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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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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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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Whether you’ve got the deductible reset blues or have simply resolved to keep your schedule as full as it can be in 2016, I’ve got some ideas to share in my new webinar, “Five Tips to Fill the Schedule in 2016.” It’s free (sponsored by Kareo). Some highlights of what will be covered: Reputation management […]
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Are some jobs at your medical practice just too urgent or important to assign to specific people? That’s the argument some practice managers and physicians make, e.g: “Phones need to be answered by the first available person, whatever their job” “Everyone should keep an eye on the fax machine, and deliver faxes they see piling […]
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Employees who are not always busy working are frequently a source of consternation to physicians. Sometimes, practices attempt to remedy the situation by restructuring staff jobs — not always with good results. Consider the front desk, for example. In almost any practice, front desk workload will ebb and flow.  Depending on variables like patient punctuality, the […]
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Anyone who encourages me knows they’ll get an earful about front office technology tools — they’ve become a passion of mine.  I’m referring to things like: Patient responsibility payment estimators (e.g., Wellero, Navicure, Zirmed) Check-in tablets and kiosks (e.g., Phreesia) Online patient payment tools like portals and pre-payment sites (e.g., SpendWell) Patient payment apps (e.g., […]
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What’s the worst thing that can happen when you staff aren’t trained to manage patient deductibles and collect up front?  It’s not that you won’t ultimately get paid.  There is something worse that can happen, and it’s not that uncommon: your practice can end up losing the revenue for the service and losing the patient. […]
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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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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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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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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 […]
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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 […]
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For most practices, E&M codes represent a significant portion of billings — and, for some practice types like pediatrics and other primary care, E&M codes can approach 100% of billings.  Physicians and non-physician providers are often so sensitive to the risk of down-coding, denial or audit that they develop a bad habit of ‘defensive’ E&M […]
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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 […]
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My partner Joe Capko and I just had a new article published in Practice Link, a magazine for job-hunting physicians.  Our assignment was to explore the idea of a “15 minute MBA for doctors.” In other words, are there guideposts that we can draw from business school training that might help physicians know what they […]
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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 […]
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It’s that time of year again … when every goal you’ve imagined for your practice seems possible, and every problem seems fixable.  So you make that long list of resolutions, but, by week two, you’re already overwhelmed and discouraged.  After all, there was a reason you didn’t fix all those problems or implement all those […]
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We hear a lot these days about best-practices, benchmarks and key performance indicators, but what does it really take to be a better-performing practice? It starts with developing your own report card. Determine what key performance indicators you want to follow. Here are some standard industry measures: Total accounts receivable (A/R) and days in A/R […]
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