Health Law & Policy

SGR remains in place—for nowIt appears that the highly-anticipated repeal of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula—also known as the “doc fix”—will have to wait at least a couple of weeks longer.
SGR update: ‘Best chance in years’ to reform the flawed payment systemAs the annual Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) deadline approaches March 31, legislators are once again scrambling to avoid a cut in physician payments, which this year would be about 21%. Physicians have long lobbied for a permanent fix to the problem, and lawmakers came close last year but couldn’t agree on how to fund it.
New payment models bringing changes to medical practicesA study of 34 physician practices jointly sponsored by RAND Corporation and the American Medical Association found that alternative payment models are changing the way physicians and medical practices operate. However, changing the payment system doesn't always ensure patient care improves.

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Understanding risk-based payer contractsPhysicians across the country are witnessing the advent of new payment models such as patient-centered medical homes, bundled payments, accountable care organizations, and other risk models. What do physicians need to know to incorporate—and succeed with—these payment models?
Removing a patient from your practice: A physician's legal and ethical responsibilitiesWhile a doctor may discharge a patient for any nondiscriminatory reason, termination is not without pitfalls. Physicians should follow a careful process so as to avoid claims of patient abandonment.
2015 Physician writing contest winner: JeremyIn the first-place winner for our 2015 Annual Physician Writing Contest, Daniel Taylor, DO describes his experience helping "Jeremy," a 15-year-old boy struggling with problems associated with obesity.

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Mining EHR data for quality improvementMany physicians doubt that electronic health records (EHRs) improve the quality of care. But relatively few practices are mining their EHR data to see how well they’re doing or to update their care delivery processes.
EHR non-adoption rate stands at 9%, study findsElectronic health records (EHR) use has steadily increased among office-based physicians since the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, but new studies indicate that the number of physicians who don’t or plan to participate is substantial.
ACA provisions will cost $142 billion less than predictedProvisions of the Affordable Care Act will cost $142 billion less over the 2016–2025 period than originally estimated by government agencies, due to slower premium growth and changes in enrollment sources.
Prescription drug monitoring programs on rise, but physician usage remains low, study saysAccording to a new study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, only 53% of surveyed physicians use prescription drug monitoring programs (PMPs). Fewer than three-fourths of physicians knew about their state’s PMP.

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