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READER TIPS

Short newsletter keeps multiple sites and doctors up to date

Because health care is synonymous with change, and because notice of every change doesn’t always get through to every person who needs to know about it, a Minnesota practice has set up a brief in-house newsletter.

The pediatrics practice has six sites, and the newsletter is written for the site managers as well as for the providers. The little publication is a good way to get the necessary details wrapped up, says the clinic administrator.

It isn’t a book. It’s no longer than two pages with a banner across the top. But that’s enough to get out whatever information the recipients need to know about. There are all types of operational topics, most of them problem oriented, focusing on situations the administrator hears about or sees happening in the office.

Usually the articles are an explanation of “this is why we do that.” For example, when she heard more than one physician telling staff not to send certain accounts to collections, she wrote an article explaining the importance of collections and what happens when a patient does not pay the bill.

Every issue also carries something about coding. Coding education is always a work in progress, she notes.

There is also information on insurance requirements, general office procedures, and anything that has come into question. One article, for example, outlined how to terminate a patient relationship.

Staff who have expertise in specific areas often contribute items. In one issue, for example, the referral coordinator explained the procedure for handling referrals.

The newsletter does not follow a rigid schedule but goes out every two or three months or as needed.

Production is simple. The business office staff type it and send it out. It goes via e-mail because the office has banned paper memos. There’s no guarantee people will read an e-mail any more than they’ll read a paper memo, the administrator says, but with e-mail it’s for sure the information gets to their desks.


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