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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Recently, the check-in automation company Phreesia invited me to write an ebook on one of my favorite topics: the patient-centered practice. It’s called “Beyond Five-Star Reviews: Why the Patient Experience Matters, and How to Improve It,” and it’s available free with registration — just click on this link. The idea of being more patient-centered and […]
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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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This amusing television ad from Cigna is bound to attract a bit of attention from fans of Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, House, ER, and MASH. It’s cute. If you recognize any of these tv docs, you’ll likely enjoy it. And it has a message that can help patients get more out of their insurance, and help […]
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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 […]
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ZocDoc just published a compelling new article and infographic pulling data from a survey they recently conducted about patient behavior.  The data put a quantitative face on what many of us have been observing anecdotally and reading in blog commentary online — namely, that patients are increasingly reluctant to see their providers, and costs and […]
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If you missed Laurie’s webinar, “Front Desk Collections: the New Linchpin of Profitability” (sponsored by Wellero) — one of her most popular webinars ever! — you’re still in luck.  Sign up here and watch it whenever you like. This practical presentation hits on some ways you can immediately increase profitability while avoiding pitfalls that can […]
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Would you believe that failure to collect consistently and adequately at the front desk can actually create a negative impression of your practice’s patient service? And that skipping financial conversations to keep the focus on patient can actually backfire? Money conversations can be hard for all involved.  And, when a practice staff is very focused […]
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On July 8th Medscape presented a thought provoking discussion with three primary care physicians titled “The Good and Bad of Patient Satisfaction Measures.” This fuels the ongoing debate of the value and  scores as part of physicians’ payment for their patient services — a subject of keen interest to me. In March 2012 the Archives […]
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In 2013 NCQA rolled out the Patient-Centered Specialty Practice, PCSP, Recognition Program to distinguish specialists that achieve specific marks with: Developing and maintaining referral agreements and care plans with primary practices; Providing superior access to care (including electronically) when patients need it; Tracking patients over time and across clinical encounters to ensure patient care needs […]
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The Patient-Centered Medical Home is so much more than just a payment innovation — it’s an idea that appeals for clinical reasons to so many physicians and practice managers, who were already aiming to provide the higher level of care-coordination and patient engagement that is the foundation of the PCMH.  But many small practices we […]
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The buzz about being patient-centered is not just hype, the patient-centered movement is very real and there is much to gain.  The primary premise of the patient-centered movement is that by building stronger relationships with patients they will be healthier.  Healthier patients mean a healthier population.  A healthier population reduces healthcare expenses which have soared […]
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This is certainly a reasonable question to ask considering the rapid-fire change, threats and unknown factors medical practices face due to the Affordable Care Act.   But here are a few things you can do to deal with all of this. First, keep your eye on the ball.   Don’t throw up your hands in frustration, but […]
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Leadership sets the tone for the entire practice.  Staff will model your commitment and follow your expectations.  Much of the manager’s role focused on managing practice finances, maintaining practice viability, and keeping a highly motivated and efficient staff that is respectful and trustworthy.  Add to the list a new yardstick that changes how physicians get […]
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I will be conducting a webinar called “Nothing but the Facts: Find out What Your Patients Really Think, hosted by Kareo, on January 15th, 2014.   Physicians and staff typically focus on what’s clinically the matter with patients and how to make them better. No question this is paramount, but there’s more to the patient experience. […]
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Healthcare reform is placing the relationship between the patient and the medical practice front and center in hopes of improving compliance and clinical outcomes.   It’s all about strengthening the relationship between patients, their physicians and the entire practice and making patients feel valued.  Although physicians are working hard to strengthen their relationship with the patients, […]
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As medical practice management consultants, we’re naturally always looking for ‘best practices’ we can share with all of our clients.  There is often a rub, though: what’s ‘best’ for one practice (or one practice type) may not be right for everyone.  When it comes to the best way to solve practice management problems, sometimes the […]
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Physicians only need to peek at their ratings on sites like Yelp, Healthgrades and Vitals to realize the unfair truth: patients lump every aspect of their interactions with your practice into their view of your “care.”  Worse, at times it seems like their reviews give more weight to things like staff courtesy and billing hassles than to […]
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A recent New York Times article and follow-up blog post discuss the challenges patients have understanding medical bills, through the eyes of a consultant named Jean Poole who has made a career of deciphering (usually highly erroneous) medical bills and helping patients recoup incorrect charges or reduce their outstanding bills. Billing is so challenging for practices […]
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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 […]
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Balancing work flow and eliminating troublesome bottlenecks in a busy medical practice are chronic problems, but if ignored they become a financial drain and compromise patient service. In fact, a decline in profits and patient gripes are often the things that alert the physician or manager that workflow problems have gotten out of hand. But […]
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Here are three  simple strategies your practice can take to attract more referrals, gain visibility and be the doctor of choice in your specialty. Forge Alliances:  You can’t build your network of referrals by sitting in your office, so get out and meet the other health care providers and potential referral sources.  You can maximize the […]
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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 […]
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Mastering referrals is an art and a powerful tool in helping you create the practice of your dreams! Define your perfect patient, the demographics, the type of cases and the kind of patient you  like to treat. Identify  how you can  reach those people and build a solid referral network. Create a marketing plan that nurtures the ideal […]
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Get serious about your practice image.   First impressions are powerful and your image leaves a lasting impression – so make it positive!   The office space See your office from your patients’ eyes.  Walk in the front door and take a critical look at everything from the paint to the floor, to the lighting to the […]
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By Joe Capko, Senior Consultant Not every patient walks in the door with a smile – and for good reason. Some of them are worried about their health, but others simply aren’t convinced you are glad to see them. Once in awhile an employee will get so caught up with what he or she must […]
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Patients first. Patients are a priority in every practice, in fact, they are the purpose. So why don’t doctors pay closer attention to patient complaints? The top three complaints all have to do with time and these issues can be solved. What bugs patients?? 1. Waiting more than 1/2 hour in the office2. Waiting too […]
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