Healthcare Revolution- Engaging Physicians!

The new health care Reforms in the shape of the popularly known Obamacare or Affordable Care Act has met with great resistance from many physicians. Pro or against the many reforms that this Act has brought in, changes in the way physicians practice medicine will be undergoing change- positively or grudgingly. However, any Act that promotes maximizing healthcare but against lowered costs has realized that without engaging physicians, improved and effective healthcare cannot be achieved.

Added to these changes which has been enacted to lower healthcare expenditure but improve the healthcare of patients – increasing the number of Americans who will now have to have insurance thereby increasing the footfalls, but shifting from certain basic models of payment like from fee-For- Service to Value-based performance, and to Shared Savings Model along with Episode or Bundled Payments,  and above all the transition from ICD-09 to ICD-10 coding and billing services, has caused physicians to shoulder a lot of administrative tasks which now includes more accurate kind of documentation which causes more time to be spent on patients, thus bringing them to interact with fewer patients leading to drop in reimbursements. So how can physicians get engaged in a more positive way within this healthcare revolution scenario?

  • Participation & Leadership Skills: Physicians working in hospitals or privately practicing need to realize that leadership skills are one way to tackle the delivery of better healthcare. Once physicians know better methods on how to deal with certain ways of streamlining processes, they can then be better able to delegate tasks and responsibilities and concentrate more on the delivery of healthcare, thereby more in tune with the reforms which will bring in more footfalls. Also, physician participation in healthcare activities within an organization helps physicians understand where change is required and what can be done within a given set of parameters.
  • Creation of Integrated Practice Units (IPUs): Each department should have their own integrated practice units which comprises of physicians, nurses, and even non-technical people. This helps them focus on their specialty and reduces duplication of efforts, better coordination between physicians, technicians, etc. at each phase of the healthcare process
  • Training and Workshops: Holding training and workshops for physicians where understanding of the new regulations and reforms and how value-based performance can still help them up their earnings will go a long way in engaging physicians. Moreover, via these workshops, physicians share problems encountered and also strategies that have helped them overcome such problems, helps bring a more united way of working towards a better healthcare delivery system

Keeping the above in mind, physicians if engaged in the crucial activities at the beginning of change, will be able to hot spot the problems and solutions, and take forward the positive changes that the healthcare reforms have been initiated for towards lowering the healthcare costs and increasing the value of the healthcare given to the patient. The focus for both, the reforms and the physician is the same; the means to the end are panning out differently and needs to be brought back on track.