webinar

Is Telemedicine in Your Future? Many Physicians Say the Answer is Yes

Posted in practice management, webinar on February 18th, 2016 by MMS – 2 Comments

telemedicine concept

More and more, patients are looking for convenient ways to access health care services when they are unable to be physically present for a traditional office exam.

Over the past couple of years, many physician practices across the country have started using telemedicine technologies in innovative ways to increase patients’ access to services.

What is telemedicine? The Institute of Medicine defines it as “The use of electronic information and communications technology to provide and support health care services when distance separates participants.”

A successfully implemented telemedicine service can increase access to care, but could also improve the operational efficiency of the practice, and improve the patient experience.

However, there have been a number of concerns raised about telemedicine. These include reimbursement, identifying appropriate patients for telemedicine visits, the ease of use of the technology, and maintaining continuity of care.

Despite these concerns, many physicians nationally and locally are starting to pilot telemedicine in their practices, and are deciding whether leveraging the technology may make sense for their practice.

Join the MMS for a webinar on February 24 to learn more about the impact telemedicine has on the health care system, and how to leverage these technologies to improve your practice operations and your patients’ experience.

Register at www.massmed.org/telemedweb

– Kerry Ann Hayon

Risk Adjustment and Payment Reform: A New Webinar

Posted in Accountable Care Organizations, Global Payments, Health Policy, Payment Reform, webinar on June 15th, 2011 by MMS – Comments Off on Risk Adjustment and Payment Reform: A New Webinar

Every study of accountable care organizations recognizes that proper risk adjustment tools are critical to their success.

Without adjustments for case-mix severity and other issues, providers’ cost and quality measures can be simply wrong. For example, hospitals and physicians who treat a high number of seriously or chronically ill patients would unfairly have inappropriate funding, simply because they treat more people who are sick.

Last month, our House of Delegates declared that “proper risk adjustment” is an essential component of payment reform.

In order to take on a bundled, global payment or other related payment models, funding must be adequate, and adequate risk adjustment for patient panel sickness, socioeconomic status, and other factors is needed. Current risk adjustment tools have limitations, and payers must include physician input as tools evolve and provide enough flexibility regarding resources in order to ensure responsible approaches are implemented. In addition, ACOs and like entities must have the infrastructure in place and individuals with the skills to understand and manage risk.

On June 23, the MMS is hosting an important webinar on risk adjustment. It will cover why risk adjustment is important to your practice, its importance in the context of ACOs, global capitation, and medical home models. The webinar will also focus on a detailed description of the risk scoring and funds allocation processes.

The webinar content is particularly relevant to provider organizations that are about to enter into global payments, are already in such a program, or considering the creation of an ACO.

Click here for more information or to register.

Do You Know the Risks of Getting Alzheimer’s?

Posted in alzheimer's disease, webinar on January 12th, 2010 by MMS – Comments Off on Do You Know the Risks of Getting Alzheimer’s?

alzheimer's webinar
Here are the leading risks:

  • Increasing age.
    This is the greatest known risk factor.  Most individuals with the disease are 65 or older. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent.
  • Family history.
    Research has shown that those who have a parent, brother or sister, or child with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. The risk increases if more than one family member has the illness. When diseases tend to run in families, either heredity (genetics) or environmental factors or both may play a role.
  • Genetics (heredity).
    Scientists know genes are involved in Alzheimer’s. There are two categories of genes that can play a role in determining whether a person develops a disease.  Age, family history and heredity are all risk factors we can’t change. Now, research is beginning to reveal clues about other risk factors we may be able to influence.
  • Head injury.
    There appears to be a strong link between serious head injury and future risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Heart-head connection.
    Some of the strongest evidence links brain health to heart health. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia appears to be increased by many conditions that damage the heart or blood vessels, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol.
  • General healthy aging.
    Other lines of evidence suggest that strategies for overall healthy aging may help keep the brain healthy and may even offer some protection against developing Alzheimer’s or related diseases.   Encourage patients to keep their weight within recommended guidelines, avoid tobacco and excess alcohol, stay socially connected, and exercise both body and mind.

Content adapted from the Alzheimer’s Assocation, Massachusetts and New Hampshire Chapter

Coming Jan. 26

Webinar: Early Recognition of Dementia

The Massachusetts Medical Society and the Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association are co-sponsoring the first of two webinars for physicians to promote improved levels of dementia recognition, screening, diagnosis, and service referral.

(The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™)

For more information about the program and to register, visit the MMS website.

The Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s (First of Two Parts)

Posted in alzheimer's disease, webinar on January 7th, 2010 by MMS – Comments Off on The Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s (First of Two Parts)

alzheimer's webinarMemory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. It may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s, a fatal brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.

(Part two of this series will be posted on Jan. 8.)

1.    Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
What’s typical? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.

2.    Challenges in planning or solving problems
Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
What’s typical? Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.

3.    Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
What’s typical? Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

4.    Confusion with time or place
People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
What’s typical? Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

5.    Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.
What’s typical? Vision changes related to cataracts.

Content adapted from the Alzheimer’s Assocation, Massachusetts and New Hampshire Chapter

Coming Jan. 26

Webinar: Early Recognition of Dementia

The Massachusetts Medical Society and the Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association are co-sponsoring the first of two webinars for physicians to promote improved levels of dementia recognition, screening, diagnosis, and service referral.

(The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™)

For more information about the program and to register, visit the MMS website.