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Physician Practice Perspectives

Following the rollout of a successful online consult program for primary care physicians and specialists in Los Angeles County, the organization that headed the initiative has launched another online consult program designed to help patients with behavioral health issues.


Direct messaging between physicians and patients has become more common in the past few years, thanks in large part to electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use requirements that have mandated exchanges between patients and physicians. But despite plenty of hype about its potential to improve communications between physicians and patients, direct messaging is being used primarily for rudimentary purposes. 


Referring patients to specialists is fairly routine for most primary care practices, but it can be a challenge when patients are enrolled in Medicaid or live in rural areas where specialists are in short supply.


Two new studies have found that while patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) do help improve patient outcomes, it’s difficult to quantify their impact on overall healthcare spending.


Physician practices that transition to patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) are reaping benefits that include extra reimbursements and credit under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). But practices also must invest a considerable amount of time and effort into becoming a PCMH, an investment that can strain the finances of small practices.


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