ASPEN Malnutrition Awareness WeekOctober 04, 2021
Junum is proud to help sponsor Malnutrition Awareness Week 2021.
Malnutrition Awareness Week™
Date: October 4-8, 2021
Join ASPEN, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, for ASPEN Malnutrition Awareness Week on October 4-8, 2021.
It’s a week filled with valuable educational webinars and sharing of informational materials. Continuing education credit is available for most of the webinars that week. ASPEN is accredited to provide medical, pharmacy, nursing and dietetic credits.
The goal of Malnutrition Awareness Week is to educate healthcare professionals on early detection, prevention, and treatment of malnutrition; educate consumers/patients to discuss their nutrition status with healthcare professionals; and to increase awareness of nutrition’s role on patient recovery.
New Survey Announcement
We are excited to share Junum’s Hospital Malnutrition Quality Survey (HMQS). Our goal is to help you assess whether or not malnutrition care at your organization is clinician focused and provides enhanced data reporting through an optimized EHR.
Want to see how your hospital stacks up? Find out by taking the short survey here.
If you are curious to learn more about how Junum can help your hospital maximize the value of your clinical teams, drive revenue, and deliver exceptional patient care, watch our video. Don’t forget to subscribe!
Join the conversation online by using the hashtag #MAW2021. For more information and to register, visit www.nutritioncare.org/maw.
Putting Malnutrition Diagnoses Under the MicroscopeSeptember 14, 2021
Tips for Documenting Findings (And Preparing for Audits)
By Ashley Matthews, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, PMP, Head of Clinical Excellence, Junum
There has been a lot of discussion lately around accurately coding for malnutrition. Just last year, the Office of Inspector General released a report casting doubt on hospitals’ ability to accurately document and diagnose this insidious condition.
Naturally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is paying attention and continues to conduct audits accordingly. And importantly, in recent listening sessions, members of the CMS Provider Compliance Division (CPD) met with members of ASPEN, the Academy, ASN and ACDIS to hear their concerns about improper denials and disputed criteria used by auditors. (This blog post from the director of ACDIS goes into more detail.)
In the end, CMS’ focus on malnutrition is good news. Nearly 30% of patients admitted to hospitals are at risk of malnutrition, but <7% are diagnosed.¹ The more focus this pervasive condition receives, the better. Still, audits can be nerve wracking and may even lead dietitians to second-guess their findings.
It is important to accurately document findings of malnutrition and evidence of treatment. Quality of care — and accurate reimbursements — often depend on it. So here are some tips to help you be more confident in your documentation and diagnoses.
Standardize Your Criteria
Whether your hospital uses AND/ASPEN, Merck Manual or GLIM criteria, it’s a good idea to choose one set of criteria and use it consistently. Clinical nutrition leaders should work with hospital leadership to standardize on a set of criteria based on modern, evidence-based standards, and make sure all providers and CDI team members are on board. Getting everyone on the same page can greatly reduce the burden placed on your coders, along with simplifying communication between providers and dietitians.
Do your process improvement initiatives address malnutrition? The time to evaluate your processes is now — before external auditors do it for you. You can start today by auditing your workflows to make sure all pertinent team members are using the malnutrition diagnosis information from the chart in their documentation.
Train and Train Again on the Nutrition-Focused Physical Exam
Regular training can keep new hires and long-term staff working from the same playbook when it comes to this critical exam. Now, you may be thinking these exams take too much time to conduct with all patients. Fair enough — but sound policies and procedures can help your team consistently identify patients who should have a full nutrition-focused physical exam and those who are well nourished enough to forego it.
Own Your Value and Enter the Room
The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented many dietitians from entering patient rooms. At some hospitals, other care team members are doing their best to gather the information dietitians need to assess a patient and document their findings. However, dietitians should also be empowered to assert their value as essential staff alongside nurses and physicians. One way to do this is to find ways to enter patient rooms (if PPE is available) and do a physical assessment.
And remember, Junum can help you simplify documentation, diagnosis and communication between dietitians and physicians. Our clinician-driven technology helps dietitians document signs and symptoms of malnutrition, select a severity level and alert physicians — all within existing EHR workflows. Contact us today and discover what better malnutrition diagnoses could mean for your hospital.
¹ Barrett ML, Bailey MK, Owens PL. Non-maternal and Non-neonatal Inpatient Stays in the United States Involving Malnutrition, 2016. ONLINE. August 30, 2018. U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Available: www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports.jsp
Remembering the Human in Healthcare TechnologyAugust 27, 2021
Key Takeaways From the HIMSS 2021 Conference
Whether you joined in person or online, this year’s HIMSS conference was a powerful opportunity to reflect upon the role technology has played throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our industry pivoted to telehealth almost overnight — bringing with it a greater need for cybersecurity and support for remote workforces. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have helped us disseminate test results and communicate with patients in quarantine. And more advanced robotic process automation (RPI + AI) has been used to free up clinical staff and streamline services. At HIMSS, everywhere you turned was another example of digital transformation improving the delivery of healthcare.
During the HIMSS Digital session entitled “The Future of Healthcare,” it was exciting to see how health systems, payers, clinicians, patients and health/IT providers have all focused on digital health and transformation in their own ways. And yet, according to the 2021 HIMSS State of Healthcare Report, we still face significant challenges to clinical adoption.
Let’s look at a few key take-aways:
- 92% of clinicians have recommended the use of digital health tools for their patients
- 78% of clinicians believe that the pandemic has resulted in helpful changes like the adoption of virtual care, telehealth, etc.
- Yet only 57% of clinicians believe that digital health tools are user friendly and easy to learn
Clearly, clinicians support our industry’s digital transformation. So why are nearly half of them having difficulty with the resulting innovations?
Barriers to Adoption
According to the report, there are several important factors keeping them from adopting new technology more readily:
- 61% of clinicians cited a lack of interoperability between IT systems
- 41% have concerns about patient data security
- 39% note that new innovations don’t fit into their current workflows
Clearly, lack of technology is not the issue. But in order for our innovations to deliver their full value, we must make life easier for the user — especially when that user is an overtaxed clinician in the throes of a global pandemic.
Keeping Humans at the Heart of our Innovations
At this year’s HIMSS, the human element was perhaps more visible than ever before. Whether in conference rooms or through our computer screens, we united as human beings passionate about improving healthcare through technology. And for those of us working at the intersection of patient care and tech, it was just what we needed.
At Junum, we are focused on technology innovation that automates nutrition care workflows while making sure nutrition data is accessible to everyone — patients, caregivers and clinicians. Schedule a demo today to learn how we can help your hospital.
Junum featured in 5 Top Healthcare Startups Impacting Nutrition from StartUs InsightsJune 08, 2021
“Staying ahead of the technology curve means strengthening your competitive advantage. That is why StartUs Insights gives you data-driven innovation insights into the healthcare sector. This time, you get to discover 5 hand-picked startups developing solutions impacting Nutrition.”
What is a Feasibility Assessment?June 01, 2021
Malnutrition is a concern at hospitals everywhere. And its true impacts — both clinical and financial — are too often hidden by lack of data. While EMRs are highly effective for many clinical use cases, they aren’t often designed to support nutrition care partnerships between physicians and dietitians — including identifying and diagnosing malnutrition.
Junum developed the MalnutritionCDS™ solution to help hospitals accurately diagnose malnutrition within their existing EHR workflows — and improve revenue capture accordingly. But before the technology is implemented, hospitals must fully understand the problem malnutrition presents — and the opportunities available for improvement.
“The true clinical and financial impacts of malnutrition can be difficult to quantify because many hospitals track malnutrition data manually, if they track it at all,” explains Molly Hegarty, Founder and CEO of Junum. “That’s where we come in — to help hospitals understand what’s possible with better malnutrition data, processes and technology, and then make it a reality.”
Junum approaches this exercise in a structured, efficient and data-driven way. It’s called a feasibility assessment. Here’s how it works, and why it’s important.
What is a Feasibility Assessment?
During this critical process, Junum works with hospital stakeholders to identify the greatest opportunities for improvement by comparing their current malnutrition workflows to evidence-based clinical guidelines and best practices. It typically lasts approximately six weeks.
How Does It Work?
We start with in-depth interviews and workflow observations to understand current malnutrition care practices and identify opportunities for improvement — from admission to discharge. This may include data points such as:
- Nutritional workflows
- Clinician notes templates
- System alerts
- Query templates
- Case mix index
- ICD-10 reports (DRG, CC/MCC)
- Billing denials
- Clinician training protocols
- Patient assessments
- Food intake tracking
- Various internal reports related to malnutrition
- Nutritional case management
A steering committee is established with key stakeholders to provide well-rounded input and feedback. Roles may include:
- Clinical Nutrition Manager
- Physician Champions
- SVP of Care Coordination
- CDI/Coding Manager
- AVP of Information Technology
- VP/SVP Innovation
Identifying Opportunities for Impact
Next, we analyze the learnings from the clinical discovery phase and identify areas where Junum can help the hospital make the greatest impact. While this is different for every hospital, our clients have worked with us to:
Capture Missed Reimbursements
Our clients have nearly doubled their malnutrition diagnosis rates — and seen multi-year revenue increases as a result.
Improve Malnutrition Coding to Reduce Payer Denials
When physicians and CDI team members can easily access RD notes, they can support better documentation, earlier intervention and more appropriate reimbursements.
Enable Earlier Assessment
By adding a validated screening tool like MST to nursing workflows, hospitals can significantly increase RD referrals for nutrition assessments.
Innovating a Path Forward: Digital Transformation and Software Implementation
Now that we understand the clinical and financial opportunity of improving malnutrition care, we can do something about it. Using learnings from the feasibility assessment, Junum outlines a digital transformation plan for the hospital. This involves agreeing upon financial models and KPIs to track progress, and documenting deliverables and risks. Once approved, Junum will implement its MalnutritionCDS software to help the hospital make an impact on the metrics that matter.
A “Blind Spot” No More
“Our MalnutritionCDS solution helps hospitals better diagnose malnutrition and maximize the clinical and financial outcomes that come along with that. By doing a feasibility assessment first, we can hone in on the specific opportunities that will help each hospital or health system do that most effectively,” explains Hegarty. “There’s no need to rely on educated guesses or predictions — we can lay out their real-world opportunities in black and white. It’s a powerful way to bring the hidden impact of malnutrition to light.”
At Junum, we have successfully guided many hospitals through this process, and we’d love to do the same for yours. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Junum Announces MalnutritionCDS™ Integration with Epic EHRMay 18, 2021
Junum Announces MalnutritionCDS™ Integration with Epic EHR
Easy-to-access nutrition insights help hospitals better diagnose malnutrition and maximize revenue
New Orleans, LA. (May 18, 2021): Malnutrition is a common, complicated, and costly problem for hospitals. In the US, one in three patients admitted to the hospital is at risk for malnutrition — but <8.9% are diagnosed.(1) Junum developed its MalnutritionCDS™ solution to help hospitals address this critical “blind spot,” deliver exceptional patient care and maximize revenue capture.
A Clinical Nutrition Solution for Solving Malnutrition in the Hospital
Built using the latest FHIR-based API technology, Junum’s solution integrates with the Epic EHR system to deliver the nutrition insights physicians need to accurately diagnose malnutrition — all within their existing EHR workflows.
The tool guides dietitians through the nutrition-focused physical exam, helping identify and document evidence of malnutrition severity to:
- Inform clinical decisions by putting nutrition insights in front of physicians in the EHR — early and at a glance
- Improve patient care by better diagnosing and documenting malnutrition early enough to inform care plans
- Maximize revenue by recovering significant reimbursements
A Clinical Solution with Financial Impact
When malnutrition is properly diagnosed and coded, reimbursements can rise significantly. In fact, hospitals using Junum’s solution have nearly doubled their malnutrition diagnosis rates — and seen multi-year revenue increases as a result.
“When care teams can diagnose malnutrition early, they can intervene sooner to help improve patient outcomes and capture the appropriate reimbursements,” says Molly Hegarty, MS RDN, Founder and CEO of Junum. “As an engineer turned nutritionist, I believe strongly in using the power of technology to help clinicians better understand nutrition and its vital role in patient care. We’re excited to make our SMART on FHIR, malnutrition-focused app for clinicians available to Epic users across the country.”
See the press release Here
Media inquiries, please email email@example.com
Junum is founded and led by Molly Hegarty, nutritionist and engineer. The company helps hospitals understand and address malnutrition to maximize the value of their clinical teams, drive revenue and deliver exceptional patient care. Our intuitive tools operate within existing EHR workflows, giving clinicians easy access to the nutrition insights they need to drive improved outcomes. Schedule a demo today at junum.io.
Epic and App Orchard are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Systems Corporation.
MalnutritionCDS and Junum are trademarks or registered trademark of RDF Technology, LLC.
Barrett ML, Bailey MK, Owens PL. Non-maternal and Non-neonatal Inpatient Stays in the United States Involving Malnutrition, 2016. ONLINE. August 30, 2018. U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Available:www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports.jsp
A Day in the Life of Junum's CEOJanuary 26, 2021
Molly Hegarty, is the founder and CEO of Junum. She is a former Intel engineer turned Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist with over 10 years of experience in clinical nutrition. Her career began in technology but shifted to clinical nutrition after experiencing a personal tragedy when her college roommate passed away from Crohn’s disease related complications. She witnessed firsthand the value of nutrition in the critical care setting.
Molly saw the silos and gaps across the healthcare system that existed due to a lack of cohesive, supporting nutrition-focused technology. Molly decided to refocus her career path from direct clinical care to using her tech expertise to create software that would help to make a difference. Her passion motivates other people who share that vision to work with her on this mission to put nutrition on the forefront of healthcare.
There is no typical day for Molly at Junum. As a startup founder with a completely remote team, daily priorities can shift quickly. Junum was a 100% remote team prior to Covid and everyone was hand selected for the expertise that they bring to the team. Molly stays connected with her team through Slack, email, Zoom, and Google Meet. Every day each team member posts a daily standup in Slack. This helps to ensure everyone is unified on tasks across teams. Molly reviews her calendar first thing in the morning, checks the team slack messages, and goes through her emails. This enables her to set priorities for the week and manage her time efficiently.
To keep her vision for Junum on track, Molly maintains a running task list for each team with priority items that are shared with the entire organization. This encourages an environment of transparency, accountability, and teamwork. It is not uncommon for team members to lend a hand to different departments in need. Monday’s are typically meeting heavy and begin with a full Junum team meeting to go over her priority list and get team updates on open tasks. By holding these team meetings on Mondays, it frees Molly up to spend the rest of her week doing other important tasks like meeting with investors, working with the advisory board, hosting informational webinars, reviewing budgets, checking in with customers, or attending a conference. Although her day never looks the same, Molly is always up for the challenges of a health tech startup. To help stay grounded, Molly takes yoga breaks or tea breaks throughout the day and allows time to recharge herself for the next task.
The Junum team is focused in many areas this year. The main focus is providing optimal support to our existing customers as well as generating new sales. Previously the sales team focused on east coast hospital systems, but now that reach has expanded to systems across all regions of the US. There is also focus this year to expand the team. The team expansion will further Junum’s progress in implementing its technology solution to disrupt traditional malnutrition care in the acute care environment.
Covid has impacted all of us in so many ways personally and professionally. In terms of work, it means getting better at building digital relationships and engaging customers through webinars and other virtual events. (Molly wrote a whole article about this–see Springboard blog article.) In terms of team building, Covid has presented many challenges. Before Covid, Junum would have in person staff retreats to help foster relationships. Since Junum is a nutrition company - the employee retreats always have the best food. Unfortunately, Covid has forced these retreats to be put on hold, but Molly is looking forward to many more employee retreats in new locations with fantastic food. In the meantime, Molly makes sure there are thoughtful, special events to break up the monotony of the Covid routines for the employees. She fosters the remote team relationships by holding bi-weekly “Tea Time’’ zoom calls to just chat among employees and catch up on life without mentioning work. This has been a great way to build friendships and learn more about the team. It’s important to have social time to build relationships.
Covid has pushed Molly to find a good balance between taking care of her home, prioritizing self care, and fostering relationships with friends and family in new ways. Although she does miss travel for work and for personal travel adventure, she is thankful not to spend so much away from home. She much prefers her own cooking to airport food!
Molly is excited that 2021 is a year where health systems are focusing on the importance of technology that actually benefits physicians instead of creating more work for them. Digital health technology that is made correctly should reduce pain points for physicians and improve the clinician experience. Molly is proud that Junum is a new way for physicians and other providers to embrace technology that helps improve patient outcomes in a way that saves clinician time and improves patient outcomes. It is amazing for Junum to be part of such a big shift in the way care is delivered. For more information about Junum please contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Investment and Upcoming WebinarJanuary 05, 2021
Malnutrition (a nutrient imbalance, deficiency or excess) is an ongoing issue in healthcare linked to higher infection rates, longer lengths of stay and increased risk of mortality—all with devastating impacts on hospital revenue and overall patient outcomes. Malnutrition is a common, complicated, and costly problem for hospitals. Insufficient tools and disconnected care processes make it difficult for hospitals to grasp and fully address the issue. In fact, 20-50% of patients experience malnutrition in the hospital setting, yet only 5-10% are diagnosed. Junum’s technology helps hospitals address the critical “blind spot” of nutrition in patient care today.
Junum works by helping hospitals understand and address malnutrition to maximize the value of their clinical team and deliver exceptional patient care. Our intuitively-designed tools operate within existing EHR workflows, giving clinicians easy access to nutrition insights that drive improved outcomes. Junum’s physician tool increases revenue and reduces risk by improving quality through real-time clinical decision support and malnutrition tracking.
Jumpstart Foundry Invests in Junum
The Jumpstart Foundry (JSF) recently announced the second round of 2020 portfolio selections. JSF enables and empowers the most promising innovations in health. More than 200 startup companies applied and only five were selected for the Fall 2020 cohort.
Junum is excited to be included in the Fall 2020 cohort along with Butterflly Health (behavioral health solution), Patient Forecaster (emergency medicine AI-powered advanced labor management platform), TeloPoint (care management), and RevKeep (post payment medical audits).
The JSF is a Nashville-based venture capital firm that is excited to Make Something Better in health. Each year, the JSF invests in 20-25 innovative health companies that are expected to have a major impact in the health domain and drive strong financial returns for Jumpstart’s investors. Each startup company that is selected to participate in a cohort is guided and supported through JSF’s systematic, step-by-step process. These companies are connected with Jumpstart’s network of industry experts.They will also participate in the Jumpstart Refinery which is a JSF exclusive digital community for networking that supports growth acceleration.
Learn more about Junum:
Our Founder & CEO, Molly Hegarty, MS, RD, LDN will host a free informational webinar on Thursday, January 21 at 1pm EST.
Molly is a former Intel engineer and a Registered Dietitian. Her nationally recognized unique technical and clinical expertise empowered her to develop our efficient, effective digital healthtech solutions.
Sign up here: http://bit.ly/JunumJanWebinar
We look forward to helping you improve malnutrition care at your facility using our technology.
Read the Jumpstart Foundry Announcement here:
ASPEN Malnutrition Awareness WeekNovember 08, 2020
Junum is proud to help sponsor Malnutrition Awareness Week.
Malnutrition Awareness WeekTM
Date: October 5-9, 2020
Join ASPEN, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, for ASPEN Malnutrition Awareness Week on October 5-9, 2020.
It’s a week filled with valuable educational webinars and sharing of informational materials. Continuing education credit is available for most of the webinars that week. ASPEN is accredited to provide medical, pharmacy, nursing and dietetic credits.
The goal of Malnutrition Awareness Week is to educate healthcare professionals on early detection, prevention, and treatment of malnutrition; educate consumers/patients to discuss their nutrition status with healthcare professionals; and to increase awareness of nutrition’s role on patient recovery
Join the conversation online by using the hashtag #MAW2020. For more information and to register, visit www.nutritioncare.org/maw.
TMCx Demo Day 2019May 18, 2020
TMCx Demo Day for digital health drew a standing-room-only crowd to the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute on June 6, 2019 to hear presentations from the 19 companies in the TMCx08 cohort.
Malnutrition is insidious, and, coupled with a focus on treating the patient’s presenting illness, often goes unrecognized in patients presenting to the hospital or clinic. Malnutrition leads to numerous complications and prolonged recovery times. Junum is making great strides in stopping this vicious pattern. TMC Innovation is proud to call Junum a part of its community knowing that the founding team understands the nuances and complexities of malnutrition. Junum’s technology seamlessly integrates into the caretakers’ workflow eliminating barriers of implementation. Junum empowers the user to coordinate complex malnourishment cases while capturing the value of care rendered. Companies like Junum need to be a part of everyday medicine as we focus our efforts to deliver higher quality healthcare at a lower cost.
–Lance Black, MD, MBID – Associate Director, TMCx
Read the article: TMCx Demo Day offers digital health solutions for urgent issues.
State of Care: Evolving Industry VideoMay 01, 2020
Make America Healthy AgainApril 15, 2020
Written by: Margaret Dittloff, MS RDN
While we await the official results of the 2020 election, let’s examine this Stat News commentary “Make America Health Again” about the lack of health care policy and support for nutrition despite the fact that nutrition is a critical component of everyone’s health and wellbeing. Dr. Rahman and Mr. Ross point out that “the majority of Americans (are) being both overfed with unhealthy foods and undernourished with healthier ones.” Nutrition has been under valued and under-represented in America’s healthcare systems. They highlight the following suggestions for our next administration:
- Refocus research on nutrition
- Make health food more affordable and unhealthy food less affordable
- Teach doctors about nutrition
- Provide food assistance program incentives for healthy eating
- Use the bully pulpit & hold food industry accountable (especially in ads and merchandizing techniques)
I would also add that we need CMS and private payers to cover and fully reimburse the nutrition services of Registered Dietitians (RDNs). Dietitians are the trained healthcare professional experts in food and nutrition who can help provide that nutritional guidance that doctors are missing.
Lastly, we need we need better nutrition data in EHRs to help alert doctors to their patient’s nutritional problems. But we need that nutrition data to be structured and interoperable (something I’m exceedingly passionate about) to it can follow the patient and flow between consumer health apps and different EHR systems.
ICD10monitor Podcast Talk Ten TuesdaysApril 01, 2020
ICD10monitor’s popular Talk Ten Tuesdays show reports on current issues related to medical coding, clinical documentation integrity (CDI) and payment methodologies to help providers in all settings. In this week’s show, Molly Hegarty MS RD, founder and CEO of Junum, reports on possible revenue loss when the presence of a malnutrition diagnosis is not documented appropriately, and Dr. McClain Blanton, a physician advisor with the Brundage Group, reports on the clinical aspects of the study.
Beyond CCs and MCCs: Say Hello to HCCs and APR-DRGs