iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Seeing Medicare and Medicaid Patients

According to a recent survey, 73.1% of physicians do not limit the number of Medicare patients they see, and 63.7% of physicians do not limit the number of Medicaid patients they see. Source: 2016 Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns & Perspectives, The Physicians Foundation, September 21, 2016.

They may be ‘satisfied’ but are they getting the value they need?

Most Health-Insured Adults are Satisfied With Their Primary Care Physician

Salesforce recently released its 2016 Connected Patient Report on adults who have health insurance and a primary care physician. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • 91% of patients are satisfied with their primary care physician.
  • 3 in 4 patients (76%) use phones to communicate with their doctors and set appointments.
  • 62% of patients rely on their doctors to manage their data, while 29% keep their records at home.
  • Half of health-insured patients (48%) report having the same doctor for the past 10 years.
  • 1 in 3 patients feel their doctors would not recognize them walking down the street.
  • 62% of patients would be open to virtual care treatments as an alternative to in-office doctor visits.

Source: Salesforce, June 27, 2016

What revenue does a physician generate for their hospital?

According to a recent survey, the average net revenue generated on behalf of an affiliated hospital is as follows:

  • $1,560,688 by a single physician
  •  $2,746,605 by a full-time orthopedic surgeon
  •  $2,448,136 by an invasive cardiologist
  •  $2,445,810 by a neurosurgeon
  •  $2,169,693 by a general surgeon
  •  .$1,493,518 by a family physician
  • $1,830,200 by a general internist

Source: “Survey: Each Physician Generates an Average $1.56 Million a Year Per Hospital,” Merritt Hawkins News Release, April 12, 2016, http://www.merritthawkins.com/uploadedFiles/MerrittHawkins/Pdf/2016%20Merritt%20Hawkins%20-%20Inpatient-Outpatient%20Revenue-%20Press%20Release.pdf

Majority of Physicians Accepted Pharma Payments in 2014

I was under the impression that this practice had ceased??

ProPublica recently conducted an analysis on the relationship between physician prescribing practices and money received from pharmaceutical companies in 2014. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Nearly 90% of cardiologists received payments from a drug or device company in 2014.
  • 7 in 10 internists and family practitioners received payments from a drug or device company in 2014.
  • Nationally, about 3 in 4 doctors across five common specialties received at least one payment in 2014.
  • Nevada has the highest proportion (90.3%) of doctors who received payments in 2014.
  • Internists who received no payments had an average brand-name prescribing rate of about 20%.
  • Internists who received more than $5,000/year prescribed brand-name drugs 30% of the time.

Source: NPR, March 17, 2016

What should the alert expectation be?

According to a recent study of the electronic logs of 3 large practices, primary care physicians received a mean of 76.9.electronic notifications each day, while specialists received a mean of only 29.1 notifications per day. Source: “The Burden of Inbox Notifications in Commercial Electronic Health Records,” JAMA Internal Medicine, March 14, 2016, http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2500026

What should the expectation be? What’s a good ratio of patients to alerts? Does the disease burden and morbidity play a role here?

State Board information available to consumers

A newly released report of the Informed Patient Institute, done in conjunction with Consumer Reports,  that evaluates what type of information is available to consumers on medical board websites nationwide. Medical boards are state government agencies established to protect the public from the unprofessional, improper and incompetent practice of medicine. Seeking Doctor Information: A Survey and Ranking of State Medical and Osteopathic Board Websites in 2015 http://www.informedpatientinstitute.org/Seeking%20Doctor%20Information%20Online.pdf

After evaluating 65 state medical and osteopathic board websites, the report concludes that the information you find on these sites varies greatly—and all can be improved to make it easier to access information about doctors.  In some states, a site may be easy to use, but have little information about a doctor.  In others, the information may be comprehensive, but is hard to find.

Sixty-one criteria were used to evaluate the boards including their search capabilities, complaint process, general board information, and what types of information about board disciplinary actions, hospital actions, malpractice, Federal actions and criminal convictions could be found on an individual doctor.  Each website was rated on a scale of 1 to 100.  The results ranged from a low of 6 (for the Mississippi Board) to a high of 84 (for the Medical Board of California).  All of the state medical board websites were rated using the signature Consumer Reports Red and Black circles. The report also includes over 20 recommendations for making medical board websites more consumer-friendly. The report is also available at Consumer Reports’ Safe Patient Project, and is mentioned in the latest version of Consumer Reports magazine cover story on doctors.

The health care business model is changing

According to a recent report, 18% of physicians have changed their business models to provide certain services. Within that group, those services include the following:

  • Virtual technology: 51%
  • One-stop shopping: 41%
  • Behaviorial health services: 24%
  • Pharmacist services: 19%
  • House calls: 17%
  • Group visits: 9%
  • Other: 11%

Source: “Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: February 2016,” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, February 25, 2016, http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-february-2016/

Communication With Health Providers

Among adults who reported having poor communication with their health providers in 2012, Hispanics had the highest percentage (11 percent) followed by blacks (10 percent) and whites (7 percent). (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, Chartbook for Hispanic Health Care.)

New From AHRQ: Evidence-Based Strategies for Developing Effective Physician Feedback Reports

Performance feedback reports help physicians assess the care they provide with the ultimate goal of improving quality, patient experience, and optimum use of resources. However, their effectiveness depends on how they are designed and implemented. AHRQ’s new funded resource, Confidential Physician Feedback Reports: Designing for Optimal Impact on Performance tackles this situation and offers a wide variety of healthcare organizations (hospitals, medical groups, health plans, professional societies, regional collaboratives, and dissemination and implementation campaigns), the evidence-based strategies needed to optimally support quality improvement.

Whether you are refining or creating a new physician feedback report system, this AHRQ resource will help your team implement these four evidence-based strategies: identify a clinical focus to improve, ensure the input data supports the report aims, optimize the functional use of the reports, and deliver reports to promote impact. The report can be found at http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians-providers/resources/confidreportguide/index.html?utm_source=PSListserv&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=1&utm_term=14&utm_campaign=AHRQ_ConfReports

 

The Use of Telehealth Continues to Grow

According to a recent survey of family physicians, 15% use telehealth in their practices overall; 29% use telehealth in rural practices versus 11% in urban practices. Source: “A First Look at Attitudes Surrounding Telehealth,” The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP),ThinkAnthem and the Robert Graham Center; November 13, 2015, http://thinkanthem.com/sites/default/files/ThinkAnthem%20Telehealth%20Report_2.pdf

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