A "HealthTweep" Pulse Check

Exploring transformational potential of social media

Posts Tagged ‘physicians

A Strategic Medical Group Algorithm To Assess ‘Social Media Readiness’

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So what is social media really all about in terms of its relevance and application to medical groups, whether single or multi-specialty? Is it really about a better way to push an often boring, ‘look what I/we can do’ PR messaging? Or is it a genuine offer of a transformational opportunity to re-engineer health care operations and practices in service of quality, access, cost transparency and patient engagement? I say one way to get closer to an answer is to walk through this initial set of questioning recently developed for a client.

ACO Medical Group (ACOMG) Strategic Questions

Is there a perceived need among the partners for a formal planned marketing and communications function at the Group level? Yes/No?

If no, end of conversation and on to the ‘next prospect’.

If yes,

Is the web viewed as a material source (actual or potential) for patient acquisition, business development, and connectivity with key ACOMG constituents? Yes/no?

If no, end.

If yes, should ACOMG invest in a coordinated and comprehensive ‘web presence’ that builds, positions and maintains real-time, interactive capabilities via a coordinated yet distributed set of both ‘push’ and digital interactive properties.

If no, end.

If yes, is ACOMG presently enabled to perform as a content development, publishing and management company that feeds and curates these content, keyword, market and niche rich community management properties?

If yes, end.

If no, are these core skill sets presently domiciled at ACOMG staff (whether via professional or administrative staff, consultants, etc.)?

If yes, end.

If no, how will ACOMG acquire, develop or otherwise embed the needed skill sets and core competencies?

Build, buy or do nothing?

If build, or buy is there a budget benchmarked to a formal marketing and communications program consistent with published management company guidelines as a percent of revenue or expenses? If yes, game on. If no, end of conversation or need for additional education (good luck!).

And while you consider this ‘social media readiness assessment’ do bear in mind that the world continues to spin and has minimally surfaced the following things to consider:

Additional strategic considerations to throw into the mix as market conditions and environmental context:

On the future of community medicine in general, or your version of community medicine via your specific specialty:

1. What alliances and/or networking arrangements should your group be considering?

2. What vehicles (legal entities or other forms of organizations) should your group be considering, e.g., single specialty IPA, or ‘super IPA’ (re-purposed specialty GPO), MSO, super MSO, associating with a 3rd party PPMC (i.e., US Oncology), linking with an hospital system (which one, might there be more, or even a multi-hospital vehicle to be created?)

3. What formal strategic positioning thought is underway given the relatively short horizon for ACO participation? Have you evaluated the range and wisdom of various participation options, i.e., as single sites; as an integrated group; with hospital participation or not ( a very key question)?

Basically [medical group leadership], do you have previous experience in dealing with these strategic issues (many of which seem to be re-cycling prior themes albeit with ‘new and improved’ acronyms)? Is there ‘institutional memory’ from the HMO, IPA, MSO, or PHO days? Is the ‘wisdom’ of the senior members of the group being shared with the younger generation, who carry the longitudinal stake in the practice’s sustainability? Or is the default position just to do nothing and see what happens?

Bottom line is it’s all about choice… and there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ here, only informed/uninformed choices and consequences; and inaction, denial or minimization is a firm choice, no doubt with inevitable consequences! Cheers!

HealthCamp San Diego Line-up Growing!

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With San Diego County’s emergence as a global center of health care innovation and its recent recognition by the state as an official California Innovation Hub focusing on wireless health, you should consider coming out to San Diego a day before the mHealth Networking Conference to participate in grass-roots health care innovation at the HealthCamp “unconference”.

HealthCamp San Diego is Tuesday, September 7 at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center. Event sponsors are Kaiser Permanente San Diego, West Wireless Health Institute, Health 2.0, Pacific Oncology and several others.

The “unconference” begins with peers in health care and technology introducing topics and discussing innovations that will advance consumer-centric health care in the health 2.0 world.

Inspirational session leaders and participants include: Joe Smith, MD, Chief Medical and Science Officer of the West Wireless Health Institute; Vince Kuraitis of e-CareManagement; John Mattison, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer and Assistant Medical Director of Kaiser Permanente Southern California; Ted Chan, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Medical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, UC San Diego Medical Center, and leader of the San Diego Beacon Community initiative; Jeffrey Benabio, MD, (aka @DermDoc) a Kaiser Permanente dermatologist and leader in social media and patient care, and Michael Yada of Life Technologies.


Representatives will also be available to discuss the successful data exchange program in San Diego between Kaiser Permanente and the VA through the National Health Information Network (NHIN).

If this September 7th “unconference” event is of interest, please scroll down for more information.  We have only a handful of free spaces for journalists and bloggers, so if you are interested in attending, please let me know soon.

Join us! For more information or to register, click here.

Direct Provider Access Networks: DIY Healthcare Reform Now! – A SxSW Panel Picker Entry

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Thanks to the initiative of Alex B. Fair, founder, CEO and chief evangelista of FairCareMD, the priceline for matching doctors to patients ‘one deal at a time’; an impressive roster of healthcare innovators have teamed up to carry the message on alternative forms of healthcare delivery and finance at SxSW 2011.

The program description reads:

Doctors, Employers, and most Americans are unclear on how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will work for them but a few million of us are not waiting to find out. With over 100 million Americans paying directly for a large portion of their care themselves, the need for a better way to Go Direct for care has never been greater.


In the past year over 2 million Americans and thousands of doctors have started using “Direct Provider Access” networks (DPAs) rather than traditional insurance-based medicine alone. This is because these new websites and physician practice models allow for DIY Healthcare Reform NOW and provide better care at reduced costs compared to insurance-based medicine.


Patients are taking charge of their own healthcare, paying directly, and using insurance for emergencies only. Doctors love DPAs too because being paid directly lets them put the Care back into Healthcare. Direct Pay medicine reduces overhead costs by up to 40% allowing them to spend more time on giving great care. This significant mindshift is changing the healthcare landscape.


In 2010 DPAs have been the fastest growing networks in America and they have even been written into the Healthcare Reform legislation. In a short, interactive play starring some of the leaders of the DIY Healthcare Reform/ Patient Empowerment movement we will show how DPAs are changing the ‘patient experience’ and improving care.


1. What are Direct Provider Access networks and what can they do for me?

2. How do/ will DPAs interact with the healthcare reform act of 2010?

3. Why did these not exist before? Isn’t this the same as old fashioned doctors? How does this tie in with Social Media?

4. Why can’t we have true pricing transparency in healthcare and what needs to change in order to get there?

5. What is the future of DPAs – will they just be swallowed up again by Insurance companies?

Confirmed panelists include:

Please consider voting us into the first ever healthcare track at SxSW, here!

‘Direct Practice’ Medicine Gaining Increased National Visibility

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A recent clip featuring Garrison Bliss, MD, founder of Qliance was profiled on NBC Nightly News under the title of ‘Flat-Rate Health Care A Viable Option?’

As this form of innovation is a niche, and largely unknown part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), I include it, here.

Kudos to Dr. Bliss and the Qliance crew!

Accountable Care Organizations (aka ‘ACOs’): Ellwood’s SuperMed Vision Lives!

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is now law, and the ‘devil is in the details’ scramble is on both inside and outside the beltway. The great divide seems to (disproportionately) line-up between the let’s roll up our sleeves and get ‘er done crowd, and the perhaps politically motivated ‘denial-ists’ hoping to successfully challenge the constitutionality of the law.

Via a separate post, I will address the ‘managed care 2.0’ nature of what we’ll likely witness as one who’s been on the ground, and frontline of change since the early 80s when the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) sported a placard for a little known office titled the office of ‘alternative delivery systems’, the then tiny shop in Baltimore that monitored the growth of HMOs and it’s California derivative, and soon to be dubbed ‘preferred provider organizations (PPOs). What followed is quite a storied path….

Meanwhile, let me call your attention to a timely piece of work offered by Paul Keckley and the health policy braintrust at Deloitte, titled: ‘Accountable Care Organizations: A new model for sustainable innovation‘. The title abstract is reprinted below, or you may download the full report via the site link above.

To understand how accountable care organizations (ACOs) might drive payment reform in the public and private health care sectors, this paper reviews the basic origins, definition and drivers of ACOs, and describes key features of proposed ACO initiatives, including the federal government’s proposed pilot program. In addition, using an assessment of ACO literature and Deloitte analysis, the paper profiles four structural approaches that are eligible for ACO status and puts forth seven key capabilities that are important considerations for ACO performance. Finally, this paper offers Deloitte’s perspective on the path forward and describes potential innovations that could increase ACO adoption.

So will it be ‘deja vu’ all over again, or will it be different this time? Put another way, those who wish to deny the past, may somehow find a way to re-create it. Oh, the tangled web we sometimes weave…..more will be revealed!

Written by 2healthguru

April 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Interview with @DoctorAnonymous on Physicians, the Web & Social Media

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On Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 I chatted with social media trail blazer Mike Sevilla, MD, aka @doctoranonymous, a practicing family physician from Ohio. We toured the landscape of social media, why and how he got started, how it’s impacted his life and practice, and where he see’s all this going.

You can listen to the broadcast here. @doctoranonymous offers seasoned insights for physicians considering putting a ‘toe in the water’ of social media, and also suggests where you might consider starting.

@doctoranonymous hosts his own web based radio broadcasts here.

According to Klout @doctoranonymous, is a ‘persona’ in the social media space:

@doctoranonymous is a persona: You have built a personal brand around your identity. There is a good chance that you work in social media or marketing but you might even be famous in real life. Being a persona is not just about having a ton of followers, to make it to the top right corner you need to engage with your audience. Make no mistake about it though, when you talk people listen.

Written by 2healthguru

April 9, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Physician Participation in Social Media – What Up?

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On Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 I had the pleasure of speaking with Bryan Vartebedian, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist, active in the social media space via Twitter @Doctor_V, his personal blog 33Charts.com, and periodic contributor to Get Better Health.

We spoke via Blog Talk Radio on his calling to medicine, pediatrics in particular and more recently his attraction to the social media space. Doctor_V has both interesting and witty insights on the medium. Some of his more recent tweets are noteworthy:

When I mention SM to other physicians they just giggle and look confused

LinkedIn may be a good first step for socially retarded physicians

Social media is the fancy awning that hangs from a building; human interaction is the bricks & mortar (a re-tweet)

For more of ‘Doctor_V’s insight, wit and early ‘do’s and don’ts’ for physicians considering a social media presence, listen in to the full interview here.

Written by 2healthguru

December 9, 2009 at 6:07 PM