News

Does telemedicine help or hurt the doc-patient relationship?

As the role of telemedicine expands, not all doctors believe that the movement is good for their relationships with patients. But doctors can meet a lot of healthcare needs without an in-person visit--as long as a physician has the patient's medical history, Joseph Scherger, vice president for primary care and academic affairs at Eisenhower Medical Center in California, told Medscape

Arming docs not the answer to prevent office violence, experts say

A Philadelphia psychiatrist who returned fire on a mentally ill patient in his office last week "without a doubt saved lives," stated Yeadon Police Chief Donald Molineux in a press conference following the incident, as reported by the Delaware County Daily Times.

Visuals help patients understand risk for shared decision-making

To achieve the benefits of shared decision-making, patients first need to understand the information physicians present them. There are a variety of ways physicians can present risks and probabilities to patients, each of which has a potentially different level of meaning for the patient, according to a recent blog post from NPR.

The case for a better breakroom

Interested in making your physicians and employees more productive, more loyal to your practice and less stressed? Redesigning your breakroom may elicit bigger changes than you'd think, according to Healthcare Design Magazine

How social media can extend the care experience

While shared medical appointments offer patients with like conditions the ability to support and learn from one another in person, emerging social media platforms can offer similar benefits from a distance. What's more, medical practices that embrace this trend can achieve better patient engagement while delivering a strong marketing message, according to an article from Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News.

ACA reality: Expect the unexpected

Almost exactly a year ago, FiercePracticeManagement described key ways to prepare your office for healthcare reform, including steps to ready your practice for a predicted influx of new patients. Reality brought some surprises in that arena, however, and more. New patient visits actually declined slightly in the first five months of the Affordable Care Act, according to a report from AthenaHealth.

Shared medical appointments show promise in primary care

Thus far, much of the research surrounding shared medical appointments (SMAs) involved specialties dealing with chronic conditions such as diabetes. SMAs may have a promising place in primary care, particularly as part of the patient-centered medical home, according to a new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Ending bad work relationships is a team responsibility

When it comes to dysfunctional work dynamics, any single member of the team has the power to change behaviors for the better. That's the silver lining of an otherwise gloomy study published recently in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

Physicians balk at recertification requirements

Although board certification was once a lifelong credential, obligations mount for physicians to maintain their certifications throughout their careers. And according to a recent article from Kaiser Health News, many physicians consider emerging recertification requirements to be not just onerous, but worthless in terms of improving the way they practice medicine

Practice tip: 5 ways to renew your morning huddle

To start your day right, practice management experts often recommend gathering your team for a five-minute morning huddle. This strategy can build morale and help the practice run more smoothly. However, as with any routine, this exercise runs the risk of growing stale. To make this time worthwhile, here are five ideas to freshen things up.

Fine-tune your practice with smart marketing

Your office schedule is jam-packed, with new patients waiting weeks or months for an appointment. If you don't necessarily need to generate more business, should you invest in marketing your practice? Yes, Keith Borglum, a practice management consultant, appraiser and broker, writes in Medical Economics.

3 ways to streamline prior authorizations

Administrative tasks burden today's physicians more than ever before. Obtaining prior authorizations for tests and treatments from payers is one of the leading productivity zappers, an activity which the nation's physicians spend 868.4 million hours per year, according to a recent article from Medical Economics.

New programs aim to cut costs by increasing primary care physicians pay

Despite their central role in maintaining patients' overall health, primary care physicians have traditionally been on the low end of the pay scale compared to specialists. But programs driven by the Affordable Care Act have offered doctors the opportunity to up to double their pay if they keep patients healthy, MedCity News reported. And according to participants, the trend reversal has resulted in more than enough savings to fund the physicians' extra income.

Rising expenses force PCPs to shrink practices

While debate continues about whether independent practices will exist in the future, it's clear that many solo physicians contend with vast challenges. A recent article from the Dallas/Fort Worth Healthcare Daily relays the story of Ripley Hollister, M.D., a primary care physician who says rising expenses and falling expenses forced him to shrink his practice.

NP autonomy expands in Kentucky

Nurse practitioners (NPs) in Kentucky can prescribe routine medications without a doctor's involvement starting this week--if they completed a four-year collaboration with a doctor, Kaiser Health News reported.

Relationships top predictor of patient loyalty

With payer networks narrowing and patients' out-of-pocket expenses rising, patient loyalty isn't what it was. But while many variables go into a patient's decision of whether to stick with a healthcare provider, research compiled by Medscape indicates strong relationships are critical to patient retention.

4 tools to help physicians, staff and patients manage stress

I'm planning a trip to an amusement park with my family this summer and I'm stressed. While the kids are with sheer joy counting down the days to roller coasters, swimming, exciting sights...

NPPs establishing firm role in practices

The good news keeps rolling in for practices that use nonphysician practitioners. Not only can the extra help from nurse practitioners and physician assistants help practices enhance revenue, but physicians who embrace the trend are generally happier with their practices. 

3 ways ACOs may expand liability

Malpractice experts point out the ways accountable care organizations could be vulnerable to malpractice litigation, according to  Oncology Practice.

Bring employees together to boost performance

In today's challenging healthcare environment, you count on your employees to perform at their best. Physicians Practice recently compiled 12 expert tips for keeping office staff motivated. A common theme throughout the advice was creating a sense of togetherness among your employees.