PODCAST: How Doctors are Really Paid?

Learn the Incentives in Physician Compensation

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

RAND and Harvard University Researchers Recently Published a Study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Examining How Doctors are Paid by Hospital System-Owned Practices. The Study Found that only 9% of Primary Care Physician Compensation was Based on Value (Quality and Cost-Effectiveness) and only 5.3% of Specialist Compensation was Based on Value.

The Study Concluded: “The results of this cross-sectional study suggest that PCPs and specialists despite receiving value-based reimbursement incentives from payers, the compensation of health system PCPs and specialists was dominated by volume-based incentives designed to maximize health systems revenue.”

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RELATED: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2008/09/12/how-doctors-get-paid/

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SURVEY: Tele-Health Weekly Visits

By MCOL

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% Providing Video Telehealth Visits to 5+ Patients Per Week

 •  Primary Care Physician: 74%
 •  Behavioral Health Provider: 88%
 •  Registered Nurse: 62%
 •  Medical Assistant: 80%

Source: RAND, “Experiences of Health Centers in Implementing Telehealth Visits for Underserved Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” May 2022

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Most Physician Compensation Plans Still Productivity-Based

By Health Capital Consultants, LLC

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Study: Most Physician Compensation Plans Still Productivity-Based

A study conducted by the RAND Corporation and published in the January 2022 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) seeking to determine whether health systems primarily incentivize volume or value in their physician compensation models found that almost all physicians are still compensated through a volume-based model that rewards productivity over the value of care provided.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

These study results are in direct contradiction to the longstanding narrative that the U.S. healthcare delivery system is shifting away from volume-based reimbursement and toward VBR. (Read more…) 

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PODCAST: The RAND Corporation Found that Commercial Health Insurance Plans Pay Hospitals 241% What Medicare Pays

The RAND Corporation Found that Commercial Health Insurance Plans Pay Hospitals 241% What Medicare Pays.

But Also That It Varies from 150% to 400%.

Dr. Boram (Kim) Park, MD - Dallas, TX | Internal Medicine

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

Health Insurance Companies Paid for Hospital Outpatient Services at an Even Higher Average Rate of 293% of Medicare.

A Detailed Look at the RAND Analysis Reveals that the ‘Basket’ of Services at Each Hospital Had Very Little Data.

For Example, the RAND Study’s Data for the Baylor Scott & White Hospital System in Dallas – Fort Worth Represented Only 0.4% of the Hospital’s Total Revenue.

For the Texas Health Hospital System Also in Dallas – Fort Worth, the RAND Study’s Data Only Represented 0.96% of the Hospital’s Total Revenue.

That Sample Size Is Likely Too Small to Make Accurate Comparisons from One Hospital System to Another Regarding their Commercial Insurance Prices Relative to Medicare.

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

THANK YOU

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The RAND Corporation’s Health IT Legacy‏

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Understanding ObamaCare and HIT Data Breaches

[By Darrell K. Pruitt DDS]

1-darrellpruittTwo current topics in the HIT industry: (1) A dishonest 2005 RAND study set up lawmakers for disappointment in electronic health records, which are essential to Obamacare, and (2) I told you so.

The Reports

Just the other day, there were reports of two data breaches of EHRs involving over 734,000 patients in Texas and California.

http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2013/10/23/health-facilities-in-california-texas-report-health-data-breaches

For reasons like this, the wisdom of an ambitious mandate for paperless healthcare by 2014 is beginning to be questioned by the same lawmakers who were sucked in years ago by RAND’s tainted 2005 study.

According to the vendor-friendly results gleaned from vendor-friendly data supplied by vendors, EHRs should have started saving 100,000 lives and $77 billion a year, years ago. Predictably, that has not happened. Far from it!

The Findings 

The happy findings – discredited even by RAND in January of this year – were paid for by Cerner and GE, who profited immensely from their RAND investment. Since nationwide adoption of EHRs became a bi-partisan goal with bubbly beginnings and millions of campaign dollars, the costs and danger of healthcare IT didn’t appear to bother conservatives until three months after RAND admitted the study was garbage.

In April, six GOP senators, led by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), released a detailed report criticizing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ execution of a $35 billion initiative to promote EHRs as part of the ARRA stimulus package. (See: “GOP senators raise concerns with push for electronic medical records,” by Sam Baker, April 16, 2013, The Hill).

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/294273-gop-senators-raise-concerns-with-push-for-electronic-medical-records

Wither ARRA?

Have you ever wondered why ARRA was passed as a jobs bill rather than as part of healthcare reform? Any ideas?

More recently, with the conservatives’ failure to stop Obamacare even by shutting down government, EHRs have become recognized as the ACA’s next best weakness. Yesterday, Greg Scandlen, writing for RightSideNews.com, posted “The Tyranny of Electronic Systems.” It goes downhill from there.

http://www.rightsidenews.com/2013102333379/life-and-science/health-and-education/the-tyranny-of-electronic-systems.html

Even More

Also yesterday, Michelle Mailkin writing for Townhall.com, an ultra-conservative website similar to RightSideNews, posted, “Don’t Forget Obamacare’s Electronic Medical Records Wreck.

http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2013/10/23/dont-forget-obamacares-electronic-medical-records-wreck-n1730172?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel

Assessment 

Conservatives found traction: Without the anticipated healthcare savings from EHRs, Obamacare will not survive. These times are not as happy for EHR stake-holders as RAND led them to expect.

Conclusion

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Did the NSA End Obamacare?

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Did ambitious NSA officials unintentionally end Obamacare years ago?

[By D. Kellus Pruitt DDS]

1-darrellpruittIf loss of trust in encryption ends Obamacare, can whistleblower Edward Snowden be blamed for that as well? Yep.

What’s even more ominous, the former National Security Agency contractor’s news that encrypted medical records are no longer secure reached Alaska on a weekend.

“Risky electronic health records: Alaska should make information exchange system safer – Imagine: The National Security Agency slips into your doctor’s office and peeks at your medical records,”

by Alaska ACLU executive director Joshua Decker was posted hours ago on Newsminer.com, out of Fairbanks.

http://www.newsminer.com/opinion/community_perspectives/risky-electronic-health-records-alaska-should-make-information-exchange-system/article_a9947eb0-1863-11e3-8153-001a4bcf6878.html

Decker questions the security of the state’s Health Information Exchange (HIE), and offers common sense but costly steps which arguably lessen the danger of privacy breaches – including giving patients the choice of “opting-in” to permit their encrypted, but increasingly vulnerable identities to be shared online via Obamacare’s exchanges.

My POV 

In my opinion, if informed Americans are given the choice of volunteering to risk identity theft, HIEs won’t be around a year from now, and neither will Obamacare. If informed Americans are not given a choice, the costs are even greater. Americans deserve honesty.

National Obamacare Hangs in the Balance

In a related, slow-burning game-changer, Obamacare hangs in the balance, not just for Alaska, but for the nation.

It was September 5th when the Guardian Weekly posted: “Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security,” written by James Ball, Julian Borger and Glenn Greenwald, and based on top secret NSA information Snowden stole.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-gchq-encryption-codes-security

Snowden told the Guardian that years ago, the NSA joined with the UK’s spy agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) to successfully make encryption obsolete – including for medical records.

Naturally, if properly informed Americans fear that secrets they tell their doctors might be breached, incorrect EHRs become less than worthless. They become dangerous.

More on Health Information Exchanges

What’s more, even before the added expense of waiting for Americans to opt-in to the exchanges – instead of discouraging them from opting-out – the very funding for the increasingly-battered Obamacare is based on a rumor of savings.

Starting years ago, health IT lobbyists, including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, told lawmakers to expect annual savings of $77 billion and 100,000 lives – quoting the results of a once popular, EHR-friendly 2005 RAND study which was funded by General Electric and Cerner Corporation.

Obamacare

As you can see, while we were not paying attention, we were had!

The RAND Study

Predictably, both GE and Cerner profited immensely from the development and sales of EHR systems before the RAND study was widely discredited months ago – even by RAND.

According to a NY Times article from January, “Cerner’s revenue has nearly tripled since the report was released, to a projected $3 billion in 2013, from $1 billion in 2005.”

(See: “In Second Look, Few Savings From Digital Health Records by Reed Abelson and Julie Creswell, January 10, 2013).

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/business/electronic-records-systems-have-not-reduced-health-costs-report-says.html?_r=0

Assessment

Last weekend’s bad news for Obamacare is still under the radar, but I predict within days it will become apparent that the mounting obstacle between President Obama and healthcare reform will be in regaining trust his administration squandered while helping GE and Cerner profits at the expense of soon-to-be pissed off American patients.

Conclusion

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Understanding Efforts to Promote Lower-Cost Physicians

May Be Based on Misleading Profiles – According to Rand Study

By Staff Reporters

It is increasingly common for insurance plans to encourage patients to receive care from physicians who keep medical costs lower. However, this ethos may be based on unreliable estimates of doctor performance and may not achieve the intended savings, according to a new RAND Corporation press release and study.

PR Link: http://www.rand.org/news/press/2010/03/17/?ref=homepage&key=t_doctor_cash

About the Study

Funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. Other authors of the study are Elizabeth A. McGlynn PhD of RAND, Dr. Ateev Mehrotra of RAND and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and J. William Thomas of the University of Southern Maine.

About Rand Health

RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation, is the nation’s largest independent health policy research program, with a broad research portfolio that focuses on quality, costs and health services delivery, among other topics. RAND Health is the developer of COMPARE (Comprehensive Assessment of Reform Efforts), a one-of-a-kind online resource that provides objective analysis about national health care reform proposals. Visit www.randcompare.org to learn more.

Conclusion

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Ease Up – Managing Editor Bob Mitchell

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=doctors+computers&iid=131173″ src=”0127/4caf5e52-a89a-4ddb-a0b2-bf4b6789c92b.jpg?adImageId=11344576&imageId=131173″ width=”414″ height=”413″ /]

Two days ago, ADVANCE for Health Information Executives’ managing editor Bob Mitchell publicly criticized the author of last week’s Parade Magazine article, “Electronic Health Records Face Critics.” Personally, I thought it was cowardly for the editor to accuse Drew Jubera of journalistic recklessness without mentioning his name.

http://community.advanceweb.com/blogs/hx_1/archive/2010/03/16/critics-ehrs-don-t-save-money.aspx

According to Jubera

Jubera wrote:

“A new Harvard Medical School study suggests that electronic health records do not save hospitals money—and in fact often end up increasing costs. The Obama Administration has allocated $19 billion in federal stimulus funds to facilitate the shift from paper to electronic records – a move the Rand Corporation has projected could save up to $80 billion a year. Yet the Harvard study found no evidence of savings so far and little evidence that electronic records improve care.”

http://www.parade.com/news/intelligence-report/archive/100314-electronic-health-records-face-critics.html

Dis-Respects Harvard

Incredibly, Bob Mitchell discounts the Harvard Medical School study as being dated research – even though it is less than 5 months old. “I did some research and found that this study was released back in November 2009, even before meaningful use of an eHR had been defined by [ONCHIT] – or the Office of National Coordinator of Health IT.” As if defining meaningful use was meaningful! That’s humor.

Dis-Respects Parade

Furthermore, editor Mitchell has taken on the responsibility to shield his readers from harm caused by Parade Magazine authors whose ethics fall short of acceptable.

He writes:

“I’m concerned that the public is not being served and they will get the wrong impression of computers in health care, especially if it’s being reported by Parade, which reports celebrity, entertainment and health news.”

Of Healthcare Providers

Not so fast with those tricky pronoun phrases, Bob. Rather than being merely a healthcare stakeholder like you, I’m actually the healthcare provider whom you would have fund your enthusiasm. I think your broad statement that “all of us in healthcare know that digital is much better than paper” is journalistically foolish. In addition, your creativity threatens society much more than alleged exaggerations in Parade Magazine. You not only write about HIT as a career, but people generously call you a managing editor.

eMRs in Dentistry 

The next time you feel important enough to quietly insult writers on behalf of providers like me, remember that eMRs in dentistry will not save money over paper records and will unnecessarily increase the risk of identity theft for my patients … unless you disagree.

It would thrill me if you want to publicly debate the value of electronic dental records (How much do you know about dentistry?)

Assessment

For example, do you realize that if a computer containing thousands of patients’ identifying data is stolen in a burglary, and the dentist, or physician, does the right thing and reports the data breach, he or she will likely be bankrupt even before the HIPAA inspections and lawsuits?

The Ponemon Institute estimates that it will cost about $50 per record just to notify affected patients. A few weeks ago, the HHS was obligated to release information that a burglar stole a computer containing more than 9,000 records from a Missouri dental practice. Just to notify the affected patients will cost the practice almost half a million dollars. But wait. That’s not all. Since the loss involves over 500 individuals, news of the breach must be provided as a press release to the local media. As goes the dentist’s reputation, so goes the dentist’s career – all because of a simple burglary.

Conclusion

So what were you saying about dangerous, biased articles in Parade Magazine? The author whose ethics you criticize has a name. It is Drew Jubera. He’s an award-winning staff member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in Atlanta GA – home of this ME-P.  I’ll make sure he also gets this message.

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