Healthcare Hot Topic Tuesday: September 13, 2011

Molly Coye of UCLA Discusses Innovative Ways to Improve the Value of Health Care Services (9/8/11)

In a conversation with California Healthline, Molly Coye – chief innovation officer of UCLA – discussed the health system’s efforts to improve the value of the health services it delivers.

Health Care Providers Say 9/11 Underscores Critical Role of EHRs (9/12/11)

“As the U.S. marked the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2011, health care providers reflected on how the terrorist attacks highlighted the importance of electronic health records in disaster-preparedness efforts,” the Northwest Indiana Times reports.

Practices’ clear payment policies let patients know where they stand (9/12/11)

The policy of the two-physician Fairfield Avenue Family Practice in Johnstown, Pa., is that if patients don’t pay their co-payment, or build up a significant balance due, they will not be seen. But the practice says it has never had to turn away anyone for financial reasons. Patients are well aware of the policy, and the staff sticks to it. “Our policy is payment up front before you even go back, although there are many, many regulars who pay on the way out,” said Walter Kowtoniuk, DO, a family physician and partner in the practice. “For the most part, it works. Payment is expected at the time of service. The expectations are known. No one wants to pay a co-pay, but no one wants to pay for gas in their car, either. But you have to do it.”

Patients often think doctors do nothing, but they’re wrong

Very often I ask patients about their recent visits to other doctors. While I am taking a history, it’s important for me to know if you’ve recently been seen by another provider for the same similar complaints and what they did, what they diagnosed you with, what they prescribed, etc. I often get a kind of irritated response such as “Oh, he didn’t do anything” or “he said it was nothing” or “he didn’t say anything to me.” Although I know my share of lazy doctors, I bet the vast majority of times, the doctor did do something and did say something.