IBM: Our goal is simply stated. We want to be the best service organization in the world.
Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Facebook: To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
There has been a lot of talk recently about how Personal health records (PHR) are increasingly necessary in today’s climate of Electronic health records (EHR). While most participants in the healthcare delivery system understand that the move will benefit the overall picture of healthcare for the patient, there has not been the expected participation or benefits for the entire system.
In theory, having all the patient’s healthcare records in one place, available for any authorized healthcare provider to view at a moment’s notice should allow every healthcare provider to efficiently and effectively address the patient’s healthcare needs. The reality is somewhat less rosy, according to a recent report by researchers at the University of Western Ontario. In a recent study published online in Canadian Family Physician, the researchers found that the implementation and adoption of PHR’s still present many challenges --- such as integration with electronic health record (EHR) technology, burdens of cost and/or time on healthcare providers, and the actual value added to the delivery of healthcare---that need to be addressed before physicians make PHR’s a part of their practices.
In this day and age of Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) you will probably be spending more time conversing with patients and other providers over the phone or internet. Is it appropriate to bill for this time spent while discussing a patient’s case with them or other team members? The answer is ‘Yes’ in most cases.
The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) manual has coding for both communication with a patient and another healthcare provider under specific guidelines, which limit the allowable circumstances under which you can bill for your time. After all, time is money.The CPT manual defines billable phone calls and internet conversations as: “non-face-to-face evaluation and management (E/M) services provided by a physician to a patient using the telephone. These codes are used to report episodes of care by the physician initiated by an established patient. If the telephone service ends with a decision to see the patient within 24 hours or the next available urgent visit appointment, the code is not reported; rather, the encounter is considered part of the pre-service work of the subsequent E/M service and visit.”
I don’t know how what he future of healthcare will hold with the changes that are mandated to come because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Of course, the PPACA may or may not become law, in part or in its entity pending the Supreme Court’s ruling due next summer.
But no matter what becomes of the PPACA, as a healthcare provider you should concentrate on the basics of practice management and treating patients. Continue to be, or become, the type of doctor that you would want to be treated by if you have any health problems. Practice the golden rule of success: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Remember why you got into the healthcare field in the first place—to help people.