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    Chris Harrop

    If you’ve been listening to the dispatches from our nation’s capital since late January, you’ve heard “patient-centered care” and  “patient-centric” a lot.

    More often than not, these phrases have been a reliable way for political leaders to succinctly describe what they’re looking for in terms of overhauling the nation’s current healthcare policies – even if those changes are still largely undefined by the lawmakers suggesting them.

    Absent the political convenience those phrases carry, there are real, bottom-line concerns with operating a medical practice that lives and breathes patient-centeredness. As practice leaders across all levels of the industry, MGMA members know the complexities of translating those goals to operational reality.

    This edition of MGMA Connection magazine builds upon a wealth of information we have gathered on how practices can build new strategies or revise existing plans to rise to the level of true patient-centered care while maintaining efficiencies and profitability. Shannon Geis, MGMA writer/editor, explores this in her feature story on the growing importance of aligning clinical staff to meet patient needs. The details on the rising trend of nonphysician providers (NPPs) are outlined in a recent MGMA report.

    Other articles outline methods to identify team-based approaches to defining patient-centered care that can have a dramatic effect on patient satisfaction, or offer guides to maximizing a practice’s existing resources to meet the expectations of patient-centric care.

    We hope these added voices help your practice have a more robust discussion of what it means to be patient-centric. At MGMA, we remain focused on not just sharing these voices with you, but reaching out to engage more perspectives from our members and the industry.

    One example of that engagement is MGMA Stat, an industry data poll open to all healthcare professionals. Our Data Solutions team marked MGMA Stat’s first anniversary just as we were finishing this edition, with a Feb. 7 poll that found a majority of respondents (37.18%) expecting to add new service lines this fiscal year, and another 15% planning to expand existing service lines.

    Perhaps the most literal way in which we’re sharing more voices from the healthcare industry is the MGMA Small Talk podcast, hosted by Geis. Our most recent episode featured several attendees of the 2017 MGMA State Leadership Conference commenting on what they see as key issues in 2017. This and other Small Talk episodes offer another way for you to connect to stories of innovators with the ability to listen whenever and wherever you want via iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud.

    MGMA remains committed to giving a voice to medical practice leaders in Washington, D.C., with the ongoing work of the MGMA Government Affairs team and President/Chief Executive Officer Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, FAAP, CMPE. Following the confirmation of Thomas Price, MD, as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Fischer-Wright wrote to Price on behalf of MGMA members to highlight the “opportunities to significantly reduce the regulatory burden on physician practices and improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery” across the country (read the full letter at Specific items outlined include:

    • Administrative simplification of HIPAA administrative standards
    • Further simplification of reporting standards for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
    • Review of the standards for physicians to move into Alternative Payment Models (APMs) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)
    • Greater flexibility on EHR certification standards

    I recently had the pleasure of reaching out to dozens of our previous MGMA Connection magazine authors to ask them what they’re seeing across the industry, and the results will be shared in subsequent editions of this magazine, as well as the Small Talk podcast and MGMA Connection Plus. If you have an interesting healthcare story to share, email us and we’ll keep the conversation going.

    Written By

    Chris Harrop

    A veteran journalist, Chris Harrop serves as managing editor of MGMA Connection magazine, MGMA Insights newsletter, MGMA Stat and several other publications across MGMA. Email him.

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