Practice Notes

Our take on the latest trends and news for medical groups

What the CVS-Aetna and Walmart-Humana mergers mean for medical group access

Hamza Hasan , Sarah Hostetter May 30, 2018

Late last year, CVS Health announced an acquisition of Aetna. Now, Walmart is eyeing an acquisition of Humana. These potential deals bear a strong resemblance to each other, as they both combine a large retail and pharmacy chain with an insurer. Regardless of whether the deals go through, they mark a change in the health care landscape, with new and varied players entering the field to compete with health systems and medical groups. These new players are making a similar bet: They can give patients better and more convenient access to care than existing channels—and they're putting even more pressure on medical groups to expand their access.

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The solution to physician burnout? EHR optimization.

by Hamza Hasan and Daniel Kuzmanovich May 16, 2018

Today, 80% of health care leaders say physician burnout is a problem at their organization. To confront the problem, many leaders turn to solutions that focus on individual physicians in an attempt to improve their resilience. However, these physician-directed interventions prioritizing wellness aren't as effective as addressing the primary causes of physician burnout—causes that, according to Medscape's 2018 Physician Burnout and Depression Report, include:

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2 ways physician leaders can combat the opioid crisis

Gillian Michaelson , Hamza Hasan May 2, 2018

The opioid epidemic has swept across the nation, affecting communities in every state; thousands of individuals have suffered from opioid use disorder and overdose. As direct providers of care, physicians stand at the front lines of this epidemic and are frequently charged with the responsibility of helping to solve it.

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How you can strengthen ambulatory care access for Medicaid patients

by Hamza Hasan and Sarah O'Hara April 18, 2018

The Medicaid population presents a challenge for many health care providers: Not only is Medicaid poorly reimbursed, but high patient complexity—both clinical and non-clinical—can make care frustrating. As a result, an increasing number of independent practices have closed their doors to this population.

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How to design a profitable staffing model for your telehealth strategy

by Hamza Hasan and Jasmine DeSilva April 4, 2018

Medical groups deploy a range of strategies to meet consumers' demand for convenient access to care. One way to meet this demand is through retail clinics—the subject of our recent blog post. Another increasingly common strategy is offering virtual care options, which 83% of providers said they planned to invest in last year, according to a recent survey. When it comes to lower-acuity conditions, telehealth offers patients more convenient access to care, shorter wait times, and comparable quality outcomes, all at a lower cost.


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Medical group executives' most commonly asked questions of 2017—answered

by Hamza Hasan and Phoebe Donovan February 21, 2018

Every year the Medical Group Strategy Council receives thousands of questions from our members. As we settle into 2018, here's a look back at your peers' top questions from 2017—and our responses.

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What the future might hold for physician compensation

by Hamza Hasan and Sarah O'Hara February 5, 2018

Across the last decade, most health system-owned medical groups have evolved how they pay employed physicians, shifting from compensation based purely on productivity to incorporate incentives for other imperatives necessary to succeed in a value-based world.

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Are last minute no-shows killing your practice?

by Nate Comstock January 23, 2018

Nate Comstock

As a former medical group executive, one of the most common complaints I received from our physicians was "these no-shows are killing my practice!" The no-show dilemma is not a new phenomenon, and there are numerous strategies—both new and longstanding—to mitigate their negative financial and operational impact.

However, an increasing abundance of data now allow physicians and leaders to evaluate their practice patterns in ways that were not possible before.

Take a second look at your no-show rate

While recently working with a 190+ bed hospital in the Northeast, we learned that the organization's primary care group was operating at near-best practice levels with an outpatient no-show rate around 5%. However, upon further investigation, we found something interesting: There were a large number of appointments that had been cancelled or rescheduled—more than offsetting the benefit of their best-in-class no-show rate.

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