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ONBOARDING

Don’t forget this crucial first step with your new hires

 By Lynne Curry It’s a crucial first step many managers fail to take. Swamped by other work, they greet their new hires, introduce them to the employees they’re replacing, and leave to attend to other pressing duties. On the surface, this makes sense. The departing employee can easily explain the work that needs to be done. Beneath the surface, this approach carries with it significant risk. If you’re a new hire’s  manager, you want your new employee’s first experience with you to be “I’m looking forward to working with you. Let’s establish what your priorities are and how we can best work together” and not “hello, see you later.” Although your departing employee may be able to outline your new employee’s job duties, they may also communicate an impression different… . . . read more.

MANAGING THE OFFICE

4 day workweek: Is it in your future?

By Lynne Curry If you’re an employee, you’re immediately interested. If you’re an employer, you’re doubtful—yet you keep hearing about this new strategy that might make a significant difference in your company’s ability to survive and thrive. It’s the four-day workweek, though not the compressed 4/10’s workweek that oil patch and similar companies used. Employers adopting this four-day workweek ask each employee to work 8.5 hours four days a week, providing them full salaries for 34 rather than 40 hours weekly. Forty U.S. and Canadian employers are trying out this strategy in a pilot program run by 4 Day Week Global.1 Another 32 U.S. employers have adopted it.2 The concept asks employees to maintain 100% productivity for 100% of their pay while working only 80% of the time. It requires… . . . read more.

MANAGING THE OFFICE

7 ways to cut costs with a greener office

By Daryll Esposito The well-being of our planet is a universal concern, but it’s not always front-of-mind when we’re busy at work. The good news is that making greener choices at the office is not only better for the environment, it’s better for your budget too. With Earth Day this week on April 22, it’s time to look at some environmentally friendly improvements. Some common repurposing and recycling advice is not appropriate for a medical office, where confidentiality requires paper to be properly shredded for safe disposal. Infection control requires single-use items, often made of non-biogradeable plastic, and the pandemic has only increased the need for these disposable items. On the other hand, the move to electronic health records greatly reduces paper use. 7 simple, sustainable and cost-saving steps that… . . . read more.

MARKETING YOUR PRACTICE

Is healthcare SEO really worth the investment?

Years ago, planning a marketing campaign was a simple process. With fewer mediums available to reach potential clients, it was more about how much to spend and less about where to invest those resources. Today, though, the healthcare digital marketing landscape has changed dramatically. Instead of just print options, we now have things like pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media, influencers—just to name a few. One of the most talked-about of these options is SEO. But is SEO as powerful as people claim? More specifically, is healthcare SEO worth the investment? Can it really move the needle when it comes to new business? First—what is SEO? Before we discuss the validity of this marketing investment, we need to define what SEO actually is. Search engine optimization… . . . read more.

WORKING WITH DOCTORS

Nearly 7 in 10 physicians now employed by hospitals and corporations, says report

Once upon a time, a medical degree was a ticket to life-time self-employment. That no longer seems to be the case—at least not the “self” part of the phrase. For years, hospitals and health networks have been gobbling up physician practices at increasing rates. And now a new study from the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) finds that, as of the beginning of 2021, just 30 percent of all physicians in the U.S. are practicing medicine independently. The remaining 70 percent are employed by hospitals, private equity firms, health insurers or other corporate entities. Whither the independent physician? In addition to being a fixture of the U.S. health care system, the independent physician has been a part of Americana itself perhaps best captured in the paintings of Norman Rockwell. But now… . . . read more.

INCREASING PROFITS

Denial management: the missing ingredient in revenue cycle management

By John McDaniel The blueprint for effective Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) is complex in today’s healthcare environment. When we map out the RCM process, it includes the following steps: Patient scheduling and registration Insurance eligibility and benefit verification Collection of copayments and deductibles at time of service Claims submission Remittance processing Denial management Back‐end patient collections Denial Management Implementing an effective and efficient process for managing claim denials is likely the single most important action a healthcare organization can make to affect its revenue cycle. Denial management is by no means a simple process; in fact, it is often extremely complex. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the average claim denial rate across the healthcare industry is 5 to 10 percent, varying between specialties. With the average cost… . . . read more.

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Manual tasks office managers can do away with

By Tolu Ajiboye As an office manager, your task list is endless. You have to manage appointment scheduling, patient intake, billing, and so much more. On top of this, you have to ensure that these specific processes—and the practice operations as a whole— are continuously optimized to cut costs and grow the practice.  Accordingly, you’re likely on the lookout for ways you can replace manual processes with more efficient, technology-driven ones. Here’s a list of manual tasks you don’t have to handle anymore: Paper-based patient intake Manual, paper-based patient intake processes are energy and time inefficient. They require manual (and sometimes double) entry of patient information. They also increase the likelihood of errors making it onto your system. Instead, you can get online intake forms automatically sent to patients ahead… . . . read more.

CMS

Medicare payment upped for COVID-19 vaccine

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has increased the Medicare payment amount for administering the COVID-19 vaccine. This new and higher payment rate will support important actions taken by providers that are designed to increase the number of vaccines they can furnish each day, including establishing new or growing existing vaccination sites, conducting patient outreach and education, and hiring additional staff. For COVID-19 vaccines administered on or after March 15, the national average payment rate for physicians, hospitals, pharmacies and many other immunizers will be $40 to administer each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This represents an increase from approximately $28 to $40 for the administration of single-dose vaccines, and an increase from approximately $45 to $80 for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines requiring two doses. The exact payment… . . . read more.

INCREASING PROFITS

The physician enterprise model: a non-employment alternative

By John W. McDaniel bio Hospitals are seeking new and innovative ways to affiliate with physicians that differ from tactics used in the 1990s, These new relationships involve a more formal type of relationship with physicians, which might reflect lessons learned through previous less‐than‐satisfactory relationships. Most hospitals have physician integration strategies as a part of their long‐range plans, but because physicians employed by hospitals lose approximately $190,000 per year, hospitals and health systems must explore alternatives to physician affiliation aside from the traditional employment model. Beyond employment Affiliation is sought for various reasons. Large hospitals seek a wider reach into communities, while small and rural hospitals seek help with physician recruitment, which has been troublesome over the past years due to 84% of senior medical residents desiring to practice in… . . . read more.

BILLING & COLLECTIONS

Retaining patients as insurance landscape shifts

By Kerri Lenderman bio Walmart’s July announcement that they plan to start selling Medicare insurance should have resonated with America’s physicians as more than an interesting headline to interrupt a summer of coronavirus news.  Indeed, it should be a wakeup call and a reminder that unsettling and unconventional forces with deep pockets and consumer brand loyalty are forming a tsunami of disruption in how insurance will be marketed and influenced for years to come. Competition for Medicare market share has always been steep.  Historically it manifested in the form of aggressive health plan marketing campaigns from insurers and brokers, all trying to lock in Medicare eligibles – especially people approaching age 65.  Selecting a plan is overwhelming with dozens of plan options to choose from in a given market, including… . . . read more.


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