HHS ‘Red Tape’ Rule Frees Up More Physician Time for Patients

Monday, August 13th, 2012
This post was written by Patricia Donovan

Hometown hero Christie Rampone, co-captain, U.S. women's soccer team

The locals are still buzzing about last week’s gold medal taken by the U.S. women’s soccer team, led by team captain and Manasquan resident Christie Rampone. The team’s win over Japan tempered somewhat the disappointment of losing to the same team in the 2011 World Cup. Friday’s game was a career high and possibly the last for Rampone, who hopes the victory will inspire a new generation of female soccer players and revive interest in a national women’s soccer league. Congratulations to Christie and all of the U.S. athletes.

For physicians, billing and insurance-related tasks can sometimes take on Olympian proportions. That’s why a proposed HHS rule on electronic payments will save time and cut red tape for doctors, who on average spend three weeks a year managing claims and payments, when they’d rather focus on coordination of care for their patients.

Patient-centeredness is the intent of BCBS of Michigan’s (BCBSM) recent designation of another thousand physician practices — 3,017 physicians — to its patient-centered medical home (PCMH) program, making it the largest in the nation for the fourth consecutive year. Research by BCBSM has found that patients in designated medical home practices require fewer hospital admissions and ER visits than patients in non-designated practices.

These patients also report higher levels of satisfaction, too, according to a new white paper on Medical Homes in 2012. Results from our sixth annual survey on this topic tie this surge in medical home starts to a rise in patient satisfaction, a critical quality metric for healthcare providers. Download a copy in this week’s Healthcare Business Weekly Update.

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