The pMD Blog

Welcome to the
pMD Blog...

where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.

Image: iStock

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

•  A new report found that the government's projection for Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, missed the mark by several billion dollars. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in 2010 projected that the program would produce $1.7 billion in net savings by 2018, a $2 billion difference than the current savings. However, the report also mentions that ACOs that participate longer eventually gain more experience and perform better, seeing greater savings.  Read More

•  Standards for health savings accounts (HSA) have tightened a bit this year. The annual maximum allowable contribution to a HSA is slightly lower for individuals with family coverage this year. Money deposited in a HSA is tax-deductible, grows tax-free, and can be used to pay for medical expenses.  Read More

•  Millennials are a driving force in the health care industry these days. In a recent survey that included participants from the baby boomer, genX, and millennial generations, millennials were less likely to have a primary care physician and more likely to utilize walk-in clinics, use online cost-tracking tools to manage medical expenses, and find telemedicine an extremely important option.  Read More

•  In a new study that compared the cellular effects of carbohydrates in sports drinks versus bananas, it has been found that a banana provides comparable or greater anti-inflammatory benefits than sports drinks in athletes. While bloating may be one downside, exercisers who prefer a natural and inexpensive alternative to sports drinks can count on bananas to do the job!  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: Healthcare IT News

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

•  In research recently published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, a new study introduces a new potential malaria-fighting tool: the medication, Ivermectin. Ivermectin kills malaria-carrying mosquitos who feed on individuals that ingest the drug.  Read More

•  Many health systems experience obstacles in the operating room in the face of supply shortages. Using inventory analytics can help reduce costs and medical supply shortages. By automating this process, costs are reduced and providers have more free time to focus on patients and support better outcomes.  Read More

•  Experts have outlined three key reasons for ditching the fee-for-service (FFS) payment model. First, FFS trends toward a metric-oriented process over patient outcome. Second, joining partnerships in value-based care can break down payment barriers and prioritize patient input. And third, FFS can create an ethical issue when physicians over-diagnose or over-treat patients in favor of increased reimbursement rates.  Read More

•  This week, a California state judge ruled that coffee sellers would be required to brand their beverages with cancer warning labels. When coffee beans are roasted, a chemical called acrylamide is formed, which is on California's list of chemicals considered to cause cancer. Companies like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts can file objections to the proposed decision within the next two weeks.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: Roy Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

•  On Thursday, the House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through the end of September. The Department of Health and Human Services will be getting a considerable increase in the billions. The budget also  includes a large amount of funding for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to boost interoperability.  Read More

•  Americans living in rural areas struggle with access to care. Expansion of programs providing emergency air medical services are limited by cost but a bill introduced last summer hopes to improve access to air ambulance services by updating Medicare's currently minuscule reimbursement rates.  Read More

•  Recently, Amazon announced its entry into the health care space. Its early efforts are dedicated to selling medical supplies such as gloves, syringes, and other health care items to various types of providers.  Read More

•  Social media is becoming a platform for patients to connect online and share reactions to drug treatments. Sometimes, clinical trials can miss side effects and collecting data about a drug from insurance claims and health records can take a long time. So, rather than being faced with lag time, companies are often sifting through the internet and social media for patient reports of side effects as a tempting method of collecting data. But experts warn of drawbacks to this approach.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

This past winter, I had learned that my guilty pleasure was taking in as much of the Olympics that I could. I found myself mesmerized. There’s something about the pursuit of excellence at the highest level possible that was captivating to me. I have such great respect for these athletes that have given their last 4 years and most of their lives dedicated to execution in one moment of excellence that typically lasts less than 2 minutes.

I had watched athlete after athlete compete, and it forced me to think about what their path to excellence and success looked like. As a former athlete, I’ve had a small taste into that world, and I quickly realized that it was the thousands of hours dedicated to the practice of the fundamentals that put these athletes into such an elite level.

As much as I would liked to be able to participate in the Olympics, it’s not happening anytime soon for me. However, I do take great pride in my job each day. My guess is that most of us want to perform at the highest level possible. Thus, lately, I’ve been inspired by others that have been at the pinnacle of the business or sports world. As I read and study their methods, I’m reminded even more of the importance of continually practicing, preaching, and executing on the fundamentals day in and day out.

As we embark on lofty goals at pMD for 2018, I wanted to share a few of the key fundamentals I’m routinely seeing among those that have achieved and led teams to the pinnacle of success and are applicable no matter what line of work you’re in:

Clarify your Definition of Success

In our personal and professional lives, there can be a tremendous amount of noise and opinions that will all try to dictate what success looks like. I found it fascinating that John Wooden, a former Hall of Fame UCLA basketball coach who won 10 national championships (7 consecutively), 80 games in a row and is considered one of the greatest coaches in history, never talked about “wins” being a benchmark to success when speaking with his teams. Rather, he said, “True success comes only to an individual by self-satisfaction in knowing that you gave everything to become the very best that you are capable of. Less than 100% of your effort towards obtaining the objective is not success, regardless of the outcome. Don’t worry about whether you’re better than somebody else, but never cease trying to be the best you can become. You have control over that; the other you don’t.”

Little Things Make Big Things Happen

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Lofty goals are achieved through your seemingly small actions each day, accumulated over extended periods of time. Be relentless in your pursuit of staying committed to doing the little things correctly over time. Wooden states, “Long-term success requires short-term focus.” Stay consistent with investing in the fundamentals for improvement today and the future will take care of itself. When you start obsessing about the future and the projected scoreboard, you lose the opportunity to better yourself and your team today.

Discipline Equals Freedom

I’ve also been following a former Navy-Seal-turned-business-consultant, Jocko Willink. He preaches that discipline equals freedom and is critical to success. While discipline may seem like your enemy, it’s actually your best friend. All of us desire to reach a freedom that comes from achieving our lofty goals. Jocko states clearly that there are no shortcuts to success. It is the best offense to reach your potential and the best defense against temptation, weakness and procrastination. It’s through your discipline that you’re able to execute on the priorities and “little things” that frees you to perform your best and reach your goals.

My takeaways from these themes are that you can’t accomplish lofty goals and dreams without being incredibly disciplined and relentless on the fundamentals every single day. Easier said than done, but it starts with making those disciplined decisions today and then starting all over in executing tomorrow. Over time, those minutes turn into hours, hours into days, and days into years. Execute on the daily process and the scoreboard and your accomplishments will take care of themselves.

 If you'd like to find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, and care coordination software and services, please contact pMD.

Image: Gerald Herbert/AP

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

•  Use of opioid drugs has risen among the elderly population, despite their vulnerability to the drugs' side effects. Pain relievers like Vicodin and Oxycontin are frequently prescribed for older people, often for falls and fractures, and when patients take both, they're at risk for overdosing.  Read More

•  Leading vendors in the electronic health record space are developing technology that incorporate artificial intelligence, or AI. For AI and machine learning to advance in health care, clean data is needed to fuel interoperability and modern data exchange.  Read More

•  In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it has been found that the U.S. spends nearly double the amount on medical care than 10 of the highest-income countries, yet performed less well on patient population health outcomes. The main drivers of the differences in spending are prices of labor and goods and administrative costs.  Read More

•  On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration announced its plans to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes in the hopes of weaning millions of smokers off the deadly habit. The goal is also to prevent millions more from becoming regular smokers. Preliminary plans to cut nicotine in cigarettes tentatively begin in July.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: Trina Dalziel/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

•  In a recent report, it has been found that women taking probiotics and fish oil supplements during pregnancy and breast-feeding may reduce food allergy risks and eczema in early childhood.  Read More

•  The U.S. still has the highest health care costs in the world and some experts suggest that carefully scrutinizing unnecessary elective treatments could contribute to a long-term solution. As people live longer, the population takes on more cost.  Read More

•  On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has plans to do a complete overhaul of the Meaningful Use program for hospitals. CMS Administrator, Seema Verma, specified to reporters that the agency is moving away from giving credit to providers for simply having an EHR to making sure their EHR is focused on interoperability and providing patients with their data.  Read More

•  A slowly growing number of health systems are encouraging selected emergency department patients who are acutely ill yet stable to opt for hospital-level care at home. For this subset of patients, a trip to the hospital can put them at risk for infection, sleeplessness, and delirium, among other problems. The biggest obstacle is getting health insurers to pay for it.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: Getty/udra

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

•  According to new research published in Family Medicine, family providers are spending more time completing electronic health record (EHR) work than looking at patients during visits. While technology can provide automation and efficiency that many hospitals find appealing, the downfall is that they can also steal providers' face-to-face time away from patients.  Read More

•  When you feel that tickle rising into your nose or throat, your first instinct may be to suppress a sneeze or cough by covering your mouth with your hand. While your efforts to stop the spread of germs are valiant, covering your mouth using your hand might actually be just as risky as sneezing out into the open air. Unless you plan to wash your hand immediately after sneezing into it, you're likely still spreading germs through everything you touch thereafter. Sneeze into your sleeve and stop those germs from spreading!  Read More

•  Apple plans to launch a medical practice this spring, called AC Wellness. The hope is to test potential consumer-facing health services and products with Apple employees first. There will also be two primary care clinics for Apple employees in Santa Clara County. This news comes shortly after Amazon's announcement that it will partner with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to launch an independent health care company.  Read More

•  Another big tech company is taking to the health care industry. Uber is teaming up with health care organizations to provide rides for patients going to and from medical appointments without even needing to open the Uber app.  That means patients without a smartphone can become Uber customers because rides can be schedule for patients through their doctor's office. Uber is hoping to break the transportation barrier that often impedes access to good health care.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

The team attending the 2017 National MGMA
Conference in Anaheim, CA last October

At pMD, we thrive on providing user-friendly, intuitive, and amazing software that makes doctors happy! As a member of the sales team, I can tell you that a great way to accomplish this is to get in front of prospective customers, face-to-face and what better way to do that than to travel to conferences across the nation? We work with over 20 different medical specialities to provide a highly customizable charge capture solution, secure messaging software, MIPS Registry, and even a care coordination tool. pMD attends many different conferences on a yearly basis, ranging from specialty-specific to national, in order to connect with these prospective customers.

Our engagements at conferences start long before the actual conference itself. Weeks before the conference begins, we scan the attendee list for our current customers, providing opportunity to schedule some time to say hello and set aside some much needed catch up time. We also note any groups that have previously reached out to pMD about our products. This is a great opportunity to reach out and evaluate if the group is still looking for a solution. We invite these folks to drop by and hopefully establish a good time to sync up.

Attending a conference as an exhibitor is always an enjoyable experience. We can always expect folks to drop by our booth and ask questions about pMD and its products. Due to pMD being highly customizable and our time at the conference being limited, it is important that we’re able to “qualify” a lead quickly while on the spot and decide if pMD would be a good fit at their practice. During these short interactions, we aim to schedule a more in-depth workflow discussion for the following week when the conference is finished.

We’ve discovered many benefits from attending conferences over the years. It is a great opportunity for us to meet potential customers and establish relationships. We also love attending these conferences to witness in what ways pMD could potentially help practices solve problems and how we can provide a product that streamlines their workflow. Due to the ever changing health care industry, we value these conferences greatly because we also learn from our peers and practices.

If you see pMD at a future conference, we invite you to stop by our booth and say hello! Regardless of future business opportunities, we enjoy meeting new folks and love sharing pMD’s signature swag: stick-on mustaches.

 If you'd like to find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, and care coordination software and services, please contact pMD.

Image: Trina Dalziel/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

•  The Senate Finance Committee is examining potential strategies that could improve care access and treatment quality surrounding the opioid epidemic. Interoperability is one of the major roadblocks to data sharing capabilities between states who participate in programs that monitor prescription drugs. Data access needs to be a seamless and streamlined process for providers.  Read More

•  There are major disparities plaguing post-surgical discharges across the country. Patients undergoing the same type of surgery are discharged home while a portion are sent to a post-acute facility. New payment programs such as bundled payments can address these disparities by calling for more studies on the specific needs of patient populations and meeting those needs.  Read More

•  Emergency rooms are a hot bed for pain and pain management. Patients who come to the ER for pain relief are often prescribed medications like Percocet or Vicodin, which have contributed to the rising opioid epidemic. Physicians are now looking for alternatives to help reduce opioid abuse. Ten Colorado hospitals successfully participated in a sixth-month pilot project aimed at reducing prescription painkiller use.  Read More

•  A new study recently found that empowering the roles of midwives in the U.S. could significantly boost maternal and infant health. Compared to many European and Scandinavian countries where midwives oversee most expectant and new mothers, severe maternal complications have more than doubled in the U.S. in the last 20 years.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Imagine, if you can, a world where medical information crosses boundaries - safely, reliably, timely, as effortlessly as water. What is required to create such permeable boundaries? Sure, there are the base technical requirements. System B must be able to read, understand, and digest System A’s output. As convoluted as medical information standards can be, there are reliable pieces there. Reliable yet limited.

So, to achieve something more dynamic, deeper, and more useful, what is required?  I think trust plays an outsized role. I am not talking about the trust inherent in the security profiles of each system, though that is important. I'm talking about the trust of the people involved. The human element.  You need to know who you are working with, what they are about, and establish if they are on the same page.

At pMD, we actively seek out partners with whom we can achieve richer technical connections as well as dynamic personal collaborations.  A recent example is the links we are building with a regional EMR company called iMed.  iMed reached out to us last year as they were assessing partners to perform the MIPS registry role for their customers.  Their dream was to create a new module in their software allowing their customers to collect quality data as they entered clinical data into iMed. This made a lot of sense. Capturing quality data in real time would help their customers achieve their MIPS reporting goals and set them up for ongoing success as the medical market continues to reach towards measurements beyond the raw financial value of services.

We met their team, shared what pMD does and what they needed and found a compelling fit.  As they developed this new module we worked closely with their team to share what registry reporting requires so they could consider those requirements in their software.  Finally, we attended their user group meeting, spoke with their customers alongside their team to better link their customers, the module, and pMD’s MIPS registry services together.

We are currently rolling out version one of our collaboration, which allows for regular data uploads from our now mutual customers into pMD, sharing that data back with the reporting providers, and targeting gaps and opportunities for improvement.  The goal is to fully automate this process this year.

It has been a rewarding and productive collaborative effort to create real interoperability between iMed and pMD, for the benefit of those providers using both systems. This type of work is part of fulfilling our mission to make doctors happy and we hope for many years working with our friends at iMed and others who want to create more vital, dynamic, and trusting health care data ecosystems.

 If you'd like to find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, and care coordination software and services, please contact pMD.