Omar P. Sangüeza, MD, Awarded with Highest Honor by International Society of Dermatopathology

QualDerm Partners, a company that creates market-leading dermatology practice partnerships through affiliations and de novo development, announced that Omar P. Sangüeza, MD, earned the International Society of Dermatopathology’s (ISDP) prestigious Founders Award. The ISDP membership includes approximately 700 dermatolopathologists from 5 continents. Founded in 1979,…

Keys to Dermatologist Job Satisfaction

A recent edition of AAD’s Dermatology World magazine featured a piece highlighting the factors dermatologists say most and least contribute to their job satisfaction. The findings, which were taken from the AAD’s 2019 Life in Practice Study, are not surprising. Patient interaction, clinical autonomy, and…

Quality and Expertise

Roughly a decade ago, author Malcom Gladwell declared in his best-selling book Outliers, that to become an expert, one must spend 10,000 hours dedicated to their craft. Numerous counter theories have since emerged. Simply clocking hours does not guarantee expertise…

Alleviating the Burdens

A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine put a price tag of $4.6B per year on physician burnout. While this massive cost burdens the US health system, the personal toll on physicians is also significant…

Experience Matters

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has made a concerted effort in recent years to educate the public and payors about the importance of seeing a board-certified dermatologist for skin conditions.  Quality of care, as well as efficiency, is best delivered by physicians who are…

Patient Safety: A Commitment to Continuous Improvement

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Annual Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 10-16. This initiative was created to promote discussions and encourage actions that will improve patient safety in all healthcare settings.  Federal mandates tied to quality of care and outcomes have further increased the…

Change: The State of Dermatology

There’s no shortage of articles discussing how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the world, including the practice of medicine. While some suggest that the human element may soon become obsolete, others argue that mankind won’t be so easily replaced. In fact, a recent article entitled,…

A Culture of Quality

For years, the federal government has issued mandates in an effort to improve care quality and reduce costs. While some believe these mandates are incrementally moving healthcare in the right direction, many physicians feel otherwise. In fact, only 15% of surveyed physicians agree that value-based…

Preserving Physician Autonomy: The True Partnership Model

The Physicians Foundation and Merritt Hawkins recently released their 2018 Survey of America’s Physicians. This year’s results are similar to what was found in the past few years’ surveys: More time is spent on paperwork, instances of burnout are high, and physicians are feeling pessimistic…

Rising Healthcare Benefit Costs: The Impact on Physician Practices

Employers can expect to pay almost $15,000 per employee for healthcare benefits in 2019, according to the National Business Group on Health’s Large Employers’ 2019 Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey. The 2019 costs are 5% higher than in 2018. The survey also revealed…

Payment Incentive Programs: The Challenge for Small Dermatology Practices

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report highlighting the rate of which small and rural medical practices successfully participated in federally-funded payment incentive programs. The report analyzed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data from 2015, focusing on “legacy” programs –…

Local Healthcare in the Age of Consolidation

“Healthcare is local” has been a mantra among providers for decades. The volume of that mantra increases anytime the industry goes through changes. Recently, it’s gotten louder in the field of dermatology, most likely due to the trend of industry consolidation. While commonalities exist, there…

Technology as a Physician Recruitment Tool

In a recent issue of Dermatology World, the cover story focused on recruiting and retaining millennial physicians. While how to attract that generation’s best and brightest is a hot topic in many industries, it is especially important in dermatology as the gap between the supply…

Physician Leadership: The Key to Quality Care

It is no secret that the number of independent dermatology practices is shrinking. In fact, the 2017 American Academy of Dermatology Member Profile Report showed that 52% of dermatologists now are practicing in a group setting. While the pressures of practice management and shrinking reimbursements…

The Cost Barrier: Improving Patient Access to Quality Dermatological Care

At last month’s American Association of Dermatology Annual Meeting, the topic of patient access to care was again a topic of discussion. This year, cost was named as an additional barrier to patient care. This issue is not unique to dermatology. In fact, a Kaiser…

Dermatology Industry Change: 3 Issues

Thousands of dermatologists recently descended upon San Diego for the 2018 AAD Annual Meeting. This conference provides attendees a chance to connect with colleagues, learn about clinical advancements, and discuss the state of their industry. Preparing for change has been a common theme in the…

Recruitment: Quality Matters

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. will face a significant physician shortage by 2030 – up to 100,000 more physicians will be needed to meet patient demand. The dermatology world is already facing a deficit. While the American Academy of…

Physician Burnout: The Burden of Bureaucracy

Forty-six percent of dermatologists say they feel career burnout, according to the 2017 Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report. This sentiment seems to be worsening in dermatology, and medicine in general. Since 2013, the percentage of physicians who claim burnout has risen 25%. During this same period,…

2018 QPP / MACRA Final Rule: More Changes for Dermatologists

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just released the 2018 Quality Payment Program / MACRA Final Rule. This iteration is supposed to reduce burdens and provide flexibility. Yet, the documentation outlining the final rule is thousands of pages long. According to an American…

IT Training and Support: Keys to Dermatology Practice Efficiency

Over half of surveyed physicians are dissatisfied with their electronic health records (EHRs), according to a study by the Mayo Clinic. Technology, oftentimes touted as the silver bullet for practice efficiency, is in reality giving many dermatologists more headaches than help. In most cases, the…

EHRs: The Burden on Small Dermatology Practices

A recent study found that electronic health records (EHRs) are creating an even greater burden on small physician practices than was originally anticipated. This study defined a small practice as one with 1-4 physicians.  Published earlier this year in Perspectives in Health Information Management, this…

Preserving Patient Access to Dermatology

The wait time for new patients to get a dermatology appointment is at its highest levels since Merritt Hawkins first began tracking this metric. According to that organization’s 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times, 32 days is the average wait time for a routine…

Physician Tiering: Dermatologists’ Need for Data

Physician tiering is another method payors are utilizing to stem rising healthcare costs. This system ranks physicians based on quality and cost. Depending on physicians’ rank, patients’ out-of-pocket costs can widely vary. Attempts to drive down costs will most likely continue. According to a report…

Narrowing Networks: Positioning Dermatology Practices for Success

U.S. healthcare costs have skyrocketed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) places the figure at $3.2 trillion for 2015. That equates to $9,990 per person. CMS also projects these costs will continue to grow at a rate of 5.6% annually between 2016 and…

REPORT: The Growing Risk of Patient Data Breaches

The WannaCry Ransomware attack wreaked havoc on organizations worldwide. This attack impacted more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. While WannaCry is the latest headline-making attack, cybercrime is a continuous and growing threat. Cybercrime costs the U.S. an estimated $108 billion per year, according to…

Succession Planning: A Pro-active Approach for Dermatologists

Succession planning is a hot-button issue for many dermatologists. According to a 2015 report by the Association of American Medical Colleges, 43.5% of practicing dermatologists are age 55 and over. That means that within a decade, almost half of today’s practicing dermatologists will either have…

Consolidation: What it looks like in dermatology

It seems as though merger and acquisition announcements in healthcare are happening weekly, as payers, hospitals and more join forces to become more powerful players in an increasingly complex healthcare environment. What’s happening with the big corporations has trickled down to private physician practices. The…

Dermatology: The Changing Landscape

The number of solo dermatology practices has steadily declined in the last decade.  In 2014, just 35% of dermatologists practiced solo, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). There is a generational divide among dermatologists who practice solo and those who choose an alternate…

Industry Consolidation: The Impact on Dermatology

Industry consolidation continues to make headlines in the healthcare world. A recent Health Affairs report showed consolidation of both commercial payors and physician practices significantly impacts reimbursement rates. According to the report, reimbursement rates for office visits are reduced by almost 20% when a payor’s…

MACRA, MIPS, and APMs: How Dermatologists can get Compliant and Optimize Reimbursement

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) went into effect January 1, 2017. The final MACRA ruling offers two tracks for compliance: 1) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS); and 2) Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). However, only MIPS may be used in 2017. For…