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The Medical Professionalism Blog

Author Archives: Daniel Wolfson

For Patient-Centered Care, Check the (Road) Map

We all talk about “patient-centered care” without having a clear vision or definition of what it is or means. Thus I was honored to have the ABIM Foundation be one of the many organizations the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) convened to develop a roadmap for patient and [...]

Professionalism as a Means for Improvement

Jeffrey Kullgren, MD, MS, MPH, a general internist and researcher from VA’s Center for Clinical Management Research and the University of Michigan Medical School has a method for implementing Choosing Wisely® recommendations. He relies on a behavioral economics technique referred to as “precommitment” which, in this instance, calls upon physicians to make choices rooted in [...]

“How Medical Care Is Being Corrupted” — Really?

How is it that when the health care system is going through needed and positive changes, people like Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman write an opinion piece in The New York Times in which they profess a longing for the “good old days” before measurement? For a moment, let’s go back to those old days. [...]

Physician Measurement: Good in Theory but Not in Practice

Most issues in health care are replete with nuance rather than absolutes. I was reminded of this recently at the National Physician Alliance’s (NPA) 2014 Annual Conference & Transforming Healthcare Summit. NPA is considered a “progressive” physician leadership organization. It champions transparency in the disclosure of conflicts of interest, health care reform and avoiding waste [...]

Henry Ford Physician Network’s Choosing Wisely® Competition: Breathtaking

Since the Choosing Wisely campaign launched in 2012, there have been definitive moments when it felt like what we’re doing is really moving the needle and that change is on the horizon. Never have I felt that more strongly than at the Henry Ford Physician Network (HFPN)’s annual summit, “Collaboration for the Future.”

Choosing Wisely®: Sticking It to Doctors Doesn’t Work

I received a call from a colleague affiliated with one of the specialty society partners of the Choosing Wisely® campaign who wanted to vent about Jeanne Whalen’s Wall Street Journal piece entitled, “Hospitals Cut Costs by Getting Doctors to Stick to Guidelines: ‘Choosing Wisely’ Campaign Has Physicians Weigh in on Standardizing Care.”  

Outrageous: What Is the Physician Community Response?

“Outrageous!” was the reaction of some physician leaders to a recent article in The New York Times by Elisabeth Rosenthal entitled After Surgery, Surprise $117,000 Medical Bill From Doctor He Didn’t Know. In the piece, Rosenthal tells the story of a patient negotiating charges for his neck surgery to correct herniated disks even as he [...]

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

I recently met with former CEOs of prepaid group practices (PGPs) that were part of the early years (1984-2000) of the HMO Group—now the Alliance of Community Health Plans—a coalition of not-for-profit, pre-paid group practices. (I was the first president and CEO.) One of the most notable accomplishments of this alliance back then was the [...]

Thinking Beyond Financial Rewards and Penalties

This week, I participated in a tweet chat (#BopChat) hosted by the Commonwealth Fund (@commonwealthfnd). The event, “Incentives 2.0: Thinking Beyond Financial Rewards & Penalties,” echoed the theme of the 2013 Foundation Forum and I looked forward to sharing some of the takeaways from that meeting as well as hearing from others on the subject.

Competition at #ABIMF2014 – What Did It Teach Us?

This year’s Forum, Rebooting the System for Service and Satisfaction, addressed elements of the clinical environment that foster or inhibit the quality of patient care and clinicians’ joy in practice. The 150 invitees, all leaders in health care, discussed the unintended consequences of health care technology—particularly electronic health records (EHRs)—on performance measurement and improvement. Based [...]