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An article today on usatoday.com reports that Healthgrades has rolled out new metrics drawing inferences about physician and hospital quality from health plan claims data.  They’re analyzing physicians’ level of experience with specific procedures (based on frequency in the claims) and aiming to combine this data with patient reviews and other quality data they can […]

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A not-too-surprising-but-still-interesting tidbit: a new poll by Sermo (the physician-only social network) shows that a majority of doctors disagree with the decision to hire a non-physician political professional as the “czar” leading the nation’s Ebola defense. Read more about it on Sermo’s blog: http://blog.sermo.com/2014/10/20/doctors-reject-ron-klain-as-ebola-czar/ Do you agree with the majority?  

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When I was in business school, the idea of continuing ed for MBAs was occasionally bandied about.  It just seemed odd that other professions like law and medicine made ongoing education and improvement a priority while ours didn’t. Of course, the most obvious response to this is that the competitive nature of the business world […]

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Sending a key staff member – whether a biller or a practice manager – to a medical practice management or billing conference can seem like an expensive perk. It can be an especially difficult decision for a small practice.  But there’s just no substitute for the learning and connections that are possible by spending a […]

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Group visits can be a great complement to many medical practices that provides many benefits. The emergence of group visits, sometimes referred to as shared medical appointments (SMAs), began when physicians and their managers recognized access for patients with chronic illnesses was inadequate. Patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD and diabetes ended up […]

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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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A feature in June’s issue of the Los Angeles County Medical Association’s Physician Magazine put the spotlight on increasing efforts by hospitals to “align” with doctors — whether by creating customized contract arrangements designed to better match doctor and hospital incentives, or whether through compensation structures implemented after acquisition of physician practices. (Naturally, acquisitions make […]

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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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When you have a stellar employee — say, an amazing MA or RN, or a superstar patient service performer at your front desk — it’s likely that this hard-working, dedicated employee is hoping you’re noticing.  And it’s also likely they’re hoping that you’re noticing because you’re thinking about giving them more responsibility, allowing them to […]

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It’s commonplace to see staff and physicians hunched over their computer monitors squinting as they work.  When you consider the amount of time each day that people are working on their computers, the benefit of alleviating eyestrain with larger monitors is clear.  While many off-the-shelf computer bundles (CPU and monitor) purchased a few years ago […]

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Google seems to change up the marketing and integration of its business listings offering about twice a year; the newest incarnation, “Google My Business,” continues the search giant’s efforts to better integrate its various directory, map and social tools for local businesses. Given that the change just happened a few days ago, we’re still digging […]

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During our webinar with Kareo (@gokareo, #kareowebinar) today on choosing and managing a third-party medical billing service, one of our attendees commented that it seemed like we were predicting that billing professionals were going to lose their jobs in droves, thanks to the trend toward outsourcing medical billing.  Nothing could be further from our view!  […]

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Reminder: I’m presenting a free webinar this Wednesday, June 18 (10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern) with Kareo, offering tips to maximize the benefit of outsourcing your medical billing .  Whether you’re already using a third party billing service or just considering switching to one, this webinar will provide you with ideas, insights and pitfalls gathered from […]

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If you’re considering working with an outside medical billing service — or are working with one now — my free webinar next week with Kareo can help you get the very most from outsourcing.  Using a third party medical billing service can be a great way to improve cash flow and collections, and minimize hassles […]

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Solid, complex and properly-protected passwords are the foundation of your technological security. Maintaining good passwords is surprisingly challenging.  For one thing, the quality of solid passwords inherently makes remembering them difficult. Add an ever increasing number of passwords and you’ve got a perfect recipe for the frustration of constant password resets – a time consuming and costly […]

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The idea of ‘nudging’ in behavioral economics gets a lot of play in healthcare. But most of the attention is on the public health/patient side — i.e., how to persuade patients to do what public health administrators believe is best for them.  These ideas often focus on negatives and can be controversial — prompting cries […]

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There have been some interesting developments in the world of physician directories and ratings sites.  First, payers have started opening up their directories, allowing prospective patients to see which doctors are participating before deciding on a plan.  This is useful for practices, too, since it makes it much easier for you to see if your […]

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Medical practices are taking note of the importance of strategic planning, as they tread the unknown waters of healthcare reform and adapt to changes they may not have invited if given a choice. But do the key stakeholders of most private medical practices really understand what it takes to succeed with efforts to create and […]

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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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Join Judy Capko, author of Secrets of the Best-Run Practices, for a special, 90-minute webinar for physicians on strategic planning. A strategic plan will provide your practice with a strategy to respond to key regulation like the Affordable Care Act and secure your future in times of rapid change.   A strategic plan will help you […]

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I just got around to watching the episode of  The Profit focused on A.Stein Meats. Now, you may be wondering why on earth I’d be posting about a meat business here — what could that have to do with medical practice management?  Well, The Profit deals with a variety of small businesses, and there are […]

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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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If you’ve been among the practice managers and physicians ignoring the ‘fad’ of physician ratings sites, hoping they’ll just fade away eventually, there’s bad news for you in last month’s JAMA: more people than ever are aware of the existence of physician ratings sites.  And more people than ever are using them. As has long […]

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