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The deductible reset is looming in January, and it’s poised to wreak its usual havoc with cash flow. Cash-flow impact could easily be even worse this year, given that deductibles have likely increased and become more of a problem for many of your patients. Naturally, alerting patients to the possibility that they will be responsible […]

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If you’ve found that your practice can’t sustain profitability at your providers’ current level of productivity, you may be thinking that it’s time to ask your physicians and mid-levels to start seeing more patients per day.  But have you evaluated whether your patient workflow actually has extra capacity?  Sometimes, your providers may have already maxed […]

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Themes seem to emerge each season in our medical practice management consulting business; in 2014, one of the most striking has been the connection between physician productivity and physician compensation.  It’s an issue we’ve seen play out in nearly all our engagements, in both start-ups and established practices, in both private practices and hospital-owned groups. […]

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A key factor in the patient-centered movement gaining traction is the Affordable Care Act and its intention to improve population health and reduce healthcare costs in the United States. This is expected to be accomplished through improved patient satisfaction, coordination of care and better clinical outcomes. The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is viewed as a […]

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Even this late in the year — when we typically assume many patients will have met their deductibles — we are hearing from practices that some patients seem to be delaying or avoiding care because of concerns about costs.  This is not limited to the ACA plans, which tend to have high deductibles, especially on […]

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Hospitals are acquiring or partnering with medical practices at break-neck speed and for good reason. It makes sense to align with physicians in a changing marketplace. It will strengthen the hospital’s position for both bargaining power and marketing their brand.   Physicians on the other hand, fear the unknown and are often uncertain about the strategies […]

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It’s not too soon to think about the holidays and how you are going to honor staff for everything they’ve done to get you through the year. Will it be the typical holiday party and a gift exchange or do you plan on giving Christmas bonuses – which can be troublesome? I say this because […]

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Physicians and practice managers love using online tools to help run their practices. Whether you’re submitting payroll, doing some online banking, reconciling a credit card statement or confirming patient eligibility you’re using a connected network of devices, any of which could pose a serious threat to the well-being of your practice. While I’ve blogged here […]

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Interested in learning how to get more from your relationship with your third party biller?  Or considering hiring a medical billing service? “Get the Best From Your Medical Billing Service” is Laurie Morgan’s most popular ebook — and Amazon is offering it for free on October 29. Although the book is optimized for the Kindle platform, […]

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Health Affairs has a nice analysis of the ACA’s 90-day grace period on cancellation of enrollment for subsidized patients who miss premium payments.  But one piece of the puzzle that their article doesn’t touch on is the perverse incentive for health plans not to vigorously pursue those missed premiums. Under the grace period, plans are […]

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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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If you missed Laurie’s webinar, “Front Desk Collections: the New Linchpin of Profitability” last month, you can now view the recording online (free).  Here’s a link to the sign-up page: https://www.capko.com/miss-front-desk-collections-new-linchpin-profitability-watch/ Enjoy!  

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Most medical practices aim to establish scheduling parameters based on perceived capacity and the appointment time needs or constraints of the physicians and providers that see the patients. But there’s so much more to maintaining an ideal schedule that meets demands of patients, offers smooth workflow for physicians, and ensures the physicians achieve ideal productivity […]

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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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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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All Things Considered (NPR) has a great story that I think any doctor or healthcare professional will find worth a listen (~5min).  Emergency physician Ryan McGarry talks about the new documentary film he directed called Code Black, which goes behind the scenes at always-busy LA County Hospital’s ER.  Click here to listen on the NPR […]

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