Lots of buzz this week about practices getting ready for Meaningful Use attestation. One of my independent colleagues reached out to me about an offer to provide batch attestation for all physicians in the practice for less than $1,000. Looking at the amount of time that practices can spend doing an attestation, it certainly sounds tempting. Given the risks of a badly-done attestation, I’d make sure that I read the fine print and included some kind of language on performance or lack thereof. If anyone has used one of these services, I’d be interested to hear about it.
AMIA as requesting submissions for the iHealth Clinical Informatics Conference to be held in May. The submission deadline is January 22. I’ve been to Minneapolis and enjoyed it. I’ll likely attend if I don’t have a conflict with a client engagement. I’m still working to get all my Maintenance of Certification hours for Clinical Informatics. I know there are some available at HIMSS, but I’m not sure if the courses are going to work with my social schedule. I did finally complete the required “patient safety module” for the certification and am grateful for ABPM for giving a six-month grace period to those of us who were in the first certification class.
I’ve received quite a few LinkedIn announcements lately that are congratulating people on new positions that they’ve actually held for some time. This usually makes me think that they’re buffing up their profile in preparation for job hunting, especially if they couple it with a “please endorse me” message. The one I received today was particularly amusing as it was from a former colleague who has habit of overstating his qualifications. I’m not likely to put my reputation on the line for that. In other cases, people might just have been delinquent in updating their profiles, but it’s more likely to be the former.
Speaking of job hunts, a reader responded to my recent comments on Glassdoor suggesting several more companies whose reviews are downright entertaining. I almost spit wine all over my new computer, so he’s lucky he’s not buying me new hardware. Feel free to send me your funniest examples and I’ll put together a top 10 list.
Now that we’re in the new year, I’m starting to get excited about HIMSS and have secured my date for HIStalkapalooza. This year it’s someone clinical, so it will be interesting to hear feedback from that perspective. I’m starting to work on wardrobe and of course accessories. Last year I had a wardrobe malfunction involving my handbag becoming tangled up with my dress on the dance floor, so I’m not eager to repeat that episode. If you have any great wardrobe finds, let me know.
The new year is also a time of stress for many patients. I was at my own doctor appointment the other day and watched multiple patients being turned away because of issues related to a change with their insurance coverage. Some didn’t have referrals and others didn’t realize the physicians they were trying to see were out of network on their plans.
One of the patients had an interesting situation where she has a PCP on her HMO insurance but actually sees a “direct primary care” physician for her primary care needs. Although she had a consultation request from her actual PCP, she didn’t have one from the PCP on her card who she had never seen, so the practice wouldn’t see her unless she agreed to pay in full. Most of the patients were extremely frustrated, which is not surprising. The way we deliver care in the US is just crazy.
My visit was frustrating for other reasons. I was having stitches taken out from a skin biopsy and had received the results by phone the other day. The medical assistant offered me a copy of my results and I said yes, since I hadn’t received them through the practice’s patient portal and wasn’t sure they did pathology that way. She then said, “Oh, I need to go talk to the doctor and see if you need a re-excision” and walked out of the room leaving me with a giant “!?!” hanging in the air. Certainly people shouldn’t be calling with results if they don’t know the whole care plan or if it’s not documented anywhere.
She returned a few minutes later saying, “You’re good to go,” but didn’t have the result in hand. I was pushing being late for a client call and will just request my own copy of the results so I didn’t argue the point, but it was not the care I expected from a major university health system.
Once I made it home and finished my client call, I was glad to see this blurb from another reader with a fondness for unusual news. Possibly some competition for Weird News Andy? A suburban Chicago funeral home recently received approval for a liquor license. They’re hoping to partner with a nearby Italian restaurant to offer the refreshments and build the idea of funerals as a “life celebration.” I think EHR vendors could offer similar refreshments at their training centers – it certainly would make the experience more pleasant.
What do you think could be done to enhance EHR training? Email me.
Email Dr. Jayne.