Getting away from the business of medicine and back to healing

Practicing medicine has never been more challenging. I’m not talking about treating patients: that part of the job is a calling, much like it has always been, difficult at times, but just as often rewarding, exciting and fulfilling work.

Difficulties aside, advances in health IT are making positive changes for the medical system, and most importantly for patients.

One of the most problematic parts of being a physician is managing the business of medicine. For many in the healthcare profession, running a practice can be onerous and often a distraction from the most important part of the job - providing patient care.

It hasn’t always been like this. Since the 1940’s, American doctors cared for patients and submitted health insurance payment claims; straightforward, to be certain. Whether or not it was the most efficient approach, “fee-for-service” was the basic operating model for almost every health practice in the U.S.

Now, as payers push value-based care systems, that’s quickly changing. Too many physicians are overwhelmed as medicine becomes a bureaucratic snarl. Recent studies show that this shift is leading to physician burnout. Doctors are feeling less like healers and more like data entry technicians.

How many times in recent years have you met with your doctor and been asked questions while she stared down, filling out a form, instead of focusing on you? This is, seemingly, the new normal in doctors’ offices, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

The same technology that’s made physicians jobs more difficult can be harnessed to help them overcome the hurdles inherent in the fee-for-service to value-based care transformation. By using technology to improve the provider experience and make data more readily available and therefore more valuable to the care process, we can address four priorities: delivering patient care, financial efficiency and effectiveness to support better clinical outcomes. This “Quadruple Aim” enables physicians and payers to see eye-to-eye.

This support should include new solutions, such as cloud-based national interoperability, because vital health records should follow patients, regardless of where treatment occurs or what electronic health records were used. It should leverage analytics, to enable true population health management; and risk stratification, to accurately identify gaps in care and provide clinical and financial value.

Mobile solutions can revolutionize clinical workflows and remove some of the most challenging aspects of the electronic health record workflow. And finally, enhanced managed services can address financial and clinical solutions, including end-to-end Revenue Cycle Management to better align with physicians’ financial goals, improving their competitive position, and lowering total costs of ownership. Together, these solutions act as synergies to drive exponential value for physicians struggling to adapt.

There is no changing course now. The Center for Health Care Strategies predicts that 90 percent of government reimbursement will be value-based by next year. By 2020, three-quarters of payouts from payers will follow.

Health IT can play a positive role in helping the medical system change for the benefit of physicians, payers and, most importantly, patients. In order to become part of this change, physicians must have clear options which must be communicated to them and made fully accessible. Integrated clinical, financial and connectivity solutions have the power to allow practices and physicians to focus less time on running their business and more time on their top priority – patients. This empowerment to well-care increases physician satisfaction and lessens time spent on administrative tasks – and this, in turn, is very good news for patients.

NextGen Healthcare is on a relentless quest to improve the lives of those who practice medicine and those they care for. We provide a comprehensive, integrated, and open technology and services platform tailored to the needs of ambulatory and specialty practices of all sizes. With deep domain knowledge and a differentiated service experience, NextGen Healthcare is transforming the way ambulatory practices meet success in today’s healthcare system. The result? Healthier patients and happier providers.

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Rusty Frantz Bio

Rusty Frantz joined Quality Systems, Inc./NextGen Healthcare [NASDAQ: QSII] on July 1, 2015. He is leading the company’s transformation to a technology-enabled solutions provider empowering ambulatory practices to achieve healthcare’s quadruple aim: help drive better clinical outcomes by improving the patient and provider experience while reducing the cost of care.

Prior to joining NextGen Healthcare, Rusty led the $1B global dispensing division for CareFusion Corp., a San Diego-based global medical technology corporation that provided products and services to help hospitals improve safety and care quality. During his tenure, Rusty led the creation of the CareFusion SmartWorks platform, the launch of the next generation Pyxis ES platform, as well as CareFusion’s introduction of its global medication management strategy, all of which were key strategic drivers for the acquisition of CareFusion by Becton Dickenson. Previously Rusty cofounded Outpurchase, a venture backed SAAS enterprise procurement company. Rusty started his career as one of the first employees hired by the founders of Omnicell (NASDAQ: OMCL), where he led new product development.

Rusty holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the Maine Maritime Academy and a master of science degree in engineering from Stanford University.

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