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News 4/8/14

April 7, 2014 News 1 Comment

From Luliu: “Re: Public data. Am I the only physician concerned that CMS is releasing Medicare payment data on 880,000 physicians?” As early as Wednesday CMS will begin releasing details on the amount Medicare paid 880,000 individual health providers for their services in 2012. For years physician advocacy groups have fought to prevent having this billing data posted publically, arguing it invades the privacy of doctors. However, consumer groups and employers have finally won the argument that the data helps evaluate clinicians. Sure, plenty of nosy folks will look up the information just to see how much different providers are making, but the data will also help identify doctors’ expertise performing certain procedures and assist with fraud detection efforts. Look for a flood of opportunistic companies to pounce on this new source of big data.

4-7-2014 6-56-02 AM

Physician participation in the PQRS program increased 36 percent from 2011 to 2012, while participation in the eRx program jumped 22 percent. Despite the strong growth rates, only 36 percent of all EPs participated in PQRS in 2012; only 44 percent of EPs in the 2012 eRx program.

US practice administrators aren’t the only ones experiencing job stress as a result of increased patient loads, an overabundance of administrative tasks, and tightening budgets. A survey of UK practice managers working for general practitioners found that more than two-thirds have recently contemplated quitting their jobs due to discontent over increased workload complexity, rising intensity, stress, and hours.

Antelope Valley ACO (CA) selects eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record for population health management to advance its ACO-related objectives.

I found this opinion piece from The Huffington Post pretty offensive. The author, who is listed as an “etiquette expert,” offers tips for people sitting in physician waiting rooms. My irritation started at the first sentence: “We all know that doctors are often unable to meet their appointment times.” Rather than chastise patients for sprwaling on the furniture and not keeping their voices down, how about telling  physician and staff members that it’s wrong to make patients feel as if the clinician’s time is more valuable than the patient’s, aka, the customer? Or, at least encourage providers to  consider process changes to reduce excess waiting times? Of course not all doctors and staff ignore the value of their patients’ time, anymore than all patients steal the four-month-old magazines and ignore the handicapped patient needing help opening the door.

4-7-2014 5-11-05 PM

Andrew J. Sussman, president of the CVS MinuteClinic, views the role of retail clinics to be “complementary and supportive” of the broader healthcare landscape and believes retail clinics augment, rather than replace primary care physicians and the PCMH model. Sussman notes that the 800-location MinuteClinic is affiliated with 32 health systems and uses Epic’s EMR platform to communicate with other providers.

4-7-2014 2-11-16 PM

The California Medical Association names DocbookMD the association’s preferred provider of HIPAA-secured text messaging for its 39,000 members.

4-7-2014 2-28-12 PM

Highlights from a Black Book Rankings customer experience survey on ambulatory EHRs include:

  • Thirty-one percent of all medical and surgical specialists are “very dissatisfied” with the ability of the EHR to decrease workload, compared to eight percent of primary care doctors.
  • Primary care user satisfaction has jumped in the last six months among practices that implemented an EHR more than two years ago, in part due to improvements in workflow, MU achievements, and better support.
  • More than one-third of primary care providers report a return to normal levels of productivity following their EHR roll-out.
  • More than half of primary care providers said they’d recommend their EHR vendor to a colleague.
  • Top scoring EHRs were Practice Fusion, Greenway, Care360 Quest, and Kareo.

4-7-2014 3-55-54 PM

The amended CLIA regulations, which give patients direct access to their lab test reports, goes into effect Monday, the same day Quest Diagnostics launched MyQuest by Care 360. The MyQuest patient portal allows patients to view copies of the lab test reports from Quest Diagnostics and does not require pre- authorization by a physician.

4-7-2014 4-33-15 PM

EdgeMED, a provider of medical office software, medical billing services, and HIT solutions, acquires physician billing and collections company  Physician’s Billing Alternatives.

4-7-2014 4-31-44 PM

ZirMed acquires the payment processing, patient eligibility, and patient estimation business owned by TransEngen.

How does this happen? A woman with no medical training uses false credentials to get a job as a physician assistant in a medical office. Over an 11 day period last summer she worked unsupervised, seeing about 200 patients before someone anonymously warned the head of the practice. Upon being arrested the woman told police she posed as a PA because it paid $23,000 than her previous job.

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Comments 1
  • “Re: Public data. Sure, plenty of nosy folks will look up the information just to see how much different providers are making…”
    Oh yeah, welcome to America!

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