10 Cool, Amazing Gadgets and Trends to Help Your Practice

Paul Cerrato, MA

Disclosures

June 18, 2014

In This Article

Different Types of Interactions

6. You'll Give More Information to Patients

No doubt you've cared for patients who have lots of opinions, but very little factual information, about how they should be treated. That's changing, and clinicians who can accommodate truly informed and empowered patients will probably see their practice grow. As patients request more transparency, for instance, you may find yourself posting price schedules for common procedures. If you have an online patient portal, you and your staff might expand the educational materials available on your site to address many of the questions you get from patients during their visits. Some doctors may even offer more flexible appointment scheduling, letting patients go online to insert those appointments in your calendar.

7. More Efforts to Obtain Payment

Patients are facing larger insurance deductibles, which means they will probably owe you more than they once did. Odds are you'll find yourself asking patients for larger payments as soon as they walk in the door. You may even add a staff member who can help advise patients who about their financing options. Other options: Start accepting credit cards, or bring in a vendor to create an online business office to make it more convenient for patients to pay bills.

A development that's further off may include the gradual switch from fee-for-service to pay for performance. In 2013, "...10.9% of all commercial in-network payments are value-oriented -- either tied to performance or designed to cut waste. Traditional fee-for-service (FFS), bundled, capitated and partially capitated payments without quality incentives, make up the remaining 89.1%,"[7] according to the latest analysis funded by the Commonwealth Fund and the California Healthcare Foundation.

8. You'll Interact More With Pharmacists

Because pharmacists can sometimes change the medication you've prescribed, you may have more interactions with them regarding what the patient should be taking, or whether the drug you just prescribed will interfere with another medication the patient is taking. On the other hand, you may get fewer phone calls during the day about drug side effects, because patients may call the pharmacist instead. A lot will depend on how much authority pharmacists acquire in the next few years. During its 2013 meeting, the AMA objected to pharmacists' growing role in medication management, describing it as "pharmacy intrusion into medical practice."[8] Before that, the organization objected to a FDA proposal that would allow some prescription drugs to be administered as over-the-counter agents if a pharmacist signed off on the decision.[9]

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