Clarifire Conversations

October 13, 2019

Elevating Patient Satisfaction and the Patient Experience

There is a lot of focus on patient satisfaction and experience in healthcare, and for good reason.  Patient Experience is a key contributor to overall hospital quality measures and insurance reimbursements.  In addition, patient satisfaction and experience have been linked time and again to improved patient outcomes.  Although we sometimes view satisfaction and experience as the same thing, they are different.  Both satisfaction and experience are equally important and require ongoing communication passed between caregivers, as well as from caregivers to patient.  A famous physician from Canada, Sir William Osler, once said: “A good physician treats the disease and a great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”(1)  The same applies to patient satisfaction and experience.  Focusing on creating a satisfied patient who has a positive experience is the key for driving hospital quality and patient loyalty. 

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October 08, 2019

Where Would You Anticipate an Increase in Distressed Loan Activity?

Nearly half of mortgage servicers indicated that they felt the western region of the US was most likely to see an increase in distressed inventory for the latter half of the year. This was one of the key findings from Auction.com’s 2019 Disposition Summit Client Survey Report

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September 29, 2019

Leadership Rounding Equals Staff Engagement

A large number of leaders in healthcare agree that staff engagement within a hospital is an essential component for delivering quality patient care, with an empathetic experience, that will result in the best clinical outcomes.  Since most of the insurance reimbursements are tied to quality measures, staff engagement has become progressively more essential to healthcare organizations’ bottom line.  Amid the competitive landscape and caregiver shortages, organizations are faced with the challenge of vying for the most qualified candidates. 

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September 20, 2019

Servicers get ready … NOAA predicts another “above-normal” hurricane season

The 2019 hurricane season is already off to a troubling start with Hurricane Dorian having caused an estimated $1.5 billion to $3 billion in insurance losses across the Caribbean. Even tropical storm Barry is estimated to have caused as much as $600 million in damage in the Southeast, including Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) updated its predictions for the current hurricane season, increasing expectations for an “above-normal” season.

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September 15, 2019

Evidence Based Healthcare with Innovative Technology

Healthcare organizations have recognized that to keep pace with industry growth, regulatory requirements, and increased responsibilities, caregivers require the aid of innovation.  In the past, physicians and nurses had paper charts and labor-intensive processes.  Manual processes took away precious time needed for patient care.  Fortunately, caregivers today have the opportunity to tap into the entire patient history while in the room with the patient.  This is a huge improvement from even five years ago.  Many industry thought leaders have been paving the way, replacing paper processes and antiquated technologies with robust, mobile solutions that enable caregivers to improve patient care on-the-spot.  Whether it be behind the scenes helping the operations, or front and center in the patient room, technology is changing the game. 

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September 06, 2019

License Required for Nonbank Servicers in New Jersey

New Jersey recently joined a handful of states seeking to increase regulation and oversight of nonbank mortgage servicers. The Mortgage Servicers Licensing Act went into effect just over a month ago and created new requirements for nonbank servicers doing business in the state.

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August 30, 2019

FedRAMP Authorized Solutions: Which One is Right for Your Agency?

As digital transformation evolves, agencies continue to migrate to the cloud to modernize operations, keep up with technological advances, and gain efficiencies.  Choosing the wrong vendor solution results in hidden costs and time delays.  Selecting the vendor that provides the most short-term gain balanced with long-term efficiencies is no small task.

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August 25, 2019

Care Coordination Roadblocks: Need A Strategy?

At the core of its mission, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) strive to achieve the highest level of quality care for patients, thereby reducing waste and cutting related costs for hospitals.  Regardless of the approach, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) states an essential component for ensuring the best results is to embrace strategies that will support quality across the entire patient journey of care.  More specifically, improving communication and collaboration between points of treatment can remove roadblocks that prevent top-quality care.  The three biggest areas of concern for breakdowns in care happen to patients with chronic conditions, patients admitted to the Emergency Department, and patients transitioned to Long Term Care.  We have some insights on the strategies used by thriving ACOs that help resolve care coordination issues. 

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August 23, 2019

Servicers Subject to Expanding State Oversight

In addition to federal regulations enforced by government agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), mortgage servicers are subject to state regulations within the states they conduct business. And in the case of New York, those regulations can be as demanding, if not more so, than federal requirements. Even servicers that don’t operate in New York must keep a close eye on proposed changes to state requirements that have the potential to impact or increase today’s burden of compliance.

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August 15, 2019

Don't Miss the Opportunity as Foreclosure Rates Continue to Drop

Although foreclosure rates are frequently touted to be at historic lows, servicers must still prepare for quarterly upticks and unexpected market changes that can quickly drive up foreclosures episodically. Increases in delinquency and foreclosure rates are in various quarterly reports, in numerous geographic pockets, and more frequently in areas where natural disasters occur.  Despite improved economic factors, the industry still needs to consider interest rate volatility, stagnating housing starts, latent home appreciation, and rising consumer debt.  Let’s not leave out talk of a forthcoming recession.  Last but not least, our industry has changed since we last saw serious delinquency risk, making awareness and readiness more important than ever.

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July 26, 2019

Have Servicers Outgrown the Old Way of Doing Business?

The past decade has been a challenging one for mortgage servicers, with countless time and resources spent on high volumes of delinquencies, rigorous loss mitigation standards, and growing investor requirements. Looking ahead to the next ten years, stakeholders are asking if the old servicing model still makes sense for a transformed industry.

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July 21, 2019

Joint Commission Preparedness: The Success Strategy to Improve Results

As part of their continuous efforts for healthcare facilities to achieve zero harm, the Joint Commission conducts an on-site accreditation survey at least every 39 months.  The survey’s purpose is to evaluate and measure organizational compliance with standards of patient safety and quality of care.  Because deficiencies found by surveyors are placed on a performance improvement plan, the best strategy is to be proactive and reduce the number of infractions occurring by being well prepared.  A common approach endorsed by the Joint Commission is for organizations to conduct ongoing mock surveys.

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July 12, 2019

Highlights from the 2019 Ginnie Mae Summit

In May, we shared with you a sneak peek of what to expect at this year’s Ginnie Mae Summit.  With promises of an “in-depth, top-to-bottom perspective on Ginnie Mae’s business,” it certainly did not disappoint.  If you missed this exciting industry event, we’ve got you covered.  From government lending policy changes to Ginnie 2020, here’s what you need to know.

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July 07, 2019

A Data Driven Approach to Patient Safety

We all know, providing a safe environment for patients to recover is a fundamental part of offering quality patient care that fosters the best possible outcomes.  With healthcare demands as they are, it can be challenging for organizations to balance complying with regulatory requirements while creating the safest place for patients to heal. Lean staffing ratios combined with regulatory, operational and administrative burdens can lead to increased safety issues.

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June 28, 2019

From Mainframes to Modernizing Mortgage Technology

It appears that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will finally get the technology modernization it deserves.  This year Congress approved $20 million in funding for FHA’s technology infrastructure, coinciding with several initiatives to retool systems that are decades old. This funding acknowledgment will support significantly enhanced technological capabilities that will benefit the industry as a whole, as well as individual lenders and servicers.

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June 26, 2019

Recruiting and Retaining the Best Physicians with Technology

With policy and payment reform tied to quality care and clinical outcomes, hospitals need first-rate physicians that will help to drive changes and process improvements.  Once these physicians are on board, the onus is on the hospitals to do their best to engage and retain them.  One sure-fire way to do that is by providing physicians with all the tools they need to perform to the best of their ability, in the least amount of time.

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June 21, 2019

CFPB Supervisory Findings Show Avoidable Policy Violations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently published its 18th Edition of Supervisory Highlights, reviewing supervisory actions taken in the latter half of 2018.  The Supervisory Highlights outline four sectors that received significant supervisory attention.  Mortgage servicing once again made the list, alongside automobile loan servicing, deposits, and remittances. The findings related to mortgage servicing violations reiterate the need for up-to-date policies and procedures, as well as mechanisms to ensure adherence.

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June 14, 2019

How to Help USDA Borrowers Navigate Available Support Programs

It has been a difficult year for many rural American families, particularly those that farm. From unprecedented flooding, tornadoes, and tariffs, the “perfect storm” of challenges could have a historical impact on areas of need. During this time, many farmers and homeowners are likely to turn to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its Rural Housing Service (RHS) for support. Mortgage servicers have a big part to play in preparing and managing an influx of homeowners seeking disaster relief and loss mitigation options.

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June 09, 2019

3 Hospital System Concerns and the Solutions to Manage Them

Despite ongoing government initiatives for policy and regulation, the healthcare industry continues to grow exponentially. Hospitals must be nimble, flexible, and run a tight ship to remain financially solvent. Growth and staffing shortages, combined with what has become a consumer-driven industry, means that healthcare executives are competing for staff, resources, and patients at the same time they are striving to provide quality patient care and work within a smaller budget. In this environment, healthcare organizations must look at their most significant concerns and areas with the most opportunity for improvement in the shortest amount of time. 

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June 06, 2019

Take Notice Servicers…More Veterans are Choosing VA Loans

New research suggests a growing number of service members are opting for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage programs over other alternatives. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Quarterly Consumer Credit Trends report for the first quarter of 2019 dug into first-time service member home buying trends.  The results should remind mortgage servicers of the need to stay on top of VA-specific policy requirements, especially the VA’s expanding disaster relief loss mitigation requirements.

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May 30, 2019

CFPB Revisits Landmark Servicing Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently published an assessment of the significant mortgage servicing regulatory overhaul that went into effect in January 2014. To assist borrowers in avoiding foreclosure, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) required the consumer watchdog to expand the scope of regulatory and supervisory oversight of mortgage servicing under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The legislation also required the CFPB to conduct an assessment of major rulemakings within five years of the effective date – bringing us to 2019. 

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May 23, 2019

OCC Joins Regulating Agencies to Embrace Innovation in Financial Services

As part of its ongoing innovation initiative, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has announced its own Innovation Pilot Program. The pilot will complement several ongoing programs and efforts, including the creation of the new Office of Innovation, “innovation hours” programs at various offices, and the availability of bank charters to fintech companies. Moving another step forward, the innovation pilot will establish a “sandbox” environment where financial institutions can test innovative products and services in a controlled environment.

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May 16, 2019

Don’t Put Your Vendor Partnerships at Risk as Innovation Progresses

A lot of industry attention is currently focused on the finish line for the digitizing of the mortgage business, with mortgage lenders, servicers, and vendors in countdown mode.  In this environment, it’s important not to lose sight of the risks that lay along the route. Additionally, digitizing the mortgage lifecycle only represents a portion of the evolving automated mortgage process, which encompasses expanding data and privacy requirements, the increase of mobile applications, and much more. 

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May 16, 2019

5 Hot Topics from the 2019 Patient Experience Symposium

Hospitals want to provide a great patient experience, but at times it can be a challenge. The hot topics and emerging trends covered at this year’s Patient Experience Symposium appropriately pointed out that Patient Experience is more than one single thing done by a single person.  Instead, Patient Experience must be a mission, one that is owned by every team member within the organization.  Clarifire was there to discuss the issues and collaborate with providers on how to improve the patient experience.  In case you couldn’t be there, here’s our key takeaways from the conference.

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May 09, 2019

Ginnie Mae Summit 2019 - Are you registered?

Following this year’s MBA National Secondary Marketing Conference and Expo, the mortgage industry is looking forward to Ginnie Mae’s 2019 Summit. Subject to registration approval, lenders, servicers, investors, document custodians, policymakers, and members of Congress are already set to attend this annual event.  Taking place in Washington, DC from June 13 through June 14, 2019, this year’s summit promises an “in-depth, top-to-bottom perspective on Ginnie Mae’s business.” While there will certainly be a lot of developments to come out of the conference, we have a sneak peek of what to expect.

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