your life your health

In the first week of January, as we reviewed the details of what we expected in December 2014 to accomplish in 2015, we were reminded of other years in which we had specific, stated goals. 

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In January each year, SETMA reviews the goals we established the previous year and sets goals for the coming year. In January 2015, SETMA partners, executive management and colleagues set the following goals:

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On May 21, 2015, Medical Home News submitted a series of questions to SETMA The first was: “You have an extraordinary passion for your practice, your patients, and you pursuit of excellence. Where does that passion come from?”

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SETMA’s team approach to inpatient care is a success, as demonstrated by the facts that our lengths of stay, quality metrics, cost of care and patient satisfaction are excellent. And this team approach is one of the reasons why the indigent, uninsured and unassigned patients for whom we care receive the same quality of care as our private patients. I would offer the following observations about SETMA’s team.

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Value-based payments are expected to focus more on outcomes – improvement in health – than process, or doing “things” to or for patients. For instance, value-based payments will focus more on whether patients’ treatments for diabetes are resulting in improved care rather than just whether patients with diabetes are receiving certain tests.

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 James  Holly, M.D.

Oct. 1, 2015, the entire healthcare industry is changing its coding to the “new” system, ICD-10, which is used to document diagnoses in medical records and is used for billing insurance companies such as Medicare and Medicaid for the services patients receive.

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All Southeast Texas Medical Associates physicians can now prescribe controlled substances electronically (ePCS). A smaller group of SETMA physicians has been experimenting with this function for the past six months and now all physicians are authorized to use it.

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Part of healthy living and certainly a significant part of longevity is found in the making of sound judgments and the right decisions. The problem with life-changing actions is that we often make decisions on the basis of inadequate information. In his book “The Fifth Discipline,” Dr.

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Recently, the Opinion page of the New York Times included a brief description of the problem facing primary care physicians who are confronted by a patient who wants a narcotic pain medication. When I started practicing medicine over 40 years ago, doctors ordered urine drug screens in order to discover patients who were taking street drugs such as marijuana, heroin, etc. Today, urine drug screens are being recommended and/or required to discover patients who are NOT taking their prescription pain medication and other drugs that have a high potential for abuse.

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In the past 17 years, this column has often addressed the importance of hope in the healthcare process. Without hope, personal healthcare improvement will not happen. Increasingly, in the context of a patient-centered medical home model of care, we have realized that while technology and science can treat diseases, neither can produce health.

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