Friday, October 31, 2014

Techniques for Improving Appointment Scheduling in the Medical Practice

(If you find the following blog post helpful, you'll probably want to invest 60 minutes and order Judy Capko’s recorded Webinar "Scheduling Secrets for the Medical Practice that Master Workflow and Profitability".)

If you are repeatedly running behind schedule or have patients who are arriving late, canceling appointments, or not showing up, there’s a problem. The problem is a poorly managed schedule. An appointment schedule can make or break a practice in terms of efficiency, patient service, and profitability.

When a practice overbooks or doesn’t manage the appointment schedule, everyone pays the price—the physician, patients, and staff. Missed appointments can compromise patient care and reduce your potential profits. Three missed appointments a day can add up to as much as $150,000 a year in lost revenue.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Field Guide to Physician Coding is now in its THIRD Edition!

Field Guide to Physician Coding Third EditionThe third edition of Betsy Nicoletti's most popular and successful books, The Field Guide to Physician Coding, has just been released.

The book was exceptionally well received in its first and second editions, and now has been updated to include the most current information on coding rules and guidelines such as :
  • Cloning Notes in an EHR
  • Diagnosis CodingTransitional Care Management
  • Foot Care
  • Modifier 33
  • New Patient Coding
  • Consults
  • Wellness visits
  • Changing Medicare Regulations
  • Transition to ICD-10
  • PPACA/Health Reform Act
Betsy Nicoletti is a nationally-renowned physician coding expert and founder of

This book should be on the desk of every clinician, biller and coder in the country! No-nonsense advice supported by weblinks that answers the most pressing questions from physicians, practice managers, billers and coders.
  • The "Rules" that help doctors get paid, not just the codes 
  • Organized alphabetically, by topic, for ease of use 
  • Relevance to all specialties 
Rules explained in plain, easy-to-understand prose. Each entry includes:
  • The definition of the service 
  • Clinical examples, when relevant 
  • Medical references, CPT rule references

Friday, October 10, 2014

Annual Practice Management Conferences - MGMA in October

medical practice conventionsIf your practice is like most practices these days, you're probably looking for ways - any ways - to trim a few bucks from your overhead burden. Sending an administrator or physician leader to the MGMA conference in Las Vegas for a few days may look like an easy target for budget cuts. You may be tempted to skip the late October conference this year.  Don't do it.

You might respond, "But you don't understand! Our profit margin actually fell this past year. Regardless of some jury-rigged numbers from the Fed that point to economic recovery, we're still struggling with flat (or declining) revenues and ever-increasing expenses. We can't afford to send the manager off to a mini-vacation in Vegas." Don't do it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Top Ten Shipwrecks of Hiring Mistakes

hiring mistakes in medical practice
According to Mark Debinski of Bluewater Advisory, a consulting and recruiting firm specializing in talent management, “shipwrecks” are defined as employees who are bad hires. And they cost companies three to five times the salary of the employees who did not work out. Many business owners and human resource directors feel their recruiting jobs stop when the new employee starts. But if the hire is a “shipwreck” then job failure is a given. And then the hiring process will need to be repeated, with the the company losing money and opportunity. Many times job failure is also directly linked to the lack of a well-thought out orientation and new hire training process...but that is commentary for another blog. For now, here is the list of the top 10 hiring mistakes:
  1. My biases made me hire: There are unconscious and conscious biases that managers have.
  2. Self-mirroring mirage: Self-mirroring behavior is a tragic hiring mistake.
  3. Rushing to fill the slot: This is the most costly and easily avoidable mistake.
  4. Poor at interviewing, poor at hiring: Individuals charged with hiring must be trained.
  5. Flawed interviewing processes: There is no excuse for not being prepared.
  6. The favorite son (or daughter, or nephew): Ideally the family member has worked somewhere else first.
  7. Groupthink: This can be evident in a company culture that is reticent to conflict with management.
  8. Rite of passage promotions: Proficiency in one position doesn't guarantee proficiency in another.
  9. Weak candidate pool: With today's technology, there is no excuse not to develop ongoing and strong pools of candidates.
  10. Getting romanced or sold: Some candidates are masters at this. Use objective tools not just subjective “gut” feelings.

Source: The Hiring Compass: How to Navigate the Talent Pool Paradox and Avoid Hiring Shipwrecks -

If you enjoy reading the blog entries in "Solving Problems in the Medical Practice" you may want to check out all the great products at Greenbranch Publishing.