Many health care organizations have long supported congressional action to allow HHS to fund the establishment of a national patient identification system. NPIs would facilitate the matching of patients to their medical records, thus improving efficiency and reducing the risk for medical errors, and would improve the security of Social Security numbers, though cost and patient privacy are issues that must be addressed.
New Jersey State Nurses Association CEO Judith Schmidt says the state has health care deserts with a severe shortage of primary care providers. Advanced practice nurse Meschell Mansor said the state needs to move forward with legislation to eliminate a requirement for collaborative practice agreements between APNs and physicians, a change that nurses see as way of reducing primary care shortages.
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Leaders should use December to review their successes and see what they can learn from what went wrong, writes John Maxwell. "My calendar is only the starting point for me -- I look beyond just where and how I spent my time, and I call to mind the people and purpose for which that time was spent," he writes.
Health tech companies can find working with medical experts difficult because of a cultural divide, so Omada Health product developers vet top physician candidates to make sure they are a good fit for collaboration on new innovations. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carolyn Jasik says clinicians are trained to make decisions, but partnerships are important in industry settings, and it can be a "big culture shock" for physicians when they do not get to unilaterally make decisions.
Many patients are interested in discussing self-care with their physician but physicians may not make that a priority due to a lack of time during appointments, writes Wayne Jonas, M.D., a family physician and executive director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs. Physicians also may not have time for personal self-care, which is a workforce issue, and Jonas says changing the structure of health care and creating a more integrative system can be part of the solution.
Patients expect the healthcare industry to be as responsive as service providers in other fields and would like to see healthcare providers offer after-hours appointments and minimize the number of days they must wait to see a physician, according to a survey by DocASAP. Ninety-percent of respondents said they would try other options including telemedicine or a phone consultation if they could not get an appointment immediately.
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Health IT leaders say cybersecurity and ransomware attacks will remain significant threats to hospitals and healthcare systems in the coming year, but warn new issues are also emerging. NewYork-Presbyterian vice president Leo Bodden cites concerns about market disruptions like the entry of Google, Apple and other technology firms into the healthcare field, while Memorial Healthcare System CIO Jefrrey Sturman warns increased competition from non-traditional players such as CVS and Walgreens is also a cause of concern.
Operating margins at rural hospitals that affiliated with health systems increased by 1.6 to 3.6 percentage points in the first two to five years, according to a study in Health Affairs. On-site diagnostic imaging technologies, obstetric and primary care availability, and outpatient nonemergency visits decreased after affiliation, raising concerns that affiliation could reduce access to care in rural areas, the researchers wrote.
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Using ideas, innovations and entrepreneurship to transform the business of healthcare
The world is full of ideas, and that's especially true when it comes to the business of healthcare. But what exactly constitutes an idea, and how does it differ from an innovation, improvement or invention? That's a question the latest guest on the MGMA Insights podcast can answer. "If you don't innovate, it's unlikely that you will be successful in the future as a physician in a medical group practice," says Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA. Visit MGMA online for more.
Managing financial risk through patient risk scoring
The emergence of value-based payment models has shifted financial risk from payer to provider. Effective risk management requires data-driven decision-making, putting the onus on healthcare providers to apply business intelligence to view expected costs of a patient or population through the lens of a payer. That requires keen focus on how your medical practice handles Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) coding and patient risk scoring, according to Brian Smith, PHD, MBA, CSSBB, principal, Galvanic Health LLC. Visit MGMA online for more.
The Medical Group Management Association, MGMA, connects healthcare leaders with the community, resources, data insights and government advocacy they need to streamline operations and provide better outcomes for patients. By bringing together proven best practices and the expert insights to apply them, MGMA and its over 40,000 members are transforming healthcare.