Are Cardiology Benchmarks the Right Tool?

When you take a close look at the data from physician compensation and production surveys, you’ll find some interesting trends emerging in cardiology. For instance, a Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey reported that total compensation has increased 8% on average across all subspecialties since 2009. Meanwhile, productivity has dropped across all subspecialties by an average of 14% over the same time period, as shown in the table below.  Continue reading

Breaking Down Barriers: Rethinking Patient Access Strategies

Ever since physicians traveled the countryside making house calls, access to health services has been a cornerstone of effective patient care.  Actually providing readily accessible care to the entire population, however, is a goal that has proved difficult to achieve.  Expanding access to care and health information is a key priority of healthcare reform, value-based care, and population health management.  To improve patient access, health systems and provider organizations must think beyond traditional care models and adopt innovative strategies in redesigning how, when, and where care is delivered. Continue reading

Becoming a High-Performing Cardiology Practice

Whether employed, aligned, or independent, many cardiology groups are having difficulty sustaining and/or improving performance in the evolving healthcare environment. Physicians and administrators are balancing mounting patient and provider demands against decreasing resources. Aligning with health systems and hospitals through employment or affiliation arrangements may be a lifeline for some practices, but it in no way ensures practice growth or optimal performance. Continue reading

Rethinking the Role of ACPs in Cardiology

Is the right person performing the right tasks at the right time in your cardiology practice?  Advanced care practitioners (ACPs), such as physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), have long supported the delivery of cardiac care.  In many physician practices and hospitals, however, ACPs are simply not being leveraged as effectively as they could be.  Instead, lingering assumptions about the role of ACPs and long-held practice models are restricting their true capacity to improve productivity and enhance patient access.  The use of PAs and NPs is not new or novel, yet ACPs continue to be untapped resources for improving the delivery of cardiac care. Continue reading

Putting Advanced Care Providers in Charge of Your PCMH: An Effective Approach?

A recent article published by EHR Intelligence explored the benefits, challenges, and strategies of non-physician-led patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs).  Instead of the traditional approach of having a physician at the core of the PCMH care team, this emerging model recognizes the value and abilities of advanced care providers (ACPs) – namely, NPs and PAs – and puts them in a position to effectively lead the care team and operate the PCMH model. Continue reading