Primary Cares Initiative Tests Value-Based Pay—Will It Work for You?

By Krishnan Narasimhan M.D.
May 8, 2019

The road from fee-for-service payments to value-based care has been a bumpy one for the entire health system. Current models have not found the most effective way to pay and incentivize primary care.

At an April 22, 2019 event in Washington, DC, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new payment models that aim to transform primary care through value-based options. This Primary Cares Initiative 1 will also test financial risk and performance-based payments for primary care physicians. The voluntary initiative includes five new payment models under two paths—Primary Care First (PCF) and Direct Contracting (DC). These models will be rolled out in 20 states starting in 2020. Continue reading “Primary Cares Initiative Tests Value-Based Pay—Will It Work for You?”

Best Practices for Engaging Physicians in Health Technology

By Ted James, MD, MHCM
March 28, 2019

Advances in health technology allow health care professionals and organizations to meet ever-increasing demands for performance improvement—or at least that should be the case. The problem is that the adoption of technology in health care is a slow process with many hurdles. Wearables, predictive analytics, remote medicine, EHRs, digital health, AI, diagnostic algorithms, self-care apps, and next-generation clinical decision-support all have the potential to improve patient care; however, fundamental issues with usability and implementation need to be addressed for physicians to engage with these health innovations. Continue reading “Best Practices for Engaging Physicians in Health Technology”

The Physician Side of the Medicare-For-All Debate

By Krishnan Narasimhan M.D.
February 28, 2019

As the 2020 presidential campaign is getting into high gear with a host of candidates, health care continues to take center stage. Specifically, the Medicare-for-all proposals from Democratic candidates and members of Congress have become a key issue. These proposals could represent the biggest access change in health policy since the Affordable Care Act.

It pays for physicians to understand and be engaged in health policy as it will dictate their practice life, their patient’s health, and the future of health care. However, unraveling competing proposals is not always easy. Let’s take a deeper look. Continue reading “The Physician Side of the Medicare-For-All Debate”

Why Physician Leaders Can No Longer Ignore Health Policy

By John E. McDonough
January 24, 2019

For most physicians and physician leaders, health policy is an annoyance and distraction that happens “over there” in Washington DC, state capitals, and elsewhere.  The ways and means of politics and policy making are mysterious and not worth the bother.

In today’s U.S. health care system, that attitude makes less and less sense from institutional, professional, and personal points of view. Continue reading “Why Physician Leaders Can No Longer Ignore Health Policy”

Time Management for Physician Leaders—Accomplish More of Your Goals

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM
January 10, 2018

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else“
Peter F. Drucker

Physicians have a crucial role to play leading health care transformation. The problem is that there is no end to competing interests vying for our time. Most of us respond to increasing demands by putting in longer hours—which inevitably takes a toll on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Soon, all of our time becomes consumed by busywork, and we miss opportunities to realize our vision and make a lasting and meaningful impact as leaders. This ultimately leads to frustration and a lack of fulfillment. Fortunately, steps can be taken to be more effective with time: Continue reading “Time Management for Physician Leaders—Accomplish More of Your Goals”

The Science of Health Care Improvement: Overcoming Unintended Variation

By Ted James
November 29, 2018

“Uncontrolled variation is the enemy of quality.”
– Edwards Deming

Widespread variations in clinical practice that cannot be explained by differences in medical condition or patient preference are routinely observed across multiple specialties and clinical settings. The problem with unexplained variation in health care is that it negatively impacts clinical outcomes, increases the cost of care, and diminishes value for our patients. Continue reading “The Science of Health Care Improvement: Overcoming Unintended Variation”

The Future of Patient Engagement in the Digital Age

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM, FACS
October 10, 2018

We live in a digital age of information and innovation, where technological advances continue to make accessibility and independence the norm. Health care, however, has a peculiar relationship with technology. Although we have experienced life-changing advances in medical science, health care delivery systems often fail to meet today’s expectations of convenience, transparency, and choice. Most other industries are far ahead of health care when it comes to engaging with the people they serve (e.g., Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, etc.). As a result, people are less willing to accept the delays, inconvenience, and lack of control traditionally experienced in health care. We are unlikely to succeed in achieving high-value care (i.e., greater quality, lower cost) unless our health care systems can factor patient engagement into the equation. A digital health revolution is coming, and those who prepare and are ready to adapt stand to reap the benefits. Continue reading “The Future of Patient Engagement in the Digital Age”