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Do you have a general practice management question you’d like our opinion on? Share it here anonymously and we’ll respond with our view. (Please note, this feature is for public questions, asked anonymously, and answered with our general viewpoint. If you’d like a private consultation about a specific problem at your practice, our “20 minutes, […]

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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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Are you an in-house medical biller or billing manager? We are looking to speak with a few billing professionals (either currently working as in-house billers, or who have been employed by practices in the past) for a project. If you are willing to speak with us for about 5-10 minutes for our research project, which […]

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If you are frustrated by how confused patients can be about their insurance, and by the conflicts this confusion often leads to (especially about patient balances), you have good reason. Insurance is provided by employers, who theoretically should be able to explain it (it’s an important part of employee compensation, after all). And it’s offered […]

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Do you tend to refer to staff or their roles in your practice with generic terms like “billing person” or “someone on phones”? These descriptors seem like innocuous shorthand. But when physicians and managers speak about people in this generic way, it can send an unintended message that you view your employees as interchangeable cogs. […]

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A new PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Foundation) study on the connection between EMR and physician burnout is getting a lot of attention. The study has limitations (e.g., it focuses on one organization, one EMR and set of workflows, and it aims to infer much from a single question). But despite the need for caveats, the […]

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Many administrators and physicians struggle to find the optimal staffing level.  When patient volume is especially high or an employee has called in sick, it can seem like you’re horribly short-handed.  On the other hand, seeing staff idle can make physicians feel as though they are paying for nothing at all – hardly a comfortable […]

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We’ve started a new website feature you might like. We’re listing some of our favorite famous inspirational management quotes (along with a few of our own). Classic quotes are fun and useful because the gurus who said them figured out how to succinctly express management ideas that can sometimes be obscure in practice. One of […]

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Office visits represent a huge proportion of revenue for most practice types. It’s easy for small errors in coding to become habitual, and the resulting inaccuracy can be costly for your practice. Under-coding can mean lost revenue — multiplied by hundreds or even thousands of visits per year. Accidental over-coding can lead to revenue clawbacks […]

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A provocative headline got my attention recently. It proclaimed that patient portals are “largely unused.” It caught my eye partly because it didn’t sound all that plausible — and because taking such a headline at face value could be unhealthy for your businesses, dear clients and friends of Capko & Morgan.  I decided to dig […]

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Credentialing can be a frustrating, mysterious, time-consuming process. It can seem like a black box: you throw your (copious) data in (with no idea what will happen to it), then hope you’ll get what you want out of the other side (eventually — you have no control over when). Worse, unlike most other administrative tasks […]

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Working in a medical practice, whether on the clinical or the administrative side, amplifies any tendencies one might have to try to do and control everything personally. Given the potential for serious consequences (to both health and finances), it’s not surprising that responsible healthcare professionals focus intensely on getting every detail right. The problem is […]

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Our Thanksgiving tradition is to make a charitable donation on behalf of our clients and friends. Usually, we keep the focus on medical organizations. But this year, many of our neighbors in both Northern and Southern California have suffered terribly due to the devastating wildfires at both ends of our state. So we’ve decided to […]

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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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Medical practice management is filled with unique challenges. But there’s also a unique marketing advantage that practices have — at least traditional, insurance-based practices. When your practice accepts insurance, the insurance plans you contract with, and even patients’ employers, become a potential funnel of patients. The key is to be sure your practice is able […]

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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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It’s easy to monitor your employees’ every move with modern technology. So should you? The temptation is understandable. The key question is: Are employees motivated to do a good job? Or does getting the most from them require constant oversight? Intuition might suggest the latter – but experience says otherwise. In the early days of […]

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In a typical medical office layout, there’s a front door that’s used by patients and a rear door (or staff entrance) for employees. Of course, this can be quite convenient, especially when connected to employee parking. But an interesting consequence of this configuration is that physicians and managers never experience the reception area from the […]

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