The other day a colleague and I were discussing a topic to be presented at an upcoming conference: “How much wellness is too much wellness?” This got us contemplating. What exactly is “wellness?” Can you ever spend too much time pursuing wellness? Or is “too much wellness” merely a surrogate for a much bigger problem with the way we’re approaching wellness in the health care setting? According to the 2018 Medscape ...

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Physician burnout rates hover around 50 percent, and the adverse consequences are serious. Burnout is associated with increased medical errors, suboptimal care, turnover and personal costs, including substance use, depression, and suicide. The financial cost to health care organizations is significant: replacing a physician is estimated to cost at least $500,000. Plus, physician turnover results in care disruption, patient access issues and lost revenue for hospitals to which the physician referred ...

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In 2017, the flagship multispecialty practice of Oregon Medical Group, moved into its new digs -- a 46,000 square foot redesigned medical office building. Practice leaders and the 30-odd clinicians in six different specialties were committed to a coordinated patient experience. They wanted to ensure that patients could move smoothly between sequential visits with different care providers -- on the same day. To this end, the group invested in a ...

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Have you ever wondered why most people who volunteer have an overall more positive outlook on life? Giving back to your community and serving others through volunteer work can benefit your life a variety of different ways. My list below outlines the power of volunteering and its surprising benefits. 1. Volunteering affects your thoughts. Being able to connect with others, even animals, can improve your mood. Humans are social beings who require ...

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I’ve written a lot about the tough challenges that those of us with chronic illness face (chronic illness includes chronic pain). I thought it would be constructive to take what I tend to think of as negatives and see if I could turn them into positives. Sometimes I had to dig deep to turn a negative into a positive; nevertheless, here are the results of my experiment. Negative: I don’t look ...

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“The ones you leave behind ...” That phrase often connotes loved ones who have lost a family member, friend or colleague through death. I have thought of the same phrase often lately in a different context — one of increasing prevalence. Here, I refer to the patients and colleagues left behind by the loss of a primary physician. No one would begrudge the retirement of a physician who has served his or her patients ...

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Editor's note: This story contains a racial slur crucial to the writer's story. Life has a funny tendency of unexpectedly throwing things your way. We, physicians, deal with this regularly. You never know what’s lurking about to put a huge dent in your day. Particularly vexing are ugly circumstances that rock your core. And few strike such a nerve as bigotry. When encountering a confrontational individual, our natural response — via human ...

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Medical practices with risk-adjusted contracts must sharpen their diagnosis coding. Practices that are part of accountable care organizations (ACOs) or that have risk-adjusted contracts with commercial payers have an economic incentive to accurately report the disease burden of their patients. In fee-for-service medicine, physicians are paid based on the fee schedule associated with a CPT code, and any modifier attached to that code. The diagnosis code establishes the medical necessity ...

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By their nature, fee-for-service reimbursement schemes incentivize procedures over prevention. This creates a serious moral hazard: If you keep your patient panel healthy through early interventions and exhaustive lifestyle counseling, then there are fewer profitable procedures to do. On the other hand, if you let your patients become critically ill, then you will be rewarded handsomely for all of the (now) medically necessary procedures and tests that you can perform ...

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I decided to become a doctor at the tender age of eight when I met my first patient — my grandmother, Grandma Sylvia. After spending two years in the midst of the Liberian civil war, she arrived in the United States with diabetes, hypertension, obesity and nearly blind due to glaucoma. One of my new chores was helping administer her daily insulin injection. I also had the privilege of accompanying Grandma ...

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