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 […]
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When we work with physicians and managers who’ve found their financial results have inexplicably declined, they often wonder why the profit numbers changed when the practice is still managed in the same careful way as before. It’s a puzzle and a disappointment and a huge source of frustration! But therein lies the rub: As managers, […]
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Practice management literature often offers advice about cutting expenses – advice that promises cost-cuts improve margins and “directly boost the bottom line.” Many physician owners and practice managers seem to have internalized the idea, so they’re always on the lookout for things to trim. But is this the best way to strengthen your practice business? […]
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“Fix the problem, not the blame” is a well-known Japanese proverb. It sounds like common sense – isn’t fixing problems what we all ultimately want? But when mistakes happen, the search for culprits instinctively begins – and with it often comes demoralization and tension. Worse, the search for a scapegoat usually won’t keep problems from […]
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No-shows can be a huge drain on medical practice finances. Time that is booked but ultimately generates no revenue is a loss that comes right out of your bottom line. It’s similar to what airlines experience when they have an unsold seat – which is why airlines so often resort to overbooking, and some practices […]
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A practice we worked with recently was struggling to improve profitability. The practice’s new manager wanted to make an impact fast, so she decided to try replacing longer-term staff with less expensive newbies; since staffing was such a big practice expense, she reasoned that this was the best way to improve profitability. The physician owners […]
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When presented with ideas to update your medical practice’s technology, better support your clinicians, or market your practice in a new way, is your go-to reaction “we don’t need that” or “we’re doing fine without it”? Is your financial management approach simply to always minimize expenses? (Perhaps because you remember the old maxim of taking […]
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A few days ago, the ATM turned 50. The first ATM in the world debuted in London in 1967; we got our first one in the US in 1969. Wow! I bet that the ATM has been around longer than many of you reading this. It’s hard to imagine a time when this technology wasn’t […]
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Summer’s here! If the change of the season has you thinking about reading on a beach, a back porch, a dock, or a hammock, we’ve got the reads that you need. Judy and Laurie have both published new books. They’re both easy reads packed with intriguing case studies of real practices — the furthest thing […]
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How knowledgeable are you about theft inside medical practices — and preventing it? This quiz is designed to get you thinking about how you can protect the money you’ve worked so hard to earn. Embezzlement always leaves practice owners feeling violated. In some cases, when the amounts are large, a practice’s profitability can even be […]
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Did you happen to catch this New York Times Magazine article last month? It begins with a moving story of an uninsured patient who suffers a terrible brain hemorrhage. Thankfully, she gets timely, effective treatment — but her condition requires many expensive services, including an air ambulance. Her bills totaled about $500,000. Although the patient […]
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When we work worth practices in adult primary care, OB/GYN, and pediatrics, we often recommend they consider proactively recalling patients for preventive visits. Because preventive visits are usually reimbursed entirely by insurance with no patient cost-sharing, helping patients stay current with preventive care can be a win-win for patients and the practice. A preventive visit […]
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2016 was a busy blogging year for us. Here’s a rundown of our top five most-read posts of ’16: “It’s everyone’s responsibility, but nobody’s doing the job“ “Are you missing out on excellent solutions to front office challenges?“ “The upside of staff downtime, the downside of multitasking“ “Copays are declining, and that’s not good news“ […]
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A new study from the University of Florida found that patients’ rudeness towards their physicians can have a “devastating” impact on medical care. Patient rudeness may play a critical role in medical errors, which by some analyses are now the third leading cause of death in the US. The Florida researchers determined that patient rudeness […]
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More productivity, better morale, and better patient service, with no extra costs?  It may sound like a dream (or maybe an illusion?), but that’s the idea behind employee engagement. Engaged employees go above and beyond the objective requirements of their job. They’re observant about ways to provide better service to your patients, and take steps […]
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When Judy, Joe, and I begin consulting engagements with practices around the country, we’re almost always asked, “Do you think our practice could be overstaffed?” Usually, the administrator or physician leader who asks seems to assume that overstaffing is a terrible mistake, one that will surely undermine the organization’s profitability. Oddly enough, I don’t think […]
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Committed, well-trained employees can make all the difference in patient service. After all, your employees are usually the first point of contact for your patients. Your employee costs are also probably one of your largest practice expenses (if not the largest). So how can you be sure your investment in staff is delivering the kind […]
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Technology for the medical practice front office has many benefits. It can speed up processes, keep critical data safe from fire and flood, allow practice staff to tap resources from other organizations via the Internet, and so on. The list is long and growing. But my favorite front office technology benefit by far is the […]
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