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Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013

Practice News

Study: IPAs may help small practices enhance care

Small and mid-size practices may be able to implement advanced care management programs by participating in independent practice associations (IPA) or physician-hospital organizations (PHO), according to a new study in Health Affairs.

Using data from a survey of 1,164 practices with fewer than 20 physicians, the study looked at the extent to which IPAs and PHOs made it possible for smaller practices to share resources to improve patient care. On average, the practices that participated in one of these organizations—nearly a quarter of the survey respondents—provided nearly three times as many care-management processes for patients with chronic conditions as did the practices that did not participate in an IPA or PHO.

The authors concluded that these organizations may be a "viable organizational alternative" to hospital employment "during an era of major changes in how health care is delivered and paid for."

As the nation's health care system continues to evolve, the AMA is dedicated to helping physicians navigate the environment successfully by ensuring sustainable physician practices that result in good health outcomes for patients and greater professional satisfaction for physicians.

Through its initiative to shape new delivery and payment models, the AMA will help physicians in all practice sizes and settings by:

  • Identifying effective models that achieve high-quality patient care and professional satisfaction
  • Helping physicians make informed decisions about their practices
  • Providing tools and resources to enable physicians to adopt models that meet their needs

Learn more about this initiative.

How to protect yourself under the Sunshine Act

A new toolkit from the AMA can help physicians navigate the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which took effect Aug. 1.

As required under the newly implemented law, drug and medical device manufacturers began tracking their financial interactions with licensed physicians last month. This data will be reported to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for publication in an online database to go live next year.

The AMA's toolkit offers resources physicians need to promote the accuracy of the data reported about them, including:

  • Top tips to ensure accurate reporting
  • A free archived webinar
  • A free mobile app for tracking financial interactions
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Information about how to challenge false, inaccurate or misleading reports

The AMA also is developing tools to aid physicians in talking with their patients about the transactions included in the new Sunshine Act database and will continue to update the toolkit with helpful resources.