Posts From Ben Lee

Juggling Family Life with Careers for Female Physicians

Juggling Family Life with Careers for Female Physicians (0)

Women physicians suffer from higher levels of depression and suicide than male doctors, and it’s not just the work causing it, Rebekah Bernard writes in Medical Economics.
Rate of Malpractice Payments Down But Payouts Are Higher

Rate of Malpractice Payments Down But Payouts Are Higher (0)

Malpractice claims paid on behalf of U.S. physicians have dropped by more than half from 1992 to 2014, according to a recent study cited by Medscape. But the median payouts have grown, according to the publication.
Millennial Physicians Unhappy with State of Medicine Yet Determined to Continue Practicing

Millennial Physicians Unhappy with State of Medicine Yet Determined to Continue Practicing (0)

More than half of Millennial physicians are unhappy with the state of medicine, but the majority want to stay in the field, according to a new survey by the American Medical Association. The survey of 200 physicians 35 and under found that 56% are unhappy, while 34% find the realities of being a doctor less rosy than expected, AMA Wire writes. Young physicians are particularly unhappy with the work involved outside of treating patients, according to the publication. Bureaucratic issues, dealing with electronic health records, administrative tasks and paperwork, regulations, debt and low pay are some of their main concerns, AMA found. Finances play a major role in how Millennials doctors chose their career path, meanwhile, according to the survey. Just 15% of respondents are full or part owners of a practice while 80% are employees, AMA found. Medical school debt is making young physicians think twice about striking off on their own, particularly with the prospect of yet more debt and no guaranteed income, the publication writes. Nonetheless, 83% of Millennial physicians say they’re likely or very likely to soldier on as doctors and another 12% say they’re somewhat likely to continue woking in the field, according to the publication. AMA also found some generational differences among physicians. Younger doctors, for example, hope to work in related areas, chief among them entrepreneurial pursuits, picked by 42% of survey respondents who were allowed to select more than one choice. Another 41% hope to work as consultants and 34% as hospital or healthcare system executives, the survey found. Fewer than one in five Millennial doctors want to get into academic research, according to AMA.
Medical Residents Worry About Debt and Saving for Retirement

Medical Residents Worry About Debt and Saving for Retirement (0)

American medical residents feel like they’re not saving enough for retirement and many are struggling with medical school loans, American Medical Association Wire writes.
Physician Practices Can Ensure Success by Monitoring Key Performance Indicators

Physician Practices Can Ensure Success by Monitoring Key Performance Indicators (0)

Healthcare practices can boost efficiency and reduce waste by incorporating regular and focused monitoring of key performance indicators, Scott Bates writes in Medical Economics. The efficiency of a medical practice is determined by several such KPIs, but they will vary from one practice to the next, according to Bates, a partner in the accounting firm Cornwell Jackson. Some of the main KPIs include gross and net charges, the level of productivity relative to compensation, charge entry lag and patient encounters per day, he writes. Combined together, a set of KPIs will help practices determine where they’re falling behind, according to Bates. Analyzing individual components, however, is key to spotting inefficiencies, he writes. For example, low physician productivity relative to their pay accounts for 59% of practice losses, according to QHR Learning Institute data cited by Bates. To make sure how their doctors spend their time relative to their pay isn't a drag on the bottom line, practices can use data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and compare their physicians’ productivity to the baseline numbers, he writes.
To Deal with Uncertainty, Physicians Should Look Ahead, Find Efficiencies and Build Relationships

To Deal with Uncertainty, Physicians Should Look Ahead, Find Efficiencies and Build Relationships (0)

With the administration of President Donald Trump and the unclear future of Medicare and Obamacare, physicians are faced with even more uncertainty than before, Medical Economics writes. But they’re dealing with it in various ways, according to the publication.
Florida Dermatologist Settles for $18 Million over Alleged Medicare Fraud

Florida Dermatologist Settles for $18 Million over Alleged Medicare Fraud (0)

A Florida dermatologist is on the hook for $18 million over allegations that he performed unnecessary procedures and submitted false claims to Medicare, Medscape writes. The US Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Florida says that Gary Marder, owner of the Allergy, Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers in Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, submitted Medicare claims for services he didn’t perform, according to the publication. All of Marder’s claims since 2011 have allegedly been false, in fact, the court found, according to Medscape. Marder also allegedly claimed to have administered radiation therapy on equipment he didn’t have, the publication writes. Marder allegedly billed Medicare for 8,000 radiation treatments to the tune of $2.7 million for dates corresponding to when he was out of the country, according to Medscape. Medicare paid out Marder more than $830,000, the publication writes.
Healthcare Jobs Are Plentiful and Attainable

Healthcare Jobs Are Plentiful and Attainable (0)

The social media platform LinkedIn recently published a list of the 10 most promising healthcare-related jobs of 2017 and, even if a job-hunter isn’t a doctor, they can still apply to plenty of them, Fortune writes. Jobs relating to healthcare have seen incredible growth due to the Affordable Care Act and the secondary markets that have come into existence as a result, according to the publication. Of the 2.2 million jobs created last year, 400,000 were in healthcare, Fortune writes. LinkedIn’s list was created after investigating job opportunities that don’t require a medical degree nor too many years of experience, but pay well and offer professional growth possibilities, according to the publication.
How to Guard Against Hacking Attacks on Small Physician Practices

How to Guard Against Hacking Attacks on Small Physician Practices (0)

Even at a small physician practice, data is still attractive to hackers — particularly since they typically lack the resources of larger organizations to ensure cybersecurity, Medical Economics writes. But there are several preventative measures practices can take, according to the publication. Stealing protected health information can garner a large payoff for a hacker, but the source of the hack could be a disgruntled employee just as easily as the Russian mob, Medical Economics writes. Regardless of the source, the most common way to hack into a system is through a phishing attack, Deral Heiland, research lead at internet security firm Rapid7, tells the publication. The first line of defense is to not download or open email attachments from unknown sources, and to train staff to do the same, Medical Economics writes. But guarding against phishing attacks should go further. Billy Rios, founder of the embedded device security company Whitescope, tells Medical Economics that it’s getting more difficult to spot phishing emails as they are often well-formed and may even include a reference to past activity, often gained by previous hacks or from social media. This makes staff training all the more important, since employee negligence makes up 69% of successful hacks, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report cited by the publication.
Tips to Ensure Your Nurse Practitioner’s Help is Worth the Cost

Tips to Ensure Your Nurse Practitioner’s Help is Worth the Cost (0)

In order for a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant to be cost-effective, the revenue brought in by their help should at least break even with their salary, the Hospital Medical Director writes. So it’s essential for doctors to be aware of the costs and benefits associated with enlisting NP help for their practice, according to the publication. A physician’s cost per hour is more than that of an NP, so it can be cost-effective for NPs to attend patients who require more time, like counseling, giving procedure-oriented services, or dealing with uninsured patients, according to the publication. This will allow the doctor to be available to take care of more specialized and higher-reimbursed activities, the Hospital Medical Director writes. Not only can NPs independently write prescriptions and issue bills, in hospitals they can assist doctors through shared visits, which brings their reimbursement to 100% of the physician’s, the Hospital Medical Director writes. Independent visits, however, only brings in 85% of a reimbursement, but in this case the doctor doesn’t have to fill out any documentation or visit the patient at all, according to the publication.