. With growing volumes and request types, reduced revenue, and new compliance risks, fragmented ROI is no longer adequate. Health systems need a solution that automates ROI across the enterprise.
During this presentation, Heidi Hale, Release of Information Manager at Saint Luke’s Health System and Linda Kloss, President of Kloss Strategic Advisors will provide a real world example of how HIM spearheaded a successful ROI transformation project, migrating from fragmented to unified in less than a year.
Join the webinar to learn how the HIM department led:
- The successful migration from siloed to enterprise ROI in a compressed timeframe
- The automation of their ROI workflow and aligned people, policy, processes, and technology across the enterprise
- The expansion of secure patient access to health data – while advancing compliance with the 2016 HHS Patient Access guidance and Saint Luke’s goals and values
- An effective cross-functional team collaboration and initiative to advance system-level change
Approved for 1 AHIMA CEU Credit: Management Development
Exploring Driver #5 of the “5 Things You Must Know Now About Release of Health Information”
By: Linda Kloss, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA
People are becoming better informed about their rights and the value of information to inform health and healthcare decisions. Increase in personal health spending is one reason consumers are becoming better informed. So is the growing understanding that it’s wise to be knowledgeable and involved in one’s health and healthcare decisions. Release of Information (ROI) teams see this trend firsthand with the growing number of requests for records from patients.
ROI is on the front line in helping patients become smart health information consumers. Patient requests will continue to increase and they will expect a reasonable customer service experience in requesting and obtaining records. Those responsible for ROI should be monitoring changing requirements, exploring best practices and planning for innovation in a future-focused way.
Earlier blogs examined the value of standardizing ROI across the health care enterprise to improve quality and compliance. Enterprise ROI also improves customer satisfaction and contributes to an organization’s patient engagement objectives. Regardless of whether the patient initiates a request at the physician’s office or hospital, the request process should be the same and the patient should be able to secure the requested information without going from site to site. Verisma clients are realizing quantifiable improvement in customer satisfaction, improved compliance, accuracy, and cost management by deploying ROI technology and consistent policy and process across the enterprise. If full standardization is not possible for your organization, use ROI technology to unify the process as fully as possible and plan to further centralize over time.
The next wave of innovation will be self-service functionality enabling patients and other authorized requestors to request medical records via web at their convenience. There will be no need to stand in line or to fill out a paper form. Done well, self-service request apps use state of the art security, identity verification, and preserve a record of transactions. As with enterprise ROI, Verisma clients are now introducing self-service into ROI thereby helping patients gain access to health information while also stepping up security and accountability.
Patients may want ease of access to their information, but they don’t want to trade off their privacy rights to gain it. Recent research found that 49% of US online adults are concerned about the privacy of their healthcare information when using on line tools. On line request apps must meet HIPAA requirements and maintain a high bar for identity management and the accommodation of patients’ disclosure preferences. If implemented properly, request apps can help educate patients in the exercise of their rights process. ROI teams can do a great deal to help educate patients about their rights, and a valuable source of educational materials is with HHS. Proactive education about privacy rights and your organization’s practices benefits all.
HIM managers should evaluate the request process from the patients’ perspective.
- What data are available on volume of requests at various provider settings across the network?
- How similar or dissimilar is the patient experience at various settings?
- How does staff in various settings respond to a set of “test” questions that patients might pose that require working knowledge of HIPAA privacy regulations?
- How can customer facing processes be improved through greater standardization, through technology, education and request apps?
This is our final post in the “5 Things You Must Know Now About Release of Health Information” series. Should you have any comments or questions please e-mail us at email@example.com.
 Khatibloo, F., Forester Research in testimony before the NCVHS, September 13, 2017, (https://www.ncvhs.hhs.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Sep-13-@115pm-Khatibloo-Beyond-HIPAA-Statement.pdf)
 Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/guidance-materials-for-consumers/index.html)
By: Linda Kloss, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA
Historically known as a ‘back office’ HIM function, release of Information (ROI) policies and processes are gaining greater attention for three key reasons:
- The number of requests for information and the volume of information per request continue to increase.
People are more aware of the importance of accessing their own information to be informed and engaged participants in their health care. Third party requests are increasing to support a range of expanding uses. While electronic health records (EHRs) and other information technology have digitized PHI, ROI is not accomplished by pushing a button. Information must be retrieved from a range of source systems and it must be reviewed for accuracy and completeness, while assessing responding to requests with the minimum necessary.
- New federal access and disclosure guidance promotes patient access, shrinks allowable fees and opens back channels to PHI.
We applaud the 2016 Federal Access and Disclosure Guidance for its focus on increasing individual’s access to their health records. An unintended consequence of the guidance, however, has been an increase in the number of third party requests attempting to circumvent required approaches. The guidance also reduces allowable fees to the point that they no longer offset the real costs of release functions.
- Complex health systems have multiple points of PHI disclosure vulnerability that need to be mitigated.
Each physician practice and hospital that is part of a health system can no longer handle ROI in its own way. Today’s health systems must use consistent policies across the enterprise in order to ensure compliance in protecting the privacy rights of individuals. Health systems must also focus on uniform, efficient practices supported by technology to manage in today’s cost constrained environment.
Whether performed by providers’ own staff or outsourced, there is a need for an end-to-end rethinking of ROI. It is a new day for ROI. Today’s release functions require smart technology to support the end-to-end workflow from receipt of a request through fulfillment. All HIM functions have been profoundly impacted by technology. Technology has elevated staffing for ROI from clerical work to skilled knowledge work. Effective ROI today also requires management tools to monitor and improve productivity and accuracy. It needs compliance guidance and safeguards to ensure that it is being performed according to changing requirements and regulations.
ROI transformation is driven by patients—by all of us—who increasingly rely on timely information for care coordination at home and across our personal networks of care providers. ROI has its roots in the Principles of Fair Information Practice that assert the rights of individuals:
- to know what information is maintained about them,
- to obtain a copy in an intelligible form within a reasonable time,
- to challenge if a request for access is denied or delayed,
- to have data amended.
HIPAA baked these principles into law and made protected health information (PHI) part of our vocabulary.
Verisma is launching this blog to explore the changing demands and opportunities of this new day for ROI. Over the coming months, authors will focus on key drivers of ROI change, spotlighting solutions and emerging best-practices in the industry. We hope you will engage with the authors, sharing your thoughts and insights. Together we can accelerate the transformation and modernization of the future of ROI in healthcare.