Today's health care system has your practice in a financial vise. And with every turn of the handle, the growing pressure makes practice efficiency that much more valuable — and inefficiency that much more painful. Poor management practices that would have gone unpunished in the looser market of even a few years ago now cut right into your bottom line. More, they can cause staff, payer, patient and physician dissatisfaction. They can force you into a reactive posture and deprive you of autonomy.

Do you hate your electronic health record (EHR)? Or do you just barely tolerate it? Recent reports suggest that a large percentage of U.S. physicians would answer “yes” to one of those two questions. In 2011, we reported that only 38 percent of family physicians would buy their particular EHR again if given a chance. A survey released in February of this year by MPI Group and Medical Economicsreported essentially the same thing – 60 percent of family physicians would not purchase their particular EHR again.

22% of physicians are opting out of meaningful use, according to the 2014 Medscape EHR Report. The survey found that 16% said they will never attest to meaningful use requirements, and another 6% of participants said they are abandoning meaningful use after meeting the requirements in previous years, up 2% from 2012. Overall, 78% of participating physicians said they were attesting to meaningful use Stage 1(30%) or Stage 2 (48%) in 2014.

Health insurers are now jumping aboard the telemedicine bandwagon in an effort to cut costs by allowing patients to participate in initial visits to the doctor virtually.

Health insurers are quickly finding out that a virtual visit to the doctor isn’t just convenient for patients, but more cost effective for everyone involved. Sure, the physicians save time and can work remotely, but payers are discovering the bill is much smaller when patients don’t actually need to visit the office.

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) takes hold in a big way and accountable care models ask patients to take more financial responsibility for their health and well being, the adoption of revenue cycle management (RCM) tools has become the next critical chapter of the heal

With the switch from volume-based to value-based, patient-centered care taking hold across the country a lot of the accompanying talk is of team-based approaches to providing that care. At its most simple, team-based care happens when everyone works together for the greater good of the organization — breaking down the facility walls, both literally and figuratively, to maximize resources and efficiencies and improve patient outcomes. The goal?

The ICD-10 National Pilot Program is picking up steam. It's a collaborative designed to help healthcare organizations prepare for ICD-10 testing and to share best practices. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) have taken the lead on recruiting participants and designing the end to end testing scenarios.

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High-deductible health plans were introduced to the health care system after legislation was passed in 2003 requiring individuals opening a health savings account(HSA) to enroll in a high-deductible plan. The plans gained more prominence in recent years as employers, seeing dramatic increases in healthcare costs, adopted plans with lower premiums that shifted more of the cost to employees.

In 2012, more than 95 million passengers passed through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest in the world. On a clear day, 120 airplanes fly in and out every hour. The airport handled 930,000 take offs and landings in 2012. Can you imagine if each airline, pilot and airport department had its own unique communication platform? The system simply couldn’t function and we as consumers wouldn’t tolerate the chaos and risk to safety.

More than ever, patients are having a say in their healthcare--and their input will be an important part of big data collection to create a more "unified story of health and healthcare," according to an article in July's Health Affairs. Researchers at Duke University looked at the impact of aggregating real-world data right from patients as an alternative to randomized controlled trials.

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