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INCREASING PROFITS

Track these 5 metrics for practice profitability

By Mike Rigert “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … , ” wrote author Charles Dickens in his classic novel, “A Tale of Two Cities.” While it’s certainly not the worst of times for most healthcare practices (that honor likely went to 2020-2021), things could always be better, right? You’re likely still dealing with the impacts of rampant inflation and ongoing short staffing, among other things. Despite these setbacks, there’s clear opportunities to move your practice forward to improve both production and productivity to help you reach your financial goals. It all goes back to numbers—the key performance indicators (KPIs) that determine whether your practice sinks or swims. Some metrics are more important and vital to the success of your practice than others. We’ve outlined five… . . . read more.

TECHNOLOGY

7 tips for leading a video meeting

We’ve become accustomed to attending work meetings on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms since the pandemic lockdown of 2020. But you might not be at ease as the leader of a Zoom meeting for your medical office team. Here are some tips for conducting a successful video work meeting: Set a clear agenda: Before the meeting, create an agenda that outlines the topics to be discussed and the goals of the meeting. Send this agenda to all participants in advance so that they can come prepared. Establish ground rules: Set some ground rules for the meeting, such as requiring all participants to mute their microphones when not speaking and encouraging people to use the chat function to ask questions or make comments. Start on time: Respect the time of… . . . read more.

HIPAA

Proposed rule would standardize how to send health care attachments

It might get easier for your medical office to send healthcare attachments and electronic signatures. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has issued a proposed rule, “Adoption of Standards for Health Care Attachments Transactions and Electronic Signatures, and Modification to Referral Certification and Authorization Transaction Standard (CMS-0053-P).” If finalized, the proposed rule, would adopt standards for “health care attachments” transactions, such as medical charts, x-rays, and provider notes that document physician referrals, and office or telemedicine visits. The modifications to the HIPAA transactions would support both health care claims and prior authorization transactions, standards for electronic signatures to be used in conjunction with health care attachments transactions, and a modification to the standard for the referral certification and authorization transaction. The is a part of ongoing efforts to… . . . read more.

POST-PANDEMIC WORKPLACE

Managers hold the key to employee engagement and retention

With many workplaces now allowing hybrid work, new complexities in managing the workplace are emerging, says the The Conference Board in a new report. Recent evidence suggests that productivity among US workers has declined significantly from heights experienced during the pandemic. Remote and hybrid work arrangements combined with ill-prepared managers may be a cause. Why it matters Managers lie at the nexus of employee engagement and retention. Given the added challenges of a post-COVID world of work, it is essential to strengthen how employees are managed and led. Care must be taken to create an organizational culture welcomed by employees that also supports organizational goals. The path forward Postpandemic, managers and employees must learn how to adapt effectively to each other’s emerging needs and preferences. This can be done by… . . . read more.

MOTIVATING YOUR STAFF

Praise is nice but a year-end bonus is better

A year-end bonus can be a powerful tool for reminding your staff their hard work and commitment and the company’s overall growth and success are closely intertwined. And according to a survey of employers, 50% of companies plan to award year-end bonuses in 2022. While this is down from 63% last year, it’s a sign that staff retention remains top of mind for many employers, says Robert Half, the specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm which conducted the survey. Presenting employees with a financial reward—whether it’s to acknowledge individual, departmental or companywide success—can help bolster retention and even help with recruitment efforts. It can also be a motivational tool for driving team productivity and engagement in the year ahead. A year-end bonus can help employees feel like they make a… . . . read more.

YOUR CAREER

Tick those unpleasant tasks off your to-do list

Avoiding something unpleasant is the main reason people procrastinate. Try one of these four approaches when you face an unpleasant task: Do it. There’s an adrenaline rush from knowing you’ve completed an unpleasant task. Finishing something you’ve been putting off will energize you for the rest of the day. Don’t do it yet. If you’re not sure what to do, putting off an unpleasant task may be wise. That’s prudent postponement. Perhaps a better approach will surface once you sleep on it. Ditch it. If the task has been hanging over your head for a long time, maybe you don’t really need to do it. Delegate it. Delegation can be a great way to procrastinate less. If you’re someone who feels that you need to do things yourself to get… . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

5 ways to make standup meetings work for your medical office

A daily standup meeting can be a highly effective way to keep your staff motivated and moving on important tasks. This 10-minute meeting, used in a variety of workplaces, provides an opportunity for a quick check-in on the day’s priorities. As the name implies, participants stand up—a posture that discourages long discussion. Here are ways to make the meeting work for your medical office Schedule the meeting at the same time and place deal. The start of the shift, after staff arrives and gets settled for work but before the office opens to patients, is one common time to schedule the regular standup meeting. You can use the time to review ongoing projects such as processing claims. You can remind your team of unfinished job from yesterday, such as loading… . . . read more.

REMOTE WORK

Digital presenteeism: Faking you care, faking you’re even there

By Lynne Curry A surprising number of employees, determined to hold on to their “work from home” status and aware that managers and others suspect remote employees of working less than their required hours, practice digital presenteeism. Digital presenteeism involves remote employees demonstrating they’re hard workers by responding to additional emails, attending additional meetings, and contributing comments in every meeting. According to a recent job trends report, the average remote employee works 67 additional minutes daily in an effort to convince managers they’re fully engaged in their jobs, https://www.flexjobs.com/remote-jobs/company/talentwise. The same report reveals that a record 85% of managers find it difficult to know for sure if their remote employees are productive. The problem—these actions erode morale and don’t equate with higher productivity. Said one mid-level manager who called me… . . . read more.

COMPLIANCE

What to do when an employee uses FMLA to cover drinking

By Lynne Curry Question: We suspect one of our employees of using intermittent FMLA leave to cover her abuse of alcohol. We see a clear pattern. She takes leave two to three Mondays a month. Prior to her requesting FMLA leave, she claimed occasional sick days on Mondays. Other employees have noticed her leaving early on Fridays as well. With this fact pattern and given the rumors now circulating, may we start asking her to bring doctor’s notes each week to justify her need for Monday leave? Answer: While a Monday absence pattern may indicate alcoholism, you can wind up in legal hot water if you ask for weekly doctor’s notes from an employee using intermittent Family Medical Leave. In a landmark case, Oak Harbor Freight Lines v. Antti, the… . . . read more.

TELECOMMUTING

Flexibility is the key to remote work practices

“The name of the game is flexibility,” says Carl Kutsmode, Senior Vice President at Talentrise, an executive search and talent management consulting firm, talking about the nature of remote work since the coronavirus pandemic. Kutsmode discusses how the pandemic has changed the workforce, likely for good. Additionally, his perspective provides tips to help employers adapt to new business and networking practices in a post-pandemic world. Pandemic’s push for career reevaluations The confinement of the pandemic enabled people to pause, reconnect with their families, and establish a work-life balance that had not existed to such an extent before 2020. As the world slowly moves away from the pandemic’s restrictions, employees are motivated by new, different factors than they once were and, as such, have different expectations of their employer. As the… . . . read more.


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