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Topic: Specialized Care & Specialists
Naturopathic Care Can Enhance Diabetes Patients’ Outcomes, Self-Management
Primary care physicians’ (PCPs) attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches range from skepticism to cautious interest to enthusiastic support. Most, however, understandably reserve their judgment about particular therapies and approaches until studies confirm a meaningful clinical benefit. The good news for both physicians and diabetes patients is that some CAM approaches have been proven to generate measurable improvements in outcomes. A study published in the April 2012 issue of BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that naturopathy, a long-standing CAM approach, can serve as a positive adjunct to usual care for diabetes patients by leading to improvements in blood glucose control, patient self-management behaviors, and self-efficacy.
Program Helps Patients With Chronic Illness Reduce Medications, Increases Practice Revenue
The increasing incidence of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension in recent years has placed a heavy burden on the health care system. According to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet, released in January of this year by the Alexandria, Va.-based American Diabetes Association, an estimated 25.8 million Americans currently suffer from diabetes, including an estimated 18.8 million cases that have not yet been diagnosed. The cost of diagnosed diabetes to the U.S. health care system in 2007 was $174 billion, the Fact Sheet indicates.
Recognizing the Need for Pharmacists as Members of the Care Delivery Team
For the past seven years I have served as a member of the board of directors of my local federally qualified community health center. During that it time has grown from a small part-time operation with one physician and fewer than 1,000 patients to an organization with three sites, 14 providers, and more than 12,000 patients.
Think Twice Before Investing in a Specialty Hospital or Ambulatory Surgery Center
Although doctor-owned medical facilities represent only a fraction of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the United States, their increasing numbers have led to an intense debate with political consequences.
After First EMR Was ‘Failure From Day One,’ California Group Gets Second, Customized Model
Success stories about practices that install electronic medical record (EMR) systems to increase efficiency, improve care, and boost income are becoming increasingly common. But other practices have struggled with such technology, and these stories are atypical. For many reasons, an EMR might not meet a group’s needs, and the physicians may find the system creates more work and is at best a hindrance to be avoided.
Report Offers Snapshot of U.S. Physician Practices
Last year, 44% of physicians reported receiving some form of performance-adjusted compensation, according to a report by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) in Washington, D.C. Productivity factors and overall practice financial performance were the most common financial incentives affecting their compensation, and, about 61% of physicians reported that these factors were moderately or very important in determining their compensation, said the report, A Snapshot of U.S. Physicians: Key Findings From the 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey.
Foundation Addresses Health Care Reform Issues
To address the current shortage of physicians, a new report from a physicians’ organization suggests expanding medical education. The report from the Physicians’ Foundation warns that access to medical care will be limited, initially for patients living in rural communities and urban cores but ultimately for patients everywhere, unless the supply of physicians can be expanded.
Can Telehealth Improve Care for Patients with Chronic Illness?
Randy Moore, MD, MBA, the chairman and CEO of American TeleCare, Inc. (ATI), has a surprising opinion about reimbursement for telehealth. He believes that to achieve the outcome-improving and cost-controlling benefits of telehealth, we should not pay for it as a stand-alone technology.
Groups Develop New Models of Care
Compensating for the loss of revenue resulting from declining reimbursement, many physician practices are offering new services to patients. Practices are opening pharmacies to serve their patients and patients’ families, developing partnerships with other physicians, and providing psychological counseling. Among the physician specialists who have perhaps been hit hardest by declining reimbursement are oncologists and so the strategies they are developing may be most useful to other physicians seeking new strategies in a challenging environment.
“Revenue must come from somewhere,” says Teri Guidi, president of the Oncology Management Con-sulting Group in Pipersville, Pa. “Whether it’s joint ventures with radiologists, acquiring their own imaging equipment, or new service lines, virtually everyone has to look at new revenue streams.”
How to Recruit and Retain Specialists
Recruiting physicians is a major undertaking for any medical practice, whether the practice is looking to grow through the addition of an associate, or seeking to fill an open position. With the nation’s diminishing pool of physicians, recruiting takes longer than it did in years past and often requires intensive search activities. Even with professional assistance, the process can take a significant amount of time away from clinical and other administrative responsibilities.
Since there’s a heavy investment of time and resources, it’s little wonder that practices also hope to retain the individuals currently on staff. And because turnover is costly, it’s important that practices retain qualified and productive physicians.