Physician Practice Roundup—New coalition to support independent practices; DOJ raids could be making opioid crisis worse

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Independent physician practices are an important player in the shift to value-based care, says a new coalition committed to make sure that voice is heard. (AmerisourceBergen)

New coalition to support independent physician practices move to value-based care

A new coalition, called the Partnership to Empower Physician-Led Care, has been launched by a leading group of physician and healthcare industry stakeholders to advocate for independent physician practices.

The coalition will support independent practices by advocating for policies that support them in moving to risk-based care models within the value-based care movement. The organization said it will focus on education and advocacy to urge action on four policy priorities: advancing physician-led alternative payment models; ensuring an equitable policy framework that promotes choice and provider competition; creating new opportunities for physicians in commercial markets such as Medicare Advantage; and supporting consumer-directed care.

“We believe it is impossible to achieve truly value-based care without a robust independent practice community,” said Kristen McGovern, PEPC’s executive director. “Our goal is to ensure that independent practices are recognized as a vital part of the healthcare system and are given a clear path to continue to contribute to this transformation.” PEPC announcement

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DOJ raids could be making opioid crisis worse: report

The Trump administration says it's supportive of medication-assisted treatments for opioid addiction. However, overly aggressive tactics by Trump's own Department of Justice are likely deterring such treatments and making the crisis worse, one expert told FierceHealthcare.

Earlier this month, the Drug Enforcement Administration searched nine recovery centers in Tennessee and Virginia on a warrant, during which medical records, computers and anything related to the distribution of drugs were either searched or seized, according to local reports.

Despite all the noise, no arrests were made. However, the clinics were forced to close for the day, leading those seeking treatment to be turned away, and possibly back to the streets. FierceHealthcare article

First medical school students graduate under redesigned curriculum

Five years after the launch of the American Medical Association’s effort to change the way medical schools are educating doctors, institutions across the country this month will begin graduating their first class of students fully trained in a new medical curriculum.

To mark the milestone, AMA CEO James L. Madara, M.D., joined faculty and student representatives Tuesday from medical schools in New York, Oregon, and North Carolina in a news conference to discuss the advancements in transforming the way physicians are trained nationwide. The new medical curriculum was developed as part of the medical schools’ work with the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium.

Given that physician training hasn’t changed much in 100 years, the AMA has been working with 32 medical schools since 2013 to ensure physicians are prepared to practice in the modern healthcare system. The association has awarded $12.5 million in grants to the medical schools to develop innovative curricula that can ultimately be implemented in medical schools across the country. The new models are already supporting training for an estimated 19,000 medical students. AMA announcement

Patient-centrism: The data-driven trend to watch in healthcare transformation

Every day, 750 quadrillion bytes of data are generated in healthcare. Those data are not only driving the shift from volume to value, but pushing a broader trend that health leaders should be paying close attention to: patient-centrism.

It has become a mantra throughout the modern healthcare system, said Clifton Leaf, editor-in-chief of Fortune magazine, speaking Monday about industry transformation at an event hosted by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. But patient-centrism reflects a total flip in thinking about patient data access from years' past when patients were typically the last to know about their own health information. FierceHealthcare article