Imagine a patient comes into your office with active RA or lupus. You diagnose her and prescribe medications for her active disease—rash, arthritis, and so forth—but you do nothing to address possible long-term complications. You don’t prescribe calcium or vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis, you don’t get a bone density scan, and you don’t order labs to check risk factors for heart disease.
Does this sound odd to you? Of course it does. Rheumatologists routinely deal with situations that require them to think about both acute and longer-term issues, both of which are vital to the well-being of their patients.
Addressing patients’ immediate concerns while ignoring their long-term needs is not good clinical practice. But, how often do you apply these same principles to the business side of your practice?
2009 ARHP Rheumatology Audioconference/Webcast Series
- March 10, 2009
How Can We Help Our Clients with Scleroderma Manage Musculoskeletal and Functional Limitations?
Janet L. Poole, PhD, OTR
- April 21, 2009
Physical Activity among People with Arthritis: Assessment, Considerations, and Behavior Change
Julie Keysor, PhD, PT
- May 20, 2009
Reconditioning Hearts and Muscles: The Fit and Strong! Osteoarthritis (OA) Evidence-Based Program
Susan Hughes, DSW
- June 9, 2009
Managing Office Infusions: From Biologics to Bones
Josh S. Brinks, BSN, MSN, FNP
- July 14, 2009
Positive Antinuclear Antibodies, Rheumatoid Factors, and Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide: What Does It All Mean?
Benjamin J. Smith, PA-C
- December 10, 2009
Medicare Updates: Where Do We Stand?
Antanya A. Chung, CCP,CPC-I
Understandably, your days are spent dealing with immediate, pressing issues—seeing as many patients as possible, keeping up with the demands of running your practice, attempting to stay abreast of the latest in rheumatology research and patient care, trying to meet RVU targets; and handling administrative, research, and education responsibilities. It is a struggle to prioritize and eventually address everything that needs your attention, and it is tempting to only give consideration to the most immediate concerns and crises. Finding the time and energy to proactively plan for the future can be difficult.
Professional organizations deal with a similar challenge to face present-day needs while also planning for the future. However, if it is to be successful, an organization must also plan for the future of the organization and its members. The ACR is no exception.
Apply This to Quality
One area where this is especially true is quality. Rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals deal with daily demands from payers and others to demonstrate that they provide high-quality care for their patients. Provider rating systems and tiered networks where patient co-pays are determined by a provider’s designated “quality” level are becoming more numerous, and these programs are not always transparent or based solely on the best clinical care. Practitioners are being asked to participate in pay-for-performance (P4P) or, at minimum, pay-for-reporting programs, but these programs don’t all have the same requirements or use the same measures. Practitioners and their staff can easily spend considerable time that might otherwise be spent on patient care just trying to document and deal with the requirements of these programs.