The PULSE of The Physician Alliance
Friday, April 12, 2019
Quality webinar focuses on supplemental data and PGIP report
The Physician Alliance is hosting a quality webinar on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 from 12-1pm.

Topics discussed include supplemental data and an overview of the estimated Physician Group Incentive Program / TPA payment report.

This webinar is open to PGIP primary care and specialty practices. For more information and to register for the webinar, contact Sharon at (webinar access info will be emailed upon registration).
Measles outbreak resources for healthcare workers
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed 41 measles cases, as of April 10. The cases are located in Oakland (39), Wayne (1) and Washtenaw (1) counties. Click here for more information on the measles outbreak in Michigan, including exposure sites in these counties.

Health care providers are at high risk of exposure to measles and transmission of the disease. The Measles Prevention and Exposure Guidance for Healthcare Personnel is a helpful resource to lower the risk of exposure and transmission of the highly contagious measles.
E-prescribing controlled substances helps save lives
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared the rate of abuse and deaths from prescription painkillers to be an epidemic. According to Surescripts in 2013, more than 2 million Americans abused prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and methadone. Since 1999, overdose deaths involving prescriptions have quadrupled. In 2014, deaths from prescription drug abuse outnumbered deaths from heroin and cocaine combined.

The Physician Alliance has worked with practices over the years to decrease opioid overuse and abuse in patients. One effort has been increasing e-prescribing of controlled substances. The move toward eliminating paper prescription and implement electronic prescribing of controlled substances helps connect physicians and pharmacists to identify potential abuse, reduce fraud and improve care.

Get started implementing e-prescribing controlled substances in your practice by contacting for more information. View this brief 5 minute video at .
Managing risk and privacy in a patient portal
During the past few years, the traditional physician-driven model of delivering healthcare has given way to a more patient-centered approach in which the patient is actively engaged in their own care. A patient portal is one way to provide a secure means for patients to access their medical record, while also meeting HIPAA requirements when sharing protected health information in an electronic format.

Practices that have successfully adopted patient portals have seen many benefits, such as improved patient participation and satisfaction, better communication, more timely self-care by patients, and increased opportunities for physicians to better focus on high-priority patients.

The use of portals does come with risks, such as privacy and security breaches, inappropriate patient use, and unrealistic expectations on the part of both the patient and the provider. Here are some tips to minimize the risks:
  • Require each user to register with a unique username and password.
  • Include portal use in your annual information technology security risk assessment.
  • Determine how patients will communicate through the portal and what they should expect for a response turnaround time.
  • Determine if patients will be permitted to upload information to be included in their record, how the information will be uploaded, and types of information accepted.
  • Develop and implement a portal user agreement that includes what the patient may expect from the office practice. Describe unacceptable uses, such as emergency or urgent situations, and specify the consequences. Use the agreement as a teaching tool and as documentation of informed consent. Provide the patient with a signed copy of the agreement and maintain a copy at the practice.
  • Include language on the appropriate portal pages — such as the entry page and the messaging window — that clearly states the portal is not continuously monitored, must not be used for urgent communications, and that portal users are to call 911 in the event of a medical emergency.
  • Consult with legal counsel to determine if your state has specific requirements.
  • Click here to read the full article.

Source: Coverys offers comprehensive medical malpractice insurance, risk analytics and risk management services. Part of TPA's Affiliate Partners program , Coverys offers premium protection to TPA members at discounted rates.
Physician mortgage program helps with home buying/selling
There are several important things to consider when buying a new home. Navigating this process can be challenging, especially on top of a heavy workload. Some items to keep in mind:

• Decide if you are ready to buy a home
• Learn how to choose a lender
• Find out if you qualify for a down payment assistance program
• Determine how you will finance your dream home

TPA physicians can benefit from an exclusive mortgage program through Huntington Bank, an Affiliate Partner. Check out this special program . Huntington is also hosting special webinars on home buying and selling for TPA physicians and staff.
News You Can Use
Featured Affiliate Partner
ShareCare Health Data Services provides HIPAA compliant medical record copying services. In addition to FREE copying, Sharecare offers complete quality control, packaging, quick turnaround and d iscounts for TPA practices.

Learn more about these services.
The Pulse is the bi-weekly e-newsletter from The Physician Alliance, one of Michigan's largest physician organizations serving more than 2,200 primary care and specialty physicians. - (586) 498-3555