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YOUR CAREER

Changed jobs: What have I done?

By Lynne Curry You expect to feel angry when fired from a job you enjoy. You expect to feel scared when laid off from a job at which you felt secure. You don’t expect to feel rotten one week after you intentionally make a career move from a job you’ve outgrown to one that promises to be challenging and rewarding. So why are you so rattled during your first week on this new job? Sudden job change takes you from a job and practice in which you know who’s who and what’s what and throws you into situations you need to navigate without a clear road map. Before you have the chance to learn your new employer’s unwritten rules, including whom to trust and who might take things the wrong… . . . read more.

AMA

New physician population likely to be more diverse

The American Medical Association has committed itself to supporting a more diverse population of physicians to replace those physicians leaving the profession. The last two years of pandemic difficulties plus an aging physician workforce will likely result in an exodus from the field and a shortage of doctors. Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., president of the American Medical Association, says, “Across the United States, physicians from all backgrounds have spent the past two years battling COVID-19, serving their communities, and leveraging technologies, new and old, from telehealth to house calls, to treat and manage patients who might be apprehensive about visiting a physician’s office. But even as we transition to what is hopefully an endemic stage of COVID-19 and our country, hopefully, returns to something close to pre-pandemic living, we must… . . . read more.

PATIENT ACCESS

AMA asks Congress to fix Medicare physician payment system

The American Medical Association (AMA) has warned congressional leaders that the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) report sent to Congress in mid-March contains flawed analyses that would imperil patient access to high-quality care. The MedPAC report recommended a continuation of the freeze in Medicare physician fee payments but ignores a host of trailing indicators, none more obvious than the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physician practices. In 2020, there was a $13.9 billion decrease in Medicare physician fee schedule spending as patients delayed treatments. Burnout, stress, workload, and fear of COVID infection are leading one in five physicians to consider leaving their current practice within two years. The letter to Congress includes a chart—based on an analysis of data from the Medicare Trustees—that shows Medicare physician payment has been… . . . read more.

MOM WEBINAR

Learn about changes and updates to telehealth

There’s a lot you need to know about telehealth. That’s why Medical Office Manager is offering a webinar, Telehealth—What Managers Need to Know, on April 6. It’s free to Medical Office Manager members. Presenter Jen Bell of Karen Zupko and Associates will give you the tools and knowledge you need to comply with new telehealth regulations. Meanwhile here is Jen’s update on telehealth changes to early 2022. POS 10 Telehealth Provided in Patient’s Home Patient is located in their home (which is a location other than a hospital or other facility where the patient receives care in a private residence) when receiving health services or health related services through telecommunication technology. Home may be defined to include temporary lodging (hotels, homeless shelters) and patient travels of short distance from the exact… . . . read more.

EMPLOYEE MENTAL HEALTH

Is it poor performance or a personal crisis?

By Paul Edwards Those in the healthcare industry are bound to be ahead of the curve in understanding that mental illness is not a character defect and can be a serious health condition that requires intervention. Despite having a good comprehension of the importance of good mental health hygiene, healthcare professionals tend to fare badly in terms of psychological self-care. While nurses and physicians are at a higher risk of suicide than the general population, this article is focused on employees and how can take the mental health of employees in crisis into account when talking to individuals about their performance at work. Given this past year, just about everyone associated with providing health care, when asked, will tell you they are burned out and tired. Overall, it seems most are facing… . . . read more.

PURCHASING

How to choose a healthcare analytics provider: A checklist

By Kevin Keenahan An effective analytics provider promises to bring novel data sets and insights to the table, optimize workflows, build efficient processes, and deliver superior financial returns in evolving value-based payment models. The challenge for buyers The “analytics” is a complex, nebulous family of functionality and the marketing noise surrounding many applications these days can be extremely misleading. Predicting what the product even looks like post go-live and how clinicians will end up adopting the application is often hard to nail down. Analytics itself covers several applications that all hold immense promise for healthcare applications. For instance: Computer vision solutions can automate diagnoses, Natural language processing can transcribe documentation and obviate simple and non-value-added tasks, and Big data analytics can parse through an ever-growing wealth of data to provide… . . . read more.

SELLING THE PRACTICE

Due diligence in practice acquistions and physician employment

By John W. McDaniel Many hospitals and healthcare organizations are being approached by private practice physicians and physician groups seeking refuge from the unstable state of the healthcare economy and what lies ahead. While many healthcare organizations are employing physicians in order to solidify their market position, others (particularly in rural areas) find this method of physician recruitment most effective in terms of their overall medical staff development plans. Regardless of the reasons why hospitals and/or physicians are seeking to affiliate with one another, one of the most critical components to ensure that a successful transition occurs is performing a Due Diligence Analysis of prospective medical practices. Some of the most critical due diligence components which are a part of any medical practice acquisition are as follows: Rights to Payment… . . . read more.

WORKING WITH DOCTORS

Nearly 7 in 10 physicians now employed by hospitals and corporations, says report

Once upon a time, a medical degree was a ticket to life-time self-employment. That no longer seems to be the case—at least not the “self” part of the phrase. For years, hospitals and health networks have been gobbling up physician practices at increasing rates. And now a new study from the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) finds that, as of the beginning of 2021, just 30 percent of all physicians in the U.S. are practicing medicine independently. The remaining 70 percent are employed by hospitals, private equity firms, health insurers or other corporate entities. Whither the independent physician? In addition to being a fixture of the U.S. health care system, the independent physician has been a part of Americana itself perhaps best captured in the paintings of Norman Rockwell. But now… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

Putting patients first is the best way of enhancing the doctor-patient relationship

By Dr. Neil Baum bio There is nothing in my practice of medicine that equals the joy of focusing on my patients and making every effort to ensure each encounter fosters a positive experience. Well, maybe one thing: positive outcomes. In my experience, the patients with whom I’ve developed close and trusting relationships seem to be better at following treatment plans, which helps improve positive outcomes. For decades, research has found strong indicators that the quality of the doctor-patient relationship impacts health outcomes. One significant finding is that the physician’s knowledge of the patient’s disorders and emotional state is associated positively with whether the physical ailments get resolved. Evidence shows that patients who feel they are not heard or are not respected by their doctors suffer poorer outcomes. A study from Massachusetts General Hospital… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

How to prevent the spread of nurse burnout in your healthcare organization

When COVID-19 hit, healthcare teams were called upon to save the world. And they did. But what healthcare leaders didn’t realize was that the battle has just begun for healthcare heroes suffering a severe mental and emotional toll. As COVID-19 cases rise and fall and rise again, so do physician and nurse burnout. “Executive leaders are cutting back on their resources to the point where they have stopped investing in their people. They’ve stopped offering the very same programs that could help their teams protect their physical, emotional, and mental energy to ride this additional wave,” says Dr. Renee Thompson, founder of the Healthy Workforce Initiative,  a global leader in addressing disruptive behavior in healthcare. Dr. Thompson says when things get tough financially, administrators cut back on education and development… . . . read more.


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