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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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As you may know already, I’ve been working on a series of papers on Medicare’s chronic care management reimbursement program (CCM) for the Medical Product Guide. (Click on ‘resources’ after visiting the Medical Product Guide link if you’re interested — they’re free.) Talking to practices that have already started working on CCM, along with others that […]

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The concierge practice emerged more than 10 years ago and centered on family practice and internal medicine. Since then, practices have adapted the model to suit their preferences and styles, and the concierge approach has even moved beyond primary care as private practice physicians of different specialties search for a more profitable and fulfilling career […]

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Outsourcing your medical billing to a billing service has the power to make your practice much easier to manage.  It can also increase your profitability. But as the world of reimbursement continues to evolve, it’s important to stay involved with the process.  If you’ve adopted a “that’s off my plate now” approach to using a […]

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Choosing a new medical billing service is stressful. Few activities have more of an impact on practice profitability, after all.  But with the risks of choosing comes upside, too — and not just in the opportunity to have your billing handled by dedicated professionals. Switching to a third party billing service (or a new service) […]

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I’ll be presenting a free webinar on Thursday, July 16, with tips and strategies for managing your medical billing service. If you’re thinking of outsourcing your billing, or if you already outsource it and aren’t sure you’re getting everything you hoped for from the relationship, this webinar is for you. This is part two of […]

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Another day, another news story spotlighting the problems with physician database information — and the impact those inaccuracies can have on patients.  This time, it’s the federal NPI number database that has been revealed as less-than-perfect, as described in this story published last week by the Cincinnati Enquirer/cincinnati.com. The Enquirer’s investigation found that “tens of […]

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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’ve been thinking about outsourcing your medical billing — or switching medical billing services — my upcoming 30-minute webinar can help. “Eight Questions to Ask When Evaluating Medical Billing Services” will be presented on June 25 at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern. If you’ve been wondering how to quiz your billing service options — or just […]

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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’ve been thinking about outsourcing your medical billing — or switching medical billing services — my upcoming mini-webinar can help. “Eight Questions to Ask When Evaluating Medical Billing Services” will be presented on June 25 at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern, and will last about 30 minutes — a quick hit of knowledge and you’ll be […]

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There’s still time to sign up for my webinar “Patient Financial Responsibility: Tackling Your Practice’s Biggest Profitability Problem.”  It’s Tuesday, 6/9, at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern — and it’s free, thanks to our sponsors at Spendwell Health and Wellero. There will be time for questions, and the webinar will also be recorded, so you’ll have the […]

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It’s no secret that physician practices are challenged more than ever to get paid in full for the services they render. Deductibles keep getting higher – and more patients are facing them. What’s more, new research from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that only about half of insured American families have sufficient resources available to […]

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The portion of your revenue that must come from patient collections has skyrocketed.  If you haven’t mastered patient collections, you risk losing more of your practice’s earned revenue than ever before.  But — on the plus side — there are more new ways to tackle this problem than ever before. I’ve got a new, free […]

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Paraphrased from my Management Rx blog: The New York Times reports that the federal government hopes to fix a problem that many citizens complain about: inaccurate health plan directories.  When health plan directories are incorrect, patients can wind up unintentionally receiving services out-of-network, which usually leads to unexpected, significant out-of-pocket costs. The administration is naturally concerned about […]

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The portion of your revenue that must come from patient collections has dramatically increased over the past decade. And higher copays and deductibles aren’t going away – in fact, they’re becoming the standard. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study determined that average deductibles for patients on employer-sponsored plans have more than doubled, and now average […]

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Many physicians we work with face the tough decision of whether to keep their practices independent or join a larger organization.  Oftentimes, physicians and practice managers believe they must consider such a move to “gain a larger footprint” for negotiations with payers. The advantages of larger groups in payer contract negotiations versus small and solo […]

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In our work helping medical practices improve their profitability and efficiency, it’s not uncommon to find that employee morale, performance, and turnover are problems.  Those problems, in turn, often stem from the relationships between staff and their leaders — and staff perceptions about how physician owners and practice administrators regard them. Sometimes, there’s a bit […]

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As we’ve posted here before, almost all practices face the risk of a cash flow crunch in January and, really, through all of Q1, thanks to the deductible reset.  (January’s revenue collections are sometimes also hit lower volume in December because of the holidays — a double whammy.) In our experience, the decline in revenue […]

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If you’ve visited here before, you might have seen some of my posts about the challenges physicians face in managing their practices.  In most medical practices, the physician-owners are also very busy health care providers whose business management time is quite constrained.  This makes it that much more difficult to know what’s really happening on […]

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The iPhone, Android or other cell phone you depend on for everything – besides texts and calls your phone is likely keeping you busy with games; productive with email, to-do lists and calendars; in touch with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; and convenienced with applications as straightforward as a simple flashlight. But how much do you […]

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