Coding News

Contests to search for solutions to health IT challenges PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 07:53
The ONC hopes to identify trends that can be used in advisory and policymaking activities.
MGMA: HIT, ACOs top medical practices' struggles PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 05:24

For the fourth year, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) polled its members to find out what issues have been keeping physician group leaders up at night. According to the MGMA 2011 "Medical Practice Today: What Members Have to Say" research, the top five challenges of running a group practice are as follows:

5. Implementing and/or optimizing an accountable care organization (ACO)

4. Selecting and implementing a new EHR system

3. Dealing with rising operating costs

2. Participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' EHR Meaningful Use incentive program

1. Preparing for reimbursement models that place a greater share of financial risk on the practice

As in years past, some perennial concerns, such as coping with rising operating cost and adopting an EHR, shuffled amongst themselves. But, not surprisingly, preparing to practice in a post-reform world dominated the challenges expressed by this year's 1,190 individual respondents.

In fact, all four r...

Med groups take 'wait-and-see' approach to ACOs PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 05:02

The challenges of creating or optimizing an accountable care organization (ACO) currently rank among the top five pressures faced by medical groups, according to a recent survey from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). And with the difficulty of achieving a return on investment from an ACO as the proposed rule is drafted, medical groups' concerns could be valid.

The idea of two-way risk-sharing, a way of penalizing ACO participants that don't achieve savings, is troublesome for medical groups, according to a recent article in New York's Democrat and Chronicle. "The risk-sharing part wasn't in the legislation," Donald Moy, an attorney with the law firm of Kern, Augustine, Conroy & Schoppmann, told the newspaper. Moy's firm represents the New York Medical Society, which has been skeptical of ACOs.

Even though the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Read more...

Insurers buying up physician groups to control costs PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 02:54

In their latest move to protect their profits, health plans and even Wall Street investors have entered the fray of the physician-buying spree already kicked off by hospitals, Kaiser Health News (KHN) reports. Leading the trend is UnitedHealth Group, which has been quietly buying medical groups and launching physician management groups throughout the country. In the interest of controlling costs by managing doctors directly, other large insurers, including Humana and WellPoint, have indicated they also will follow suit.

The strategy is simple: "The doctors, at the end of the day, control the patients, and currently they're financially incentivized to do more tests, more procedures," Chris Rigg, a Wall Street analyst for Susquehanna Financial Group, told KHN. "But, if they're employed by a managed care company, they're financially incentivized" to do less.

As a result, "Many patients insured by these companies are going to see much tighter management of their care," KHN repo...

Receptionists take on the brunt of patients' emotions PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 01:24

Although we often focus on how clinicians, particularly physicians, can provide more empathetic, compassionate care, there's been little credit given to front-line administrative staff for the skill in managing patients' emotions as part of carrying out their other duties. But a new study out of the United Kingdom takes a deeper look at the role of the medical office receptionist and offers advice on how practices can set up front-desk staffers for smoother interactions with patients.

For the study, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, lead author Jenna Ward from the York Management School of the University of York in England observed and interviewed nearly 30 receptionists in general practice offices throughout the country. During the course of the three-year study, Ward watched front-desk employees work directly with up to 70 patients and family members in a single day. According to a summary of the study in the New York Times, the receptionists' "emotion...

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ICD-10 Corner

9 benefits of ICD-10

1. Measuring the quality, safety and efficacy of care
2. Designing payment systems and processing claims for reimbursement
3. Conducting research, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials
4. Setting health policy
5. Operational and strategic planning and designing healthcare delivery systems
6. Monitoring resource utilization
7. Improving clinical, financial, and administrative performance
8. Preventing and detecting healthcare fraud and abuse
9. Tracking public concerns and assessing risks of adverse public health events

More details..

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