Before we look too far ahead to our plans for 2019, we wanted to take a few moments to reflect on what mattered most to our members across the last year. While policy dominated the headlines, topics such as consumer access, physician compensation, EHR optimization, and advanced practice providers (APPs) also drew significant attention.
In case you missed any, here are the five most popular Practice Notes blog posts from 2018, organized by topic:
Primary care innovation
Primary care is a crucial entry point for consumers. But as third-party disruptors like Amazon bring new alternatives the market and change expectations for the primary care experience, medical group leaders will need to think creatively about how to innovate in this space. Read this post for our take on Amazon's state-of-the-art employee clinic and to learn more about how medical groups are evolving the state of primary care.
APPs are a valuable resource to help medical groups expand access, better manage patients, and deliver cost-effective care, so it's no surprise that medical groups are focusing on APPs as part of their growth strategy. However, while many groups are using APPS in large numbers, few are deploying APPs to maximize productivity and profit. The key to realizing the value of APPs is to deploy them autonomously within a broader physician-APP care team.
Across the last decade, most health system-owned medical groups have evolved how they pay employed physicians. Today, most groups have shifted from compensating purely on productivity to a compensation model that incorporates incentives for other imperatives necessary to succeed in a value-based and consumer-focused world. We've found that among a growing handful of medical groups, a new compensation trend is emerging: increased interest in paying based on guaranteed salary rather than per-unit production.
In our own leadership development partnerships with 200+ health systems, we've seen leading organizations shift focus from burnout recovery to burnout prevention. That's why over the last decade, the Cleveland Clinic has launched five programs to boost physician well-being. Susan Rehm, executive director of physician health, reports that they've decided to focus on well-being over the traditional focus on burnout. And as a result, physician engagement, trust, and communication have all risen. Read this post to learn more about the Cleveland strategy and see our expert take.
The administrative burden of medicine
Over the last several years, our experts have noticed a pattern emerging among physicians. Recently, that pattern has made its way into pop culture. Today's physicians spend the vast majority of their time looking at screens—whether they are responding to messages in the patient portal, ordering tests, or refilling medications. And our research points to this rise in the administrative burden of medicine as the leading driver of physician burnout. When our experts first saw commercials for NBC's new medical drama "New Amsterdam," they found that dialogue of the actor-physicians matched the challenges we hear from doctors every day. Here's our take, as well as a few strategies to prevent physician burnout by optimizing the EHR.