Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Layoff and Not Get Sued

medical practice layoffs
Medical Practice Layoffs
Some employment-law attorneys report an increase in discrimination suits. Threatened layoffs raise tensions, and worries about unemployment often create unrest and anger among employees. A staffer may react to losing his or her job by finding a lawyer to come after you.

If you expect to have to lay off some employees, you had better pay close attention to every detail in order to reduce your risk. Some of the details to keep in mind include:
  • Create a layoff-selection policy that puts all employees on a level playing field.
  • If using performance as one of the criteria, ensure that you’ve properly documented staff evaluations and discipline actions.
  • Use caution when refilling terminated positions.
  • Relax reference-giving rules for laid off employees and document the variation.
  • Offer a severance package.
  • Get the laid off worker to sign a release from employment liability.
  • Handle announcements with care.
  • Give layoff notices privately, on the employees’ last day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Physician Alignment

In light of the evolution of healthcare, physician alignment is a legitimate issue for providers who now function in the era of accountable care. The dilemmas providers face are less about whether to align with other entities and more about how to ensure success. Many options are available. The key issue is how to arrive in the best situation possible.

To prepare, participants must stay informed, stay flexible, be realistic, and prepare in advance for changes that are certain to occur over the duration of the arrangement. Possibly the most volatile area is the need for appropriate compensation. The most vital area, perhaps, is the call for physician leadership.

There's a new book out written by Max Reiboldt, CEO of Coker Group, titled "Physician Alignment: Ensuring Success with Negotiations, Payment Systems, and Education of Stakeholders".  The book attempts to address the challenges of ensuring successful physician alignment.

The purpose of the book is to help readers to:
  • Understand the different alignment options available to practitioners.
  • Learn how each of the alignment options fits in with the future of healthcare, including ACOs and risk-based payer contracts.
  • Recognize the benefits and challenges of physician alignment outside of a hospital relationship; 
  • Identify the critical success factors in an alignment model.
  • Develop strategies related to creating a new alignment relationship with other physicians or investors.
  • Educate the key stakeholders on how to be involved in the process from concept to implementation and beyond. 

The options that are available continue to attest that no one model of alignment fits every scenario, specialty, or marketplace. The challenges and pitfalls are predictable. The resources in this book identify a clear pathway to ensuring success with negotiations, payment systems, and education of stakeholders.

Friday, November 7, 2014

How Would You Rate Your Medical Practice on Answering and Using the Phone?

telephone in the medical practice
The telephone is the lifeline of your practice. It has been a critical component for all businesses, healthcare or otherwise, since the early 1900s when the telephone became a household device. No matter what technology or medium exists today that allows patients to communicate with you and your staff, or how easy it has become for them to learn more about your practice from the Internet, the phone still sits front and center as the key ingredient in their doctor selection process.

Some would argue that the Information Age has simplified the decision-making process for all of us; an equally valid argument can be made that instead, it has drastically complicated things! With so much information available on the web with the click of a button, and an overabundance of medical experts who now have quicker access to patient’s eyeballs and ear drums, people in search of medical advice constantly find themselves having to determine which expert is right and which one is wrong. This only makes your job as a healthcare provider more difficult.