It’s been three years since the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act (PPACA) became law.  There have been widely divergent opinions published by journalists on the impact of the law for Americans: from a rose-colored account from the New York Times, to a not-so-peachy account published at Reason.com.  Few doctors have ventured into this discussion. The need for health care cost reform I should start by saying that I am biased.  I grew up in ...

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American Medical News has an important article - Will a “silent exodus” from medicine worsen doctor shortage?

Frustrated by mounting regulation, declining pay, loss of autonomy and uncertainty about the effect of health system reform, doctors are cutting back the number of hours they work and how many patients they see. Between 2008 and 2012, the average number of hours physicians worked fell by 5.9%, from 57 hours a week to 53, ...

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Obamacare is changing the image of the doctor we know and love. For better or worse, gone are the days of a physician carrying a black bag and making house calls. The new-age doctor is someone who is probably comfortable communicating via text message (secure, of course), or by email. With the rising demands of a new dimension of healthcare delivery, where doctors need to see more patients to make up ...

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It was recently the Affordable Care Act’s third birthday, but you might have missed it for all of the (lack of) attention it received.  Sure, there was the usual back and forth from the law’s supporters and opponents, but almost nothing that provided any new insights. Supporters, such as the liberal New York Times editorial page, marked the ACA’s anniversary by touting the tens of millions already being helped ...

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Even stronger controls have just been set out for HIPAA. They come in the final regulations for the Omnibus Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or the HIPAA rule. The new rules became effective March 26. However, medical offices and business associates have until September 23 to comply. Mostly, the changes affect patient requests and approvals, breach reporting, and business associates. Along with that, the penalties for noncompliance have gone up. ...

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People are people, whether they are identified by their career or their role in the healthcare process. So, whether you’re working with a referring physician or a patient, it’s important to consider emotions, their role in the sales process and how they drive and destroy value.  One of the most valuable emotions to have in our business is loyalty. Loyalty is what providers work towards with referring physicians and what ...

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First I believe our health care system must be better so I’m always curious to hear how others might propose to fix it. I recently had the opportunity to listen in two conversations with businessman David Goldhill about how healthcare might be made better. Goldhill lost his father to a hospital acquired infection and witnessed multiple errors during his hospitalization which compelled him to write not only a piece in ...

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Ensuring that Americans who live in rural areas have access to healthcare has always been a policy priority.  In healthcare, where nearly every policy decision seems contentious and partisan, there has been widespread, bipartisan support for helping providers who work in rural areas.  The hallmark of the policy effort has been the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) program– and new evidence from our latest paper in the Journal of the ...

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I’m sure that many of you have read the New York Times post  titled "Job Prospects are Dimming for Radiology Trainees." I don’t know about you, but this article made me feel more than ever that in order to choose the right specialty, you have to predict the future of the field. Don’t choose a field that’s going to be heavily affected ...

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We are frequently reminded by the General Accounting Office and CMS that a great proportion of Medicare health costs are incurred in the last three months of a patient’s life. Health care policy experts have tried to reduce these costs by encouraging end of life planning.  Living wills, health care directives and the availability of hospice and palliative services will not put a dent in these costs because of human ...

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