Archive for May, 2013

Bill Would Let Texas Doctors Get Data From Driver’s Licenses

May 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Health care providers in Texas could soon collect or verify patient information by swiping that patient’s driver’s license.

The measure allowing such data collection is one of a handful that the Texas Medical Association is pushing this legislative session to help modernize medical practices. The association is also backing bills that would standardize preauthorization forms used by health plans for prescription drugs and health care services.

Of course, this is why we have electronic medical records.

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Modern Physician: Survey shows Primary-care docs generating more hospital revenue

May 12, 2013 Leave a comment

While physicians in general generated less net revenue for their affiliated hospitals last year, primary-care doctors generated more, on average, than other specialists, according to a survey of hospital chief financial officers conducted by Merritt Hawkins (PDF), an Irving, Texas-based physician recruitment firm.

According to the survey of 102 CFOs conducted in January, physicians in the 18 specialties tracked by Merritt Hawkins brought in an average of almost $1.45 million to their affiliated hospitals—a 9% decrease from the $1.54 million recorded by physicians in 2010, the last time the survey was conducted. But the revenue generated by the direct admissions, procedures, tests and other services ordered by family physicians, internists and pediatricians equaled almost $1.57 million, which was up around 13% from the almost $1.39 million recorded in 2010. (Although it was still below the almost $1.6 million reported in a 2004 Merritt Hawkins survey.) And, while orthopedic surgeons (more than $2.68 million) and invasive cardiologists (almost $2.17 million) were the top revenue-generating specialties, the average figure for the 15 non-primary-care specialists was more than $1.42 million.

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ACOs: The Least Agreed-Upon Concept in Healthcare? | Accountable Care Organizations

May 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Five common arguments against accountable care organizations, commentary from experts on each, and an update on Detroit Medical Center’s ACO.

1. In the grand scheme of healthcare spending, ACOs’ savings will be slight.

2. ACOs were designed on a premise that overestimated the level of integration in healthcare.

3. ACOs won’t work when healthcare still operates in a fee-for-service system.

4. ACOs will move patients out of hospitals and hurt hospitals’ revenue.

5. ACOs take healthcare back to the 1990s.

What will prove the ACO model?

The healthcare industry is still in a waiting game as far as ACOs’ results. Although a few mature ACOs like AdvocateCare (and it’s important to keep in mind that the term “mature” means that ACO is only about three years old) have reported hopeful results from its first year. Other newly launched ACOs are not yet able to disclose results. For Medicare savings, the industry has its eye on the Pioneer ACOs, and results from those 32 organizations are expected this summer.

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Nitin Chhoda, A Licensed Physical Therapist Shares the Most Common Medical Billing Errors to Physical Therapy Practices

May 12, 2013 Leave a comment

More and more healthcare providers have chosen to outsource their medical billing process so that they do not have to worry about committing unnecessary billing and coding errors. Licensed physical therapist, Nitin Chhoda, recently released the most common medical billing errors to practitioners in order to minimize denials on their future medical billing process.

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The great EHR switch

May 12, 2013 Leave a comment

With more electronic health record systems continuing to fall short of providers’ expectations, a recent report by Black Book Rankings suggests that 2013 may indeed be the “year of the great EHR vendor switch.”

From the 17,000 active EHR adopters polled, report officials found that as many as 23 percent of medical practices were dissatisfied enough with their EHR systems to consider trading up in the near future.

“The high performance vendors emerging as viable past 2015 are those dedicating responsive teams to address customers’ current demands,” said Black Book’s managing partner Doug Brown, in a press statement.

And in light of Stage 2, officials say provider demands are only increasing. EHR users polled cited numerous cases of software firms underperforming enough to lose crucial market share, with vendor solutions often struggling to keep pace.

Barry Blumenfeld, chief information officer at the eight-hospital MaineHealth, is among those switching EHRs. MaineHealth is in the process of transitioning from Allscripts and MEDITECH to Epic’s EHR. When describing the Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager system it had previously, Blumenfeld said it was a “good product,” but really lacked integration capabilities with ancillary and the departmentals. “I’ve been a fan of interoperability my whole life, but I have to say it hasn’t gone quite as fast as we would like, and the thing that’s very important about Epic,” he explained, is that it integrates all workflows for seamless movement between different products.

— This was, of course, inevitable, and it is a good thing.  It takes time and practice to know what you need and how to use it when you get it.  EHR is one of the most important innovations in health care, and there will be mistakes, disasters, and wasted money before we get things right.

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