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Medical Trends and Your Practice Success

While 2017 is well underway, several factors will continue to influence your practice or business financial overall gain. We have compiled a list of influencers to consider to make your year more profitable but most importantly to set your practice up for the future.

Patient Centric Care

The healthcare industry needs to take the time adopt a business model that ensures meeting the needs of patient- consumers. It is important to understand that patients do not see themselves as patients of physicians but more as consumers that are having a specialized service provided for them. Therefore they are looking for experiences with professional customer service.

Patient care consumers.  There must be a time time to reconsider and understand the needs and desires of patients and treat the same consumers. The best way to adapt your practice to the changing climate of patient consumerism expectations is to increase the medical staff goals to improve a patient-centered environment. Take the time to remind the medical support staff of the established mission statement of the medical practice. Perhaps consider taking the time to ask patients if any external factors are influencing the current medical state.

Create more patient engagement opportunities. Current health trends are driven by the impact of social media resulting in patients wanting to actively participate in their health care and provide themselves with better outcomes. In the role of the medical practice team they are now not the only source of information for patients, but also they are advisors for patients, providing insight on health care, wellness, and skills that they can integrate into their lives to have a more developed and balanced health. Consider adding different technologies that will help patients connect with the medical support staff at all times. For example, consider an online digital portal where patients can schedule routine checkups at their convenience. Also consider how or if patients are interested in the feasibility of, virtual visits, telehealth, and e-visits from physicians.

Consider providing more flexible hours like late night hours or weekend shifts to give patients more opportunity to meet with the physicians

Urgent care centers and retail clinics

There has been an increase in the access to available medical service providers to for patients. While patients desire like consumers, this leaves a gap in the marketplace for new access for patients. Medical groups with high service models and high-tech features will attract more customers. Practices that specialized by meeting consumers need such as a telehealth and virtual visits to provide patients with enhanced health care experiences. Regarding primary care physicians, these new ventures provide competition in these markets. To continue to compete with these companies, they have to decide either adapt and integrate into these new patient care avenues. Retail consumers such as Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart have partnered with local clinical providers or firms to provide medical attention to patients.

Value- Based Health Care

In 2017, medical practices and health care systems will be looking for to lowering their costs to turn a better profit. The value-based care model demands the physician workforce consider changing their methods of care to generate income.  In the previous year, the traditional way for a fee for service reimbursement was the primary driving component to produce a profit. Currently, the new payment model demands that the medical practitioner's place a heavier value on creating higher quality medical services provided for patients. The following are examples of types of methods to consider to when working with the value based model.

Quality: There is a change in types of benchmarks used to assess the measurement of quality provided to patients. Practices and hospitals should consider, the appropriate period for the drugs given to the patient, the discharge instructions were given to the patients, if a follow-up visit was scheduled or if the patient received hospital care infections. These are areas should be considered when providing service to patients.

Cost per episode of care: The following are ideas to consider while practices are attempting to keep treatment consistent while providing quality care. Does your medical staff know or understand the individual costs of treatment and care per patient? Do they know or understand the cost of continual care? This includes understanding the cost analysis of the readmissions.  Take time to review how the medical staff accounts for the rates of readmissions within a 30, 60 or 90-day readmission.
Patient satisfaction: Finally, remember that patient satisfaction is a direct link to quality patient care and is the ultimate measure that practices should strive to achieve. It is necessary to take the time to assess if patients were happy or satisfied with their experience. Consider online forums like Yelp, that enable the patient to provide clear feedback on their experience. Also, ask if the patient if they would recommend the hospital or practice to their family and friends.

Telemedicine Growth and Development

Telemedicine provides an opportunity to give patients the ability to connect with a physician on their own time and location demands. While many healthcare providers have previously shied away from understanding or even partaking in telemedicine, 2017 is a great time to reconsider the financial opportunities and gains for the physicians and patients alike.

Patient Consumers Provide New Revenue Income Stream As we have previously discussed in depth, healthcare convenience is a new trend, and it is significantly dictating how patients choose to receive health care. This means that emergency department costs result in a demand for cost-effective access model. Virtual healthcare allows for physicians to address consumer needs and demands while maintaining low cost associated with risk-based contracts. Telemedicine provides health systems with the opportunity to integrate patients' provider plans in existing health systems affiliation.

Telemedicine integrates value-based care With continuing changes in the health insurance field, many patients will be attempting to manage healthcare cost effectively; this includes pricing transparency to provide informed decision-making.


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