Critics say consolidation puts profits before coordination

The desire to better coordinate the delivery of healthcare services may also drive up the cost of that care, Bloomberg Businessweek reported

No easy answers: Practicing medicine amid the push and pull of healthcare

I'm not sure if I love it or hate it when this happens, but today's issue of FiercePracticeManagement is an example of one that includes more discussion points than clear-cut advice. Many questions raised by these stories surround the idea of influence--identifying it, disclosing it and attempting to control it.

How much should patients know about their doctors?

How much should patients know about their physicians? Transparency should go further than some doctors say is necessary, Leana Wen, M.D., founder of the Who's My Doctor blog, told the Boston Globe.

Even after lawsuit, doc says defensive medicine harms care

Involvement in a malpractice lawsuit forever changed the way Ruth Kannai, M.D., evaluated her patients' health risks, she wrote in an article published in the Annals of Family MedicineThe family physician compared the way she would handle a situation before the family of a deceased patient sued her versus after--which almost always involved more tests, follow-up and caution than her training or experience taught her was necessary.

Competing pressures put docs between a rock and a hard place

The pressures to reduce costs, avoid lawsuits and please patients increasingly put doctors between a rock and a hard place, according to a recent article from Medscape.

HR plays critical role in surviving health reform

Healthcare organizations that successfully adapt to changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act do so largely with the help of their human resources departments. Organizations strive to reduce costs, improve patient satisfaction and increase patient safety by placing high priority on the following HR-related functions, according to a survey from HealthcareSource and the American Society of Healthcare Human Resources Association.

Overwhelmed by patient load, many docs plan to cutback hours, services

More than 80 percent of physicians surveyed say they have reached their limit on how many patients they can see in a day and many plan to cut back on their services within the next three years by turning patients away or reducing their office hours.

Risk calculators aid shared decision-making

Making a major medical decision is challenging for patients, with an increasingly complex list of factors to weigh, including everything from quality of life to financial expense. And while this process is highly influenced by patients' emotions, new tools for physicians can use data to fairly accurately weigh the risks and benefits of many treatments and procedures.

Make 'open-door' management a more effective tool

Almost all managers tell employees that they have an open-door policy, but often don't follow through on their promise--or at least don't adequately demonstrate to staff how the policy should work, according to a recent post from Inc.

How doctors can overcome social isolation

For as long as I've written about medical practices, a recurring theme is the plight of solo physicians to preserve their autonomy. But one of this week's top stories touches on a darker side of independence. 

Direct-pay practice: Ensure patients know financial risks

Although direct-pay primary care is now more affordable to the masses, many patients remain at financial risk should they need specialty or hospital care not covered by practice membership fees, according to an article from KHI News Service.

Massachusetts General Hospital pilots asynchronous virtual visits for chronically ill

Chronically ill patients who typically see their physicians four or more times per year may benefit from an approach known as asynchronous virtual visits. 

Communication tips for introverted vs. extroverted patients

In almost every practice, there are some patients physicians may find difficult to manage. But just as the ways these challenges manifest themselves differ from patient to patient--such as through noncompliance with instructions, constant phone calls or rude demeanor--the personality traits that drive these behaviors vary by person as well.  

4 tips to tackle cold and flu season

Cold and flu season can make for a lot of extra work for practices, but by planning ahead, your office can take care of patients' seasonal needs more efficiently and with less stress. 

3 risk factors for physician suicide

Physicians struggling with thoughts of suicide are often reluctant to seek help, but new research published in General Hospital Psychiatry identified three powerful risk factors that may help identify doctors who are in danger.

Hold engaging, productive meetings to make them worth your time

Meetings are an inevitable part of every medical practice. They can lead to productivity, but broken meetings also lead to frustration and are bad for business. 

4 ways to address and embrace constructive conflict

People always advise: Don't shy away from productive conflict. Letting problems fester, in the long run, leads to far more miscommunication and preventable issues. I'm far from alone in having trouble adopting this concept into my own behavior. Both professionally and personally, learning to call foul--at the right time, in the right way--is an area of high anxiety.

How to create a culture of universal accountability

Across industries, the highest-performing teams don't rely on a manager to hold members accountable, but rather create a culture in which peers respectfully confront one another, according to a post from Harvard Business Review.

Painkiller restrictions too strict, some docs say

Despite the progress made in reducing the threat of prescription painkiller addiction and abuse, some physicians, including those who once supported tighter laws and regulations, say the restrictions have gone too far in preventing medication access for people in need, according to an article from the Tampa Bay Times.

Practices: Stop stalling on ICD-10

Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) set October 1, 2015 as the official compliance date for providers and payers to transition to ICD-10, many physicians have not taken advantage of the extra time to get ready, according to an article from MedPage Today.