Physician Practice Roundup—Medical groups disagree over diabetes guidelines; Physician groups urge CMS to strengthen Medicare Advantage

Male doctor in white lab coat
Medical associations are debating guidelines for diabetes. (Image: Getty/Saklakova)

Medical groups disagree over diabetes guidelines

A number of medical associations are battling over what the correct blood sugar targets for patients with Type 2 diabetes should be.

The debate began when the American College of Physicians published guidelines in the Annals of Internal Medicine that call for less stringent goals for the A1C blood sugar test. The ACP now recommends that doctors aim for patients to have an A1C level in the range of 7 to 8, not the lower levels other groups recommend.

Medical groups specializing in diabetes, including the American Diabetes Association, aren’t on board with that recommendation. (NPR)

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Physician groups urge CMS to strengthen Medicare Advantage

America’s Physician Groups and 340 medical groups and independent practice associations sent a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma urging the agency to move ahead with efforts to strengthen and improve Medicare Advantage (MA).

The physician organizations supported CMS’ plan to begin collecting information next month about advanced alternative payment model contracting for MA plans. The groups also urged CMS to implement the MA APM demonstration project it announced last year. “We know that creating greater opportunities and incentives for risk contracting in MA will advance the Medicare delivery system for all seniors,” the organizations stated. (APG letter)

Doctor tackled physician burnout and started program to help others

Like many doctors, Tom Jenike, M.D., began to experience burnout. Determined to remain engaged as a doctor, he began working with an executive coach.

That allowed him to recommit to his work as a doctor and based on his experience he suggested to Novant Health, where he is chief human experience officer and senior vice president, that the executive team address burnout head-on, with efforts to reverse and prevent the problem. Novant created a comprehensive program to help physicians achieve better work-life balance, develop their leadership skills, boost their engagement, resiliency and wellness and find more fulfillment in their professional and personal lives.

The program developed into Novant Health Leadership Development Program and its success prompted creation of the American Hospital Association (AHA) Physician Leadership Experience. (AHA blog post)

Lyft announces integration with Allscripts EHR system, allowing 180,000 doctors to hail rides for patients

On the heels of Uber’s recent foray into provider-requested ride hailing, Lyft has announced a deal with Allscripts for a similar service. The company expects the deal to allow 180,000 physicians to request nonemergency transportation for patients.

Ride-hailing companies that want to capture a share of the estimated 3.6 million Americans who lack transportation to doctor’s appointments have recently shifted tactics. In recent days, Uber Health rolled out a HIPAA-compliant dashboard that providers can use to set up rides for patients, caregivers and staff.

Now, Lyft has followed suit, announcing a partnership with Allscripts that integrates the ride-hailing company’s API with the Sunrise EHR system. The companies expect to reach roughly 7 million patients via 180,000 physicians in 2,500 hospitals and 45,000 practices. (Fierce Healthcare)

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