Saturday, March 9, 2013

Health Care Innovation Forum:  Ten Physician Obamacare-Induced Opportunities
Courage rather than analysis dictates the truly important rules for identifying priorities:
·         Pick the future as against the past;

·         Focus on opportunity rather than on problem;

·         Choose your own direction – rather than climb on the bandwagon;

·         Aim high, aim for something that will make a difference rather than on something that is “safe” and easy to do.

Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005),  The Effective Executive
It’s no secret that Obamacare is wildly unpopular among practicing physicians.  The health law creates problems because of regulations to police the profession, because it systematically cuts reimbursements over the next ten years,  and because it is designed to do away with fee-for-service medicine . 

But problems imposed by government may be opportunities in disguise. Obamacare-induced-problems  force  physicians to be creative - to choose their own direction, rather than climb on the Washington bandwagon.
Here are ten opportunities  that are making a difference for physicians.
·         Cash-only practices , which dramatically cut overhead and bring physicians closer to patients.

·         Concierge practices,  which clarify the doctor-patient relationship and make it clear what is being paid for.

·         Office drug dispensing,  which results in prices  lower than available in many pharmacies and are more likely to result in patient compliance.

·         Patient histories created online by patients, based on  age. gender, chief complaint, and symptoms, as directed by easy-to-follow clinical algorithms, which  save time and money and allow doctors to gets to root of patient’ problem quickly.

·         Data entry created by “medical scribes,” who enter the history and other data before doctors sees patients or while accompanying  physician in emergency rooms, on rounds, and in offices.

·         Mobile devices, which allow doctors to record data, take histories, and make observations while on the go.

·         Telemedicine,  which allow doctors to evaluate patients from a distance  and to monitor them with implanted devices while not be physically present.

·         Physician leadership of “medical homes’ and other new models of team-based care, which allow treatment outside the confines of office and in home and work settings.
·         Health savings accounts with high deductibles which encourage patient s to spend more of their own money and to negotiate with physicians for the best price.

·         Physician use of the “social media” to market their services ,  educate patients,  communicate with them, assure transparency, and establish their reputation.
Tweet:   Problems induced by the health law are opportunities in disguise, encouraging  doctors to develop more innovative ways to practice medicine.

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