Carina Edwards from Nuance Healthcare provides insight regarding latest HIM acquisitions as it strives to revolutionize HIM solutions for ICD-transition
Just days before last week’s annual American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) convention in Chicago—where thousands gathered to share HIM solutions and strategies—Nuance Communications, Inc. revealed plans to develop its own. Through its division Nuance Healthcare, the communications technology provider is setting its sights on revolutionizing ICD-10 transition, making some key acquisitions along the way.
In August, the Department of Health and Human Services pushed ICD-10 implementation back one year, creating the official deadline for October 1, 2014. However, that hasn’t slowed technology developers like Nuance from striving to develop solutions to ease the impending transition. In fact, it already has a head start.
In September, Nuance acquired Quantim, the HIM business of QuadraMed to integrate its existing clinical language understanding (CLU) technology with Quantim’s computer assisted-coding (CAC) solution. Then last week, the company announced it acquired J.A. Thomas and Associates (JATA), a provider of physician-oriented clinical documentation improvement (CDI) programs; the company plans to also integrate its CLU technology with JATA’s CDI strategies.
We at HIT Consultant were intrigued by the moves of Nuance. So, we asked Carina Edwards, solutions marketing director, to share what these two recent acquisitions mean for Nuance and the providers it serves—and how it will ultimately shape the technology it plans to serve them with.
Here’s a look at what Edwards shared with HIT Consultant:
HIT Consultant: How will this acquisition competitively position you against current competitors such as Optum Insight, 3M HIS, M Modal, and others regarding the CAC solution?
Edwards: With JATA and Quantim, Nuance will be able to offer a single platform for end-to-end clinical documentation; the combined Nuance Healthcare solution is creating a revolutionary process for hospitals to efficiently transition to ICD-10 through the creation of more clinically accurate documentation. Nuance will deliver this capability by integrating the CDI strategies from JATA into Nuance’s Clinical Language Understanding (CLU) technology.
Nuance CLU, enhanced with JATA CDI strategies, will power both Dragon Medical 360 physician solutions and Quantim HIM computer-assisted coding (CAC) and CDI solutions, creating a bridge between the clinically accurate patient record and the ICD-10 coded information. With over 450,000 clinicians using Dragon Medical for clinical documentation, Nuance is already a trusted partner for thousands of hospitals and our integrated clinical documentation solution from the combination of Nuance, Quantim and JATA will be a natural path for those hospitals as they transition to ICD-10.
HIT Consultant: How will the acquisition of Quantim and JATA improve Nuance’s overall strategic goals in improving clients CDI and revenue cycle capabilities?
Edwards: By integrating the clinical documentation improvement process into the physician workflow and leveraging CLU enhanced with JATA strategies, physicians will have the ability to create the most accurate clinical documentation at the point of care. Together, with both JATA and Quantim, we will help organizations improve efficiency, achieve the highest levels of clinical accuracy and appropriate reimbursement for the care provided so caregivers can focus on what’s most important, taking care of patients.
As referenced in the release, the combination of JATA with Nuance’s Dragon Medical 360 solutions provides a more accurate and complete clinical document at the point-of-care. The integration of Nuance’s CLU with the Quantim HIM platform will improve coder productivity and ensure that the clinical information is accurately expressed in ICD-10 codes for reimbursement and quality reporting.
HIT Consultant: What are the benefits of integrating Nuance’s clinical language understanding (CLU) technology with Quantim’s computer assisted coding capabilities?
Edwards: The integration of Nuance’s clinical language understanding technology with Quantim’s computer-assisted coding solution will fuel a more efficient, ICD-10 compliant workflow and, in turn, increase coding efficiencies and ensure accurate reimbursement. This automated, integrated coding workflow will reduce productivity loss during the transition to ICD-10 for providers while preserving physician workflow and quality care.
HIT Consultant: Where does JATA fit within Nuance’s existing CLU technology, capabilities, and services?
Edwards: With JATA integrated into a single platform for end-to-end clinical documentation, the combined Nuance Healthcare solution is creating a revolutionary process for hospitals to efficiently transition to ICD-10 through the creation of more clinically accurate documentation. Nuance will deliver this capability by integrating the CDI strategies from JATA into Nuance’s Clinical Language Understanding (CLU) technology.
Nuance CLU, enhanced with JATA CDI strategies, will power both Dragon Medical 360 physician solutions and Quantim HIM computer-assisted coding (CAC) and CDI solutions, creating an intelligent bridge between the clinically accurate patient record and the ICD-10 coded information.
HIT Consultant: Does the acquisition of JATA implicate Nuance will be providing additional consulting services to existing and future clients?
Edwards: We already have a strong service-based portion of our business with Nuance Transcription Services and our product implementation and training teams; the addition of JATA is a welcome addition to this portfolio. Considering the massive change associated with ICD-10, providers must include hands-on training and technology to properly adjust to this change.
HIT Consultant: Does this acquisition include Quantim’s encoder?
HIT Consultant: If so, what will be Nuance’s approach towards interoperability and integration regarding the encoder as it is known Quantim would not interface to any outside encoders e.g. 3M?
Edwards: It is a choice by Quantim to not interface to other encoders. With the modern platform, it is very capable of integration; Nuance will be looking at that option.
HIT Consultant: Has there been any efforts to sign an open agreement with 3M HIS regarding potential clients who are not willing to give up their 3M encoder?
Edwards: Nuance will evaluate that as an option.
HIT Consultant: How does this affect Nuance’s current partnership with 3M HIS moving forward?
Edwards: This acquisition will in no way affect our collaborative efforts with 3M. We continue to have full faith in MDAssist as a standalone product and remain committed to helping 3M develop its CAC solution utilizing Nuance CLU technology.
HIT Consultant: Any additional thoughts/comments to add regarding the acquisition of both Quantim and JATA?
Edwards: This is an exciting time for Nuance Healthcare. We’re strong believers in the importance of bringing disruptive technologies to market. We put a lot of time and thought into how we could best serve the industry and help them solve pressing problems. Now, we’re ready to hit the ground running by fast-tracking the integration of our solutions so that providers can turn to one system and one company for all their clinical documentation and coding needs.