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Here's where you can find out about what CHS is up to, what's coming in the future and events. Keep up to date with CHS happenings and find out what's on our calendar.

SIIA TRADE SHOW

Complete Health Systems has been long time supporters of the Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc., or SIIA. In October, we attended their 34th Annual National Educational Conference and Expo, which was held in Phoenix, AZ. As in year's past, we had the opportunity to meet with fellow professionals within the healthcare industry.  Thank you to everyone who stopped by and visited our booth.  

Every year, CHS conducts a raffle for gift cards or other valuable prizes at the SIIA Educational Conference. Last year, we gave our winners an opportunity to give back to worthy cause by donating their prize to a charitable organization. Americans continue to face hardships in different capacities, and CHS felt giving back in hard times is important.

Congrats to our four winners! Take a look and see who they decided to donate to.

winner1 winner2
Winner: Karen Cox
Charity: American Heart Association
Winner: David Joza
Charity: Children's Miracle Network
winner3 winner4
Winner: Rick Raup
Charity: Wounded Warriors
Winner: John Kolb 
Charity: Children’s Miracle Network

We look forward to seeing everyone at SIIA 2015, which will be held on October 18 - 20 in Washington, D.C.!

RBS (REGULATORY BUDGET SENTINEL)

ICD-10 UPDATE: TESTING ESSENTIAL TO IMPLEMENT BY 2015 DEADLINE

By: Nicola Heredia, CHS Marketing Coordinator

In 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, CMS, first set a deadline of ICD-10 implementation in the U.S. Since then, the target date has been pushed back twice, with the last extension setting a deadline of October 1, 2015.

It has been 20 years since the U.S. has agreed to adopt the World Health Organization’s, WHO, international disease classification system, and ten years since other industrialized countries first adopted ICD-10. Utilizing this system will increase the number of available codes from about 14,000 to 69,000, according to WHO.

The new deadline “allows providers, insurance companies and other in the health care industry time to ramp up their operations to ensure their systems and business processes are ready to go by October 1, 2015,” said the CMS in a press release.

The ultimate goal of ICD-10 is to increase the accuracy of billing, while being able to record health trends and collect more detailed data. Tracking disease and wellness among Americans will help for research purposes and to identify public health issues.

Members of the health care industry had proactively tried to implement training, software updates and more as a way to work towards last year’s deadline. According to iHealthBeat.org, the American Health Information Management Association and the eHeath Initiative surveyed 454 individuals from several different entities within the health care industry.

The results of the study report that 70 percent responded that their organization had plans to conduct more training. While 65 percent of participants felt their organization would be ready to test prior to October 1, a large portion who did not believe that would be prepared was from physician practices or clinics.

“End-to-end testing should be done prior to implementation to properly analyze results and correct any problems identified,” said American Medical Association President-Elect Steven J. Stack, MD in a statement. “Otherwise, physicians won’t learn of problems until after the go-live date, putting them at high risk of claims processing interruptions and payments, which could jeopardize patients' access to care.”

Experts across the industry report that in order to be prepared for the deadline, testing must be done. The deadline requires everything from software to staff to be prepared for the changes. In order to find errors or areas for improvement, organizations must test to identity their weaknesses.

The CMS is providing ICD-10 compliance acknowledgement testing for providers, which will occur three times for one week periods throughout the year. Claims submitted electronically by providers can also participate. The first was held on the week of November 17. Upcoming testing weeks will take place the week of March 2 and June 1, according to EHR Intelligence.

Taking advantage of the testing opportunities is one step in moving closer to being prepared for ICD-10 implementation. Many organization are overwhelmed by the changes, in addition to the financial commitment.

However, a study released by 3M Health Information Systemts demonstrated that cost based on five categories (end-to-end testing, productivity, software upgrades, super bill conversion and training) are lower then originally anticipated. The report published in iHealthBeat.com suggested that the cost for small providers can be approximately $5,900, less expensive then the $22,600 to $105,506 cost originally estimated.

“Since new estimates of the costs for ICD-10 preparation are much lower than originally estimated, the barriers to ICD-10 implementation are much less than originally projected,” according to the study’s authors.

All organizations within the healthcare industry have knowledge of the ICD-10 system. Many had started to work towards readiness for the original deadline. Those who were previously trained need to be retrained to ensure that staff and software systems are up to speed when the October 1, 2015 deadline is here.

“The key factor will be seeing industry progress during the next six months,” said Stanley Nachimson, a health IT consultant and former health IT advisor at CMS, in a Govhealthit.com article. “If CMS can report to the industry and Congress that providers, plans and vendors have made progress and are moving toward the October date, then there will be no reason for a delay.”

HOW EMPLOYEES ARE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE WORKPLACE

By: Nicola Heredia, CHS Marketing Coordinator

Just as technology continues to evolve, the American workplace has begun a transformation of its own. Companies are continuing to look at ways to attract and retain talented employees, and in order to do so, some businesses are beginning to offer additional incentives in addition to the standard benefit package.

Changing the traditional workplace may be attributed to a new generation of workers entering the workforce. Millenials, the youngest generation, are technology focused individuals that have different expectations then generations that have come before them.

In the U.S., the current workforce is comprised of approximately 24 percent Millenials. Although that is predicted to rise, companies must balance their initiative to attract younger employees, while avoiding alienation of current workers.

The CBRE Group released results of a study that examined what workers from three generations, who are currently in the workforce, expect from their employers and office environment. The results did not demonstrate that there is such a wide gap in expectations, but there are some differences to be aware of.

“The results of this study clearly suggest that variety, choice, access and transparency – attributes typically associated with what Millennials want – are indeed important, not only for Millennials,” reported Georgia Collins, the senior managing director for Workplace Strategy in CBRE, in a company announcement. “Our study actually found that most of these attributes are equally important to Generation Xers and Baby Boomers.”

All three generations agreed that having office space that allows them to space to concentrate, in addition to having meeting space is important. The groups differ when it comes to companies providing space for socializing. Of the three generations, Millenials had it ranked higher in importance than the others.

Taking studies like this into account, many companies are developing modern workplaces to put the focus on collaboration, instead of using cubicles and office space to segregate employees. Additionally, as more individuals work remotely or travel for work, businesses are creating unassigned work stations that are free for workers to utilize only when they are in the office.

“It used to be that when you referred to the mobile worker you were talking about a person who works outside the office,” said Jennifer Busch, vice president of architecture and design at Teknion, in a Nextgov.com article. “Now you’re just as likely to be referring to someone that’s in the office environment, but they’re mobile because their technology has untethered them from their desk.”

Increasing the amount of flexibility employees have is something companies can feasibly offer since technology continues to make it possible to communicate with clients and coworkers. Providing incentives like creating their own hours or having the ability to work from home enables workers with children or long commutes, for example, to have more flexibility. This reduces the stress of getting to work on time with bad weather or looking for a babysitter for a sick child.

According to the Law Depot blog, other perks that many employers have implemented include casual work attire, stocked company fridges and even catered lunches. Allowing employees to eliminate business attire or paying for lunch is an added incentive that can help reduce workers' personal expenses.

The layout of the office is also something that can impact how productive employees are. Zurich, a global business, has recently begun testing workspace layout, reported an article published on Fast Company. Each employee will spend three weeks in one of four types of office layouts. There are 22 different seating arrangements that will be tested to determine what works best for Zurich’s culture.

At the end of the test, everyone will have experienced each scenario. Environments with everything from informal meeting areas, private offices and group workstations will be tested. At the completion of 12-weeks, the company will determine what office space will work for their group of employees.

“Companies would yield better results by designing a well-balanced office that will accommodate the varied needs of different job functions and different preferences of individuals, independent of their age cohort,” said Collins.

The future of the workplace will certainly be more modernized compared to the standard now. Studies show that a change in technology and the workforce will be the driving force behind the transition in the office. However, each company has a different structure and culture, so employers must find balance between attracting younger workers, while retaining their current staff.

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