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Medical Call Centers: Benefits for Both Physicians and Patients

By Tina Minnick and Roger Brooksbank, MD, FACEP

To achieve business goals, physician practices must focus on services that provide value and identify improvements that enhance quality while driving down cost – all while maximizing the patient experience through quality outcomes and high-touch experiences.

These challenges raise an important question: How can physicians do more with fewer resources when serving their patients?  For many physician groups, the solutions offered by medical call centers may be the answer.  Patient contact programs orchestrated through a medical call center are a valuable extension of patient satisfaction efforts, and they also enhance patient care, quality outcomes, and risk-management measures.

Physician after-hours call services aid in the recruitment and retention of physician talent in today’s difficult environment.  High demand and low supply have created the need to offer additional benefits in order to meet recruitment goals.  Using an after-hours call service provides peace of mind and improves quality of life for physicians.  During evenings and weekends, patient calls can be routed to nurses who triage calls and document the information.  The information is then shared with the physician practice for EMR entry.  A medical call center’s consistent execution of algorithm-based guidelines, adherence to quality standards, and advice record documentation of after-hours calls may also reduce risk exposure for physicians.

Additional benefits of after-hours call services include:

  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • 24/7/365 coverage
  • Early intervention and access to the appropriate level of care
  • Improved patient health through follow-up and education

Recent discussions surrounding healthcare reform have resulted in healthcare organizations being more proactive with patient care, patient safety, revenue growth, and reimbursement strategies related to quality outcomes and the patient experience.  Forward-thinking organizations are not only seeking to understand the relationship between patient communication and reform, they are forging it.

 

Roger Brooksbank, TeamHealth Medical Call Center Leadership, Medical Director

Dr. Roger Brooksbank

Dr. Roger Brooksbank, MD, FACEP, is the Medical Director for TeamHealth Medical Call Center and Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medicine Group President for TeamHealth.

This article was originally published in Medical Call Center News, December 2010.

By |September 19, 2013|Blog, Telephone Triage|Comments Off on Medical Call Centers: Benefits for Both Physicians and Patients

TeamHealth Names 2013 Medical Directors of the Year

(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) Sept. 17, 2013 – TeamHealth, one of the nation’s largest providers of outsourced physician staffing solutions for hospitals, has named its 2013 Medical Directors of the Year for Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Anesthesia and Urgent Care. Read More…

By |September 19, 2013|News & Events|Comments Off on TeamHealth Names 2013 Medical Directors of the Year

Considering Partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers

by Charlie Brown, ECG Management Consultantsecg-blog-header_full401kx288px_72dpi

Uncertainty surrounding public healthcare exchanges and the impacts due to approaching changes in Medicaid eligibility has caused many health systems to reexamine how they deliver care. Health systems that are seeking to provide greater value to their communities should consider collaborating with federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), given the special legal and financial status of these organizations and their experience treating populations with complex needs.

As a result of their expertise in caring for vulnerable and underserved populations, FQHCs are particularly well-equipped to deliver or coordinate primary care, diagnostic, and preventive clinical services for newly insured Medicaid patients. FQHCs typically provide case management-enabling services such as outreach, transportation, and education about the availability and proper use of healthcare services. As such, an FQHC may be able to fill an important link in a system’s continuum of care.

Unlike most providers, FQHCs have safe harbor status from the anti-kickback statute, provided that arrangements are not conditioned upon referrals to the supplier. Appropriate arrangements result in savings of federal grant funds or increased revenues to the FQHC, do not limit patient choice, protect the independent medical judgment of providers, and can reasonably be expected to maintain or increase service availability and quality.

Building relationships with FQHCs can enable health systems to improve the value, availability, and appropriateness of care for all members of the community. As reimbursement moves toward increasingly risk- and value-based models, FQHCs also bring unique expertise within the continuum of care in delivering care to patients who are at higher risk of undergoing avoidable care due to socioeconomic and clinical factors. Successful partnerships between health systems and FQHCs focus on collaborative strategies of mutual and community benefit. Overarching health system strategies leading to benefits for all parties may include:

  • Partnering with FQHC’s to manage the health of Medicaid, uninsured, and newly insured exchange populations
  • Aligning with FQHC’s to increase access to primary care services withinthe community
  • Integrating clinical management functions to improve the coordination of care

With increasing pressure to operate under performance based arrangements for increasing Medicaid and public exchange oriented products, health systems may wish to explore opportunities to include FQHCs in their delivery system.

 

This post was reprinted with permission from Charles Brown of ECG Management Consultants. See the ECG Management Consultants post here.

TeamHealth Medical Call Center provides services for Federally Qualified Community Health Centers.

By |September 16, 2013|Blog, Miscellaneous|Comments Off on Considering Partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers

TeamHealth Anesthesia Names Aryeh Shader, MD, Director of Research

(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) Sept. 3, 2013 – TeamHealth, one of the nation’s largest providers of outsourced physician staffing solutions for hospitals, announces the appointment of Aryeh Shander, MD, FCCM, FCCP, as director of research for TeamHealth Anesthesia, effective Sept. 1. Read More…

By |September 3, 2013|News & Events|Comments Off on TeamHealth Anesthesia Names Aryeh Shader, MD, Director of Research