Thursday, October 20, 2011

Over the Mid-Week Bounce

Many of you have often poised the question, "juist how do you do all that you do?" When I think about it, the answer is some days I'm not sure and other days I just don't think I can keep doing it. Then I realize that I simply must do it because someone has too. Producing this content as well as the travel, assorted meetings, deadlines, Board of Director responsibilities and such often pushes me to the limit. However, key elements to makingt it all happen is comittment, vision, empowerment and ultimately my personal "will" to go the distance. It boils down to the either a "put up or shut up," stance that comes into play no matter what project or organization you are working within. As they say that "it takes a village.." it really does and then some. So, as I've said more than times than I can count, "what you gonna do?" Now that I've put it out there once again, let's see what working or not working in the world around us....

NABWMT Evaluates Little Rock

The evaluations have been dropping liking it's hot, as those who participated in the 2011 Fall Midland/ national board meeting in Little Rock have weighed in on their experience while in the city. The survey asked attendees to comment on registration, acommodations, programming and overall overview of the event. On respondant summed up the event as "perfect," stating that their first visit to Little Rock not only met their expectations but "exceeded" their expectations. Paul C. of Los Angelas said" It was my first visit and I was overwhelmed at the welcoming atmosphere and the attractions that I got to visit." Other respondants cited that the "value" of the event especially the accommodations and food offerings was simply unbelieveable compared to other city sites that have hosted the event. NABWMT Co-Chair, Ken B. from Long Beach, California stated that "this is just amazing that a small group took on putting together such a great event. The amount of work and effort was definately evident."  Local organizers stated that every dollar was maximized in creativity, locales and programming that began with planning back in fall 2010. "We are so proud of the event as well as the fact that we learned so much in the process," said Shon D. " The 2012 national convention is scheduled for July 16-21, 2012 in San Diego, California. Registration and hotel information can be obtained from the groups website:  Check out the Twitter feed at   Since the event, a local effort to create an affiliate of the ogranization has been floated. If you are interested reach out to this forum for more info or directly at

COP 24/7 Special
Health Care Goes Digital Pushing Doctors to E-mail and Skype
( you can access the full story at written by Carey Goldberg)

No one could blame 3-year-old Anish for getting hysterical when he saw a doctor. He’d been through open-heart surgery and a skull operation. He knew that white coats often meant pain.
The first time his mother brought him to see Dr. Lester Hartman of Westwood-Mansfield Pediatric Associates, he had such a meltdown in the office that the visit had to take place in the parking lot, with the engine running, Anish in his carseat, and the pediatrician leaning his laptop on the driver’s side window as he took notes.
Clearly, this was not going to work. So these days, unless Anish needs to be physically seen, his parents schedule their appointments for evening hours. They sit at their home computer and they consult with Dr. Hartman, face to face, but not in person — by Skype.
Those Skype visits put Dr. Hartman way far out on the cutting edge of using technology to communicate with patients, even though Skype is now very old news in the general population. But he has high hopes that if health reform plays out as expected in Massachusetts, he’ll be able to ramp up Skype and use other electronic tools more creatively in his practice. (See his guest post below.)
‘Why hasn’t it gone further faster?’
Health care lags dramatically — perhaps “pathetically” is the correct adverb — behind other sectors in the use of the technological tools that now tend to dominate our personal lives — email, Skype, Facebook, smartphones. As Dr. Ronald Dixon of Massachusetts General Hospital put it: “Our patients are all Skyping with their grandchildren, so why can’t they Skype with us?”
But multiplying signals suggest that early adopters like Dr. Hartman may soon get a major boost from a political source: The looming state health reform. It aims to save money by shifting care away from “fee-for-service” payments for each procedure and toward giving doctors a “global” budget for a patient’s annual care.
Health insurers do not generally reimburse doctors for time spent emailing or Skyping or texting. When a doctor is paid for each bit of in-person care, but not for such “virtual” care, that’s a major disincentive to go virtual. On the other hand, if a doctor is paid an overarching annual sum for your care and will get bonuses for keeping you healthier and within your budget, checking in with you by email or Skype may suddenly become much more attractive.
Dr. Joseph Kvedar, director of the Center for Connected Health at Partners Healthcare and a practicing dermatologist, says that under the current health-care payment system, he emails constantly with his patients for free just because he sees it as part of caring for them. But “If the cash register never rang, I wouldn’t have a job. Right now, if you stop coming in to the office, I have a real problem. That won’t be the case anymore two years from now. The time is upon us that it will be as quaint as bank tellers.”
Signs the times are changing
Here’s one clear signal that reform could help push medicine in that direction: At a major Boston conference on technology in health care beginning Thursday, one session is billed as a debate over whether global payments are “the business model of the future” for “remote” patient care.
Here’s another signal: Dr. Neil Minkoff, medical director for the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, says he sees three main reasons why doctors are headed toward more virtual care:
First, primary care doctors are in short supply and virtual tools could help spread a doctor farther. Second, the younger generation of doctors are digital natives. And third, “As we move from fee-for-service medicine to a global budget, physicians will have a greater incentive to use ‘tele-visits’ to monitor patients with chronic disease.”

No comments: