In this 20-minute podcast, Owen Dahl, MBA, FACHE, CHBC, author of Think Business! Medical Practice Qualtity, Efficiency, Profits discusses the current issues facing our representatives in Washington including -- his best guess on the 10.5% Medicare issue, the difference between national health insurance and single payer insurance, who are the key players to watch in Washington, the changes in DC that will have an impact on private practices, and how physicians and adminstrators can keep in touch with their representatives and how they can get involved on a local level.
Dr. Jeff Gruen, Chief Medical Officer of Revolution Health discusses How Well-Informed Patients Make Better Patients. In this 20-minute podcast Dr. Gruen discusses why patient education is so important, the types of patient education materials patients should have and how physicians can work with patients to provide quality patient education materials. He also gives examples of how well-informed patients are better patients (with better clinical outcomes). http://www.revolutionhealth.com
David B. Nash, MD, MBA, FACP, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Health Policy at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia author/editor of 17 books, and repeatedly named by Modern Healthcare to the top 100 most powerful persons in healthcare list is interviewed about his latest book, Practicing Medicine in the 21st Century, published by the American College of Physician Executives, www.acpe.org
Tune in to hear nationally-recognized expert Owen Dahl discuss the following: The impact on the overall health care legislative picture based upon the results of the recent Congressional elections, who are the new “key” players (and the key issues) to watch in the 110th Congress, status of the 5% across the board SGR mandated cut of the physician fee schedule and what role administrators and physicians can play with healthcare issues and politics.
It isn’t too late to contact your state reps. If Congress does not take action over the next few weeks, physician Medicare reimbursements will be cut 4.4% beginning January 1, 2006 and will have nearly 30% in cumulative cuts over the next six years. This effect will have reimbursement rates for physicians at the same levels of the early 1990s!
If Congress does not act, this will be a devastating hit to physician practices. In the medical practice management community we are already seeing evidence of medical practices in bankruptcy. Problems of increasing overhead costs, increasing administrative burdens and increasing liability costs continue to strain practices. Medicare reimbursement is a crucial issue for the viability of many medical practices. If these cuts are enacted, many physicians will choose to cut Medicare services to older patients. Although this may seem like a fix, many other private insurers tie their reimbursements to the Medicare RBRVS system and follow Medicare’s lead. Not really a fix. From a health policy standpoint, won’t this result in elderly patients finding it increasingly difficult to be treated by physicians? Not to mention a drive of patients to already under staffed emergency rooms? Doctors have a huge stake in this issue in Washington.
You need to act now to contact your senators and representatives and health staffers on Capitol Hill. Tell them you are angry with these reimbursement reductions and you won’t be able to implement the government plans for EMRs and quality improvement with these planned reductions in your practice income.
Here are some ways to have your voice heard.
1. Alliance of Specialty Medicine -- Call 1-866-899-4088 and follow the prompts to be connected to your Senators’ and Representative’s offices in sequence.
2. AMA’s Grassroots Hotline at 800-833-6354
Nancy Collins Publisher, The Journal of Medical Practice Management
SoundPractice interviews Dr. James Rice, Vice Chairman of The Governance Institute. Topics discussed are how private practice physicians can help hospitals respond to society's call for more transparency in healthcare. They also discuss the three key characteristics of effective physician participation in hospital and health system governance.
Dr. Eric Novack, MD, practicing orthopaedic surgeon, health policy expert, and radio interview show host discusses his vision for what consumer-driven health care should look like in the United States of America. Various topics include HSA's, views on running a medical practice and using radio to discuss healthcare.
SoundPractice editor-in-chief of The Journal of Practice Management interviews pioneer healthcare policy blogger and strategist Matthew Holt of San Francisco. After a short chat about blogging, they discuss consumer driven health care and what the private doctor's office needs to do to get ready for empowered patients armed with HSAs.
SoundPractice and interviews Dr. Richard L. Reece, Editor-in-Chief of Physician Practice Options and author of "Voices of Health Reform." Topics discussed are the future of healthcare and areas where the private practice can prepare, such as understanding the consumer driven environment, HSA's, and pleasing consumers.
These years have seen a burgeoning of the science of medicine. Diagnostics and therapies that were nearly unimaginable have become commonplace. The best of American medicine is indeed among the worlds best. Though we spend a greater portion of our GDP on health than any other nation, there remains as yawning a gap in access to these wonderful services. In this Editorial from The Journal of Medical Practice Management, Marcel Frenkel, MD, MBA, provides a snapshot of American medical practice in 2005.
Based on the February 2005 Kaiser Family Foundation Health Poll Report, 1,200 respondents were asked to rate the factors they believe to be driving healthcost cost increases. The results were interesting.
It is interesting to note that these respondents represent the general population at large and not individuals experiencing the highest cost impact for drugs and health care services. Their perception is that costs are driven by greed and waste. In actuality, the last four reasons -- aging population, use of expensive technology, absence of incentives to hunt for lower-cost services and the number of malpractice suits -- are the real drivers behind health care cost increases. Source: www.kff.org
Here we are folks. Republicans are threatening to change the Senate rules on filibustering judicial nominees (51 votes in the Senate would be sufficient for confirmation rather than the current effective rule of 60). Democrats are threatening that if the rules are changed, they will be bring the work of the Senate to a screeching halt by requiring the Senate to observe all rules meticulously. Let's forget party affiliations for a minute. What would this mean for the legislative agenda important to physicians. ?
Top two items: malpractice reform and preventing future reductions in Medicare reimbursement for physician services caused by the so-called "sustainable growth factor".
Will the Senate will find some way out of the corner it seems to be painting itself into? How likely was it that the Senate was ever seriously going to be able to enact malpractice reform in the first place? Does the fact that Medicare issues would likely be addressed late in the legislative session provide us with some insulation? Should we be putting our woolies on now to guard against the deep chill? Inquiring minds want to know.