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    As a state licensed life, P&C and health insurance agent; and dual SEC registered investment advisor and representative, Marcinko was Founding Dean of the fiduciary and niche focused CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® chartered professional designation education program; as well as Chief Editor of the three print format HEALTH DICTIONARY SERIES® and online Wiki Project.

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Alternative Medical Payment Models

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Thoughts on an Emerging Hybrid [Two-Tiered] Medical Payment Model

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The Changing Reimbursement Paradigm Shift

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™]

[By Prof. Hope Rachel Hetico RN MHA CPHQ CMP™]

David and HopeCurrent medical payment and reimbursement structures involve the submission and payment of medical CPT® coded claims.

So, some doctors feel they need to “up-code” to maximize revenue; or “down-code” for fear of having a claim denied.

Moreover, this pay-for-quantity model is slowly being relegated to the past in light of current P4P, ACO, and values based reimbursement models that favor modern payment-for-quality initiatives.

Tug-of-War System

Obviously, contradictory business goals bastardize the system into a payer versus provider tug-of-war, with patient care as a potential bargaining chip.

Instituting quality metrics should be included in this equation, and, a hybrid reimbursement model may be a viable option while integrating quality care metrics and reducing costs for all stakeholders.

A Two Tied System

This hybrid reimbursement system might use a two-tiered payment structure something like this:

  1. For the first payment, claims would be paid at hypothetical rate of 60% within one week of submission; partially decreasing office ARs, and favoring the time-value of money [TVM] equation.
  2. The second payment, consisting of the remaining zero to 40% of some total maximum allowable fee, is then paid quarterly. It would be based on scores like patient satisfaction, quality metrics, and stewardship of healthcare resources by analyzing a statistically valid sample of patient encounters taken from the electronic health record [EHR].

Green Dollars

Assessment

Such a hybrid payment system would remove unnecessary steps, like re-submitting claims and would lower the operational and administrative costs of healthcare claims processing.

These changes would decrease operational office costs and drive quality stewardship of the diminishing healthcare dollar.

Conclusion

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Should We With-Hold Payment to Doctors, Financial Advisors and Others Who Make Mistakes?

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A Modified Reprint … and Different Perspective on “Never-Events”

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko FACFAS, MBA, CMP™

Dr. MarcinkoOK; I admit it. I played HS baseball as a youth. Today, I am a doctor and financial advisor. I owned and operated a surgical center and did musculoskeletal surgery for two decades.

Later, as a health economist and financial planner, I acted as an SEC registered investment advisor to medical colleagues for almost 15 years.  I’ve been a reporter, writer and journalist for three decades and Editor-in-Chief of this ME-P for eight years. Along my career path several physician-partners were dual degreed lawyers.

I still am deeply involved in all these activities as a hobbyist, consultant, part-time practitioner, editor and educator. Occasionally, I do make mistakes. There … I admit it. I am not perfect!

For example; I remember the time when I ordered the wrong patient medication dose [noted and corrected by an astute RN] – Dropped an infield fly ball and lost the game – Used the wrong corporate EBIDTA, for an estimated financial calculation, which cost me and the client a few bucks – Referenced the wrong citation and made an author angry – Forgot to check a reference source which made my publisher mad at me – AND – Confused two different medical malpractice cases I was reviewing to the chagrin of my defendant doctor and his attorney; etc, etc.  You get the picture.

Mea culpa – mea maxima culpa!

The Encore Post

And so, it is with delight that the ME-P re-posts the following essay – on mistakes – by colleague Dr. Michael Kirsch who is a gastroenterologist that blogs at MD Whistleblower.

Medical Errors Earn Hospitals Money – Who Knew?

In brief, it goes something like this.

Never-Events

The argument to withhold payment for medical care that resulted from medical error is potent.  This is known as a never-event because it is not supposed to happen – ever! Giving a patient the wrong blood type during a transfusion is a good example of a never-event.

Unfortunately – Keep in mind that defining a medical error is not as easy as it sounds.  One can easily imagine how easy it would be too confuse a medical complication, which is a blameless event, from an error or a negligent act.

Consider This

If the patient develops a complication, should I, the hospital and those I consult not be paid for the additional care required?

Now, by extension, let us consider some other professions in the same way; especially those for which I am associated.

IOW: Would every profession consent to returning fees for mistaken advice or service?  So, do you agree with the following?

  • Financial advisors should return fees if investment performance is below a designated threshold or differs from their peers.
  • Attorneys that offered ineffective legal arguments at trial should surrender fees after appeal.
  • A professional baseball player who drops a fly ball should lose a day’s pay.
  • A newspaper publisher should offer a rebate to all readers if a news story is found to be inaccurate owing to a lack of proper editorial oversight; etc.

I think you get the picture! And, see how I personalized these examples.

More

We realize that mistakes of all types cost money, as do some of the hypothetical examples above.  We also accept that financial incentives can change behavior and can be an effective tool.

Medical-errors

Assessment

But, every human endeavor has a finite error rate and we should be cautious before using an economic drone attack against only the medical profession; or even the others mentioned above … and more.

Let’s use a scalpel here and not a sledge hammer.  And, those of you outside of medicine; please feel free to explain why your occupation should be spared from this health reform strategy?

The Reprint: Would every profession consent to returning fees for mistakes?

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Compensation Trend Data Sources

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By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA

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Related chapters: Chapter 27: Salary Compensation and Chapter 29: Concierge Medicine and Chapter 30: Practice Value-Worth

 

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PERSONAL PREAMBLE

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Physician compensation is a contentious issue and often much fodder for public scrutiny. Throw modern pay for performance [P4P], and related metrics, into the mix and few situations produce the same level of emotion as doctors fighting over wages, salary and other forms of reimbursement.

This situation often springs from a failure of both sides to understand mutual compensation terms-of-art when the remuneration deal was first negotiated. This physician salary and compensation information is thus offered as a reference point for further investigations.

Introduction 

More than a decade ago, Fortune magazine carried the headline “When Six Figured Incomes Aren’t Enough. Now Doctors Want a Union.” To the man in the street, it was just a matter of the rich getting richer. The sentiment was quantified in the March 31, 2005 issue of Physician’s Money Digest when Greg Kelly and I reported that a 47-y.o. doctor with 184,000 dollars in annual income would need about 5.5 million dollars for retirement at age.

Of course, physicians were not complaining back then under the traditional fee-for-service system; the imbroglio only began when managed care adversely impacted income and the stock market crashed in 2008.

Today, the situation is vastly different as medical professionals struggle to maintain adequate income levels. Rightly or wrongly, the public has little sympathy for affluent doctors following healthcare reform. While a few specialties flourish, others, such as primary care, barely move.

In the words of colleague Atul Gawande, MD, a surgeon and author from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, “Doctors quickly learn that how much they make has little to do with how good they are. It largely depends on how they handle the business side of practice.”  And so, it is critical to understand contemporary thoughts on physician compensation and related trends.

Compensation Trend Data Sources

A growing number of surveys measure physician compensation, encompassing a varying depth of analysis. Physician compensation data, divided by specialty and subspecialty, is central to a range of consulting activities including practice assessments and valuations of medical entities. It may be used as a benchmarking tool, allowing the physician executive or consultant to compare a practitioner’s earnings with national and local averages.

The Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA’s) annual Physician Compensation and Production Correlations Survey is a particularly well-known source of this data in the valuation community. Other information sources include Merritt Hawkins and Associates; and the annual the Health Care Group’s, [www.theHealthCareGroup.com] Goodwill Registry.

###

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Assessment

However, all sources are fluid and should be taken with a grain of statistical skepticism, and users are urged to seek out as much data as possible and assess all available information in order to determine a compensation amount that may be reasonably expected for a comparable specialty situation. And, realize that net income is defined as salary after practice expenses but before payment of personal income taxes.

Conclusion

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An Integrated Approach to Healthcare Network Alignment and Scalable Innovation‏

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[Part 5 in a 6 part series]

By Sam Muppalla – Vice President, McKesson Health Solutions Network Performance Management

Previously, on this ME-P, I wrote about the barriers to alignment across product, network, care and reimbursement innovations. And, yes, I teased you with the three-word preview of what was to come this week: Integrated Building Blocks. The idea of building blocks lies at the heart of an approach to achieving alignment and scaling innovation, so let’s dive in.

Unlocking potential administrative, IT and medical savings — while also creating sustainable alignment of the innovation engines — requires various building blocks be in place as a sound foundation for network design and implementation. These building blocks deliver the required functionality in the most efficient manner. When these building blocks are utilized in an integrated fashion, the current barriers are removed and innovation alignment is achieved.

Four Essential Building Blocks

There are four essential network design automation building blocks that comprise the foundation for innovation: networks, contracting, reimbursement and engagement.

Each of these building blocks enables capabilities by delivering necessary functionality within and across the spectrum of network design. Reaching levels of maturity with this capability unlocks additional value and alignment.

Networks

The network building block enables health plans to differentiate and compete. The purpose is to differentiate their value for each customer segment by aligning the product and care model designs with the underlying network designs. It ensures network performance by facilitating the selection of appropriate providers into networks and the alignment of provider reimbursement with network design objectives. It enables networks to be mapped to member-facing and provider-facing products. The provider-facing products can be used for contracting and provider rate differentiation. The member-facing products can be aligned with benefits and serve as steerage targets for benefit designers.

These constructs, in conjunction with each other, enable productization of care model and payment innovation. For example, a health plan could define a “Medical Home Network” that consists of medical homes and supporting providers in a given geography. It could then enable PCMH-specific reimbursement (e.g., PMPM capitation + Fee For Services (FFS) for preventive services + P4P for EBM) by defining a provider-facing product and associating specific reimbursement policies with that provider product. Additionally, it could also define a member-facing product (e.g., PPO Value) which combines the medical home network with the general market PPO network. This in turn will allow the health plan to define a benefit extension which gives a 10 percent premium reduction to members who use Medical Home Network providers for their primary care. In short, a health plan is now able to monetize its care innovation (PCMH), align benefit design to network design for steerage, and align its provider payment with member incentives (around preventive services), while incenting higher quality care (P4P).

The network building block also achieves administrative cost leadership through comprehensive provider data governance and automation of core provider processes.

Contracting

The contracting building block is designed to enable health plans to reduce contract administrative costs while increasing provider payment accuracy. It optimizes the management of the provider contracting lifecycle through the automation of contract authoring, offering negotiating and acceptance while ensuring the standardization of terms and policies. This building block achieves reduced medical expenditure driven by contract standards adherence, reduced claims mis-payments, and increased speed to market for new payment innovations. It also can support rules-based enforcement of network level reimbursement guidelines to ensure consistent network performance.

Reimbursement

The reimbursement building block enables health plans to maximize the effectiveness of their medical expenditures by paying for value versus volume and by incenting team-based performance. It is the single source of truth for all forms of reimbursement including traditional claims pricing, episodes of care, shared savings, capitation and P4P. This building block enables the mixing and matching of reimbursement methodologies to incent optimal provider performance. It supports a modeling engine to analyze the financial impact of reimbursement and contract changes. It incorporates network-aware provider/contract selection for claims pricing intake. This is a rules driven, high performance service that leverages provider relationship information to select the right provider, the right governing contract and the right reimbursement model for each incoming claim. Additionally, it includes provider transparency services that enable health plan provider portals to support online pricing lookups and reimbursement status/detail inquiries for providers. These services can be extended to support provider performance scorecards and benchmarks.

Engagement

The engagement building block is designed to increase collaboration and participation. It enables meaningful engagement among health plans, providers and members in order to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. This building block achieves reduced administrative and service costs, increased member participation and adherence, increased provider satisfaction and adoption of care/payment initiatives, and the enablement of collaborative/integrated care delivery models such as PCMH and ACO.

Utilizing flexible, automated and integrated building block capabilities is the key to sustainable success that not only unlocks the promise of affordable care to customer segments but also delivers on reduced administrative, medical and IT costs. Incorporating information technologies that can facilitate, if not altogether replace, the manual interactions will be an important part of every organization’s evolution.

Assessment

Next week, in our final part 6 of this series, we’ll wrap up this discussion with a look at some of the potential savings health plans could achieve through alignment and an integrated approach to network design. The potential savings are not slight, so stay tuned. As always, if you just don’t want to wait for next week, visit our website and download the entire Unlocking Affordable Care by Aligning Products white paper; it’s available now.

Conclusion

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Health Plans and the Three Levers of Innovation for Affordable Care

Unlocking Affordable Care

Number 2 in a Series of 6

By Sam Muppalla – Vice President, McKesson Health Solutions, Network Performance Management (NPM)

Last week, for the ME-P, I wrote about the increasing Pressure to Deliver Affordable, High-Quality Care.

In the face of those pressures, many health plans have begun to explore innovative approaches to product, care model, and reimbursement designs. What are they doing?

In this second installment of our series about unlocking affordable care, I’d like to take look at how some of the pilots in these areas show promise.

Product Innovation

One path health plans are using to achieve affordable care is through the deployment of value-based insurance designs (VBID). At the heart of this approach is the utilization of member incentives to reduce barriers to high value Rx and services. Conversely, it also incorporates disincentives for low value services or Rx. Typical member incentives include premium reduction, co-pay/coinsurance waiver/reduction, and health reimbursement accounts (HRA). Co-pay increase or cost sharing are typical disincentives. Member steerage to high value providers is another typical goal of VBID. The design of the supporting networks is critical to the success of VBID products. The network design has to ensure that the composition, the quality and the value of the participating providers can fulfill the benefit design and match steerage goals of the member incentives. Furthermore, the network level provider reimbursement guidelines should be complimentary to the member incentives.

For example, member incentive for a preventive exam during a Primary Care Physician (PCP) office visit could be matched by a Pay for Performance (P4P) provider incentive (on top of regular capitation) to perform the examination. Without the incentive, the Per Member Per Month (PMPM) capitation might be a disincentive for the PCP to perform the preventative exam.

describe the image

Figure 1: Network steerage is a critical component of product innovation.

Care Model Innovation

Innovative care models provide another approach to the delivery of affordable, high-quality health services. Population management-based care model designs, such as Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and Accountable Care Organization (ACO) designs, are an important advancement towards affordable care. These designs deploy a care team-based approach rather than a traditional siloed services approach to ensure a continuity of care.

The PCMH care model results in continuity of care via a physician who leads the medical team that coordinates all aspects of preventive, acute and chronic needs of patients using the best available evidence and appropriate technology. The emphasis for PCMH is about collaboration to manage a population’s health.

Another example of a care model with a team-based approach is the ACO care model. In this care model, the emphasis is on accountability for providing the required healthcare services for a defined population. Health plans are rolling out ACO pilots across the nation.

For example, the Pension System (of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System) formed a partnership with the Blue Shield of California Health Maintenance Organization, Catholic Healthcare West, and Hill Physicians Medical Group with the goal of improving quality of care while reducing costs. Some of the early findings are showing positive results:

  • 17 percent reduction in patient re-admissions since the pilot began
  • Length of stay reduced by one half day
  • Almost a 14 percent drop in the total days patients spend in a facility
  • 50 percent reduction in the number of patients who stay in a hospital 20 or more days

These results show that it is possible to utilize care models to improve the quality of outcomes while reducing the cost of healthcare.

It is worth noting that health plans are not limited to adopting one care design innovation over another. Greater benefits can accrue to both consumer and provider by combining approaches—leveraging both collaborative and accountable care designs.

Adoption of population management is forcing a change from paying for individual providers’ services to paying for health management of a population across a team of providers. Supporting this requires the reimbursement systems to understand the structure of the care team, role of the various providers within the care team and the relationships between the providers in the care team.

In other words, it will need to understand the provider network structure to calculate the reimbursement. Another complexity is that providers participating in PCMH or ACO care models may also be directly contracted with the health plan. Selecting which payment arrangement to use in these scenarios will require an understanding of providers’ relationships with the plan.

Reimbursement Innovation

Along with innovations in product and care model designs, health plans are also innovating in the area of provider reimbursement. These innovation efforts primarily focus on enabling incentives for quality and performance, while controlling the rate of medical cost growth. These objectives reflect the need to move away from a healthcare system that bases provider reimbursement on volume to one that bases provider reimbursement on the value of the outcome. Within this approach, a variety of different models are evolving (see Figure 2). 

describe the image

Figure 2: Mixing and matching payment models.

Evolving in parallel with individual models is an understanding that the ability to mix and match different reimbursement designs will deliver greater value than the utilization of just one design. Health plans are mixing and matching different reimbursement methodologies to optimize provider performance. This implies that a provider is likely to have multiple valid payment arrangements at any given time. Picking the appropriate payment arrangement will require the reimbursement engine to understand the role of the provider in the network and the full context of all of the provider’s relationships.

Assessment

Next week, I’ll be discussing why the alignment between products, care models, provider reimbursement, and network design is so important when it comes to scaling these innovative approaches.

If you can’t wait that long for that discussion, you can read the entire Unlocking Affordable Care by Aligning Products white paper now; it’s available on our website.

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Mr. Johnson was the chief financial officer (CFO) of a 222-bed teaching hospital in southern California. Mr. Johnson recognized a lot of problems with the processes within the various revenue cycle departments he managed which impacted cash flow for the facility.  Mr. Johnson met with the hospital chief executive officer (CEO) to express his concerns and the fact that he felt his existing staff did not have the expertise to fix many of the problems they were facing.

Ms. Thomas, the hospital CEO, agreed with Mr. Johnson’s evaluations and concerns and the two prepared a package for the Board of Supervisors to submit a request for proposal to several revenue cycle improvement vendors.  This request was approved by the Board and sent to several vendors with known successful track records in this area.  During the next several weeks the responses were evaluated and a final vendor selected.

It was determined through a Revenue Cycle Performance Evaluation completed by the vendor prior to the kick-off of the engagement that the largest opportunity for improved cash would be to address the bottlenecks in the cash flow, the excessive days in accounts receivable, the backlogged accounts in denied claims and improved process through the entire revenue cycle at this public hospital.

When the engagement began, the net days in accounts receivable were 103 and the time from discharge to final bill was 33 days. The vendor was engaged for a four-year period to provide cash acceleration and revenue cycle improvement on a “pay for performance” [P4P] fee structure.  A historical review of the hospital’s financial data determined an average monthly collection amount (baseline) the hospital was achieving each month prior to the start of this engagement.  The P4P fee structure required the vendor to reach the baseline each month before the hospital was required to pay any profession fees for the services of the vendor.

KEY ISSUES:

What could the hospital do to realize immediate benefits with regard to:

– accelerated cash flow?

– reduced days in accounts receivables?

– streamlined revenue cycle processes?

– better trained existing staff?

– return on investment?

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Conclusion

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Do Passwords Protect the Identity of Patients?

Essay on eDR and eHR Data Integrity

By D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

“ADA Tip: Password protection is the responsibility of each workforce member. Strong alphanumeric passwords provide a strong defense against unauthorized electronic system intrusion. Passwords that cannot be guessed, that are not publicly posted, and that are changed on a regular basis will help your practice avoid the occurrence of security incidents.”

– 2010 ADA Practical Guide to HIPAA Compliance, Chapter 4, page 26.

Not So Fast, ADA 

I read a recent article on lifehacker.com titled “How to Break into a Windows PC (And Prevent It from Happening to You).” The unnamed author tells a different story.

http://lifehacker.com/5674972/how-to-break-into-a-windows-pc-and-prevent-it-from-happening-to-you

Running on Windows®  

Apparently, if a healthcare provider’s office computer runs on Windows and it is not encrypted, password protection is worse than ineffective security. Passwords are false security. If lifehacker.com is correct, all a dishonest employee needs to download thousands of patient identities to sell for a few hundred bucks is a Linux CD and 10 minutes of snuggle-time with an office terminal.

What’s more, it is unlikely that if the thief will ever be caught if he or she sports common sense. Months or years following the silent heist, the doctor could learn of a rash of neighborhood identity thefts from a federal investigator with a badge – waiting in the reception room for the doc’s next break between patients. Please remember this gaping hole in security the next time a HIT stakeholder like the ADA assures Americans that HIPAA is swell protection from identity theft. HIPAA empowers identity theft. The amendments to the 1996 Rule in 2002 gave too much away to campaign contributors, in my opinion.

About De-identification 

Now then; since you’ve made it this far, is anyone ready to consider a different path to the benefits of electronic dental records? It’s called de-identification. My goal has always been to stimulate open discussion of de-identifying dental records because it is so common sense to remove fuses from bombs. In 5 years, I’ve had very little success attracting sincere discussion about de-identification other than privately. Nevertheless, over the years I entertained an adequate amount of ridicule that stopped a few months ago. Like Charlie Brown and his persevering faith in the Great Pumpkin, I’m resolute.

HIPPA Data-Breach Liability 

Physicians might not be able to get away with sidestepping HIPAA and data-breach liability using de-identification because it is so easy to re-identify owners of medical records. And insurance company CEOs who don’t know the difference between cost control and quality control will fight de-identification of dental records before giving up the exclusive right to bend proprietary algorithms toward bonuses.

Here Comes the Pitch!  

Is America interested in better dental care through a transparent 2.0 platform that incentivizes value-based competition for dental patients instead of paid ads? I have a better solution than HIPAA: Drop the PHI identifiers from dental records and store volatile health histories on one or two well-guarded flash drives. It’s that simple. Want to see miracle discoveries in dentistry? Offer the boring but safe raw, de-identified dental data to anyone who cares to perform Evidence-Based Dental research. Interoperability will still be incredibly tedious and expensive, but at least the effort won’t be doomed by dangerous and expensive HIPAA regulations.

Assessment

So how about it? Imagine the incentives for self-improvement if dentists could privately compare their treatment results with competitors’ – without risk of harming their patients or practices – on an “opt-in” basis rather than a mandated fantasy of a “pay-for-performance” [P4P] model run by stakeholders with investors to answer to. If our grandchildren are to benefit from unbiased Evidence-Based Dental research mined from facts rather than manicured dental claims, passwords won’t allow them a return on ARRA investment and encryption is just one more layer of expensive and futile complication.

Conclusion

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Beware Medical and Money Management ‘Groupthink’

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Helping Doctors Understand Peer Comparisons

By J. Wayne Firebaugh CPA, CFP® CMP™

By Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA, CMP™

Source: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

More than a few mutual, hedge and endowment fund managers have noted that they commonly compare their endowment and portfolio allocations to those of peer institutions and that as a result, allocations are often similar to the “average” as reported by one or more surveys/consulting firms.

One interviewed endowment fund manager expanded this thought by presciently noting that expecting materially different performance with substantially the same allocation is unreasonable. It is anecdotally interesting to wonder whether any “seminal” study “proving” the importance of asset allocation could have even had a substantially different conclusion. It seems likely that the pensions and funds surveyed in these types of studies have very similar allocations given the human tendency to measure one-self against peers and to use peers for guidance.

This is a truism in medicine as well as the financial services sector.

Understanding Peer Comparisons

Although peer comparisons can be useful in evaluating your portfolio, or your hospital or medical practice’s own processes, groupthink can be highly contagious and dangerous.

For historical example, in the first quarter of 2000, net flows into equity mutual funds were $140.4 billion as compared to net inflows of $187.7 billion for all of 1999. February’s equity fund inflows were a staggering $55.6 billion, the record for single month investments. For all of 1999, total net mutual fund investments were $169.8 billion[1] meaning that investors “rebalanced” out of asset classes such as bonds just in time for the market’s March 24, 2000 peak (as measured by the S&P 500).

Of course, physicians and investors are not immune to poor decision making in upward trending markets. In 2001, investors withdrew a then-record amount of $30 billion[2] in September, presumably in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. These investors managed to skillfully “rebalance” their ways out of markets that declined approximately 11.5% during the first several trading sessions after the market reopened, only to reach September 10th levels again after only 19 trading days. In 2002, investors revealed their relentless pursuit of self-destruction when they withdrew a net $27.7 billion from equity funds[3] just before the S&P 500’s 29.9% 2003 growth.

Amateurs versus Professionals [is there such a thing?]

Although it is easy to dismiss the travails of mutual fund investors as representing only the performance of amateurs, it is important to remember that institutions are not automatically immune by virtue of being managed by investment professionals.

For example, in the 1960s and early 1970s, common wisdom stipulated that portfolios include the Nifty Fifty stocks that were viewed to be complete companies.  These stocks were considered “one-decision” stocks for which the only decision was how much to buy. Even institutions got caught up in purchasing such current corporate stalwarts as Joe Schlitz Brewing, Simplicity Patterns, and Louisiana Home & Exploration.  Collective market groupthink pushed these stocks to such prices that Price Earnings ratios routinely exceeded 50 [nothing in the internet age]. Subsequent disappointing performance of this strategy only revealed that common wisdom is often neither common nor wisdom.

The Bear Sterns Example

Recall that The New York Times reported on June 21, 2007, that Bear Stearns had managed to forestall the demise of the Bear Stearns High Grade Structured Credit Strategies and the related Enhanced Leveraged Fund.  The two funds held mortgage-backed debt securities of almost $2 billion many of which were in the sub-prime market.  To compound the problem, the funds borrowed much of the money used to purchase these securities.  The firms who had provided the loans to make these purchases represented some of the smartest names on Wall Street, including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Deutsche Bank.[4]  Despite its efforts Bear Stearns had to inform investors less than a week later on June 27 that these two funds had collapsed. The subsequent fate of these firms, and the history of the past two years, need not be repeated to appreciate that the king surely had no clothes.

Assessment

What broader message lies in this post relative to such medical initiatives as P4P, various clinical quality improvement endeavors and benchmarks, hospital peer-review, PROs, Medicare compliance, etc?  

Conclusion

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References


[1]   2001 Fact Book, Investment Company Institute.

[2]   Id.

[3]   2003 Fact Book, Investment Company Institute.

[4]    Bajaj, Vikas and Creswell, Julie. “Bear Stearns Staves off Collapse of 2 Hedge Funds.” New York Times, June 21, 2007.

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Understanding the Medical Career Choice!

Regrets and Recriminations – or Joy and Bliss?

By Eugene Schmuckler PhD, MBA

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

By Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA

www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

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Jimmy’s mother called out to him at seven in the morning, “Jimmy, get up. It’s time for school.” There was no answer. She called again, this time more loudly, “Jimmy, get up! It’s time for school!” Once more there was no more answer. Exasperated, she went to his room and shook him saying, “Jimmy, it’s time to get ready for school.”

He answered, “Mother, I’m not going to school. There are fifteen hundred kids at that school and every one of them hates me. I’m not going to school.”

“Get to school!” she replied sharply.

“But, Mother, all the teachers hate me, too. I saw three of them talking the other day and one of them was pointing his finger at me. I know they all hate me so I’m not going to school,” Jimmy answered.

“Get to school!” his mother demanded again.

“But mother, I don’t understand it. Why would you want to put me through all of that torture and suffering?” he protested.

“Jimmy, for two good reasons,” she fired back. “First, you’re forty-two years old. Secondly, you’re the principal.”

Similar Physician Sentiments

Many of us have had conversations with medical colleagues at which time sentiments of those expressed by Jimmy have been voiced. The career choice that was made many years ago is now, for some reason, no longer as exciting, interesting and enjoyable, as it was when we first began in the field. The career that was undertaken with great anticipation is now something to dread.

The reason for this is occurrence is not that difficult to understand. Two of the most important decisions individuals are asked to make are ones for which the least amount of training is offered: choice of spouse and choice of career. How many college students receive a degree in the field they identified when they first enrolled at the college or university? In fact, how many entering freshmen list their choice of major as undecided? It is only during the sophomore year when a major must be declared is the choice actually made. So, career choices made at the age of 19 might be due to having taken a course that was interesting or easy, appeared to have many entry level jobs, did not require additional educational or professional training requirements, or was a form of the “family business.” Now as an adult, the individual is functioning in a career field that was selected for him or her by an eighteen-year-old.

Judging Career Success

How do we judge career success? A career represents more than just the job or sequence of jobs we hold in a lifetime. The typical standard for a successful career is by judging how high the individual goes in the organization, how much money is earned, or one’s standing attained in the medical profession.

Yet, career success actually needs to be judged on several dimensions. Career adaptability refers to the willingness and capacity to change occupations and/or the work setting to maintain a standard of career progress.  Many of you did not anticipate the managed care, Health 2.0, or political changes in your chosen medical profession, or specialty, when you began your training.

A second factor is career attitudes. These are your own attitudes about the work itself, our place of work, your level of achievement, and the relationship between work and other parts of your life.

Medical Career Identity

Career identity is that part of your life related to occupational and organizational activities. This is the unique way in which we believe that we fit into the world. Our career is only one part of our being. We play many roles in life each of which combine to make up or totality. At any point in time one role may be more important than another [life saving physicians versus retail sales clerk]. The importance of the roles will generally change over time. Thus at some point you may choose to identify more with your career, and at other times, with your family.

inheritance

Career Performance

A final factor is career performance, a function of both the level of objective career success and the level of psychological success.  How much you earn and your reputation factor into, and reflect, objective career success. To be recognized as a “leader” in a medical field and asked to submit chapters for inclusion in text-books, medical journals or new-wave blogs such as this may be a more important indicator of career success than money.

Psychological success is the second measure of career performance. It is achieved when your self-esteem, the value you place on yourself, increases. As you can see, there is a direct relationship between psychological success and objective success. It may increase as you advance in pay and status at work or decrease with job disappointment and failure. Self-esteem may also increase as one begins to sense personal worth in other ways such as family involvement or developing confidence and competence in a particular field, such as consistently shooting par on the golf course. At that point, objective career success may be secondary in your life. This is why many people choose to become active in their church or in politics. Even though one may have slowed down on the job, or in their professional career they can be extremely content with their life.

Case Model Scenario

Consider the following situation.

You are traveling on business. Although you are on a direct flight, you have a one-hour layover before the second leg of the flight and your final destination. Leaving the plane, after having placed the “occupied” card on your seat you walk down the concourse. On the way, you encounter a friend that you knew in high school. The two of you sit to have a cup of coffee and then you realize that your departure time is rapidly approaching. In fact, you will be cutting it quite close. Running down the concourse you return to the gate only to find that the door has been closed, the jetway is being retracted and the plane is being backed away from the gate. You stare out the window watching the plane go to the end of the runway and then begin its takeoff. Something goes horrible wrong and the plane crashes on takeoff, bursting into flames. It is apparent that there will be no survivors.

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Assessment

To the world you are on that plane (remember the occupied card). Traveling on business your generous insurance policy will be activated. In anticipation of being in a location where they may not have ATM machines you have a good deal of cash, sufficient for at least a month.

Conclusion

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On Physician Bonuses

Money and Incentive Pools 

By Brent A. Metfessel; MD, MSbiz-book

Some Managed Care Organizations [MCOs] use medical provider profiles to allocate funds to the top-performing physicians. The MCO may give additional bonuses or preferential allocation of incentive pool funds to providers that perform well on particular cost-effectiveness and quality indices. 

Incentive Pools

Incentive pools are often built based on a certain percentage or “withhold” of dollars that are taken from the providers’ usual reimbursement and placed in a pool.  Top performers would be allocated the greatest percentage.

Example:

One mid-sized health plan in the Southeast paid a 20% bonus to providers with a case-mix adjusted performance ratio (actual/expected cost) of less than 1.3. Although such allocation schemes might incent providers to practice efficiently and with high quality, the MCO should attempt provider education as to the most appropriate practice patterns for the first one to two years after new profiles are introduced. This education should occur prior to introducing monetary incentives, since otherwise the relationship between providers and MCOs may ultimately become strained. 

Assessment

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Unfortunately, money can become a major point of contention between providers and between providers and the health plan.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. How do your bonus pools work; or should work? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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A Doctor – Economist’s Solution for Health Reform

My Laundry Wish List for all US Healthcare Stakeholders

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]Fox News

As President Obama speaks, prods and cajoles, and Congress returns to session to begin work again on HR 3200-3400 or similar, I believe that for any healthcare reform effort to work successfully for the American people – not necessarily be adopted – we need to consider the following in no particular prioritized order:

  • Insurance portability uncoupled from patient employment
  • Health insurance regional exchanges with inter-state purchase competition
  • Doctor, drug, DME and hospital pricing and payment transparency for HSAs, and all of us
  • Modifying or eliminating AMA owned CPT Codes®; a huge money maker for them
  • Abandoning ala’ carte medicine for values-based outcomes
  • Reduce JCAHO influence; encourage competition from Norwegian Det Norske Veritas [DNV]
  • Reduce big-pharma influence thru-out the entire medical education, career and care pipeline
  • End DTC advertising from big-pharma
  • Promote wholesale drug purchase competition, MC bidding and generic drugs
  • Encourage evidence-based medicine, not expert-based medicine
  • Less pay for medical specialists with a  re-evaluation of the hospitalist concept
  • Advance the dying art of physical diagnosis, teach and embrace Paretto’s 80/20 rule for clinic issues
  • Reduce lab test, diagnostic imaging and testing
  • Encourage private 24/7/365 medical offices and clinics; and on-site and retail clinics
  • Abandon P4P, medical homes and disease management ideas
  • Give more economic skin-in-game to patients relative to health benchmarks
  • Concretize the “never-event” prohibitions and include a list of patient health responsibilities
  • More pay for primary care docs and internists
  • Adopt digital records and cloud computing for patients
  • Phase in true eHRs incrementally; and abandon CCHIT for open source SaaS
  • Promote Health 2.0 social media.
  • Augmented scope of practice, numbers and pay for NPs and DNPs, etc
  • Reduce pay for CRNAs and increase it for staff RNs
  • Develop step down triage and treatment units to reduce the number of full service ERs
  • Increase medical, osteopathic, dental, optometric and podiatric medical school classes
  • Increased practice scope for dentists, podiatrists and optometrists
  • Make some sort of catastrophic HI mandatory, much like auto insurance for all
  • End pre-existing conditon health insurance contract clauses
  • More choice  and end of life control for the terminally ill patient
  • Increase marketplace competition with fewer political and financial “externalities”.
  • Teach basic healthcare topics in school and encourage physical exercise
  • Health and insurance education should be, but is not, the “answer” for Americans
  • Protect borders and discourage undocumented illegals
  • Adopt medical malpractice tort reform
  • Make all stakeholders fiduciaries 
  • No public “option” unless you like food stamps, Section 8 housing, public transportation and schools
  • Budget deficit neutrality
  • Joe Wilson is both a bright guy – and a jerk
  • Slow down!

Assessment

Recently, while in the Baltimore/Washing area, I was asked by several reporters to opine on the healthcare debate; which I did so freely having never been known as the shy type. And, regular readers will note that many of these items have been used as posts or comments on this ME-P. Unfortunately, my “laundry list” interview was pre-empted by two local but boisterous town-hall meetings with respective passionate politicians. It was redacted no doubt, but never broadcast. Thus, I missed the potential for my “five minutes” of fame. C’est la vive!

Conclusion

There you have it; direct and straight forward. And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Usual and Customary UnitedHealthcare?

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More on “Sleazy” Healthcare Stakeholders

1-darrellpruitt

[By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS]

If the leaders of the American Dental Association have the power and stoic determination to casually sweep aside trouble-making members who might tarnish their image, one would think that they could certainly avoid associating with sleazy healthcare stakeholders; such as UnitedHealthcare.

The Insurance Giants 

Have you ever suspected that insurance giants like UnitedHealthcare, WellPoint, Aetna and Cigna (and other members of the National Association of Dental Plans) lie to patients when the say a dentist’s fees are above “usual, customary and reasonable” levels?  You could be correct.  NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says UnitedHealthcare, WellPoint, Aetna and Cigna lie to physicians’ patients – understating New York state physician’s fees up to 28 percent.  Why would the crooks treat dentists’ patients any differently?

Employing Tapeworms to Control Fat

Cuomo caught UHC and others cheating their customers with smoke, mirrors and Ingenix – its wholly-owned data mining and consulting subsidiary.  Who would have guessed that UHC would tweak Ingenix to manipulate claims data to favor UHC and other insurance companies who subscribe to their services?  These are the same parasites who want to run the nation’s Pay-For-Performance (P4P) mandate – a cornerstone of President Bush’s healthcare reform ideas.  They want to tweak professional reputations for healthcare reform and the common good. 

And of Ingenix 

Ingenix is a full-service consulting business for insurers, backed with the credibility of 14 years of accumulated health claims it is privy to.  The “friend in the business” not only cooks the data to produce profit-enhancing Usual, Customary and Reasonable (UCR) fee schedules, Ingenix is also active in “pay-for-performance program assessment, strategy, planning, design, implementation, evaluation and improvement.” 

http://www.ingenixconsulting.com/about_history.html

So if you like the way UnitedHealthcare dental consultants treat you now, just wait until they are given authority to determine your worth to society using Ingenix leveraging tools.

P-4-P 

I first read about pay-for-performance [P4P] in dentistry in February 2006 in an email from Patrick Cannady who is an employee in the ADA Department of Dental Informatics.  He told me that nation-wide quality control in dentistry is an important benefit of having a HIPAA-compliant, paperless dental practice – and that the Department of Dental Informatics is very excited about the opportunity to help prepare US dentists for the future.  A month or so later, I learned that the NPI number the ADA still pushes on membership is the crucial legal link to government-approved P4P data-mills like Ingenix – a wholly-owned UnitedHealthcare profit center.  Do you think it is odd that the NPI is “voluntary,” yet irreversible?

AMA’s Award 

In January, the AMA was awarded $350 million in a lawsuit against UnitedHealthcare and Ingenix on behalf of physicians, and they plan to sue other major insurance companies as well.  So what has the ADA done to discourage UnitedHealthcare’s and other NADP members’ atrocious behavior that undeniably harms dental patients?  You won’t believe it when I tell you. Here’s more:  In a recent Associated Press interview, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said UnitedHealthcare is nothing but a company of cheats.  He says, “They’re lowballing deliberately. They deliberately cut the numbers so the consumer has to pay more of the cost.”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gL4XFckx9sah3eFEMuHYD3V2WGhQD97763800

So if Cannady’s department is all for P4P and other benefits from interoperable digital records, the question on most ADA members’ minds should be:  What does the ADA think of UnitedHealthcare?

ADA News Online

Two weeks ago the ADA News Online posted an advertisement that looks like an article (with no byline) for the spring meeting of the American Association of Dental Consultants (AADC) on May 7-9 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/pubs/adanews/adanewsarticle.asp?articleid=3493

Since it is so well known that UnitedHealthcare is the major funding sponsor of the AADC, the word in the neighborhood says AADC, like Ingenix, is another UnitedHealthcare profit center awaiting the wrecking-ball.

Link: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gL4XFckx9sah3eFEMuHYD3V2WGhQD97763800

Assessment

Last year’s annual meeting of the dental consultants – who deny dental claims to protect the ethics in dentistry – featured ADA Senior Vice-President Dr. John Luther as a guest speaker.  Dr. Luther is Cannady’s boss.  He oversees the Department of Dental Informatics.  Yep.  The ADA is tight with UnitedHealthcare. One can tell a person’s character by the company he or she keeps. 

Conclusion

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Obama on the SGR Physician Payment Formula

Solo Doctors and and Small Group Practices May Benefit

By Staff Reporterscoins3

According to Diana Manos of Healthcare Finance News, on March 23, 2009, small medical group practices and solo and/or independent physicians may benefit most from the recently proposed Obama healthcare budget. In it, President Obama asked Congress for $76.8 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS] for fiscal year 2010. Some funding would come from changes to the way healthcare is provided, with a new emphasis on pay-for-performance [P4P] for Medicare providers.

The AMA’s Response   

It was reported that, Joseph M. Heyman, MD, chairman of the American Medical Association’s Board of Trustees, said the AMA is pleased with the administration’s proposed new baseline – or projected spending over a period of time – or Medicare physician payment updates.

“Unlike previous budget forecasts, the administration’s new budget baseline recognizes that Congress needs to and will act to avert the serious access crisis that looms as physicians face drastic payment cuts in the coming decade due to the failed Medicare physician payment formula,” he is reported to have said. Furthermore,  

“The AMA strongly supports the use of a realistic baseline as a foundation for Congress to move forward with a permanent solution to the flawed SGR physician payment formula, and urges the committee and Congress to ensure that a new Medicare physician payment baseline is adopted in the 2010 Fiscal Year (FY) Budget Resolution.”

Assessment

Under the president’s budget request, Medicare Advantage would be revamped; physicians and hospitals could expect to be paid for performance [P4P] under Medicare; pharmaceutical companies would face steeper competition from generic drug companies and the government would clamp down on inadvertent and fraudulent overpayments under Medicare. The budget also calls for “comprehensive, but fiscally responsible reforms” to the physician payment formula [Sustainable Growth Rate], moving toward rewarding doctors for efficient quality care.

Link: http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/small-physician-practices-can-expect-real-changes-healthcare-under-obama-budget

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Reflections on Evidence Based Dentistry

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My Search for Truth – 2009

[By Darrell Kellus Pruitt; DDS]pruitt4

Do the leaders of the American Dental Association [ADA] encourage critical thinking by membership?  Or; do they fear my opinion of what appears to be destructive and self-serving institutional bias in my ADA that favors businesses peripheral to the care of dental patients, and at patients’ expense?  I think it is clear that there are a few good ol’ boys imbedded in the fat ADA who prefer to hide behind a comfortable, but obsolete command-and-control ADA business model.  The mighty ostrich stuck its head in the sand. Then along came a noisy, gasoline-powered weed-whacker. Never saw it coming.

Evidence-Based Dentistry Champion Conference

On May 29-30, the First Annual “Evidence-Based Dentistry (EBD) Champion Conference” will be convened in ADA Headquarters in Chicago.  Just like last year, the meeting with a brand-new name is sponsored by Procter & Gamble and The Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice with Dr. Michael G. Newman as its Editor and Chief.  Even though this effort is enthusiastically supported by large corporations with products to sell, like P&G, managed care insurance companies such as Delta Dental, and electronic health records vendors such as Allscripts, the power of the reclusive stakeholders is further amplified by bureaucrats inside and outside the ADA – siphoning off my professional organization’s credibility.  That is my opinion based on actual contact with a few characters in this group. 

Evidence-Based Dentistry: 3rd International Conference

I attended the meeting last year when it was called “Evidence-Based Dentistry: 3rd International Conference” – I assume that in the last year, it lost its “international” status, and now caters only to “EBD Champions” (cheerleaders).  Last year, they were also looking for Champions for their EBD ideas, but the bias was better concealed.  I reported on the meeting in an article called “Evidence-Based Dentistry – My search for truth.”

http://community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/forum/topics/evidencebased-dentistry-my

Shortly into the meeting on May 4, 2008, I could tell by a show of hands from attendees that as a dentist who actually puts his hands in patients’ mouths as a regular part of his job; I was virtually alone in the auditorium.  This was confirmed by the volume of “Boo” directed at me later that day.  The Champions who had been selected months before the conference had already met that week and they were pumped. One could smell the zeal for EBD – whatever it means. 

Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice

In his introduction to last year’s conference, Dr. Michael G. Newman, Editor in Chief of the Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice, told attendees that P&G is providing all the information about EBD to all the dental schools in the nation. I will be honest with you.  Being booed last year for addressing what I think is the inferior quality of managed care dentistry during the final discussion period may have affected my attitude about EBD. In addition, being subsequently blocked from responding to a hurt and angry managed care discount dentistry broker by an ADA employee named Dr. Ron Zentz also disappointed me in my ADA.  Dr. Zentz told me “This is not the place for this” as he stood between me and the microphone. Later I could not get Zentz to concede the indisputable fact that quality is proportional to reward. When I pressed him for an answer to the managed care question, he stoically repeated exactly what the insurance representative said: “Whether the dentistry is managed care or not, it makes no difference in the quality of care.”  Here is something cute:  The event was an “Evidence-Based” conference on the second floor of the Headquarters of the ADA, and Dr. Zentz is employed in the ADA’s “unbiased” science department.  Get it?  Now that’s funny!

Trouble-Makers Don’t Get Invited Back

My bad behavior last year may have something to do with why I was not invited to attend this year, even though I worked hard on the prerequisite essays which I will share with you later.  Nevertheless, I have to warn that ADA-approved propaganda from P&G doesn’t strengthen this dentist’s confidence that our leaders are protecting the future of dentistry, friends. Take a look at what healthcare parasites have quietly done over the last decade or so to physicians’ practices with the blessing of the AMA, and counter to the interests of patients.  Those same parasites were in ADA Headquarters on May 4, 2008.  Our house at 211 East Chicago Avenue reeked. 

EDB Vagueness

Like the HIPAA Rule on which Newman’s favorite interpretation of EBD leans hard, the beauty of EBD is in its vagueness. Both HIPAA and EBD can mean damn well anything one needs them to mean, and stakeholders with lots of influence have their fingerprints and drool all over the plans.  For example, Dr. Robert Ahlstrom, a stakeholder and one of the speakers at last year’s conference uses HIPAA to support EBD and vice-versa according to closed-circuit, cause-I-said-so science that he evidently makes up as he goes.  It is difficult for me to imagine that Ahlstrom’s eleven reasons that HIPAA benefit dentistry – which he presented as testimony for HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt over a year ago – were approved by a committee. I think Ahlstrom made up his reasons while waiting in the hall for the NCVHS meeting to begin. If the reasons were indeed approved by an ADA committee, I extend my sympathy. It must be difficult for challenged people like that to safely find their way home from work every day. 

(See “HIPAA and Dentistry – About Ahlstrom’s Controversial HIPAA Testimony”) 

https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/hipaa-and-dentistry/

Where is the Evidence?

A few hours before Dr. Ahlstrom, an ADA NHII (National Health Information Infrastructure) Task Force member, took the podium, Dr. Newman pleaded with dentists to always ask, “Where is the evidence?”  I know Dr. Ahlstrom heard Dr. Newman’s words because Ahlstrom was sitting on the first row, next to ADA Senior VP Dr. John Luther, who is in charge of the ADA Department of Dental Informatics – a major beneficiary of EBD and HIPAA.

***

dental

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Buzzwords 

I have come to the conclusion that EBD is a buzzword for a scheme supported by avaricious stakeholders who seek to regulate dentistry using healthcare IT.  I assume it will be left to Dr. Robert Ahlstrom to present the plan to the next administration in his special, fanciful way.  It is clear to me that the ADA is using Ahlstrom to lead American dentists down a computerized, cook-book path initially promoted several years ago at ADA Headquarters by none other than Newt Gingrich.  The path ends with the NPI, NPPES and Ingenix-style Pay-for-Performance instead of free-market competition and consumers’ desires.  Like Ahlstrom, EBD is little more than a tool.

Living with Rejection

I learned a couple of days ago that my application for this year’s conference was rejected.  A PDF letter signed by Dr. Michael Newman, Editor and Chief of the Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice stated that the competition for seats was intense this year, and that I just didn’t have what the selection committee was looking for in a “champion” – even though one can see by their essay questions that the EBD stakeholders desire dentists who can draw audiences. 

My Responses 

Below are my responses to this year’s questions that I posted on September 23, even before I hooked up with PennWell, and the ME-P.  I’m even more widely read now. 

Q: Are you involved in the treatment of populations with limited access to care?

Counseling people who have big problems and little money is part of the job. Almost every day I help patients make hard decisions that affect their appearance as well as health. Compromises are always difficult, especially when it involves children. I do my best to provide my patients with the information they need concerning their specific problems in a personal manner. In that respect, I am no different than almost all other dentists I know.

Q: Given the opportunity, how do you plan to disseminate the information and knowledge of EBD?

For dentistry-related news, I am arguably the most popular commentator on the Internet. If I am convinced that EBD is in patients’ best interest, I can promote the concept to a wider audience than anyone else in dentistry and it will not cost a thing. I can use any number of websites in addition to a private network of colleagues that has been in place for almost three years.  

If I leave the conference suspecting that stakeholders ambushed EBD to manipulate dentist-patient relationships for selfish reasons, I will work even more effectively to undermine it. Fair is fair.

Q: Are there any specific examples that demonstrate your ability to be a good disseminator?

Apart from having an increasingly popular column about healthcare matters on this ME-P https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/?s=darrell+pruitt+dds ), I am always seeking new and innovative ways to attract attention to dentistry. I am very good at what I do.

Here is a simple demonstration of my talent: Googlesearch “Darrell Pruitt DDS.” You will discover that I’ve got what they call “googlejuice.” I create interesting content. People you need to reach read me.

The question is; does the ADA have the confidence to subject EBD to my critique? On the other hand, does the ADA have the courage not to?

Since I will not be allowed to keep colleagues in my neighborhood as informed in real-time and in detail as they should be, I invite one or more “EBD Champions” to describe what they learned following the Conference in May right here on this ME-P and PennWell forums.  And as always, I invite Dr. Robert Ahlstrom to discuss what he plans to do with my dental practice. 

Assessment

Tomorrow, as part of “Transparency and the ADA – a dissecting experiment,” I intend to post another question on the EBD link following my weekly report.  I will ask if Dr. Robert H. Ahlstrom will be addressing the audience before having my name put on a short-call list to replace late-cancellations.  Depending on the answer, I may go camping instead.

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Conclusion

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CMS to Bonus Doctors for PQRI

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July – December 2007 Reporting Period

[By Staff Reporters]ME-P Logo.2

According to Anne Zieger, of Fierce Health Finance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] will pay out more than $36 million in monetary incentives to medical providers who reported data on quality of care delivered between July 2007 and December 2007; as part of its Physician Quality Reporting Initiative [PQRI]. 

Physician Quality Reporting Initiative [PQRI]

Under the PQRI, healthcare providers who choose to participate get bonuses of 1.5 percent of their total CMS payments during the reporting period in which they reported quality data.

Assessment

Average payments for the most recent period range from $600 for individual physicians to $4,700 for groups. The largest payment CMS plans to make to a practice is more than $205,700. Solo physicians, physician group practices, and other PQRI-eligible professionals should receive their payments by August, according to the agency.

Source: CMS press release

Conclusion

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