Healthcare Industry Specialists
Vita Advisors, LLC is a unique firm providing a unique service — we specialize only in the health care industry and focus only on a distinct segment of that industry — “middle market” businesses and product lines. We bring the highest-quality, most professional strategic advisory services to our clients.
Wellness and Care Management
As medical costs have continued to rise rapidly and concern has grown over the health status of many Americans, new focus has been placed on assessing, and taking steps to maintain or improve, health. Employers have become increasingly engaged in the health of their employees, not just because of medical cost increases, but because they believe good health increases productivity and satisfaction. Many companies offer services for health assessment and screening, health education and coaching, wellness and avoidance or management of chronic diseases.
Consumer and Provider Health Information Tools
The renewed focus on health status, quality and appropriateness of care and cost requires expansion of the tools available to collect, analyze and support decisions based on relevant health information. For consumers, these tools include web-sites providing health and disease information, internet-based wellness and disease management tools for self-care and self-management, , personal health records, online support groups, and provider cost and quality comparison websites. All these tools allow patients and consumers to be more active in the management of their health and their medical care.
Healthcare providers are in some cases making the health information tools available to consumers and patients to involve them in the management of their healthcare. Providers also have their own health information needs, including electronic medical record capabilities, electronic prescribing and other ordering, registries for quality of care and other outcomes information collection, websites to elicit other professionals’ advice on treatment.
As physicians and patients have become increasingly frustrated with the state of medical care, new models for primary care delivery have emerged. One of these is concierge medicine, also known as boutique medicine or retainer-based medicine, , is a term used to describe a relationship with a primary care physician practice in which the patient pays an annual fee or retainer. This may or may not be in addition to other charges.
Concierge physicians care for fewer patients than in a conventional practice, ranging from 100 patients per doctor to 1,000, instead of the 3,000 to 4,000 that the average physician now sees every year. The physicians generally claim to be accessible via cell phone or email at any time of day or night. The annual fees vary widely, from $60 to $15,000 per year for an individual, with the lower annual fees being in addition to the usual fees for each service and the higher annual fees including most services. Some concierge practices do not accept insurance of any kind. It should be noted that this annual fee is not a substitute for medical insurance, and generally does not cover consultations outside the practice, laboratory procedures, medicines, hospitalizations or emergency care from other providers.
Alternative Delivery Models
Convenient Care Clinics are health care clinics located in retail stores, supermarkets and pharmacies that treat uncomplicated minor illnesses and provide preventive health care services. They are sometimes called “retail-based clinics” or “walk-in medical clinics.” Convenient care clinics are usually staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants.
Worksite Clinics are health care clinics and sometimes pharmacies that are located at a workplace. They will generally handle the same kind of health needs as a convenience care clinic, but may also provide occupational health services and wellness programs.
Medical Home, also known as patient-centered medical home, is defined as a team-based approach to providing comprehensive primary care that facilitates partnerships between individual patients and their personal physicians.. The provision of a medical home is designed to provide better access to health care, increase satisfaction with care, and improve health.
Medical Tourism, also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare, is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of traveling across international borders to obtain health care. Such services typically include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available.
The rapid growth in information relating to the role of genetic and biochemical factors in health and disease, and the recognition that those factors often vary by individual have allowed for an individualization of health care management and delivery that goes beyond characteristics such as age, gender, height/weight, diet and environment. Genetic and biochemical testing is becoming more common and providing information which guides diagnosis and treatment, particularly for diseases such as cancer, and for the prescribing of drugs for many conditions. As the base of information continues to grow the need for tools, services and information technology to support personalized medicine will also increase rapidly.
Mobile eHealth or mHealth broadly encompasses the use of mobile telecommunication and multimedia technologies as they are integrated within increasingly mobile and wireless health care delivery systems and is part of a movement towards consumer-centered health service delivery.
Telemedicine is a method of distributing medical expertise without regard to geographic barriers. In telemedicine, a patient visit is conducted or medical information is transferred via telephone, the Internet or other networks for the purpose of evaluation, consultation between practitioners and sometimes even remote medical procedures or examinations. Telemedicine is practiced in two primary ways: real time (synchronous) and store-and-forward (asynchronous). Real time telemedicine could be as simple as a telephone call or as complex as robotic surgery. It requires the presence of both parties at the same time and a communications link between them that allows a real-time interaction to take place. Store-and-forward telemedicine involves acquiring medical data (like medical images, biosignals etc) and then transmitting this data to a doctor or medical specialist at a convenient time for assessment offline. It does not require the presence of both parties at the same time.
Revenue Management Solutions
Revenue management technology solutions and consulting services cover the full spectrum of providers’ revenue cycle needs from patient access to claims denials. These tools both assist with daily billing and collection efforts and provide decision support, integrating financial, clinical and administrative information, and then distributing that data enterprise wide for timely analysis and decision making to positively impact future revenue enhancement or expense reductions. All of these solutions help ensure that a facility gets paid fairly, in a timely manner, for services rendered.