We recently worked with a smart, energetic practice administrator who was very motivated to improve his practice’s bottom line. He’d already found significant savings by switching billing and phone services (even getting better billing results, to boot). Spurred on by those successes, he’d turned his attention to clinic staffing. While the physicians in his practice […]
Read More
I’m working on an ebook right now about medical practice staffing. More specifically, it’s about how the instinct to cut staff, to be as leanly staffed as possible, can backfire*. There are dozens of little details that any practice can explore to improve profitability. These small changes can be made with much less risk than […]
Read More
There are lots of reasons to spend time in the exhibit hall when attending practice management and other medical conferences. By visiting the exhibit hall you will learn a lot about what’s going on in the industry, how vendors are seeking to meet your future needs and what technology changes have emerged that can make […]
Read More
We were recently called into a group practice where the physician owners of Struggles Medical Group were disillusioned with the practice of medicine. Their concerns were typical, shrinking reimbursement, dismal profits and the threat of new competition, as a large urban academic faculty practice was beginning to penetrate this suburban community.  Sound familiar?  This is […]
Read More
If you follow this space, you may already know that I’m dubious about the value to physicians of stopping out for an MBA.  As an MBA-holder myself, I think the coursework can be overkill for independent physicians who just want to run their practices better (this is less the case for those that intend on […]
Read More
Practice managers and physician owners might look at the media attention focused on Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to end work-from-home at her company and think, well, that doesn’t apply to me.  And it’s true, with only a few exceptions (say, billing), medical practice staff members are unlikely to be able to do their work […]
Read More
Most practices have an underutilized resource – namely, their employees’ ability to identify and solve problems. As practices deal with the day-to-day business, it’s all too easy to fall into a routine-inspired complacency. To establish some positive momentum, make a point to ask each of your staff to identify problems and possible improvements – and […]
Read More
A new year has already begun! If you are hoping for significant year-over-year improvement you need to act – and sooner rather than later.  Here’s how great practices help ensure that each year is better than the last. Examine past performance.  Consider what data points are important to review.   As a guide, great practices will […]
Read More
Do you accept cash payments at your practice? The start of a new year is a great time to review how your practice handles cash — to determine if your internal controls could use some tightening up. With cash, the biggest temptation is to handle these “small” amounts more casually than other payments.  When cash payments […]
Read More
Recently, we worked with an OB/GYN practice that had taken some big steps to reduce staff costs.  In particular, the practice was concerned about their long-standing process of providing new maternity cases a lengthy consultation with an RN — covering all the information a newly pregnant woman would need, and offering her a relaxed opportunity to ask […]
Read More
What if hotel billing were like medical billing? A funny-but-sad video by Costs of Care in partnership with Harvard Medical School and the University of Chicago explores the possibility in a tongue-in-cheek way (click “continue reading” to view the video). “Surprise” medical costs do more than just frustrate patients — they hurt practices, too.  By […]
Read More
I recently completed a series of articles for Kareo’s Getting Paid blog about how small business management issues relate to practice management.  While medical practices have an important mission that reaches beyond business, they can’t achieve that mission without succeeding on business terms.  And, in many fundamental ways, medical practices are not so different from […]
Read More
Almost everyone wants to be more successful and achieve more each year than they did the year before.  Here are a few straightforward things you can do to guarantee your success in 2012. First, ignite your passion for the practice.  Recognize all the capabilities you have and how you can use those to grow the practice in […]
Read More
Joe Capko did a webinar with Medical Practice Management Web Advisor earlier this week on how effective leadership translates to more productivity from your staff — and vice versa.  One of his themes was establishing trust by listening and treating people fairly, and letting them know they are valued.  People give more to their jobs […]
Read More
The old Silicon Valley adage “hire slow, fire fast” is actually apt for any type of small business, including medical practices.  The smaller the team, the more powerful this idea is, because as team size shrinks, each member’s contribution becomes more critical to success. Moreover, a single poor performer or “bad apple” can disrupt a smaller team […]
Read More
Harvard Business Review posted a great tip today about “real teams.”   The pointed out that “real” teams — i.e., groups that really work together as one — all share three important characteristics: Shared sense of purpose Flexible skills Mutual accountability There’s a great lesson here for medical practices.  Physicians set the tone of purpose and accountability.  […]
Read More
Our last post talked about some of the key performance indicators a practice can examine to understand how well it is performing.  Now we will dig a  little deeper and look at other indicators that identify if a practice is above the norm and meeting the expectations the team has set. Managing referrals and the […]
Read More
To begin your quest to understand  how well the practice is performing is to  compare last year’s financial performance to the prior year, examine shifting trends and identify the reasons these shifts are occurring.  For example, are you doing less of a particular procedure and, if so, is there a reasonable explanation – or if one […]
Read More
Whether you’re contemplating expanding your practice, starting a new practice, or simply wondering what your practice’s profit potential might be, your profits depend on your understanding of local patient demographics. With a host of free online services available, it’s easier and less expensive than ever to understand your area’s demographics and how they might represent […]
Read More
By Joe Capko, Capko & Company Every year, changes to the CPT codes take medical practices by surprise — even though everyone knows the updates are coming.  Whether it’s because doctors and administrators assume that coding changes won’t likely apply to their specialty, because it’s hard to find time to go through the materials, or […]
Read More
The economy remains unpredictable.  The outcome of health care reform is unknown and health care leaders keep on wondering what the future holds.   Young physicians entering the market will proceed with caution when making a decision about their future. Employed physicians may sit on the sideline and watch the ball game,  but if you are in private practice and entrenched in […]
Read More