New Formed U.S. Healthcare Alliance Tests Blockchain for Improving Data


In efforts to improve data quality and reduce cost, major U.S. healthcare companies have formed an alliance to trail blockchain solutions, a shared, digitized ledger that cannot be changed once a transaction has been recorded and verified.

The Synaptic Health Alliance group is made up of Humana, Muitiplan, Quest Diagnostics, Ascension, CVS Health-Aetna, United Healthcare and United Health Group’s Optum. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), almost half of the information stored on Medicare Advantage Organizations contains errors that cause issues in getting timely medical services and leads to fines.

The goal of the alliance is to reduce these problems through blockchain. Blockchain has the ability to keep medical and personal data more accurate through the system’s strong security and real-time tracking. Insurers are currently maintaining their own directories of providers which is a costly task. Insurers spend around $2 billion yearly to keep the information up to date. When directories aren’t maintained properly, they can cause delays and insurers can face fines from the CMS.

When information is correct, this causes issues for the healthcare providers, medical offices and more importantly, the patient. If healthcare organizations share provider information via blockchain, this could help solve the problem of misinformation and save money too.  Simply put, blockchain has the ability to track where and a patient is and what procedures/test they’ve had done through a secure means.

The blockchain is evolving in the healthcare industry quickly. The implementation of blockchain can change the way the medical field operates for the better. Stay up to date with these changes through funding solutions like invoice factoring. Factoring provides agencies with the capital needed to recruit more workers, expand working quarters or whatever else your company needs to grow.

New Law States Hospitals Must Display Pricing

Legislators have ruled in favor of a new federal law stating every hospital in the United States is required to publish prices for treatments online in efforts to move toward hospital price transparency. The law, also known as the Inpatient Prospective Payment, states that hospitals are required to post a list of their standard pricing online and make electronic medical records more available to patients. The implementation of the new price transparency law means new challenges for healthcare providers, one of them being rebranding hospital websites to include care cost information. That is where invoice factoring comes in.

The Factoring Blog is Back!

The Factoring Blog Returns

Three Years Later…

We believe that perfecting knowledge on all things factoring takes time – three years to be exact! Just a short 1,095 days later and The Factoring Blog is back and ready to give you the invoice factoring knowledge you need to help your business succeed. 

We have been working hard for the past three years researching the best factoring resources, networking and building strong connections with professionals in the industry, as well as following up with past clients to hear their success stories. Here at The Factoring Blog, we are your invoice factoring experts writing to you, our readers, to share the tips and information that we think will help you to stay up-to-date on the latest invoice factoring news, small business trends, and industry-specific information. 

This is just the beginning, so don’t be a stranger! Come back again soon to see what kind of informational articles, blog posts, and eye-catching graphics we will have available for you next.


Your friends at The Factoring Blog


Supreme Court Rescues Obamacare, Again

Obamacare. For the past several years, you haven’t been able to go anywhere in our country without hearing about it, and it just got a whole lot more attention. Yesterday, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, ruled in favor of President Obama’s health care reform. Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, was designed to increase the quality and affordability of public healthcare in the United States. It established new minimum standards for insurance companies to uphold in order to cover all of their applicants and provide equal rates, regardless of pre-existing conditions of sex. The law has been one of the most controversial legislations in recent memory, as is threatened to further wedge the philosophical gap between Republicans and Democrats.

The Supreme Court ruling came after a discrepancy among the interpretation of particular clauses within the law, which was hastily crafted by Congress and had not been granted the opportunity to make adjustments in the messy language. The case was meant to determine if states that do not have their own insurance exchange and rely on the federal insurance exchange would be eligible for federal subsidies. If the law had not been upheld, it would have left approximately 6.4 million Americans without government subsidies to afford their healthcare. American citizens must learn to adapt to these healthcare reforms, as they are here to stay. The Supreme Court’s ruling means that it will take an Act of Congress and a future President’s signature to overrule Obamacare.

Republican officials had no fear of voicing their disapproval with the ruling. Florida Senator Marco Rubio denounced the law in its entirety, “I disagree with the Court’s ruling and believe they have once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama and Congress in forcing Obamacare on the American people.” He even alluded to his own proposed health care system, “I remain committed to repealing this bad law and replacing it with my consumer-centered plan that puts patients and families back in control of their health care decisions.” Several Republican states have neglected to create their own insurance exchanges simply because they do not wish to support President Obama’s reforms in any way.

Hospitals Struggle to Boost Patient Satisfaction Ratings

More and more, the level of satisfaction that patients get from their experience of a visit or stay at a hospital directly affects how successful the institution can be.

As the world of healthcare continues to go through a metamorphosis, patient feedback continues to take a bigger and bigger role in shaping the reputation of hospitals. A bad reputation will cost the hospital future patients, and even more severely, will determine how much money it is allotted from the government and from private insurers.

There are now a multitude of venues for critique and criticism that carry a great deal of weight with the public—Facebook has even been proven to be a surprisingly accurate indicator of a hospital’s approval rating, according to Health IT Outcomes. Positive Facebook reviews have a remarkably tight correlation with hospitals’ low-readmission levels, meaning that the hospitals that do not make mistakes (and thus do not require the patient to return), and are hence getting their credit on the world’s largest social media database.

In short, accurate reviews of healthcare institutions are everywhere, and are accessible to anybody. It is no wonder, then, that hospitals and clinics across the country have begun adamantly making reforms to their policies, hoping to add some compassion to their care.

Hundreds of hospitals, though, are finding it quite challenging to reel-in positive patient reviews. Kaiser Health News reported the story of Rowan Medical Center of North Carolina, which is among the lowest rated healthcare institutions in the country.

Hospitals that have a history of malpractice or poor bedside manner, such as Rowan, often find it difficult to escape their previous reputations, despite any improvements that they may have made since their previous errors. Additionally, the Medicare method of assessing hospitals from the patient’s perspective (a survey that has the patient rank the hospital on a scale of 1-10, among other examinations) is very tough, as they only reward hospitals if patients give them a 9 or a 10 on their scale. Thus, it is hard for poorly-rated hospitals to receive the funding that is necessary to training their staff or improving infrastructure.

In April, though, the government intends to kick-off a new system for ranking hospitals, which will entail a five-star scale. Officials hope that this will be easier for the consumer to understand, and will hopefully help improving hospitals avoid the stigmas of the past.

There are many ways that a hospital can improve their quality of care. According to a survey conducted by the Schwartz Center, the most successful and highly-rated hospitals in the country:

  • Place a high priority on their staff, so as to avoid physician and nurse burnout
  • Involve and interact closely with the families of patients.
  • Emphasize quality care and compassion when training their staff.
  • Have a set-in-stone schedule for their staff, so no patients are left unattended.
  • Keep procedures as simple as possible for their patients.

Patients clearly crave a strong interpersonal relationship with their healthcare providers. Bedside manner is everything.

With luck, hospitals with poor satisfaction ratings will take advantage of the new government-implemented scale come April, and will continue to employ the aforementioned tactics in order to boost their overall patient-friendliness.

Many Americans Forgo Health Insurance, Despite Large Subsidies

There has been much ado about the stiff penalties that come with remaining uninsured under the Affordable Care Act. Those who spent 2014 without a coverage plan are about to be slammed with either a $95 penalty or be subjected to confiscation of 1% of their income, whichever sum is higher. While Obamacare in itself is a remarkably famous piece of legislation, and nearly every American has heard of it, many speculate that the bulk of those who are still uninsured (and consequently facing penalties) are so due to simple ignorance of the mandate portion of the law.

A study by Avalere Health reveals that there is a major demographic of low-income Americans that, while being eligible for hefty government subsidies on the federal exchange, still have not purchased a healthcare plan.

An analysis by Kaiser Health News (KHN) interpreted the data, and concluded that while 76% of people with incomes between 100 and 150 percent of the official poverty level (between $11,670 and $17,505 for an individual) had enrolled for coverage last year, only 41% from the next demographic (between 151 and 200 percent of the federal poverty line) had 2014 coverage. Those individuals earn between $17,622 and $23,340, and are eligible for significant government subsidies through the federal exchange. Moreover, only 30% who rake in between $23,457 and $29,175 utilized the federal health insurance program.

Now, it is logical that those from the higher income levels do not use the federal exchange, as they can afford their own coverage or are provided some by their employers. And, while the government has done well to advertise their available subsidies and packages to the group right at the poverty line, the fact that only around 40% of those from the next-highest income levels have taken the government up on their financial aid is rather alarming, as they most likely do not have an alternative mode of attaining coverage, and will hence be hit with increasingly stiffer penalties in 2015 and 2016.

So, that begs the question—why is it that those who could benefit from the subsidies simply are not?

Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at Avalere Health, opines that it is because they still do not know about the mandate or the benefits for which they qualify. Her sentiments are felt by many who work in the world of health insurance.

Clearly, the Affordable Care act has done well to insure the poorest sector of the American populous. However, it evidently has room to grow when it comes to assisting those who, while keeping afloat above the federal poverty line, still need significant financial aid in order to practically afford coverage.

Reforms in the Nursing Code of Ethics Aim to Modernize Care

In January 2015, the American Nurses Association revised their Code of Ethics for the first time since 2001, reports.

The recent revisions are the result of an 18-month process that drew from the insight of some of the United States’ most experienced nurses. The new Code of Ethics touches upon nearly all conceivable aspects of the nursing profession, from providing appropriate end-of-life care to how to handle oneself on social media.

The Code of Ethics has a long history, dating back to 1896, according to Since then, the Code has evolved into a document of nine provisions and several subsequent interpretive statements that assist nurses in understanding and applying its guidelines. The new revisions process is the first in over 25 years that features revisions in both the nine provisions and the interpretive statements.

The new Code of Ethics touches upon several delicate and difficult issues that nurses face every day on the job. One of the more controversial inclusions in the new Code is a subject that deals with the issue of medically-assisted suicide and euthanasia, a topic that is hotly contested in politics and between ideological groups. reports that the new Code formally prevents any nurse from administering any medicine or treatment that will end the life of a patient, even if that situation comes up in the execution of death-row inmates. The guidelines make it clear that no nurse, anywhere, under any circumstance, should administer a lethal injection.

The American Nursing Association also had to tweak their documents in light of recent technological and social advances, specifically concerning social media. The new mandates that nurses pay extra close attention to not violating patient confidentiality with their personal social media accounts. Nurses who post about the condition of some of their patients on social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook violate the secrecy and privacy of patients, which the new Code of Ethics deems unacceptable.

The Code of Ethics is just one of the reasons why nursing is consistently rated at the top of the list for honest and ethical professions, reports. Surely, the newly revised Code will uphold the industry’s impressive reputation.

PRN Funding is a leading provider of factoring for healthcare service providers, including nurse staffing agencies. If you have slow paying clients and could use cash flow sooner, contact us.

VA Hospitals Face Scrutiny Nationwide

In recent years, VA hospitals have been the subject of a great deal of controversy and scrutiny. In 2014, the Veterans’ Affairs healthcare facilities made headlines because of their inability to provide services for a large number patients, and many had to wait months before they could see doctors in what became known as the “waiting-list scandal.”

In 2015, VA hospitals have done well to cope with the influx of veterans that need appointments with doctors and surgeons. However, reports have shown that the increased quantity of patients seen has caused the average quality of care to decrease.

In a Seattle Times article, Tim Kuncl, former member of the US Coast Guard, shared his misadventures with the Puget Sound VA Health Care System.

Kuncl suffered from a rare pilon fracture in 2011 as he was putting Christmas decorations up on his home in Washington State. Three weeks later, he went to his local VA hospital and received surgery in which doctors inserted several pins, screws, and plates in order to fix his shattered bones. His pain persisted well past his expected recovery time, though, and he ended up having to get two additional surgeries done on the same leg, each one resulting in increased pain and discomfort.

Eventually, Kuncl decided to forego the VA system and get treatment from a private organization, who found that the previous surgeries had irreversibly damaged his leg, and concluded that amputation was the only path left to take. He has since become an advocate for the improvement of the VA healthcare systems.

The unfortunate case of Tim Kuncl is following a trend of increased malpractice. According to the Seattle Times, wrongful-death claims against the VA healthcare systems throughout much of 2014 climbed 43%. The Government Accountability Office has placed Vetrans Health Administration on the “high risk agency” list by virtue of its issues in oversight and training of new employees, according to the Seattle Times. The VA hospitals are treating more patients, but the number of erroneous cases has gone up rather alarmingly.

In other news, the VA healthcare system in Tomah, Wisconsin has become the subject of investigation as whistleblowers revealed that facilities have been overprescribing narcotic drugs, the StarTribune reports. In response, the VA has implemented new computer software that helps to monitor the allocation of prescription medicines. The program is called the “opioid therapy risk report,” and currently over 2,000 VA doctors nationwide now have access to the software.

With luck, the complaints against the VA healthcare systems that are piling up will reduce very soon, as the government has decided to increase its funding. The Puget Sound VA’s budget is $7.4 million larger in 2015 than it was in 2014, and will be $14.9 million larger in 2016, the Seattle Times reports. The additional funding should result in faster treatment and higher quality of care for our nation’s veterans.

Medicare Payment Overhaul is in the Works

The Obama Administration recently announced a rapid reconstruction of the American Medicare system by the year 2018. The president intends to change the way that the enormous Medicare program makes payments to hospitals and physicians, shifting away from a “fee-for-service” system, which simply encourages to see a large volume of patients rather than deliver each one the best possible care.

According to the LA Times, Medicare will start making 30% of its direct payments to hospitals and doctors through alternative payment models. These models offer a rewards system to doctors and hospitals that provide care to patients under budget while simultaneously delivering excellent care to the patients. The overall goal of this transition is to transform the American healthcare system into a quality-based institution. The LA Times also reports that such a change to the Medicare system is paramount, as finding an efficient way to pay for healthcare will become more and more important as the baby boomer generation starts to retire.

In 2014, only 20% of Medicare spending (about $72 billion, according to Kaiser Health News) was done through alternative payment models. The shift to 30% will raise the total sum to about $113 billion. On January 26th, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell wrote an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in which she announced that by 2018, she hopes to have 50% of all Medicare payments done through alternative payment models.

The ramifications of this plan are already being felt throughout the private sector of the healthcare industry, as commercial insurers and prominent employers have begun to invest in new payment models, the LA Times reports.

Most influential figures in the healthcare world have heralded this as a progressive and necessary step. Ensuring that the Medicare system spends its money wisely is remarkably important, as this year it is estimated that the program will spend over $600 billion to insure nearly 50 million different disabled and retired Americans. Kaiser Health News reports that with these aforementioned changes implemented, 90% of all Medicare spending will be linked to quality of care in some regard.

What’s Ahead for Home Healthcare Staffing?

What’s ahead for the home healthcare employment?


The home healthcare industry remains one of the fastest-growing in the United States, with no signs of slowing down. The US Department of labor estimates the profession will grow by almost 50% by 2022, which is close to five times faster than the average for all occupations.

Most home care positions require little training and often don’t mandate a high-school diploma, which can be an attractive option for those looking to break into the healthcare field without the time and cost of college. Home healthcare has its rewards, but there are also lots of cons. Low wages (median yearly wage is about $20,000), physically demanding environments, lack of full-time hours and no health benefits plague workers and lead to an extremely high turnover rate. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal notes that home healthcare turnover averages around 50% each year.

The primary contributor to industry turnover is pay. Demand for home healthcare staffing is strong… and getting stronger. To keep up with the pace, the homecare industry needs to make itself more appealing – starting with better pay and job stability.

Starting on January 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor will require all direct care workers employed by staffing agencies and home care agencies to be covered by minimum wage and overtime protections. This sounds like a solid plan on the surface; however, this could backfire and actually cause home health workers to lose money. Caregivers often work lots of overtime to boost their paychecks, but the new law may cause homecare agencies to enact shorter shifts and cut back on overtime hours due to higher costs.

Even with minimum wage protections in place, the home health industry may still struggle with significant turnover while trying to appease increasing demand. Improved training opportunities may be another solution to reducing the turnover. If agencies provide non-medical caregivers with opportunities for additional training, employees may be motivated to use their home health experience as a stepping-stone to a more specialized career in the healthcare industry.

One thing is certain – the home health boom is coming. If better pay isn’t in your agency’s budget, now is the time to develop new and innovative ways to attract and retain the top caregivers.

Working capital to meet rising home healthcare staffing demands

Accounts receivable factoring for home healthcare is quick funding solution that helps home care agencies cover payroll on-time, every-time. Rather than worry about delayed payments from slow-paying customers, Medicare, Medicaid or HMO’s, factoring home care receivables can get you the funding you need to manage your growing business.