Forum News & Updates

In this issue:

Register now: Complimentary session on physician leadership education at the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit

Join your physician and hospital executive colleagues on Saturday, July 27 from 11:30 am – 5:15 pm at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, CA, for this complimentary program to hear from some of the leading edge experts on physician leadership competencies, and the new roles and responsibilities for physicians in the transforming environment.
This interactive, half-day session will include an overview of the changing landscape and the leadership competencies physicians will need to be effective partners with hospitals and health systems to move toward a more accountable and efficient health delivery system. You will also hear from a panel of experienced physician executives on different leadership education modes and methods that have been shown to be successful. The program is structured to encourage networking and exchange of ideas among attendees, and will include presentations, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions.
The Physician Leadership meeting is brought to you through collaboration among the American Hospital Association, the American College of Physician Executives, and The Joint Commission.

To register for this complimentary program, click here.

Transitioning to population health management

In a recent article for Becker’s Hospital Review, Richard Afable, MD, MPH, president and CEO of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, CA, and a member of the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Clinical Leadership, discusses population health management and why it’s OK for some hospitals not to adopt this model. In the article, Dr. Afable notes how larger systems are transitioning to population health management, but those that don’t shouldn’t be forgotten or dismissed. Although they may lack the resources to transition to population health management, Dr. Afable says these smaller, independent hospitals will still have a place in health care and should continue to serve as only healers of the sick. Those that do make the transition, he says, need to realize the investment and partnerships needed to effectively coordinate care for large groups.

Cost-containment initiatives from abroad

A recent perspective piece for the New England Journal of Medicine details two cost-containment ideas from abroad the authors feel the United States could adopt in order to preserve quality while reducing health care spending. The first comes from Germany and their use of diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) as the primary payment method for hospital inpatient care. Although this idea originated in the United States, the authors note there are distinct differences in its application. In Germany’s system, bundled payments include physician services and an episode of care spanning 30 days after admission. For patients with very complicated conditions, this includes all care provided before the upper outlier limit of length of stay is reached. There is no additional payment if a patient is rehospitalized, though there are some exceptions to this rule.
The second cost-containment idea comes from Japan. Japan pays providers primarily according to a fee-for-service model yet has been able to keep per capita spending and prices low. They’re able to do this because they monitor utilization of specific services and then adjust its payments to reflect the changes in volume for each service.

The authors say both of these methods could be introduced in the United States as technical adjustments to the existing payment system rather than requiring large-scale reform.

Study finds other factors drive overtesting

According to a recent study (abstract only) in JAMA Internal Medicine, it’s not just money and lawsuits driving overtesting — it might be ingrained in the culture. Researchers looked at one U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) facility in Florida. They speculated that since VA doctors aren’t usually influenced by financial gain or fear of being sued, the number of inappropriate stress tests ordered at their facility would be lower than previously reported. What they found is that the rate or practice of overuse is no different than what’s been previously described. In an article for Reuters, Dr. Patrick O’Malley, an internist at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, who didn’t participate in the new study, believes culture plays a big role in overtesting. “I think culture trumps everything else,” he said in the article. “Culture even trumps evidence.”

New app aims to be the “Instagram” for doctors

*WARNING: Clicking on the link in this article takes you to a page of medical images that may be graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.*

In a sort of “Instagram” for doctors, a new iPhone app called Figure 1 is allowing health care professionals to share clinically significant images with one another. In an article published in The Atlantic, app co-founder Dr. Joshua Landy, a Toronto-based intensive care physician, says there’s a culture among physicians to share interesting findings. Instead of waiting to publish them in a medical journal, the app allows clinicians to share them in a much quicker and easier fashion. Dr. Landy envisions Figure 1 as a sort of Wikipedia of medical images where anyone can contribute to, edit, or learn from. Dr. Landy says stringent privacy guidelines ensure that any potential patient identifiers are edited out.

Next PLF webinar to focus on ICD-10 and physicians

Many have begun planning for the transition to ICD-10. Have you? Planning and implementation requires months of effort and time is of the essence. Join us for our next PLF webinar, “ICD-10 – The Implications for Physicians,” taking place Tuesday, July 30 beginning at 1 pm ET.
In this free, 60-minute webinar, presenters Nelly Leon-Chisen, RHIA, Director of Coding and Classification at the American Hospital Association, and Jeffrey Linzer Sr., MD, FACEP, FAAP, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Emory University and System Lead Physician for ICD-10-CM Conversion at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, will help participants learn the implications of ICD-10 for physicians, why we need to change from ICD-9-CM, what the benefits are of moving to ICD-10, and how to plan your program to ensure you are ready for October 1, 2014 implementation.
ICD-10-CM applies to all physicians and hospitals regardless of the practice, hospital size, or payment model and is aligned with reimbursement, quality, and other important initiatives. In addition, hospitals will also need to transition to ICD-10-PCS for reporting of their inpatient services. Migrating to ICD-10 will require collaboration between hospitals and physicians. Learn how physicians can be engaged in the ICD-10 planning and implementation process.

To register, click here.

TeamSTEPPS to host webinar on benefits of simulation training

TeamSTEPPS (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety) is hosting a free webinar titled, “TeamSTEPPS and Simulation” on Wednesday, July 10 beginning at 1 pm ET.
In this 60-minute webinar, Jennifer Calzada, Simulation Center Director at the University of Tulane’s School of Medicine and TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, will discuss Tulane’s approach to implementing TeamSTEPPS with the use of simulation, and how the benefits of high-fidelity simulation training reduces medical error and ultimately increases patient safety.
To register, click here.