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Managed careHealthcare dollars are tight, and payments to physicians and hospitals are increasingly being linked to health outcomes and patient satisfaction scores. There’s even a call from some payers to tie pharmaceutical payments to medication efficacy.

It seems reasonable to assume that, at some point, this trend will reach payers, too.

Many companies already hold executives accountable for financial performance, but extending that accountability to the health of members may not be far away.

Humana Inc. announced in May 2016, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that it would be instituting a new payment model for executives that is tied to both company fiscal performance as well as the health outcomes of members. The company will tie 20% of executive bonuses to member health metrics in fiscal 2016, and the remainder will be based on whether Humana hits its financial targets.

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HIMSS is the global not-for-profit association transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and the strategic partnership is being undertaken in order to bring together expertise to provide solutions and boost the use of technology throughout the medical/hospital sector Brazil

 

HIMMSUBM Brazil, a division the British group UBM, a global leader in business media and the second-largest events organizer in the world; and HIMSS - Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, a global non-profit organization, based in the USA and whose focus is to improve health through Information Technology (IT), today (11/30) announced the signing of a cooperation agreement for the organizations to work together in Brazil.


The agreement is with a view to the organization of the HIMSS@Hospitalar summit, during Hospitalar. This collaboration anticipates the provision of specialized content in advanced technology applied to the healthcare sector, a subject that is becoming ever more dominant in the day to day life of hospitals and medical, laboratory and diagnostic service providers, as well as in relationships between patients and their doctors, determining significant changes throughout the healthcare services sector.

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consumerBy the time federal open enrollment begins November 1, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey intends to have what one executive describes as a “much simpler” consumer website so individuals know immediately where to find information. The insurer also is providing more bill payment options, and conducting major outreach to individual members. That outreach focuses on its plans’ broad value—including wellness products, telemedicine, prenatal care and free basic preventive services.

Spurred on by the Affordable Care Act's emphasis on the individual market, Horizon is also pursuing targeted initiatives, such as the launch of a dedicated Hispanic enrollment and service center and mall kiosks with bilingual agents and Spanish-language materials. This is part of an ongoing marketing partnership with HolaDoctor. The upshot? Nearly 400% growth since 2013 to 30,000-plus Hispanic members—about 15% of the previously uninsured people who joined Horizon for 2016.

“We've had a customer-experience team since 2012 trying to understand the most important things our customers look for. … We're looking for 'pain points' and where to fix them for all members,” explains Ed Lara, Horizon's vice president of marketing and product development.

The health plan’s efforts are part of a national trend in which managed care plans are using an array of tools to improve members' individual experiences, build trust and become more understandable and accessible.

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Change can be scary, but making some of these small adjustments can greatly benefit your practice.

For more than 30 years I’ve been coaching practices, big and small. I’ve found many dental teams have metathesiophobia. Please, don’t worry. You can’t catch it. And, it’s actually pretty simple to cure. Metathesiophobia is the fear of change.

sept 02There are a variety of reasons why people fear change. Some people like the comfort and consistency of status quo. They do not like to deviate from an established routine. Others fear the negative consequences of change and believe the cost of change will outweigh the benefits. But dental teams cannot do the same thing and expect different results – more new patients, increased treatment acceptance or reduced account receivables. These things don’t “just happen.” They are the result of doing things differently. For dentists who are seeking to grow, change is required. So, how does a practice implement change without striking fear, and resistance, from the team? Simply start small.

In Japan, they have a word for the continual, gradual and incremental approach to change and improvements. That word is “kaizen” and many American companies have integrated kaizen into their business and manufacturing processes. The psychology behind kaizen is to implement change in way that is sustainable and consistent, but at a threshold low enough to not trigger people’s fear-of-change reaction. In other words, the best way to implement change is to be slow and steady. The first thing to do is understand what the practice’s current systems are producing by measuring key metrics.

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You need more than clinical care to run a successful practice.

bmdm businessBased on his extensive experience with dentists over the past 30 years, Dr. Roger P. Levin has authored a book entitled The 31 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make. His premise is simple. As he says in the introduction, “We can learn from our mistakes. But isn’t it better to learn from other people’s mistakes?” 

The following is an excerpt from the book.

Related article: The biggest mistakes dentists make: Never taking a vacation

Mistake #30: Not Analyzing the Practice as a Business

Dentists are trained in dentistry, not business management. We do not learn how to assess a practice’s vital signs by comparing them to industry standards or to projections of potential production. Instead, we’re taught to provide outstanding clinical care and think that’s all we’ll need to be successful in practice.

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admHave you ever heard of a zettabyte or a yottabyte? A zettabyte is the equivalent of one sextillion bytes; a yottabyte, one septillion bytes; and both, a few trillion gigabytes.

They also represent the amount of complex health data that can likely be found in the U.S. healthcare system today, according to a report published in the journal Health Information Science and Systems.

august 03This data could be used to potentially save hundreds of billions of dollars in clinical operations, and research and development, but the challenge is taking that data and extracting useful, predictive information from it.

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Strategic planning is an essential business activity. However, several common mistakes must be understood so that practice administrators can guard against them. Pointing out these mistakes is not a criticism of the process but acknowledgement of improper implementation. Medical practice leaders must recognize both the benefits and the potential pitfalls of strategic planning, because it is their responsibility to ensure that strategic planning is conducted properly to achieve the desired goals. Here are four of the most-common planning mistakes we find:

oct 021. Attempting to forecast and dictate events too far into the future

In part, this may result from the natural desire to believe we can control the future. It is a natural tendency to plan on the assumption that the future will merely be a linear continuation of present conditions, and we often underestimate the scope of changes in direction that may occur. Because we cannot anticipate the unexpected, we tend to believe it will not occur. In fact, most strategic plans are overcome by events much sooner than anticipated by practice leaders.

2. Trying to plan in too much detail

This is not a criticism of detailed strategic planning but of planning in more detail than the conditions warrant. This pitfall often stems from the natural desire to leave as little as possible to chance. In general, the less certain the situation, the less detail in which we can plan. However, the natural response to the anxiety of uncertainty is to plan in greater detail, to try to cover every possibility. This effort to plan in greater detail under conditions of uncertainty can generate even more detail. The result can be an extremely detailed strategic plan that does not survive the friction of the situation and that constricts effective action.