Exploring self-care and wellness: a model for pharmacist compensation by managed care organizations. (1/373)

Self-care and wellness are rapidly becoming mainstays of practice for many pharmacists. Consumer confidence and trust in pharmacists provides continuing opportunities for pharmacists to create products and services to satisfy consumer demands related to disease prevention and healthcare delivery. We outline two pharmacy wellness programs designed to meet consumer needs, and offer them as models for pharmacists. Issues related to the program and extent of involvement by pharmacists are raised, including the role of the pharmacists in behavior modification efforts; selecting areas of focus (e.g., smoking cessation); working with physicians for referrals; enlightening community business leaders and managed care organizations to the economic benefits of the program; and developing strategies for fair purchase of services to achieve program goals and provide adequate compensation in return.  (+info)

Health sector reform in central and eastern Europe: the professional dimension. (2/373)

The success or failure of health sector reform in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe depends, to a large extent, on their health care staff. Commentators have focused on the structures to be put in place, such as mechanisms of financing or changes in ownership of facilities, but less attention has been paid to the role and status of the different groups working in health care services. This paper draws on a study of trends in staffing and working conditions throughout the region. It identifies several key issues including the traditionally lower status and pay of health sector workers compared to the West, the credibility crisis of trade unions, and the under-developed roles of professional associations. In order to implement health sector reforms and to address the deteriorating health status of the population, the health sector workforce has to be restructured and training programmes reoriented towards primary care. Finally, the paper identifies emerging issues such as the erosion of 'workplace welfare' and its adverse effects upon a predominantly female health care workforce.  (+info)

Informal payments for health care in the Former Soviet Union: some evidence from Kazakstan. (3/373)

An important feature of the health care system of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and Central and Eastern Europe is the presence of informal or under-the-table payments. It is generally accepted that these represent a significant contribution to the income of medical staff. Discussions with medical practitioners suggest that for certain specialities in certain hospitals a doctor might obtain many times his official income. Yet little empirical work has been done in this area. Informal payments can be divided into those paid to health care providers and those that go directly to practitioners. They can be further divided into monetary and non-monetary. The complexity of these payments make obtaining estimates using quantitative survey techniques difficult. Estimates on contributions to the costs of medicines in Kazakstan suggest that they may add 30% to national health care expenditure. Payments to staff are likely to add substantially to this figure, although few reliable statistics exist. Research in this area is important since informal payment is likely to impact on equity in access to medical care and the efficiency of provision. The impact of attempts to reform systems using Western ideas could be reduced unless account is taken of the effect and size of the informal payment system.  (+info)

How and why public sector doctors engage in private practice in Portuguese-speaking African countries. (4/373)

OBJECTIVE: To explore the type of private practice supplementary income-generating activities of public sector doctors in the Portuguese-speaking African countries, and also to discover the motivations and the reasons why doctors have not made a complete move out of public service. DESIGN: Cross-sectional qualitative survey. SUBJECTS: In 1996, 28 Angolan doctors, 26 from Guinea-Bissau, 11 from Mozambique and three from S Tome and Principe answered a self-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: All doctors, except one unemployed, were government employees. Forty-three of the 68 doctors that answered the questionnaire reported an income-generating activity other than the one reported as principal. Of all the activities mentioned, the ones of major economic importance were: public sector medical care, private medical care, commercial activities, agricultural activities and university teaching. The two outstanding reasons why they engage in their various side-activities are 'to meet the cost of living' and 'to support the extended family'. Public sector salaries are supplemented by private practice. Interviewees estimated the time a family could survive on their public sector salary at seven days (median value). The public sector salary still provides most of the interviewees income (median 55%) for the rural doctors, but has become marginal for those in the urban areas (median 10%). For the latter, private practice has become of paramount importance (median 65%). For 26 respondents, the median equivalent of one month's public sector salary could be generated by seven hours of private practice. Nevertheless, being a civil servant was important in terms of job security, and credibility as a doctor. The social contacts and public service gave access to power centres and resources, through which other coping strategies could be developed. The expectations regarding the professional future and regarding the health systems future were related mostly to health personnel issues. CONCLUSION: The variable response rate per question reflects some resistance to discuss some of the issues, particularly those related to income. Nevertheless, these studies may provide an indication of what is happening in professional medical circles in response to the inability of the public sector to sustain a credible system of health care delivery. There can be no doubt that for these doctors the notion of a doctor as a full-time civil-servant is a thing of the past. Switching between public and private is now a fact of life.  (+info)

The impact of welfare reform on parents' ability to care for their children's health. (5/373)

OBJECTIVES: Most of the national policy debate regarding welfare assumed that if middle-income mothers could balance work while caring for their children's health and development, mothers leaving welfare for work should be able to do so as well. Yet, previous research has not examined the conditions faced by mothers leaving welfare for work. METHODS: Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this study examined the availability of benefits that working parents commonly use to meet the health and developmental needs of their children; paid sick leave, vacation leave, and flexible hours. RESULTS: In comparison with mothers who had never received welfare, mothers who had been on Aid to Families with Dependent Children were more likely to be caring for at least 1 child with a chronic condition (37% vs 21%, respectively). Yet, they were more likely to lack sick leave for the entire time they worked (36% vs 20%) and less likely to receive other paid leave or flexibility. CONCLUSIONS: If current welfare recipients face similar conditions when they return to work, many will face working conditions that make it difficult or impossible to succeed in the labor force at the same time as meeting their children's health and developmental needs.  (+info)

Method of physician remuneration and rates of antibiotic prescription. (6/373)

BACKGROUND: Rates of antibiotic prescription in Canada far exceed generally accepted rates of bacterial infection, which led the authors to postulate that rates of antibiotic prescription depend to some extent on factors unrelated to medical indication. The associations between antibiotic prescription rates and physician characteristics, in particular, method of remuneration and patient volume, were explored. METHODS: The authors evaluated all 153,047 antibiotic prescriptions generated by 476 Newfoundland general practitioners and paid for by the Newfoundland Drug Plan over the 1-year period ending Aug. 31 1996, and calculated rates of antibiotic prescription. Linear and logistic regression models controlling for several physician characteristics, specifically age, place of education (Canada or elsewhere), location of practice (urban or rural) and proportion of elderly patients seen, were used to analyse rates of antibiotic prescription. RESULTS: Fee-for-service payment (rather than salary) and greater volume of patients were strongly associated with higher antibiotic prescription rates. Fee-for-service physicians were much more likely than their salaried counterparts to prescribe at rates above the median value of 1.51 antibiotic prescriptions per unique patient per year. The association between rate of antibiotic prescription and patient volume (as measured by number of unique patients prescribed to) was evident for all physicians. However, the association was much stronger for fee-for-service physicians. Physicians with higher patient volumes prescribed antibiotics at higher rates. INTERPRETATION: In this study factors other than medical indication, in particular method of physician remuneration and patient volume, played a major role in determining antibiotic prescribing practices.  (+info)

How should we pay doctors? A systematic review of salary payments and their effect on doctor behaviour. (7/373)

We reviewed the published and unpublished international literature to determine the influence of salaried payment on doctor behaviour. We systematically searched Medline, BIDS Embase, Econlit and BIDS ISI and the reference lists of located papers to identify relevant empirical studies comparing salaried doctors with those paid by alternative methods. Only studies which reported objective outcomes and measures of the behaviour of doctors paid by salary compared to an alternative method were included in the review. Twenty-three papers were identified as meeting the selection criteria. Only one of the studies in this review reported a proxy for health status, but none examined whether salaried doctors differentiated between patients on the basis of health needs. Therefore, we were unable to draw conclusions on the likely impact of salaried payment on efficiency and equity. However, the limited evidence in our review does suggest that payment by salaries is associated with the lowest use of tests, and referrals compared with FFS and capitation. Salary payment is also associated with lower numbers of procedures per patient, lower throughput of patients per doctor, longer consultations, more preventive care and different patterns of consultation compared with FFS payment.  (+info)

Pharmacist compensation for ambulatory patient care services. (8/373)

This activity is designed for pharmacists practicing in ambulatory, community, and managed care environments. GOAL: To discuss issues involved in the transition from product-based to patient-care-based reimbursement and compensation systems for pharmacists. OBJECTIVES: 1. Differentiate between reimbursement and compensation. 2. Describe the limitations of current third-party reimbursement and compensation systems. 3. Describe ways in which compensation for seemingly identical products and services can vary. 4. Discuss the use of Medicare's Resource-Based Value Scale and the relative value unit. 5. Define and differentiate between ICD-9-CM codes and E/M CPT codes. 6. List the three key components needed to determine an E/M CPT code for a new patient seen in the pharmacy. 7. Describe and provide examples of the SOAP method of documentation. 8. Understand why the referral process is an important step in the compensation process. 9. Discuss the importance of Form HCFA-1500 and other documentation in the compensation process.  (+info)