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May 5, 2010 News No Comments

gulf coast ortho

The administrator at Gulf Coast Orthopedic Specialists (FL) claims his practice’s full utilization of MedInformatix EMR and practice management system has allowed it to meet or exceed nearly every MGMA best practices index. In the last three years the five physician group has dramatically improved its A/R, grown the practice, and reduced billing staff from nine to five. In reading the short case study, it sounds like the administrator should also get some credit for recognizing the practice’s lack of full system utilization and for pushing the staff take advantage of the software’s capabilities. When the administrator joined the practice, MedInformatix had been installed for two years. He brought in more training and led the charge for better system deployment. Successful implementations require a champion (or three.)

ClearPractice, a SaaS-based solution for smaller practices, names Dr. Gary Ferguson CEO and president. Ferguson is the former president and CEO of NotifyMD. ClearPractice, by the way, is the former GenesysMD, so even though the name is fairly new, the company has about 4,000 provider clients. In addition to Ferguson, the company is hiring additional sales talent.

Over their career, cardiologists earn an average of more than $5 million, compared to $2.5 million for primary care specialists. While that’s quite a gap, even the primary care docs might feel some consolation knowing they still earn more than the average business school grad ($1.7 million) or PAs ($847,000) or regular old college grads ($341,000.)  Meanwhile, policy-woks need to figure out how to lessen the gap between specialists and primary care to make primary care a more attractive option for medical students.

Not only are primary care physicians not compensated as well as their specialist counterparts, their workloads are expected to increase 30% over the next 15 years. More for the policy-woks to ponder. Undoubtedly technology will be an underlying component of many of the proposed solutions.

sadler clinic

Twenty-four Sadler Clinic (TX) physicians resign, forcing management to lay off 38 clinical and clerical staff members. The resignations, representing a quarter of the practice’s doctors, come after Sadler changed its policy for compensating physicians (to supposedly make payments more equitable between general practitioners and specialists, by the way.)  Messing with peoples’ money (in Texas or anywhere else) rarely ends well.

The athenahealth folks have a new blog that will be multi-authored, and include posts from Jonathan Bush. Bush’s first piece is entitled, “Ceci n’est pas un Blog.” Now who is not going to want to take a peek at a musing with such a catchy title?

Emdeon buys an minority stake in Enclarity, forming a new strategic alliance to develop tools that help payers identify provider data errors at the claim level.

lebow

Massachusetts internist Dr. Robert LeBow says he may forgo potential stimulus money because he’s not interested in adding an EMR, claiming they are too complex and controversial.  Other doctors worry that even if they purchase an EMR, promised savings from efficiencies will never materialize, or, computer incompatibilities will keep them from sharing records with other physicians. It will be interesting to discover just how many other Dr. LeBows are out there, choosing to accept Medicare penalties and lower reimbursements  over going digital.

merdianEMR launches a new patient check-in system that uses the iPad.

P4P studies could increase medical disparities experienced by racial and ethnic minorities and people of  low economic status. A new RAND study suggests that typical P4P payments are lower for practices serving vulnerable communities, creating an incentive for providers to deselect patients with poor outcome measures. In other words, P4P may have the unintended effect of diverting medical resources away from the communities that need these resources the most.

inga

E-mail Inga.

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