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

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/

How many times did you go to the doctor last year?

According to a recently released government data brief, in 2012:

  • There were an estimated 929 million physician office visits, or 301 physician office visits per 100 persons
  •  Females (342 visits per 100 females) had more office visits overall than males (258 visits per 100 males)
  • The visit rate for adults aged 65 and over was 592 visits per 100 adults
  •  The visit rate for adults aged 18–64 was 264 visits per 100 adults
  • The visit rate for children under age 18 was 232 visits per 100 children

Source: “Variation in Physician Office Visit Rates by Patient Characteristics and State, 2012,”NCHS Data Brief Number 212, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, September 2015, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db212.htm#findings

Diabetes awareness

The CDC and doctors team up for a diabetes initiative. With 90 percent of people who have pre-diabetes unaware that they even have the condition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association are calling on doctors to ramp up screening efforts and raise awareness about the risk factors for developing a full onset of the disease.

Calling all stakeholders – working together to reduce readmissions

Readmissions become bigger issue for primary care physicians CMS penalties on hospitals with high readmission rates have put pressure on primary care physicians to help keep patients from needing additional inpatient stays. Physicians are using post-discharge care management programs and forming accountable care organizations that focus on performance-based care. Medscape (free registration)

Doctor, the patient will see you now

Study looks at harms of poor doctor-patient communication Female patients with chronic pain who reported they had experienced poor communication with their physicians expressed anger and said they wanted to avoid additional care, a study in The American Journal of Medicine showed. “Our work indicates that the effects of patients feeling that their doctor doesn’t believe or understand them can be damaging both emotionally and physiologically. This could lead to worsening of illness, known as the ‘nocebo response,'” said lead author Maddy Greville-Harris. BeckersHospitalReview.com (1/29)

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