Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Docs on the Margin

Yesterday, we looked (again) at one relatively new health care growth industry, concierge physician practices. One of the great things about this country is that folks are always coming up with new ways to make "the system" work for them (instead of them working for the system). Today, FoIB Jeff M tips us to another "under the radar" approach some doc's are taking in order to simplify their practices and avoid some of the more egregious impacts of ObamaCare©:

"On a recent Saturday morning Ann Donato and her husband, Frank, popped by the office of Dr. Robert Novich, a primary care physician ... In the last two years Novich, 62, has coaxed a vast majority of his patients into scheduling visits, refilling prescriptions and asking simple questions over the Web"

That's right, the new buzzword isn't "the medical home" but the "medical url." It makes sense: you don't really need skilled (and expensive) support staff to handle routine chores like scrip refills and appointment scheduling. This is also helpful from an insurance standpoint: remember, health care costs drive health insurance costs, so any new process that reduces the former helps the latter.

There's even a new terminology for these brave pioneers: "micropractices." The idea is that general practitioners tend to be "traffic controllers," helping coordinate their patients' various specialists and medication needs, but don't get reimbursed for much of these services. Automating processes and information eases that "traffic flow" and makes it that much more cost-efficient to manage.

Makes sense to me.
blog comments powered by Disqus