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COVID-19

Telemedicine calls for new etiquette guidelines

By Dr. Neil Baum bio Coronavirus has changed the playing field and methodology of caring for patients. We no longer will be seeing all our patients in our offices. Also, there has been a relaxation of the restrictions, such as HIPAA, for using telemedicine and now, or the first time, there are codes and reimbursements that make it possible to be compensated for virtual care. Just as there are proper behaviors expected of physicians who are face-to-face with patients, there is a new code of behavior for telemedicine. Even though telemedicine appointments are becoming popular, video conferencing etiquette can be a challenge to many physicians. I would like to offer a few suggestions for making your telemedicine visits more professional. Use good gear Use the top-of-the line equipment. Even though… . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

Five ways to boost practice efficiency on a shoestring budget

By Karen Mattocks bio It is every manager’s mantra: ‘Do more with the same number of staff.’ Translation? See more patients. Submit more claims. Generate more revenue—all while providing high-quality, low-cost care. How do successful managers accomplish this? They remove the organizational-level barriers that drain productivity, says Michael Mankins, co-author of Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productivity Power. ‘Organizational drag’ refers to the cumulative effect of institutional factors that drain energy and decrease output. Through his research, Mankins found that companies lose more than 20% of their capacity for productivity—more than a day each week—to organizational drag. The good news is that boosting productivity doesn’t require a huge budget or even major changes. The reality is that small steps can make a big difference in… . . . read more.

WORKING WITH PATIENTS

Contain costs by addressing financial barriers to medication adherence

By Shirley Titus  bio It is an unfortunate reality: Rising prescription drug costs force many patients to skip doses or even forgo potentially life-saving medications. High-cost drugs are continually in the spotlight, most recently with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) announcement that drug manufacturers will soon be required to include list prices in television advertisements. The goal is to increase pricing transparency and incite competition that will ultimately drive costs down. According to HHS, 47 percent of Americans have high-deductible health plans (HDHP), under which they often pay the list price of a drug until they have met their deductible. Patients also pay list prices if a drug is not on their insurance formulary. The inability to afford prescription drugs continues to reach epidemic proportions. Sixty-seven percent… . . . read more.

Focus On

Nearly 3 in 4 Physicians Say They Can’t Provide Easy & Rapid COVID-19 Testing

Development of new lab tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 coronavirus has been faster and more prolific than anybody could dare expect for a pathogen that was unknown just a few months ago. But it still may not be enough to satisfy the urgent demand for COVID-19 testing—at least not yet. That’s the depressing conclusion of a new survey from Harvard Medical School, the Rand Corporation and Doximity, a professional medical network of which 70% of US physicians are members Quick and Easy Testing Remains Elusive Conducted between March 21-24, the survey “Physicians Views on the Coronavirus Pandemic Response,” included 2,600 physicians. Half of the respondents said they’ve treated at least one patient with potential COVID-19 symptoms. When asked whether they were “currently able to test their… . . . read more.

CORONAVIRUS

4 steps prepare your medical office for coronavirus disease

The true impact of a COVID-19 outbreak in a U.S. community cannot be predicted. However, all healthcare facilities can take steps now to prepare for such an outbreak and protect both their patients and staff. 1 Be prepared: Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation. Know where to turn for reliable, up-to-date information in your local community. Monitor the CDC COVID-19 website and your state and local health department websitesexternal for the latest information. Develop, or review, your facility’s emergency plan. A COVID-19 outbreak in your community could lead to staff absenteeism. Prepare alternative staffing plans to ensure as many of your facility’s staff are available as possible. Establish relationships with key healthcare and public health partners in your community. Make sure you know about healthcare and public health emergency planning and response activities in your… . . . read more.

RISK MANAGEMENT

How your staff can help prevent costly malpractice lawsuits

Doctors aren’t the only ones who cause malpractice claims. Staff can cause them too by the way they treat the patients and by the way they do their jobs…


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INCREASING PROFITS

How to make a collection call to a patient

A collection call to a patient should never be offensive. But it does need to be firm. Remember, the goal is to collect an…


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MANAGING PATIENTS

Internet use can help patients self-diagnose rare genetic disorders

The notion of empowering patients to take control over their own health care is particularly powerful within the realm of…


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MANAGING STAFF

The plain and practical side of medical office managing

Equally as important as regulations, revenue, coding, and Medicare are the day-to-day issues of running the office and managing the…


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COLLECTIONS

Why you need an office policy on collecting fees

Most medical practices take time once a year to create new office goals or a business plan and, hopefully, to upgrade their policy manuals…


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