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The Private Medical Practice Academy

The Private Medical Practice Academy

How to start, run, grow and leverage your private medical practice.

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Top 5 Things My Healthcare CPA Wants You to Know with Jeremy Kilbert, CPA

When I started my medical practice I quickly learned that there's much more to accounting than quickbooks.  My CPA firm, with its extensive healthcare experience, has served a phenomenal business advisors. In this episode of The Private Medical Practice Academy,  Jeremy Klibert CPA and I discuss some of the pressing questions that private practice physicians have.Are you wondering what the right structure is for your medical practice? Do you know the difference between cash and accrual based accounting? Are you trying to figure out whether you should buy or lease equipment? Do the depreciation rules confuse you? Jeremy Klibert is a Tax Partner with Faulk & Winkler, LLC.  He is responsible for providing tax return review, tax research, tax planning, and consulting services for the firm. Jeremy works with a wide range of clients and focuses his efforts on serving high net-worth individuals, nonprofit organizations and closely held small businesses including medical practices. In his client relationships, Jeremy provides invaluable insight on tax, accounting and consulting issues.  You can reach him at [email protected] you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.Enroll in my course,  How To Start Your Own Practice and get the step-by-step process for opening your doors.Or join The Private Medical Practice Academy Membership for live group coaching, expert guest speakers and everything you need to know to start, grow and leverage your private practice.
September 6, 2022
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Why You Need An ABN

You want to offer a service to a patient but you aren’t sure that Medicare will reimburse you. Is there something you can do to increase the chances of getting paid? The answer is an advanced beneficiary notice of non-coverage (ABN). You use an ABN when you are offering a service that is usually reimbursed by Medicare but may not be reimbursed by Medicare in this particular case. Voluntary use of an ABNWhen you know, in advance, that the service is not covered by Medicare you voluntarily use an ABN to notify the patient.  The ABN puts the patient on notice that they are financially responsible.  Mandatory use of an ABN An ABN is required when Medicare covers the service but may not be in this case. For example, Medicare may determine that the service or treatment was not reasonable and medically necessary for this patient. If you know, from the outset that something may potentially not be considered medically necessary by Medicare you must get that ABN signed. Importance of local carrier determinations (LCD)I previously explained Medicare LCDs . LCDs may account for why something is not covered by Medicare.  Understand LCDs can help you navigate when an ABN is required.For any service or item that Medicare covers but you are concerned that they won’t cover in this case, you will want the patient to sign an ABN.  If you did not get the patient to sign the ABN before the service or item was provided, then you cannot demand payment from the patient.  Key point-- You must have informed the patient before the service  was provided that this is typically paid for by Medicare but that there is a chance in this case that it will not be covered and they and must sign the ABN form. The ABN isn’t a blanket form. Avoid the temptation of thinking, “I'm not sure what’s covered so I'm just going to get everybody to sign this form.”  The ABN needs to specific. Identify what service or item is being offered and communicate that to the patient. The patient needs to understand that you will transfer the liability to them for that specific thing if it isn’t covered by Medicare. It’s your responsibility to know what is and isn’t covered. changes in what Medicare pays for to you. Medicare Advantage plans and commercial insurers do not follow CMS but rather have their own set of rules. Some require an ABN. Some don't. Others have their own version of an ABN. Read your contracts to  determine what is required. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   And, be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.Enroll in my course,  How To Start Your Own Practice and get the step-by-step process for opening your doors.Or join The Private Medical Practice Academy Membership for live group coaching, expert guest speakers and everything you need to know to start, grow and leverage your private practice. If you enjoy this podcast, please help spread the word and leave a review :)
August 24, 2022
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Don’t Let Calling Your Office Be A Nightmare with Zed Williamson

We've all heard, "First impressions matter." Calling your office to schedule an appointment is your patient's first interaction with you and your practice. That call defines whether the patient schedules an appointment. And, their attitude toward future interactions with you and your office. Today, Zed Williamson from TrackableMed joins me to discuss how your staff can improve the impression patients get when they call your office.  One of the most valuable suggestions is to train your staff to answer the phone with a full-on smile. Now this may seem silly but if you try it you'll see the difference in the tone of your voice.Between automated phone attendants and online scheduling tools, patients have precious little interaction with your office. Those initial few words of greeting can make or break your success. Other valuable tips from this episode include:Call your own office as a secret shopperHave calls answered by a live personIf someone is put on hold, tell them how long it will beFill the dead space so they know they're still connectedAs you'll hear, "First impressions" do matter. Listen to this episode to learn what steps you need to have your staff take to get that patient's needs addressed and loving your practice.After spending years in advertising, Zed Williamson founded TrackableMed in 2011, a patient demand acceleration platform rooted in neuroscience. Zed grew frustrated by the lack of accountability in the advertising industry and started TrackableMed to focus on results. Today, you can find him reading, spending time with his wife and teenage sons, and running a highly innovative business that helps private practices create patient demand for their therapies.https://www.trackablemed.com/patient-engagement-solutionsIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.Enroll in my course,  How To Start Your Own Practice and get the step-by-step process for opening your doors.Or join The Private Medical Practice Academy Membership for live group coaching, expert guest speakers and everything you need to know to start, grow and leverage your private practice.
August 9, 2022
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Improve Patient Care and Generate Revenue: Remote Monitoring

One of my greatest frustration with practicing medicine is poor patient compliance. You spend time educating the patient and discussing the treatment plan. When you see them back in follow up you discover they haven't followed through. If you are lucky, they are the same. Unfortunately, sometimes they are worse.Using FDA-approved devices, remote monitoring remote patient monitoring (RPM) and remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM)  patients  can alert physicians to any concerning  data between visits. That way, physicians can intervene before things spiral out of control.  The goal behind remote monitoring programs is to improve patient care, decrease healthcare spending by being proactive and improving patient compliance.And while I'm sure that we are all for improved patient care and outcomes, I know that nobody wants to do more work. Or do it for free.Here's the good news: Implementing RPM/RTM does not require more physician time. When set up correctly, you only have to write the order. You can use your staff to do the rest. RPM/RTM can significantly increase your revenue.In this episode I'll tell you the key differences between RPM and RTM and how to utilize them in your practice.If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.Enroll in my course,  How To Start Your Own Practice and get the step-by-step process for opening your doors.Or join The Private Medical Practice Academy Membership for live group coaching, expert guest speakers and everything you need to know to start, grow and leverage your private practice.
July 26, 2022
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Understanding Payer Audits With David Vaughn JD, CPC

Are you afraid of getting audited by insurance companies or Medicare? Do you get anxious when one of the payers sends you a request to audit 5 of your charts?  Have you heard horror stories of the Feds knocking on a physician's door? Don't worry--you are not alone. But not all audits are created equal.Today David Vaughn joins me to discuss what you need to know about the different types of payer audits. David is both an attorney and certified professional coder and has been my healthcare attorney for 20+ years. David has been instrumental in helping my practice's billing compliance.Here are some of the topics we discussed during our conversation: the difference between a benign audit and the one you should be worried aboutwhat to do if you get auditedwhat your liability is with regard to codingthe importance of self-audithow denials may give you insight into your audit riskthe difference between federal payers and private payersin-network vs. out-of-network audit risksIf you are in private practice you will not want to miss this episode!More about David Vaughn: David is one of a limited number of healthcare attorneys in the United States who is also a Certified Professional Coder®, certified by the American Academy of Professional Coders® (“AAPC®”).David has served on the Legal Advisory Board of the AAPC and has written several coding and compliance books and manuals. He is also a national speaker on the legal implications of billing and coding. He also has a national healthcare law practice, and has represented over 2,000 physicians in approximately 40 states in over 10 physician disciplines. His practice consists of representing providers in federal and state prosecutions, qui tam cases, and Medicare and third-party payer audits. He also conducts audits and provides education to providers.You can reach David at [email protected] you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.Enroll in my course,  How To Start Your Own Practice and get the step-by-step process for opening your doors.Or join The Private Medical Practice Academy Membership for live group coaching, expert guest speakers and everything you need to know to start, grow and leverage your private practice.
July 12, 2022
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Add Chronic Care Management (CCM) and Principal Care Management (PCM) To Your Practice

 In 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced Chronic Care Management (known as CCM) with the intent of improving the care of patients with chronic conditions. CCM offers physicians an opportunity to be compensated for the work that they were doing between office visits including but of course, not limited to calls, education, coordination, and pre-authorizations. In 2020, CMS rolled out Principal Care Management (PCM). What is Chronic Care Management?CMS defines CCM as care coordination services done outside of the regular office visit for patients with two or more chronic conditions that are expected to last at least 12 months or until the death of the patient. In addition, these conditions need to place the patient at significant risk of death, acute exacerbation/decompensation, or functional decline.You can bill for CCM when a physician or qualified health care professional directs your staff to spend at least 20 minutes of non-face-to-face clinical time treating the patient per calendar month. CMS distinguishes between complex and non-complex care. The key differences between them are the:Amount of clinical staff service time providedThe Involvement and work of the billing practitionerAnd The extent of care planning performedWondering how much you can increase your revenue by?Currently CMS reimburses $42.00 for providing a minimum of 20 minutes of CCM per patient per month. Provide 60 minutes of CCM per patient per month and your practice will get $117.60. Let’s say you have a practice with100 CCM patients you could earn an additional $4,200-$11,760 per month for work you are likely doing anyway.What is Principal Care Management (PCM)?PCM is similar to CCM because both services are intended for patients requiring ongoing clinical monitoring and care coordination. One of the key differences, however, is that PCM only requires patients to have one complex chronic condition. There are 6 criteria for PCM:The condition is expected to last at least three months.The condition places the patient at significant risk of hospitalization, acute exacerbation/decompensation, functional decline, or death.The condition requires the development, monitoring, or revision of a disease-specific care plan.The condition requires frequent adjustments in medication regimens, and/or the management of this condition is unusually complex due to the patient’s comorbidities.The condition requires ongoing communication and care coordination between the relevant providers who are involved in the patient’s care.The condition requires at least 30 minutes of PCM services per calendar month.To incorporate CCM and/or PCM into your practice, you will need to develop processes for implementation, tracking and billing. Tracking time and then using the appropriate codes is probably the most difficult part. You have to document the name of the staff member, the time spent, what they did specifically and their credentials. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.Enroll in my course,  How To Start Your Own Practice and get the step-by-step process for opening your doors.Or join The Private Medical Practice Academy Membership for live group coaching, expert guest speakers and every
July 5, 2022
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Demystifying Malpractice Insurance with Jennifer Wiggins, Aegis Malpractice

 If you are an employed physician, chances are your employer purchases  malpractice insurance for you. Your first introduction to the complexities of malpractice insurance may come when you leave that employer and have to buy a "tail." And, if when you start your own practice you'll need to understand how to get the best malpractice insurance. Today, I chat with Jennifer Wiggins from Aegis Malpractice to help demystify malpractice insurance. Jennifer has over 16 years experience working for one of the country's largest malpractice insurers. In 2018, she left to start Aegis Malpractice, a broker specializing in malpractice insurance. Here are some highlights:Difference between claims-made and occurrence malpractice insuranceWhen do you need a tail?How often you should shop your malpractice insuranceThe key elements of a malpractice policyAttorneys and who decides when to settle a caseWhy your practice needs a malpractice policy (and not just the individual physicians)How to choose a malpractice carrierDo you need a broker and if so, how do you which oneWe all know that malpractice insurance is a major expense. You want to make sure that your money is buying you the best policy for your practice. Jennifer and Aegis are offering a free, no obligation review of your current malpractice insurance policy. You can learn more at https://www.aegismalpractice.com and be sure to mention this podcast.If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   And, be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.Enroll in my course,  How To Start Your Own Practice and get the step-by-step process for opening your doors.Or join The Private Medical Practice Academy Membership for live group coaching, expert guest speakers and everything you need to know to start, grow and leverage your private practice.
April 26, 2022
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In Network vs. Out-Of-Network with Guest: John Lin MD

Today I had a great chat with Dr. John Lin about how to think about choosing to be In-Network vs. Out-of-Network. We all know that dealing with health insurance companies can be very frustrating. But reimbursement rates are only a part of what makes dealing with these companies a headache.Trying to decide whether it makes sense for you and your practice to be In-Network or Out-of-Network has to be an informed calculation rather than an emotional decision.  Here are some of the topics we hit on:What is the demographics of your practice?Can you "afford" to lose that patient population?What percentage of your payor mix does the insurance company make up?How much time (% of an FTE) does it take you and your staff to get prior authorizations and payment for this insurance company?One of the key points of our discussion is that being In-Network  or Out-of-Network is not an all or none decision. Both Dr. Lin and I started our practices In-Network with most payors in order to get our practices full. And then, with time and experience, evaluated and re-evaluated each payor and their contracts to decide whether it was beneficial to our practices.You'll want to listen to our discussion of the decision-making process as you consider these choices for yourself.Dr. Lin is a private practice urologist in Gilbert, Arizona. He is also an immigrant, operates multiple businesses, is an angel investor, and is a very grateful winner. He is an avid student of efficient practice management and frequently speaks on coding, billing, practice management, and online reputation management. Urologists from across the U.S. and the U.K. have visited his practice to learn about practice efficiencies. Dr. Lin consults for numerous physicians who are starting and running successful practices.He believes in sharing knowledge and paying it forward.Dr. Lin helps urology practices throughout the U.S. as the host of The Thriving Urology Practice Facebook Group. He runs multiple YouTube channels. You can also find him on all the popular social media channels as @jclinmd.If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.    And, be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy. Enroll in my course,  How To Start Your Own Practice and get the step-by-step process for opening your doors. Or join The Private Medical Practice Academy Membership for live group coaching, expert guest speakers and everything you need to know to start, grow and leverage your private practice.
April 6, 2022
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How Medicare's Local Carrier Determinations Affect You

You’re a Medicare provider. And you know that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) runs Medicare. But did you know that CMS is just the umbrella organization? The actual administration is done by a Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC.)  What is a MAC? A MAC is a private health care insurer that’s been awarded a geographic jurisdiction to process claims for Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries.  CMS relies on the network of MACs to serve as the primary operational contact between the Medicare Fee-For-Services program and providers enrolled in the program.  MACs are multi-state, regional contractors that administer both Medicare Part B claims. Some of the activities the MACs include:Processing claims, enrolling providers, handling 1st stage appeals redetermination requests, responding to provider inquiries, educating providers about Medicare billing requirements, reviewing medical records for selected claims and establishing local coverage determinations One of the functions of each MAC is to establish local coverage determinations (LCD.)  An LCD is a determination of whether a particular item or service is going to be covered on a contractor–wide basis. Before an LCD can be put in place, there's a whole process:The Proposed LCD describes the MAC’s proposed determination regarding coverage, non-coverage or limited coverage for a particular item or service. The public announcement  begins with the date the proposed LCD is published on the Medicare Coverage Database.After the proposed LCD is published, the MAC has to provide a minimum of 45 calendar days for public comment. The MAC has to establish a Contractor Advisory Committee to discuss the quality of evidence used to make a determination. You can volunteer to be part of the CAC. While you won’t get paid for your participation, this is your opportunity to have your interests heard. The MAC holds open meetings to discuss the review of the evidence and the rationale for the proposed LCD.  Once these steps are completed, the final LCD and the response to comment  is published. This marks the beginning of the required notice period of a minimum 45 calendar days before the LCD can take effect. There is an LCD reconsideration process. As a physician you can request a revision to an LCD—either in its entirety or any provision. An LCD can definitely throw a wrench into your revenue cycle management if it takes you by surprise. It’s imperative that your billing folks keep you abreast of any new LCDs or changes to an existing one. Just because something was medically necessary and being reimbursed, that doesn’t mean it will be in perpetuity.You want to make sure that your billers are checking the MAC website regularly. While it may seem that an LCD is merely a billing thing, that’s a very simplistic and largely incorrect view. LCDs have a direct impact on how you practice medicine. The more informed you are the easier it is to evaluate how an LCD effects your practice and can respond pre-emptively.Here is a list of the MACs: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/macs-state-jun-2021.pdfIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.  Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy. 
March 29, 2022
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Supplying Your Practice: Should You Join A GPO

When you run a private practice, you become acutely aware of what supplies you need, think about where to procure them, and worry about prices. To start with, make a list of supplies that you everything you need:  drugs, syringes, gloves, paper for your exam table, cleaning supplies and more. Include how often you are using these supplies because we’ll need this info to figure out the quantities you need to order. You’ll want to develop an inventory system will help you track how often you use each item and when you need to reorder. Before I talk about where to buy supplies—buying  for your practice is no different than buying anything else. You need to comparison shop. There is tremendous variability in pricing. You can buy from individual vendors. Create an excel spreadsheet –put the item name in each row and the vendor in the column so that you can compare prices of vendors. You will also want to consider buying from a General Purchasing Organization (GPO).GPOs were endorsed by Congress as a means of lowering prices in the medical supply market with the expectation of lowering healthcare costs. But not all GPOs are equal.  You will want to shop GPOs. . How do GPOs source and negotiate prices for products and services? GPOs help source and negotiate prices for drugs, medical devices, and other products and services for healthcare providers.  GPOs don’t take own or take possession of the product. They are the middlemen. GPOs have increasingly been trying to differentiate themselves from one another by offering additional value-add services to further reduce costs or improve efficiencies.If GPOs are middlemen, how do they save healthcare providers money?It is simply an economy of scale issue. It takes time and effort fr a supplier to negotiate a price for every item it sells with every healthcare provider that wants to purchase that item. GPOs can decrease costs by lowering transaction costs and prices through joint negotiation. How much can I save with a GPO?GPOs can save providers 10% to 18%.How else can a GPO benefit me?As a small private practice, you may discover that it is difficult to obtain certain products at the scale you need them. Joining a GPO can help you procure the product because they have a steady inventory and a lower per unit cost on each order. GPOs pre-screen vendors to reduce the risk of working with a problematic supplier. GPOs also has access to more member reviews. You can save time and manpower because your staff doesn’t have to screen each vendor for every purchase. How to choose a GPO? You will need to vet any GPO that you want to join. Start by asking other medical practices that you know. There are many large national, regional and local GPOs. Combine that with the ability to join multiple GPOs, easily switch from one to another and the result is competition for members and greater incentives for providers. Can I belong to more than one GPO?In case I haven’t been clear enough, you can belong to more than one GPO. You can belong to multiple GPOs and still buy from individual vendors. How much does it cost to join a GPO? Some GPOs are free, some charge a membership fee. The membership costs usually pay for themselves after the first order so the fees should not be your defining consideration. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com. and join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.
March 18, 2022
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Tips for Staying on Schedule

There are two over-arching reasons for you to stay on time: patient satisfaction and to de-stress you.  I'll be the first to admit that staying on time can be a challenge. Here are some strategies that can help keep you on schedule. Get to clinic before your first scheduled patient. Preferably you get to clinic early. If you show up at 8 am, your first patient is at 8am and then you first need put out whatever this morning’s fire is, you start the day off behind and you will be all day long.  The other advantage to getting in early is to huddle with  your MA so that you have a game plan for potential bottlenecks. Create a block schedule. Train your scheduler the rules of the block schedule.  Communicate scheduling issues with your scheduler. If you have a patient that always takes more time, schedule them in a longer slot. Don't routinely double book. If it takes you 15 min to see a follow-up and you put 2 patients in every 15 min slot you will invariably run behind. There will be times that you have to double-book. Have a code so you don't double book one of those patients that always takes longer. When you enter the room, set an agenda by greeting the patient, and asking them what they are here for today. The better you define and manage the expectations of the visit, the greater the patient satisfaction.  Set the timer on your phone. The vibrating phone is a gentle reminder that  time is up. Have a plan with your MA-instant message, a knock on the door, a "call."Do your absolute best to not answer calls in the middle of clinic. Use HIPAA compliant email and text messaging for quick questions. If you must talk on the phone, set up a time—before patients, after patients or as a scheduled appointment. Have information about diseases and procedures ready to print during the visit. Discussing the patient handout(s) and then handing it to the patient at discharge with improve patient comprehension, decrease phone calls to your office and improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. Most EMRs have instant messaging. If yours doesn’t, install a HIPAA compliant instant messaging application. We all know how questions, unplanned tests and procedures can disrupt your otherwise perfectly flowing day. With instant messaging you can be in an EMR chart and have a separate window open for instant messages to communicate with your staff without leaving the room. Create a list of supplies that every exam room should be stocked with. Standardize your rooms by labeling the drawers and putting supplies in the same place in every room so you don’t have to search for things. Train your staff to check supplies and re-stock daily. Have a tray/cart stocked with supplies for  your most commonly performed procedures. Understand that most  “practice management emergencies” that occur during the day are not true emergencies.  Have a process for everything. Establish a chain of command for urgent questions. Huddle with staff before clinic and then check in after patients to identify  practice management issues.  If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.  Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.
March 2, 2022
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Strategies for Reducing After Hour Phone Calls

Recently, one of the members of The Private Medical Practice Academy told me that one of their biggest concerns about private practice is the number of after-hour patient phone calls. In order to reduce the volume of after-hour phone calls, you need to have a policy that implements these strategies.There will always be after-hour calls. Many of these are non-urgent calls related to issues that can be easily addressed during regular office hours.  The key is to implement strategies that help reduce after-hour call volume without sacrificing patient care. 1. Set up your phone system's phone treeWhen a patient calls after hours, your phone system should answer and give the patient a set of instructions. The message should start with, “If this is a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.” 2. Automate commonly requested informationYour after-hours message should include the information that patients are routinely looking for like your address, office hours, directions to the office, your fax number and your website URL. Mention your website multiple times during the message to direct patients to that site. The person recording this message must articulate clearly and speak slowly so. this automated message can be easily understood. 3. Divert non-clinical callsNon-clinical calls, including requests to change, cancel and schedule appointments, requests for medical records, and billing questions can account for a significant percentage of your after-hours calls. Set up a phone tree prompt that sends people to a voicemail box that the staff will answer during regular office hours. 4. Automate medication refillsIdeally, refills are timed to patient follow-ups. Have all refill requests come from the pharmacy. Adopt a policy of no refills on nights, weekends and holidays. Employ a phone tree prompt that sends patients to a voicemail box for non-urgent refill requests. 5.  Indicate that you may bill for non-urgent callsAnother strategy is to inform the caller that if they chose to contact the on-call provider, there will be a charge for the service. You can decide whether you want this to apply to all calls or only ones that are not urgent. You can also decide whether or not you actually want to drop a charge. 5. Instruct callers to hang up and dial the answering service directlyIf you are going to use an answering service, I would suggest having a pre-recorded message on your phone system that directs patients who still want to speak with the on-call provider to hang up and call the answering service directly. 6. Target high utilizersTrack your after-hours calls to know who’s calling you and you'll  likely  discover a handful of patients  make up the majority of calls. Even if you don’t want to bill everyone for after-hours phone calls,  you can send the high utilizers a letter informing them of a change in your office policy indicating that there will be a charge for after-hours services. 7. Differentiate patient versus consult callsIf your practice accepts consult calls from the ER or inpatient units, you will want to set up your after-hours phone tree to include a separate option for these calls. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.  And, be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy. If you enjoy this podcast, please help spread the word and leave a review :)
February 15, 2022
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Business Associate Agreements

When you run a private medical practice, you’re invariably going to need services and vendors outside of your practice.   What you need to know is that any person or organization that you hire to handle, use, distribute, or access protected health information is a Business Associate (BA) and that you need to have a Business Associate Agreement (BAA.) You need to have a Business Associate Agreement in place before you share protected health information.  The goal behind the Business Associate Agreement is to acknowledge that both parties are obligated to follow federal HIPAA regulations and to protect both parties in the event of a breach.HHS can audit Business Associates and Business Associates Subcontractors for HIPAA compliance, not just you as the Covered Entity.  According to HHS, the Business Associate Agreement must: Describe the permitted and required protected health information uses by the Business Associate and /or their subcontractorsState that the Business Associate and their Subcontractors will not use or further disclose protected health information beyond what is  permitted or required by the contract or as required by law;And require the Business Associate and their Subcontractors to use appropriate safeguards to prevent inappropriate protected health information use or disclosureA Business Associate Subcontractor is a person or entity to that the BA delegates to perform a function, activity or service.  Contractors and Confidentiality AgreementsYour employees, independent contractors who work exclusively for your company or a sole proprietor with other clients are not BAs. In this case your practice is solely responsible if someone breaches protected health information. One way to address this from a compliance perspective is to have your employees and independent contractors sign a confidentiality agreement.  The confidentiality agreements should:Clarify the type of information the agreement covers.Describe what type of information cannot be copied, downloaded or modified. As an aside, this is a very common source of a HIPAA breach—when some piece of protected health information is downloaded onto a desktop because its “easier” to access but it’s not secured.Address issues like not removing a laptop containing protected health information from your officeState information must be returned upon employer’s requestDisciplinary action for persons responsible for a breach of confidential informationYour Business Associate Agreement should be written so that it’s “evergreen,” meaning that it renews automatically and doesn’t require a new signature to remain valid. That said, you will still want to set up a regular review schedule for all of your business associate agreements to make sure that it stays current with your service contract and your state laws. Significant changes in the scope of work performed by the business associate will necessitate a change in the business associate agreement. While the business associate has the liability, you as the covered entity are still required to take reasonable steps to cure the breach or end the violation.  Download the Business Associate Security Questionnaire to help you do your due diligence in choosing a Business Associate.If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   And, be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy.
January 28, 2022
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HIPAA Compliant Email

We send and receive email every day so  it would seem natural to send emails to your patients. But what if the emails contain protected health information? How do you make email HIPAA compliant?How you will use email with protected health informationThe first questions to ask are, “Is my email network is behind a firewall?” Are you only emailing protected health information between you and your staff within the confines of the firewall? If you answer yes to both questions, then you don’t need to encrypt your emails. But, you do need access controls for email accounts so that only those individuals who are authorized have access to protected health information.On the other hand, if you intend to use email to send protected health information externally, you are responsible for protecting the protected health information—in other words, making it HIPAA compliant.  Encryption is the key to making your email HIPAA-compliant but it’s not that simple. Many email service providers that offer an encrypted email service are not HIPAA compliant because they do not incorporate all the necessary safeguards to meet the requirements of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.  Here are some of the things you will want to consider to make your email is HIPAA compliant Ensure you have end-to-end encryption for emailEnter into a HIPAA-compliant business associate agreement with your email providerThe most important step—Develop policies on the use of email and train your staffEmails containing PHI need to be retained for 6 yearsSecure, encrypted email archiving saves storage space and is indexed making its easier to searchObtain consent from patients before communicating with them by emailHIPAA email compliance should be included in your compliance plan. You don’t want something we all do every day—send and receive emails to get you into HIPAA trouble. If you are unsure of the requirements of HIPAA compliant speak with a healthcare attorney that specializes in HIPAA to advise you of your responsibilities and the requirements of HIPAA with respect to email.You can join me in  The Private Medical Practice Academy membership to how to maximize your practice's success.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
January 11, 2022
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Using The Digital Space For Your Practice-An Interview with SoMeDocs Founder, Dr. Dana Corriel

Trying to figure out how the digital world fits into your private practice can seem very overwhelming. Today, I had a great conversation with Dr. Dana Corriel, a board certified internist, entrepreneur, digital stratgeist and the founder of doctorsonsocialmedia.com to get her insights. Here are some of the key points we discussed: Social Media is Media. It's a form of advertising. Don't think about it as "Social"Whatever content you put into the digital space represents you and your brandYour priority is the prime real estate you own--your websiteMake your website uniqueProvide content geared to the audience you want to read itYou can re-purpose content from your website Post it on one of the social media channels--Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.Be consistentEstablish yourself as an expertPublish articles on doctorsonsocialmedia.com and other sites so that you are identified as an expert in your fieldYou never know who will see your content--patients, referral sources, others.Use social media to drive people back to your website.People may not find you on social media but your patients and referral sources will definitely check out your website before coming to see you or referring patients.Dana Corriel, MD, is a board certified internist, entrepreneur & digital stratgeist. She is the founder of DoctorsonSocialMedia.com, an online platform that functions as a mix of media outlet, marketplace, & talent agency for “medical brains”, serving both a physicians and public audience. Over the years, Dr. Corriel has learned how to create truly stand-out content online & has expanded her own career in just a few short years, using simple online tools. Her company has helped numerous physician influencers and innovative new healthcare businesses grow, thanks to its communities and networking power. Many of these experts now successfully occupy top healthcare positions, appear in influential outlets, and accomplish feats doctors never thought possible.Sign up for  The Private Medical Practice Academy membership to maximize your practice's profit . Learn how to work smarter--not harder.If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.
January 4, 2022
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Episode 52: Getting Ready For Opening Day

I’m sure that you’ve heard the expression:  build it and they will come.  You started your private practice because you want to see patients. But how do you build your patient volume?In this episode, you'll learn 6 steps to accelerate your ramp-up. Define your messageDifferentiate yourself from the competitionCreate your brandThe name of your businessYour taglineYour domain nameYour logoYou need printed materials. This isn't old-fashioned. Business cardsAppointment cardsStationaryBrochuresYour website is your digital business cardPromote early and oftenTell people where you areSchedule appointments before your opening dayYour open houseNot just a celebrationIt's a powerful form of advertisementYou will want to implement these 6 steps before you open your business in order to maximize the likelihood that you will be busy straight from the start.The January 2022 cohort of The Private Medical Practice Academy membership starts on January 3, 2022. Enrollment in The Private Medical Practice Academy membership opens December 26, 2021-January 2, 2022. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
December 21, 2021
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Episode 51: Social Media Marketing and Your Practice

In this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Wendy Margolin who owns Sparkr Marketing and is the founder of The Clinician’s Social Media Club. I asked Wendy to join me to discuss where social media fits into the private practice physician's business plan.  Here are some of the topics we discussed:How to choose which social media channel(s) should you chooseWhat content should you postHow to get your posts seenShould you spend money on ads (and how much)Your personal FB profile vs. your practice's business pageHow to use your practice's FB page to engage with your communityHow to monitor whether your SM posts are working for you.One of the key points we discussed was using your personal FB profile to share your business info. Unfortunately, your FB business page is much more likely to get folks that are already interested in hearing from you. So how do you connect with others? You can use your personal FB profile. But--how do you separate your posts about the info you want to share about your practice and your truly personal info?  You can divide your FB contacts into FB audiences. Here’s a link to how to divide Facebook audiences. My take-home message to you about social media: It's a top in your tool chest. Even if a new patient doesn't find you on social media, they probably checked out your website and FB page.  Click here if you'd like to know more about Wendy Margolin's  The Clinician’s Social Media Club for monthly fill-in-the-blank social media captions and customizable Canva templates. Enrollment in The Private Medical Practice Academy membership will be opening in January . Sign up for the waitlist now and get an early bird discount. Among other things, inside the membership, you'll find the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices Checklist to document your practice's compliance!If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.  
December 7, 2021
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Episode 50: How to Avoid a HIPAA Danger Zone: The Notice of Privacy Practices form

The Notice of Privacy Practices is a  form that many patients toss in the garbage but that actually gets you into a lot of trouble and costs an enormous amount of money.  HIPAA guarantees a variety of patient rights--including a patient’s right to know how you’re going to use their Protected Health Information (PHI.) As part of that,  you are required to describe your office’s privacy practices in writing in an easy-to-read document called a Notice of Privacy Practices.The HIPAA guidelines state that you must “do your best” to get your patients to sign an acknowledgment that indicates that they havereceived a copy of your Notice of Privacy Practicesbeen made aware of a notice copy posted in your waiting area, orbeen informed that a copy is available on your practice’s websiteWhat should you include in your privacy notice:Rights:  Your privacy notice must clearly spell out your patients’ rights Choice: Patient privacy choices must also be clearly listedUse: You are required to tell your patients how you will use their informationDate and Sign: Although your patients are not required to sign and date your privacy notice, there must be a place for them to do so on the document Change: Your patients have the right to change the instructions on how you are authorized to utilize their information Here's a HIPAA-compliant sample Notice of Privacy Practices form.  How to use the form correctly:Timing: Every new patient packet must contain a complete copy of your privacy notice. Have patients review your privacy notice again at least every three years.Availability:   Post a copy of your Notice of Privacy Practices where your patients can easily see it. Signature: Make a “good faith” effort to document acknowledgment of your privacy notice by getting your patient to sign and date it.  Refusal to Sign: If they refuse to sign,  document the reasons.Language:  Your Notice of Privacy Practices form needs to be available in other language options as your practice represents.Who can Sign a Privacy Notice? Adults: All patients who are competent adults.Minors: The legal parent(s) may sign for non-emancipated children.Emancipated minor. The definition of an “emancipated minor” differs from state to state.  Know your state requirements to avoid getting into trouble.Next of Kin: The designated representative of a seriously ill or comatose patient.Legal guardian: The designated legal guardian of an incompetent patient.Executor or administrator: The legal executor or administrator of the estate of a deceased person. Enrollment in The Private Medical Practice Academy membership will be opening in January . Sign up for the waitlist now. Among other things, inside the membership, you'll find the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices Checklist to document your practice's compliance!If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
November 12, 2021
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Episode 49: Things You Have To Consider When Firing A Patient

If you practice medicine, sooner or later you’ll get to the point that you want to fire a patient. Whatever the reason that you may have for terminating the physician-patient relationship, there needs to a clear and consistent policy and procedure for doing so or you're exposing yourself to hassles and unnecessary potential liability. Once you have made the difficult decision to end the doctor-patient relationship, there are a number of steps you need to take:Understand the legal standards for duty of care and for patient termination.Duty of care—this refers to the doctors responsibility to provide patients with treatment.  In order for a physician to be obligated to a patient, you must either:have a pre-existing relationship with the patienhave a commitment to the patient by proxytake affirmative action to treat the patientYou need to send out a termination letter to the patient. Notify all office staff about the termination. If you have more than one physician, you absolutely want to notify all practice physicians about the termination.  Your next step is to remove the patient from your roster of active patients. After you have fired the patient, i.e. sent the termination letter, it’s imperative that you document All Post-Firing Encounters. You need to use  a disclaimer for Emergency Care. You need to know how much notice you need to give the patient. There’s no federal standard that defines “reasonable notice"Know your state's requirements Look to your payor contracts for guidance Contact a healthcare attorney in your stateHere's a list of dos and don’ts for you, as the treating physician to keep in mind as you interact with your soon-to-be ex-patient:Never discuss the patient’s health or wellbeing if you encounter him or outside of the office. If you participate in health fairs, online medical discussions or any other situation in which there is the potential for your opinions to be interpreted as medical advice, you will want to include a disclaimer. In the end, there will be occasions where you want to and are justified in firing a patient. You just want to make sure that you do it the right way.You'll want to join The Private Medical Practice Academy Membership to start, grow and scale your private practice.  Enrollment  in The Private Medical Practice Academy membership will be opening in January . Sign up for the waitlist now and get an early bird discount. One of the things you'll find inside the membership is template for a physician-patient termination letter! For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
November 8, 2021
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Episode 48: Finances, Your Practice and Your Significant Other: Interview with Dr. Brent Lacey

New ventures require money. The question is always where does that money come from. It may come from your savings, a loan or other investors. Regardless of whether you are starting your own practice, buying into a practice or related business (ASC, Imaging Center, etc)--you will need to make a capital investment. In this episode, Dr. Brent Lacey and I discuss personal finances and financing your business ventures. Dr. Lacey is a gastroenterologist and founder of The Scope of Practice. He has coached hundreds of families to succeed in building personal wealth and stellar careers.  One of the important topics we address is money and your significant other. Money matters are often a source of strife in a relationship. And talking about money can make people uncomfortable.Join us as we have an in-depth conversation about how to address both personal and business related money issues.Dr. Lacey is hosting a free summit, Marriage and Money, M.D. on Nov 15-17, 2021. You can find out more by clicking here. You can join me in  The Private Medical Practice Academy membership to how to maximize your practice's success. Enrollment for the next cohort will open in January. Be sure to sign up for the waitlist.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
November 2, 2021
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Episode 47: Keys to Hiring A Practice Manager

Today, I’m going to talk to you about practice managers and how they fit into your team.Let’s start by talking about the difference between an office manager and a practice manager. If you hire someone to help manage your practice—regardless of how small it is—that employee is a practice manager. What are the tasks that practice managers may be responsible for? Here's just a short list:All things Human ResourcesOversee billing and  understand revenue cycle management. Medical records management One of the questions that I’m frequently asked is, “How much should I pay my practice manager?” In my experience, there are 3 general categories of practice managers. The starter—when you are first getting started and have only a few employees and the complexity of the tasks is limited. The growing manager—more staff, billing,  expenses, and providers to manage. The scaling manager- adding new providers, satellite offices and multiple additional revenue streams requires a whole new list of competencies. At this stage, you need someone who has the ability to help you grow rather than simply manage the practice. Now that I’ve told you the list of potential tasks you’re going to want your new practice manager to take on, I’m sure you’re wondering where you are going to find a person who possesses all the required characteristics you should be looking for. The answer is that it’s incredibly unlikely that you will find someone who checks off every single box. What's the  one quality that’s essential in a good practice manager? Regardless of what stage you’re at, your practice manager needs to have excellent communication skills in order effortlessly communicate with everyone in your practice including patients, physicians, and other administrative staff. Here are some of the things you’ll want to consider when hiring a practice manager: Check the candidate’s previous work experience.  Even in the beginning stages, you are going to want a practice manager with at least two to five years of prior work experience And, you want to specifically know what tasks they were previously responsible for.Look for the necessary personality characteristics: Hiring the right person is all about fit. In order for your practice manager to be successful, they must be empathetic, compassionate, and pay attention to detail.  Your practice manager is really your right hand person. You want someone with shared values who can embrace your vision.You want to be sure that your successful candidate is able to delegate tasks. You are hiring a practice manager to help run the practice. The ideal practice manager has excellent task delegation capabilities and must be able to judge when it’s best to handle a task on their own and when it’s better to delegate. Enrollment in The Private Medical Practice Academy membership will be opening soon.  Join me to learn more about how you can maximize your practice's profitability.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
October 19, 2021
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Episode 46: A Successful Lifestyle Medicine Practice: Interview with Dr. Cheng Ruan

In this episode, I have the great pleasure of chatting with Dr. Cheng Ruan, the founder of Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Ruan started out in an internal medicine practice before starting his extremely successful and lucrative lifestyle medicine practice. Here are some of the key points we touched on:The importance of understanding every aspect of how a private practice functions before starting your ownHow to get patients BEFORE you open your doorsHow to create the right culture for your employeesHow to leverage yourself with physician extenders (and get paid)Dr. Ruan is hosting the  Physician Practice Automation Summit Oct. 17-24, 2021. He's put together 40 experts including doctors, lawyers, marketing executives and more to help teach how to grow and scale private practices and I'm thrilled to be one of the speakers.You can register for this free summit here.Plus you’ll get instant access to bonuses just for registering:✅ Guide: Leverage Your Practice to Build New Revenue Streams✅ Guide: 5 Critical Tools for Physicians Become Leaders✅ Course: How to Easily Get 5-star Reviews From Every PatientYou can join me in  The Private Medical Practice Academy membership to how to maximize your practice's success.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
October 5, 2021
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Episode 45: Key Skills Your Front Office Staff Must Have

You need to hire someone for your front desk. But before you sit down to write the ad for that position you first need to understand what it is that you want that front office person to do.The first impression that people have of you is their experience when they walk in your front door.  The person at the front desk is the first person from your office that someone is going to meet. You want to  hire looking through the prism of who you and your practice are and the demographics of your patient population.By far, the MOST important skill set is communication. Aside from the fact that great communication skills are the backbone to professionalism and excellent customer service, it’s probably the hardest one to actually teach. Regardless of the exhaustive list of tasks and responsibilities that you want to assign to your front office staff, absolutely none of their skills is going to be more important than their ability to communicate. Patients, just like any other customer, do not want to feel like they are a transaction. When you are interviewing potential staff—especially for your front desk, I want you to think about whether they are easy to connect with. Connection is all about communication. But communication is so much more than simply what comes out of someone’s mouth.  What’s more important than words?  Body language and tone.  Whether your patients trust you, the physician, starts with your (front desk) staff. Every message has to have both content and feeling. Patient satisfaction and retention is directly related to their interaction with your staff. Patient trust stems from confidence in your staff’s competence and communication skills.What are key components needed for great communication?  Active listening, empathy, confidence, friendliness, respect, responsiveness, and ability to adapt communication style to the audience.Let’s dissect this into things you can do to train people and skills they inherently need to have. You can empower your staff and give them confidence by developing processes.  But friendliness, empathy and respect are not qualities that you can easily teach. I know that when you need to hire an employee, you’re preoccupied with what should the job description include.  And, of course, you’ll need that list of responsibilities to write the job description and the ad. But it’s really the  intangible qualities that you are going to want to evaluate when you are interviewing potential front desk candidates. Just remember, this person is going to be the face of your practice. If you were the patient would you feel that this person is friendly, empathetic and respectful? Would you feel that they are genuine and genuinely interested?  You want the answer to be a resounding yes!You can join me in  The Private Medical Practice Academy membership to how to maximize your practice's success.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
September 28, 2021
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Episode 44: Credit Card Processing Fees Eat Into Your Profit

If you are like me, you never carry cash. I pay for EVERYTHING with my credit card. And, as a consumer, I get annoyed if a place doesn't take credit cards. I never actually think about the vendor side of things. I figure they bundle the cost of taking credit cards into whatever they're charging me.The problem for physicians who are in-network is that they get paid according to their contracted rates. They can't pass the credit card fees they pay for accepting this form of payment to the patient.But patients expect that you will take credit and debit cards for their co-pays, co-insurance or deductible. It's part of doing business, right?I know that when you are busy starting or running a practice you're not thinking about how much you pay for accepting credit cards. That said, there's no reason to pay more than you have to.Yes, but not all credit card processing fees are the same. In this episode of The Private Medical Practice Academy, I sat down with Dr. Jennifer Mogan of Park Place Payments to talk about how credit card processing fees are structured and how to figure out whether you are getting the lowest possible rate.Dr. Mogan is an anesthesiologist in a private practice group in Rochester, NY where she has been practicing for the last 15 years.  She attended college at Colgate University, and medical school and residency at the University of Rochester.  On the side, she is also working with Park Place Payments, a women-founded and women-run credit card processing company built with the core mission to bring honesty and transparency to this industry.  Dr. Mogan has been using what she has learned about the payments industry over the past year and a half to help her colleagues in medicine become more informed and make wise choices for their payment processing.  She is happy to do a complimentary consultation for your practice with a full analysis and side by side comparison to make sure your practice is receiving the rates and service you deserve. https://www.parkplacepayments.com/contactjennifermogan/You can join me in  The Private Medical Practice Academy membership to learn more about how you can maximize your practice's profitability.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
September 14, 2021
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Episode 43: Understand The No Surprises Act or Be Prepared to Lose Money

If you are an out-of-network provider for an insurance company you may perceive that you can get better reimbursement--in large part because, in some states, you can balance bill the patient. But all of that's about to change. When the No Surprises Act, a federal law, goes into effect on Jan 1, 2022, you'll no longer be allowed to balance bill. But that's not all. This law, as the name states, is meant to protect consumers from the cost of unanticipated out-of-network medical bills.The No Surprises Act extends to most out-of-network providers. Under the new law, if you're an out-of-network provider, you can't bill patients more than in-network cost-sharing amounts. While the No Surprises Act only holds the patient responsible for their in-network cost-sharing amount, you'll have the opportunity to negotiate reimbursement with insurers through an arbitration process. With arbitration, both the provider and the insurance company submit an amount to be paid to an independent arbitrator. The independent arbitrator chooses one payment or the other with no ability to split the difference. The party whose offer is not chosen is responsible for the costs of arbitration. What this does is put the burden on you, the out-of-network provider to determine a patient’s insurance status and the applicable in-network cost-sharing for the surprise medical bill.  This means that your staff and billing folks are going to have to do more work to potentially get no more than if you are in-network. You will want to carefully monitor changes in reimbursement and changes in expense required to collect that reimbursement.You can be out-of-network and get around this by providing the patient with written notice that you are out-of-network, disclose the charges and obtain consent  at least 72 hours in advance of the appointment. How to deal with the No Surprises Act:Review your process for eligibility and insurance verification. Provide a timely Advanced EOB notification to the patient and include: Good-faith estimates of: costs based on the codes you expect to use  what the insurance company is responsible for payingcost-sharing –basically what you expect that the patient’s responsibility isthe amount the patient has met towards out-of-pocket maximum and deductibleA disclaimer that coverage is subject to medical management requirementsA disclaimer that the information is only an estimate and may be subject to changeReview your contracts. Decide whether you want to go in-network and negotiate your rates. In order to not be surprised by the No Surprises Act you need to prepare now. Join me in The Private Medical Practice Academy membership to learn more about how you can maximize your practice's profitability.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
August 31, 2021
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Episode 42: Maximize Your Revenue With Clean Claims

Do you know what your practice’s clean-claims submission rate is? Or maybe I should ask you if you even know what a clean claim is? Submitting clean claims is key to maximizing your ability to collect the money that is due to you. In this episode, I’ll tell you what a clean claim is, what clean claim rate you should try to achieve and how to do that.What is a clean claim?The claim for payment has to be submitted via an acceptable claim form or electronic format with all required fields completed with accurate and complete information in accordance with the insurer's requirements. What is the significance of a clean claim?Most practices have a clean-claim submission rate of 75-85% which means that 15-25% of submitted claims are not clean.I want to be crystal clear—claim rejections actually cost you money. When a claim is rejected, it means that those claims have to be reworked and resubmitted. You want your clean claim rate to be 95%. Anything lower than this means that you are losing money. For example, if your practice has the typical 75% and 85% clean claim rate, that means that 15–25% of claims that are submitted each month have to be worked on twice (at minimum). Your clean claims rate directly affects your practice’s overall revenue. Problematic billing and coding practices on result in delayed or denied claims that can have devastating results for your practice. Let’s put things in perspective. Every claim that is not paid on the first submittal wastes your practice’s valuable time and money.  Many rejected claims are resubmitted multiple times, often without their errors even being addressed or corrected.  I also want to point out that when a rejected claim needs to be reworked beyond its timely filing deadline you end up not getting paid.  What Clean Claim Rate should do I need (want)?In the ideal world you would have a 100% clean claim rate. But let's be real--errors happen. That said, you should not be satisfied with a clean claims rate under 95%, and especially anything under 90%. Anything above a 5% claims rate is costing your business money and time. Your overall profitability depends on having your clean claims rate under control. So how do you achieve that 95% clean claims rate?Keep patient information updatedVerify eligibility prior to the date of serviceProvide detailed documentation of medical informationBe mindful of insurance claim filing timelinesDouble-check modifiersYou want and deserve to be paid for the work you do. Having a 95% clean claim rate will increase your profitability by increasing your collections and decreasing the expenses incurred collecting your money. And, of course, it will shorten your revenue cycle—said another way—you’ll get your money faster. If you want to learn how to implement the processes to increase your clean claim rate and maximize your practice’s revenue, join me in The Private Medical Practice Academy membership. https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/Work%20With%20Me#two-stepFor a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging t
August 17, 2021
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Episode 41: FMLA's Impact On Your Practice

Employees often ask about taking leave through the Family Medical Leave Act, otherwise known as FMLA. As the employer, like when you own your own practice, you need to understand FMLA and everything that goes along with it. FMLA allows employees to take an unpaid leave of absence for up to 12 weeks for medical reasons or family reasons. The first thing I want to point out is that FMLA is only applicable to employers who have 50 or more employees working at least 20 hours per week to comply with FMLA. Employees who have worked at a company for at least 1,250 hours during a 12-month period are eligible for FMLA. Realistically, many smaller medical practices aren’t legally required to provide their employees with FMLA. It'a very likely that  your employees will think they’re entitled to FMLA regardless of the size of your practice. This is why you need to have clear cut policies about leave and what your practice offers if you are not obligated by law to offer FMLA.1. Develop comprehensive policiesHave a written policy that defines what type and amount of unpaid leave you will be offering The policy needs to apply to all employeesInclude the policy in your employee handbook2. Define the 12-month period in which the employee can access it3. Determine the parameters of your policy Will you require your employee to exhaust all of their paid-time-off benefits before accessing unpaid leave? Or can the employee choose whether to use PTO or unpaid leave? Now you may be thinking why would any employee want to take unpaid leave if they can get paid? The whole reason is all of this is important is that you are trying to run a business. In order for your practice to run efficiently, you need to understand your staffing requirements. You need to think about how long you realistically can hold a job for someone who is out. And, of course, how you are going to staff their position during their absence. Having a well-defined policy will help prevent misunderstandings.One of the most difficult situations though, is when, near the end of their leave, the employee requests that they need a different schedule.  Under FMLA, the law states that you only have to guarantee that the employee has the same position to return to, or a similar position with the same hours and benefits. They are not obligated to accommodate a new work schedule after the FMLA leave is complete.  If you have less than 50 full-time employees, you’ll still want a policy statement and I would recommend using FMLA as a guideline. You also need to understand your obligations as an employer when an employee returns to work.  You may have an obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide a reasonable accommodations. Provide each of your employees with a list of essential job functionsMake sure that the employee’s current job description is up-to-dateDetermine what reasonable accommodations can be made to return the employee to workFor a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
August 3, 2021
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Episode 40: How to Choose Your Best Malpractice Coverage

As a physician, regardless of your specialty or where you practice, you want to have malpractice insurance.  Today I’ll tell you about the different types of malpractice insurance and some of the things you are going to want to consider when trying to evaluate which is the best plan.Types of malpractice insurance policies: Claims-Made CoverageWith a claims-made policy, your insurer will only cover malpractice claims if the claim is made against you while you are covered.  With claims-made coverage you will need tail coverage if you leave the practice or insurance company.Occurrence CoverageThis is the broadest and most protective type of medical malpractice policy. With this policy, it does not matter when a medical malpractice lawsuit files, so long as the incident occurred during the policy period.Claims-Paid CoverageWith this coverage, the claim is not recognized until the indemnity pays out or the claim closes. The downside of this type of coverage is that if you do have a claim made against you, as long as your claim remains open, you will need to maintain coverage with the claims paid insurance carrier. This could mean years of paying premiums that you don’t want to pay until the claim is closed (often 3-4 years) or an even larger tail payment to get out of the policy if needed.Factors affecting malpractice insurance costsHow much coverage you need will directly affect how much you will pay in insurance premiums. Your prior claims history. Where you work also factors into how much you’ll pay in insurance premiums.Regardless of your location, claims history, and coverage amounts, certain specialties are always going to pay more than others.Bring down the cost of your malpractice premiums when you are first starting out by selecting a claims-made policy with a maturation date. With this policy,  the rates you pay increase over time from year one to year five.What your malpractice insurance policy will cover and what it won’tWill cover:Any claim made against the medical provider because of bodily injury based on: the services provided, a lack of services provided or medical negligence on the physician’s part. Legal counsel and covers your defense costs, both preceding and during trial (should your claim go that far). Won't: Sexual misconduct on the part of the physician Illegal acts Services performed while under the influence of alcohol or drugsYou need malpractice insurance for your practice in addition to each individual provider. Before You Sign Up for a Policy:Be sure to compare prices and policy terms from different insurers in order to make the most informed decision. Read it thoroughly and make sure you are getting the most value for your money and that you understand what your policy covers (and what it doesn’t cover) before you sign up.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
July 22, 2021
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Episode 39: Why YOU want to add Remote Patient Monitoring to your practice

Today I want to talk to you about remote patient monitoring (RPM.)   RPM has been around since the 1960s but it wasn't until January, 2020 when CMS increased reimbursement that adoption increased.There are several reasons that you should  want to add RPM to your practice:You can take better care of your patientsRPM can improve patient accountability RPM can improve patient satisfactionRPM can help your practice meet value-based reimbursement criteriaYou can get paid for RPMRPM refers to technology and practices that help practitioners track their patients’ health data remotely to design a treatment plan. It’s the process of combining remote patient monitoring technology with devices, and it enables the doctor to monitor vitals and other critical data remotely without the physician actually having to provide the service. How does RPM work? A device transmits patient information, usually through a mobile app, which in turn sends the data to the provider’s office. Core requirements include being  HIPAA compliant and EMR compatible. The provider-side of the application must have these modules:analytics notification decision support report How RPM actually works:Physician writes an order for RPMPatient receives the device. Physician office can bill for set up/education as one time charge 99453Patient sends 16 readings/transmissions to physician office and physician office spends 20 minutes on RPM  per calendar month  in order to bill 99457If an additional  20 minutes are spent, you can bill 99458 (up to 2 x 99458 or 1 hour spent on RPM/month)Things you’ll want to think about when choosing an RPM vendor:What services does the vendor provide?Some vendors provide a software platformSome provide software + deviceSome vendors offer a completely turnkey solutionWhat is the fee structure for the vendor's services?What additional staff do you need?You will want to build out the revenue and overhead to understand your financial projections from the RPM component of your practice.The key takeaways:Remote Patient Monitoring provides many benefits for you and your patients. There are many conditions that can be monitored and a variety of devices to assess them. For RPM to be successful it requires the patient to be compliant with transmitting their data points. That means that everything about RPM needs to be easy for that patient or they will drop out. This should be your first and foremost consideration when choosing both the device and any vendor that you choose for your practice. For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
July 6, 2021
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Episode 38: RVUs and CPT codes: Understanding How You Get Paid

Physician compensation is often based on RVUs. But, in reality, RVUs actually have no monetary value.  So in order to understand productivity and revenue you have to know what an RVU is, how it’s determined and how to determine what it’s worth. In this episode, you'll get all this info and more.RVU stands for relative value units and are basic component of the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS.) RVUs define the value of a service or procedure relative to all services and procedures. It’s based on the extent of physician work, the clinical and nonclinical resources needed and the expertise required to deliver the service to the patient.When you are actually coding and billing for a service, you do not assign an RVU code. You assign a CPT code. And each and every CPT code has a dollar amount assigned to it by CMS. When your practice receives reimbursement from Medicare or a commercial payor, they pay you according to the CPT code. There is no direct payment for any service based on an RVU. Key point: You need to be able to convert back and forth between CPT codes and RVUs—it’s nothing more than a formula. Here's a link that will allow you to  convert from CPT to RVU.Under the RBRVS, payment for physician services is determined by: Total RVUsGeographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCIs)A conversion factorThere are actually 3 types of RVUs that go into the calculation of the total RVU. Work RVU Practice expense RVUMalpractice RVUKey Point: The place of service significantly factors into reimbursement. CMS makes a distinction and organizes all places of service into 2 categories: ·   Non-facility- usually refers to the physician’s office ·   Facility - inpatient hospital—even if its an outpatient clinic in an inpatient hospital, ambulatory surgery center or skilled nursing facilityIf you go to the CMS physician fee schedule lookup you’ll notice that for each CPT code there’s one amount of payment if done in your office (the non-facility) and another for the facility. Essentially CMS compensates you more if you perform the service in your office because you are incurring the overhead. An RVU has to be multiplied by a dollar conversion factor (CF) to become a payment. The conversion factor converts the value expressed in RVUs to dollars and you can see the conversion factor on the CMS physician lookup schedule. The final Medicare payment for each CPT code is the sum of the 3 geographically weighted RVU types multiplied by the Medicare CF.[(work RVU x work GPCI) + (PE RVU x PE GPCI) + (MP RVU x MP GPCI)] x CF = final paymentHave RVU, CPT and how you actually get paid questions?   I have your answers. Join me on Monday, June 28th at 8pm EST for a live Zoom Q&A. Sign up here" https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/06-28-2021-q-and-aFor a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastIf you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   Be sure to join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams.
June 23, 2021
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Episode 37: You Need A Facebook Business Page

Baby boomers and household decision makers--the target demographic for most medical practices are on Facebook. In other words, your ideal patients are on Facebook right now. That’s why I want to talk to you about why you need a Facebook business page and what you are supposed to do with it.First, Facebook is free. There’s no charge to create a Facebook business page. All you need is a Facebook account. And it’s quick to get started. There’s not a lot of time and effort required to set it up. Reasons to have a Facebook Business Page:You can build your patient community by posting content, engaging with your audience, and sharing. You can share knowledge and expertise that’s unique to your practice and skill set.  This will immediately establish your competence, know-how, and authority as an expert. Facebook provides a “voice of the customer”. One of the things that Facebook does is to facilitate communication in many directions…from you to them…from them to others…and from them to you. Listening to this interaction and feedback can really help you understand the needs and wants of your patients. Facebook extends your reputation and branding message. Facebook boosts search engine visibility and visitor traffic. Prospective new patients come from Facebook. And of course, Facebook is a great way to keep tabs on the competition. What to post on your Facebook Business PageCommunicate how patients can make an appointment to see you,  your hours, address, and any other information that you want patients to have. Announcements--closures, practice updatesShare Facts About Your PracticeHighlight You and any other providers you have. Provide information about your specialty and services you offerUse your Facebook page to sharing patient testimonialsShare interesting articles that relate to your specialtyWhen you should post on Facebook, the best time to post on Facebook is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Your Facebook Business Page is a great way to communicate with your patients and provides you with free marketing.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastJoin my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
June 8, 2021
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Episode 36: What Benefits Do I Need To Offer?

Salary is only part of the overall compensation package. Potential hires often rank benefits as one of the top factors impacting their decision to accept a job offer. Today I'll tell you about how to figure out what you want to include in your benefits package so that you can recruit and retain quality staff while being financially responsible. When you are considering which benefits to provide, recognize that there are certain benefits that are required either by state or federal law:Social SecurityMedicare Unemployment insuranceWorkers’ compensationOthers:UniformsEmployment Training Tax Several  states require compensating employees for time spent voting or serving on a jurySeveral states have health insurance required by law Voluntary benefits:Health insurancePaid holidaysPaid time offRetirement planWhen you are deciding on which benefits to offer, you will need to understand their costs.  Each benefit, regardless of whether it is mandated by law or voluntary, can affect the profitability of your business. Make sure to assign a dollar value to each benefit when you are doing your financial projections. For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastJoin my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
June 1, 2021
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Episode 35: Should I Join An IPA or CIN?

One of the questions that I’m frequently asked is whether physicians should join a provider network?  First, let’s get the alphabet soup mumbo jumbo out of the way. IPA stands for Independent Practice Association and CIN stands for Clinically Integrated Network. Today, I’m going to talk about the things that you will want to think about when considering if you should sign up for one of these networks.As a physician participating in one of these networks, you’ll be paid according to the provider network’s master contracts. I also want to be clear that you can also see patients outside of the insurers contracted through the provider network. You don’t have to limit your practice to only patients within the network.Independent Practice Association (IPA)Loosely formed alliances among physiciansPrimarily focused on independent private practicing physiciansMain purpose for forming an IPA is for payer contractingWith the recent changes in reimbursement from fee-for-service to value-based, IPAs that aren’t not clinically integrated can’t effectively negotiate payer contractsClinically Integrated Network (CIN):Consists of a group of providers who come together to improve quality and cost efficiency in healthcare deliveryProvide higher value to the consumer of healthcare servicesEmploy best practice, process improvement methodologies and measure true cost and outcome metrics via direct methods such as patient surveys and activity-based cost accounting methodsFacilitate referral optimization by matching patient needs with those providers best capable of meeting those needsContract for services on behalf of their membersUsually include a care management or care coordination infrastructure as well as an IT infrastructure that serves multiple purposesIn the end, you have to do the due diligence to make sure that you will be gaining enough—either in better contracted rates or reduced overhead—to make it worth joining a provider network.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastJoin my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
May 25, 2021
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Episode 34: How Much Should You Pay Your Staff?

Trying to figure out how much to pay your employees can be a very daunting task. On one hand, you want to pay enough to get the best possible talent. On the other hand, you don't want to overpay. In this episode, I’ll walk through how to figure out what salary to offer.Establish a salary range  Salary.com will give you  salary ranges  by position and geography.  Decide the top amount you'd be willing to pay. The next step is to figure out the least you'll pay.  You need to decide where that person falls on the spectrum with regard to your pre-determined salary range.Decide How You'll Pay Your EmployeesThere are basically two types of employees: salaried and  hourly.Your office manager and other high level staff are typically salariedFront office staff, medical assistants and any billing staff are typically paid hourlyBonuses Bonuses should be considered as part of your employees’ compensation packages. One major advantage of offering bonuses is that they give you, the employer, flexibility.There are  three major categories: p Performance Bonuses Non-performance based bonusesNon-monetary bonusesThe takeaway messages are that you want to define a clear salary range with a set upper and lower limit for each position. Match jobs whose value comes with hours to hourly pay and jobs whose value comes in insight or skill to salaried pay. Use bonuses to align everyone around your business’ goals.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastJoin my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
May 18, 2021
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Episode 33: You NEED a Compliance Plan

Everyone knows that there are lots of  rules and regulations in healthcare. In order to help you complying with all of the complicated healthcare laws,  I'm going to tell you why you need a compliance plan and what it needs to include.Before I get started, I want to get one common misconception out of the way. A lot of people think that you only need to have a compliance plan if you participate in government insurance plans.  The truth--every practice needs a compliance plan. Why? A formal compliance program is an indispensible part of an overall risk management plan for your medical practice. Compliance programs address billing practices, anti- kickback compliance, state and federal self-referral prohibitions, state fee-splitting laws, licensure and accreditation requirements, labor relations matters, antitrust and price fixing prohibitions, HIPAA and medical records issues and a whole host of other state and federal laws. The very first thing you need to do is select a compliance officer.What goes into a compliance plan?Standards of conduct for your employees Determining what is medically necessary Compliance plan for billing--regardless of whether you take government and third party payor or only cashCompliance plan for how you marketNow that you know what needs to be included, how do you come up with the compliance plan?You have to have written guidelines and manuals You need to train your employees What happens if there is non-compliance?Your have to have a plan to address non-compliance is handled that defines how issues are reported and evaluated. And, of course, every aspect of the investigation requires a paper trail. And one of the most important parts of a complete compliance plan is the audit. You can demonstrate your compliance by being proactive and auditing yourself. This goes a long way if you are ever involved in an investigation. In the end, being compliant really is nothing more than having a tangible, systematic plan for doing the right thing.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastJoin my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
May 4, 2021
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Episode 32: Why Your Website Is Your Best Marketing Tool

Your website serves as the central hub for information about your business and  a direct impact on your marketing efforts.  You own your domain name and your website.  Because of this, you control the content and who sees it. Do I really need to have a website when first starting out?  Yes! Even if you are employed you can use your website to provide information.   When you leave your current job, your website still belongs to you and your patients will find you. Use your website before you open to market--"Coming Soon"Provide information on scheduling and access to  things like your new patient packet with its relevant forms and policies. And Your website will help you compete with other practices. What you need to launch a website:A domain nameVerify the domain name you want is availablePurchase the domain name and related variations (if possible)Sign up for auto-renew of the domain nameWebsite host serviceDesign the website--either do-it-yourself or outsourceWebsite tips:Make sure your website is mobile-device friendlyKey information conveyed on your home pageEasy to navigate contentSearch engine optimization (SEO)Add a blogAdd custom contentRegularly update your websiteMake sure to claim and verify your local listings in the various search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.After your listing is claimed and verified, you'll need to fill out as much information as possible   to make your listing stand out and improve your chances of showing up in search results. Add photos of your practice Add the hours you are openAdd a short description about your practiceOnce your website is up and running, be sure to tell everyone about it. Put signs up all over your office including in every exam room. Talk about it on your various social media platforms.In the end, you want to drive any and all potential patients to your website.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastJoin my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
April 27, 2021
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Episode 31: How To Choose The Right Bank For Your Medical Business

I want to talk about what you need to look for when choosing a bank for your medical business.  You need a bank with a designated point person who has a deep understanding of the complexities of medical businesses.Here are 3 key things that you  want to assess when assessing a bank’s quality of service:You want a bank that demonstrates a firm understanding of a medical practice’s unique cash flow needs. As we all know, medical businesses function differently than a typical business. What services are offered to you and how much they cost is largely impacted by how familiar the financial institution is with medical businesses.You want to understand the bank’s responsiveness. For example, how quickly are deposits credited to your account? Are capital requirements met in a timely and efficient manner? For example, if you have a line of credit with them—how easy is it to access? If you need a loan—how many hoops do you need to jump through.  Everything — from tracking an important wire transfer to helping finance an expansion project — should be addressed with speed and efficiency. The bank is there to make your life easier—not be a nosebleed.The bank should be easily accessible to answer questions; provide training on any account-related technologies; and offer insights into how it can meet your banking, financing and treasury management needs. Having a dedicated, single point of contact to address your businesses unique needs is crucial to understanding and anticipating challenges. Your financial partner should be easily accessible to answer questions. Before deciding on a bank ask for references from other medical businesses.Now I want to talk about products and services that you want your bank to offer in order to address the unique financial needs of your medical business.Business checkingThere are several factors that you are going to want to consider: Is a Minimum Balance Required?How quickly do You Have Access to the Funds?How Often Will You Make Withdrawals?How many deposits Will You Be Making?Now that I’ve talked about banking (and essentially money coming into the bank), let’s talk about loans. Revolving line of credit- borrow as much or as little as you need to meet your working capital needsTerm loan- to finance longer term investments like an expansion of your office or opening a new satellite officeFull suite of treasury management products and other services:Lockbox servicesRemote deposit captureBiller and payment solutions Fed EDIFraud protection services While most physician business owners don’t spend a lot of time or effort in choosing the right bank for their business doing your due diligence will pay dividends. A good banker will improve your workflow, your revenue cycle management and compliance.For a full searchable copy of the transcript, https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com/podcastJoin my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.      
April 19, 2021
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Episode 30: What Your New Patient Packet Must Have

You’ve scheduled your first patient.  But that's only the first step in getting them  to that first visit. You need a new patient packet. The new patient packet has two purposes:To collect information from the patientTo provide information to the patientThere are several ways in which your patient can access the new patient packet:Through your EMR's patient portalOn your websiteOn your Facebook business pageA physical, printed folderWhat goes in the new patient packet?Information you get from the patient Registration formInsurance informationPatient questionnaire and history intake form Medical records release form on fileRelease of information formInformation you give to the patientA comprehensive financial policy statementCredit card on file policy  HIPAA policy statementControlled substance agreement Patient responsibilities formBrochure with a practice overview and provider bio(s)Educational materialsDirections to your officeThe two key takeaways from this episode are that a professional, comprehensive new patient packet will helpYou and your practice make a great first impressionImprove your practice’s workflowJoin my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletterat https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
April 14, 2021
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Episode 29: Revenue Cycle Management: What is it? Why is it important to you?

Revenue cycle management refers to the process of identifying, collecting and managing a practice’s revenue from payers based on the services provided. In order to be financially viable, you have to be compensated for the services you provide. No one can run a business providing services and paying expenses without collecting money.  The revenue cycle begins when the patient makes the appointment and ends with successful payment collection.The first step in the revenue cycle happens when the patient schedules an appointment.  Your best chance of beating the revenue cycle management game is to collect your money upfront. Pre-registering patients allows you to  determine the patient’s financial responsibility.Key points: You need to have explicitly spelled out policies and procedures for your staff to follow.You need someone in your office figuring out eligibility and then coordinating that information. Know and collect what is due upfront Next step--the patient visitYou need to complete your notes and drop the charge in a timely fashion. The clock doesn’t start ticking with regard to when the insurance company has to pay you until they get your claim. Human error  can wreak havoc on your revenue cycle. Coding mistakes, billing errors because of duplicate data, missing information and misspellings all result in lost revenue. In order for a claim to  go to the insurance company and be processed, it has to be a clean claim.Once the claim get to the insurance company, the provider has less control over how long it takes for payment. However, knowing the rules of what’s a covered benefit, what’s defined as medically necessary and what documentation you need can go along way to saving you and your staff from the denial-appeal cycle.Communicating with health insurance companies is a key component. Neglecting to manage the claims process after submission can result in pending, rejected or denied claims, or ones that were never received.  In addition, you need to determine where problems originate if there are issues with specific procedures or codes, can help increase awareness and reduce recurrences.  Once the insurance company pays the claim, they'll send you an electronic payment directly into your practice checking account and an explanation of benefits. From there you either submit the claim to the secondary or move the accounts receivable to the patient's responsibility.If you collected the money that the patient is responsible for upfront, there should be nothing left after the insurance pays. But, if this is not the case, you now need to send the patient statements.Send out three statements—every 2 weeks. After that, decide whether you want to write off the remainder or turn them over to collections.Knowing  what the revenue cycle is and all of its components is only part of the story.  Even if you outsource part of your revenue cycle management you can’t outsource all of it. You need to have staff that is knows how to work the revenue cycle. But the key is having a clear set of policies and procedures for every step of it that you control and actively manage it. Nobody watches your money like you.Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you'd like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com.   
April 7, 2021
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Episode 28: Your MIPS Primer

If you take any form of insurance as payment for your services then you need to understand MACRA and MIPS. MACRA is the law and MIPS is the implementation. Key Points:If you see more than 200 Medicare patients and/or bill more than $90,000 annually in Medicare Part B allowed charges, you’re automatically enrolled. MIPS collects data and then you see the effect on your reimbursement 2 years later.Why is participating in MIPS a big deal:MIPS results in Medicare Part B incentive payments and penalties.MIPS scores effectively market you—free advertising for exceptional performers, as well as potential liability for underperformers. MACRA requires CMS to publish MIPS final scores and performance category scores on every MIPS participant within 12 months of the performance year through CMS’ online portal, Physician Compare and the database is available to third-party physician rating websitesYou can use your MIPS when negotiating commercial insurance contracts. MIPS scores are irrevocable since they become a permanent part of public record. CMS ties MIPS scores to the practitioner so that scores follow the practitioner from one practice to another. If, for example, a clinician performs poorly in 2020 and joins a group in 2021, the new group will inherit the clinician’s 2020 performance via his or her 2022 payment adjustment. Key point: MIPS scores will  impact patient attraction and retention, insurance contracting AND  physician recruiting, contracting, and compensation plans.How MIPS Works?MIPS is a performance-based payment system that includes four categories. You as the clinician have the flexibility to choose the activities and measures that are most meaningful to your practice. The four weighted performance categories are combined to create the MIPS Composite Performance Score (MIPS Final Score) and used in determining future Medicare Part B payment adjustments. Here are the categories and what they are worth towards your final score: Quality 40% Cost 20%Promoting interoperability 25%Practice improvement 15%In this episode, I'll describe each of these categories and tell you what you need to do to score points.  How many points do you need to be eligible to get the incentive?Performance threshold: 60 points to avoid a penalty and start to earn an incentive.  Additional performance threshold: 85 points to  earn additional incentives from the additional incentive pool of $500m. Key Points:  Your final total score is compared to everyone else participating in MIPS. If there are more people who meet each threshold, then the pot of money for bonuses gets divided by that many people. Higher scores earn higher additional incentives.Links for more MIPS details:https://qpp.cms.gov/mips/explore-measures?tab=qualityMeasures&py=2021https://qpp.cms.gov/mips/explore-measures?tab=advancingCareInformation&py=2021https://qpp.cms.gov/mips/explore-measures?tab=improvementActivities&py=2021https://qpp.cms.gov/mips/explore-measures?tab=costMeasures&py=2021Join The Private Medical Practice Academy FB group sign up for my newsletter athttps://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com to learn more.
April 2, 2021
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Episode 27: What You Need To Know Before Scheduling A New Patient

Today I'm going to talk to you about the steps you'll want to consider when setting up the process for scheduling a new patient. There are 3 basic ways for a new patient to come into your practice: Self-scheduled via your website or portalCall your office and speak to a live personReferral from another physicianThings you'll need to consider when setting up the process for scheduling new patient appointments: Will the patient self-schedule or talk to a live person to schedule?Do you want relevant medical records to review in advance of their initial visit?How are you going to request those records?How do those records get into your system?How does the patient complete your new patient forms?How do the forms get put into the EMR? You need to inform the patient whether you take insurance and who you are in and out of network with. Key points: If your forms are not completed via a portal, they will need to be manually placed into the patient chart.If records or forms come as paper, they will need to be scanned into the system first. You will need a HIPAA compliant secured email server to send emails.Collect the patient's insurance information at the time of scheduling and communicate your financial policy.Make sure it's easy for patients to schedule, reschedule and cancel appointments.No matter how robust your EMR/practice management software, you have to define the process. Going through and setting up each and every step from the very beginning will improve your efficiency and productivity and greatly improve your patient's satisfaction. Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com .  
March 23, 2021
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Episode 26: Key Features You Want In An EMR

With all of the choices out there, choosing an EMR can be a daunting proposition. Today I'll talk to you about the key features that will impact your workflow and ultimately your profitability. But first, I want to address everyone's biggest concern—the cost. Don't sacrifice functionality, integration and flexibility for price. Your lost productivity will cost your more in the long run. Software that knows the order of operations for your practice and helps guide users through them can save time for current users and decrease training time for new users. You want an EMR that can be customized to your practice's workflow. Scheduling FeaturesYou  want your scheduling to be done through your EMR. You want to make sure that the scheduling feature tool can be customized to meet your practice’s specific needs. The key takeaway here is that the scheduling features should improve your productivity by centralizing a lot of your workflow processes. ChartingHow many keystrokes are needed to complete a note?How many pull down menus are there? How many pop-up windows there are when you complete a routine note? If you click on something does it take you to a totally separate page for you only to have to navigate back to the main page? Each of these questions translate into a time calculation.  If your EMR is cumbersome, you won’t be able to actively engage with patients, your patient satisfaction will be poor and you’ll be charting long after the visit is over. Customizable templates that are capable of learning are the key to speeding up the charting process and improving your productivity.E-PrescribingThe EMR should track medications that have been prescribed to your patients, notify you if any of their medications have potential interactions with other medications they’re taking, or with any allergies they may have and, offer an alternative if available.E/M CodingOne of my favorite features is the ability for the EMR to suggest an E & M code based on your documentation.Lab IntegrationIf you have a lab or imaging-dependent practice, you are going to want an EMR that is capable of automatically adding ordering tests and receiving results that are placed into the patient’s chart. This saves time by not having to manually enter each lab/image result. Patient PortalPatient portals are a great way to:Help educate patientsBook, reschedule and cancel appointments Allow patients' access to their medical health informationShare newsletters, offer preventative care recalls and targeted health promotions The takeaway #1 EMR feature that you want is flexibility.The ability to customize your EMR system and make it work for you however you want to use it, wherever you want to use it is invaluable.  The ability for your EMR to adapt to whatever changes—and it will-ultimately will cost you less money for your EMR while improving your efficiency, productivity and ultimately your profitability. Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com .   
March 16, 2021
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Episode 25: Your 2 biggest EMR decisions

Every healthcare provider I know complains about the hassles associated with their EHR charting. When you’re an employed physician, you basically get stuck using whatever software your employer has purchased, and it’s super easy to complain about something that you have no control over. But when you are the practice owner, you choose the EHR--an admittedly overwhelming process. And before we get started, let me explain the difference between EMR and EHR. EMR stands for electronic medical record. Restated, this is your note. EHR stands for Electronic health record. This includes all sorts of other documents including  lab and imaging results, notes from other providers and all sorts of miscellaneous documentation. Now that you know the differences between EMR and EHR, you will have to choose the right software product for your practice. Before you even start looking at individual products, there are a couple of key concepts that I want you to consider. 1. Determine whether you want an EHR that’s enterprise or cloud based. enterprise-based Enterprise-based EHRs live on your server or servers in your officeDo you have a server? How much does a server cost? What happens when the server goes down? Do you have in-house IT person for when your server isn’t working?Cloud based EHR sits in the cloud and can be accessed from any device.You don’t need a server.You need a stable internet connectionBandwidth and internet speed affect performanceThere are obvious differences in the costs between enterprise- and cloud-based products but the cost differences may not be as great as you would initially think. Tip: Create a spreadsheet so that you can compare all of the costs. What type of infrastructure do you need and what does that cost?  (Servers vs. wiring for the fastest internet connection)Cost of the internet service with the bandwidth needed to run a cloud-based program.What is the purchase price? And what does that include?For the enterprise-based is there a yearly maintenance fee? Costs associated with cloud based—how much do you pay per month? Is it by user? How often do they raise their prices? 2. Determine whether you want a standalone EHR and standalone Practice Management Software or an integrated product. EHR and Practice Management Software are not the same thing.EHR--all of the clinical infoPractice Management--the business side of medicine Eligibility, prior authorization, billing,  and patient statementsScheduling can be part of EHR and/or Practice Management SoftwareAnd you need both in order for your practice to function. Deciding whether you want an enterprise based system or cloud based system and whether you want a standalone EHR with standalone Practice Management software vs. an integrated product will have the biggest impacts on your budget and workflow. These decisions will also guide your consideration of specific vendors and their products. Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com .      
March 9, 2021
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Episode 24: How Your Referral Process Impacts Your Staffing

One of the first questions that everyone asks is—"how much staff do I need?"  You’re not going to be able to answer this question without defining your work flow.  This is obviously a multi-step process so I'm going to break it down into segments.  First, you need to think through every step that occurs. Then, you’ll need to drill down and identify each task that goes into completing that step. From there, think about how long each task takes to complete for each step. With this information you will be able to  write the job description for each position you need to fill and how many man hours are required. Then you'll know how many full-time equivalents (FTEs) you need.The first step we are going to consider is  your referral process.For patients who self-refer:How does that patient make that first appointment? Do they schedule directly using one of the online scheduling services or do enter their data through a portal on your website? How does that integration happen with your practice management software? And to go along with this—the patient may have created an appointment, but someone needs to make sure that a patient record is created in the EMR and populated with the correct demographic and insurance info.For patients referred by another provider: How does that referral come in? Is it on a referral form that the other physician’s office faxes to your office?  How is that referral form going to get to the potential referral source? Can the referral source complete a form on your website that gets transmitted to your office? Do they have to print out the form and fax it? Or do they fill out the form and efax it?Ultimately, someone has to convert that referral into an appointment. And create a patient record in your EMR. Do you want to review medical records before the initial visit? How are you going to educate your referral sources to send the relevant medical records with the referral? How do the records get to your office? How does that referral in turn convert to a scheduled patient?  Online scheduling software Through your EHR  portal Does someone call the patient to make the appointment? How is the amount that the patient owes you at the time of the initial visit determined?How is that information communicated with the patient? Once you are have worked through the answers to the above questions, you will have the framework for writing out your referral process. That, in turn, will help you as you work through your staffing needs. Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.drsandraweitz.com . 
March 2, 2021
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Episode 23: Natural Disasters and Emergency Preparedness: 3 key lessons (for deciding if you should close)

The recent ice storm and its devastating aftermath is a great reminder for why every medical practice (and actually any business) needs to have a plan for deciding whether to close in the context of a natural disaster. When Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in August 2005, I had 7 providers and 30 staff members. At that time, I didn’t know what to anticipate nor did I have a well-designed plan. The good news is I learned some very valuable lessons and I’m going to share them with you.Lesson 1: Identify the decision maker And then, decide when the determination to close is going to be made and communicate that. Lesson 2: Clearly communicate with your staffOnce you've made the decision, you need to have a communication plan If everybody is still at work, here are some options: You can have a 5 minute staff meeting where you communicate the plan. You can send out an email.   You also want to know what each person's plan is so that you can plan accordingly. It’s hard to reopen if you have no staff or providers available.If a decision whether to remain open or close is made after hours: You need to have a list with every member of your staff’s contact information including cell phone number, home phone and email address.Identify who is responsible for contacting providers and staff. If there are more than a couple of people to contact, create a phone tree. Lesson 3: Let your patients know the planIf you are going to remain open, there are a number of ways you can let your patients know what’s happening. Post on your website.Use your social media channels to post notifications. Change the auto attendant message on your phone to convey the information. Use your patient reminder software to either call or text people with a status update. Don’t be surprised if many of your patients cancel or no-show. If the decision is to close your office, you will want to add some additional steps. Set up a pre-recorded automated message using your patient reminder software. The message should also instruct the patient on how their appointment is going to be rescheduled.  You need a written protocol for how to implement the deployment of this message.Notify your local radio and TV stations as well as the newspapers. If you have an answering service, make sure you have a script with a clear set of instructions for patients so they can communicate with the patient without forwarding those calls on. Equip whoever will be contacting patients with a clear script that includes how to handle questions about rescheduling and med refills. Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.drsandraweitz.com .         
February 23, 2021
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Episode 22: Furnishing Your Practice

How you design and equip your space speaks volumes about you. And, while you don't have to be an interior decorator, there are a couple of key things you want to consider: comfort and functionality. In this episode, I will give you practical tips for designing and equipping your space.Here are the highlights: Entrance to your space:.  You need very clear signage to your business Your waiting room Paint over wallpaperCarpets, drapes, upholstered furniture and acoustic ceiling tiles decrease sound absorption.Seating-fabric (durable, stain resistant and washable) chairs Distractions-reading materials and medical TV servicesFront DeskWork chairs--ergonomics are the keyEquipment layout--position so your staff can reach everything Exam RoomsExam table--comfort and easy to adjust are the most important features Two side chairs An adjustable stool EHR-desktop vs. portableWaste receptacles and Sharps Break Room-yes you need oneCoffee makerFridgeMicrowaveGeneral Office Space-create open workspacesYour office-the one room you can decorate any way you likeJoin my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.thepracticebuildingmd.com .
February 9, 2021
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Episode 21: How much space do I need?

Let’s talk about how much space you need and some of your layout considerations. for your new practice. One of your first considerations is size. How large does your office need to be? The general rule of thumb is 1200 to 1500 square feet for the first physician and 1000 to 1200 square feet for each additional provider.  In order to drill down to your specific needs, you'll need to understand your clinic's flow. First impression--your waiting roomFirst impressions count.  Your waiting room is where your patients get their first impression, so you are going to want it to be inviting. How big does your waiting room need to be?  The optimal size depends on a few factors, including the number of providers in the practice, your visit volume and the overall efficiency of the practice.  This is where knowing how many patients you are going to see per hour is important. Next—Think through your operational needsLong before you ever go to look for space, sit down and write out every step of your clinic flow. How do patients move from one part of your space to another? How much staff will you have? What are their roles? How many patients will you see in an hour? What equipment will you have? How much space does it take up?Traffic flow & accessibility in the clinicProductivity is enhanced with every step you save. Having a circular traffic flow that leads from the waiting room, through reception to exam rooms, and back out the reception is a particularly effective layout. How many exam rooms do I need? As a general rule, the optimal number of exam rooms to start with is 3. One room for the patient who being teed up for you to see, one for you to be in and one for the patient you just saw and who needs to be checked out. Now obviously that does not take into account any other factors like having a room for procedures, x-rays or non-invasive testing. You will need to take those additional services into consideration when deciding on the number of rooms.  An exam room should be at least 10 feet by 10 feet. You’ll want each room should have enough space to comfortably accommodate you, an assistant, your patient and at least one family member. You will also need to think about wheelchair accessibility. WorkstationsThis is where thinking through your work flow is so absolutely important. I’m sure that you have been to medical offices where all of the office equipment is grouped together in the receptionist area, there’s one space as the nurses’ station and another for the doctors’ work area. If you critically evaluate this set-up you’ll see that this is probably not the most efficient use of their space. When you or your staff need to go to a central hub, bottlenecks form. Instead of keeping all of your fax machines, printers, files, and office supplies and computers in the front office, think about moving some of those resources back to the work area. And, everything patient-related needs to happen in private. Keep the workstation area clear of any sensitive information. Store all private patient information, diagnoses, billing, treatments or medications in locked cabinets. The key: efficiency and productivity is all about the flow.Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.drsandraweitz.com .
February 2, 2021
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Episode 20: Negotiating Your Tenant Improvement Allowance

You’ve decided to rent a space for your new business. Now you need to negotiate the lease terms. One of the most significant components is going to be the tenant improvement (TI) allowance. One of the first things you want to understand the difference between grey shell and vanilla shell and the impact on your lease rate and tenant allowance.   Most landlords offer some type of allowance to finish the space and this needs to be negotiated into the lease or purchase terms. Typically, the longer the lease term, the more generous your landlord is going to be.Because tenant improvements are part of the lease agreement and negotiated along with the rental rate and lease term, the tenant improvement allowance does not have to be repaid. And, when you are comparing different properties, key in mind that you need to look at the total cost of the rental package. And obviously, lease rate, lease duration and amount of tenant allowance are all linked.As a tenant, your goals for negotiating tenant improvements should be to 1) get an allowance sufficient to cover planned improvements, and 2) maintain a high amount of control of the build-out.In order to negotiate, we need to understand how tenant improvement allowances are typically calculated. The average tenant improvement allowance amount is based on a negotiated dollar amount per square foot.  depending on the property condition and the state of the real estate market.Alternatively, you may ask for a turnkey buildout rather than an allowance per square foot. In this case, the property owner is responsible for financing and completing all the negotiated improvements before you move in.  However, this method is usually negotiated along with a higher rental rate because the owner takes the risk of the upfront improvement costs.Here are some other details you are going to want to consider:When negotiating over construction details you want to put in language that speaks to liability for delays and cost overruns. As delays cause you to incur holdover costs and office set-up inconveniences, you’ll want accountability for delays from the landlord if the landlord is managing the construction. If the you’re managing construction, the landlord may request accountability.The date of first rent paid can be a contentious negotiation point, as landlords will expect rent as soon as their architect declares the space to be ready. On the other hand, you will want to wait until you’re moved in and operational to write the first check. As a matter of fact, you can ask to have early access before paying and before you actually open your doors so that you can get set up.Always negotiate!If you are looking for a shorter lease you have less bargaining power. On the other hand, the tenant improvement allowance is an outstanding benefit, and you should enter negotiations prepared to negotiate hard for it—especially if you are planning to sign a 5 year lease.Remember that TI allowances can be written off by the landlord as a capital improvement expenses or lease acquisition expenses, and are considered part of the cost of doing business. With the attitude that TI allowances are rightfully yours, you are in a better position to firmly negotiate for the best terms.Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.drsandraweitz.com . 
January 26, 2021
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Episode 19: The 4 Lease Types You Need To Know

There are 4 basic lease types--gross lease, full service lease, gross industrial lease, and triple net lease-- and it's imperative that you know the differences between them in order to compare the rates and understand what you are getting for you money. You need to know the terms that are most commonly used in leases because they ultimately impact the quoted rate.  Gross lease is the simplest lease form. The tenant simply pays a stated amount each month.   The landlord takes care of everything else; the rate does not change. Any increase in the cost of these items is simply absorbed by the landlord. Triple net lease is almost the reverse of the gross lease. There is a quoted base rent but that’s all you get. The tenant’s responsible for all the costs incurred in order to operate the space. In this case, the tenant has all the responsibilities of ownership but absolutely none of the advantages.  When there are multiple tenants, the landlord has each tenant pay their estimated share of the expenses in advance. Then, the landlord pays for the shared expense items as they occur.  The landlord also will provide some of the services needed for the common area and the   costs associated with maintaining these areas are known as the common area maintenance    charges (CAM). These CAM charges the expenses not specific to a tenant. They are split on a pro rata basis.Full service lease is similar to the gross lease except that it contains provisions to pass on escalating costs to the tenant. The landlord quotes a rate that includes paying the taxes, insurance premiums, utilities, and CAM. In order to protect themselves from escalating costs the landlord will include either a base year or expense stop.  A base year approach, the landlord represents that the quoted rate will include the costs that were incurred for taxes, insurance and CAM equal to what was spent in a given year.  An expense stop is similar to a base year except that instead of using the actual number for a given year the landlord simply quotes an amount. If the expenses are higher than that the expense stop amount the tenant has to pay their prorata share of the increase. Gross industrial lease which is similar to the triple net lease except that the lease rate includes the payment of taxes and insurance. And, the tenant is responsible for paying any increase over the amount of taxes and insurance for a given year much like a base year. One of the major differences between the four types of lease relates to repairs and maintenance.  In the full service lease and gross lease the landlord is responsible for repairs and maintenance and the estimated cost of these is included in the quoted rate and the quoted base year or expense stop. In a triple-net or gross industrial lease the tenant is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the space.A quoted rate of $18.00 has different implications based on the lease type. You have to understand the type of lease and how the expenses are going to be handled in order to accurately project your expenses.  Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.drsandraweitz.com .   
January 19, 2021
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Episode 18: Should You Rent or Buy Space For Your New Practice (Business)?

I’m  frequently asked—Should I rent or buy the space for my new practice or business? Regardless of whether or not you want to initially rent or buy, there are a number of considerations: 1.   How soon do you want to move into the space? Let’s say that you want to start your practice or business in the next 6 months.  If you want to buy the space, you’ll need to go through the due diligence, get financing, and do the buildout you want--a process that's likely to take more than 6 months. On the other hand, if you are looking to rent, you’re likely to find the space in a much shorter time period. The only significant time-limiting factor is the time that you’ll need for tenant improvements.2.   Do you know where the best location is for your new business? You need to think about things like the ease of getting to your location, getting into your parking lot, getting to your space and more. Look, you could have the nicest space but if it’s a pain to get to, you’ll lose patients. People follow the path of least resistance. If it’s a hassle to turn into your parking lot or there isn’t enough parking spots, people will get turned off. 3.   Do you understand your clinic flow? When you are starting a new practice or related business, you need really understand your business’ flow. You need to walk it, do it –exactly as you would once you move in so you can identify the limitations. I can’t stress enough how important it is to do this. You can think it, and you’ll fool yourself into thinking you have every step down. I’m here to tell you that unless you physically walk through each step and write it down, you will miss something. And you want to know what you’re missing before you move in—especially if you are buying a place.4.   Fourth, how much space do you need? When you are first starting out, how much space do I need is one of the hardest questions to answer. On one hand, you want to have enough space to function efficiently. You want to utilize all the space that you have. On the other hand, you don’t want to have more space than you need. Yet, you want to have enough space so that your business can grow and expand without you having to move. You don’t want lack of space to limit your productivity.5.   Lets talk money. Remember that you will have other start-up costs before you open and then operating costs that you will need to cover until you turn a profit. If you buy a property you may end up with a mortgage for the property in addition to a loan for your initial business costs. Buying straight out of the gate definitely increases your risk relative to renting. When you rent, you minimize your risk. It takes time to really understand your business and your needs. And this is the key to determining whether you should rent or buy the space for your new business. Personally, I am a big fan of renting until you know what you truly want out of the space and what your growth is going to look like. It is by far the easiest, least expensive way to get started and to be able to scale.Join my FB group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to be part of a community interested in starting, running and growing their private medical practices and leveraging them into multiple revenue streams. If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.drsandraweitz.com .
January 12, 2021
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Episode 17: Understanding The New E & M Coding Changes

 As of Jan 1, 2021, E & M coding has changed and I’m willing to make a bet that you find the whole thing confusing.  Honestly, E &M coding has ALWAYS been a source of confusion. The good news? The new changes have actually streamlined the process (to some extent.) But, as with all changes--you have to learn the new rules.While there are multiple changes, the 3 big ones are: 99201 (Level 1 new patient visit) has been deleted. I doubt this affects most physicians—I can’t really think of an instance where anyone was billing this code—which is probably why they got rid of it. You can now bill an additional 15-minute prolonged services code with 99205 and 99215. The biggest however are the changes in how you code for E &M office-based services.In this episode I'll tell you about what these changes mean to you. The new guidelines have eliminated the history and physical as elements for code selection. Yes, you will still have to include these sections because it's part of good patient care.Yes, you'll  still get coding credit because both the pertinent history and relevant physical exam contribute to both time and medical decision making which are the new criteria for coding.  Coding E & M office visits will be either by total time or medical decision making (MDM):You can bill by time--but the definition of time has changedFace-to-face: Time a provider spends directly interacting with the patient and/or family or caregiver. Non-face-to-face: Time the provider spends managing the patient outside of an encounter, such as before and after direct patient care. Total time: is defined as the overall time on the day of the encounter during which a provider provides services related to patient care, even if the times are not consecutive. The time spent over the course of the day is totaled, with the day starting at 12:01 am and ending at midnight. The time calculation includes a provider’s face-to-face and non-face-to-face time.Total visit time is the only thing that counts now.  You can bill by the level of medical decision-making--but there are changesFewer ambiguous terms and conceptsBetter definition of several important termsRedefined data elements move  from simply adding up tasks to focusing on how  tasks affect patient management.There will still be three MDM subcomponents number/complexity of problems, data, and risk.The changes to the E/M office/outpatient CPT codes and guidelines for new and established patients apply to all traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid, and all commercial payers. I know that what you are really wondering is whether the E & M coding changes are going to save you time or make your life easier. I think it’s unlikely to save you significant time or make your life easier. But I do think it will help you to code correctly with less fear since the criteria are clearer and therefore you'll generate more money.  Click here to download the AMA guidelines for the new coding changes including  a schematic of the new Medical Decision Making Table.Please join my Facebook Group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to engage with a community of physicians who are looking to start, run, grow and maximize their practices.If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at htttps://www.thepracticebuil
January 5, 2021
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Episode 16: Tips For Preparing For Insurance Negotiations

More likely than not, you are trying to get contracts with multiple insurance companies. And, in case you haven't figured it out yet--there are multiple steps in the contracting process. At this point you may have already made the initial contact to provider relations department requesting a contract. The health insurance company will send you a contract. You may be wondering...and then what? During this episode, I'll walk you through your next steps to making the contracting process easier.Step 1: Be organized Print the contract and all communicationPut the contract in orderUse a color-coded binder to differentiate between insurance companiesLabel everything, use dividersDon't throw anything away--keep all documentation for future referenceMemorialize every conversation with the insurance company including names, dates and  summary of the verbal statementsStep 2: Assess your and the payer's positionsAvoid the temptation to think "I HAVE to be in network"Evaluate the health insurance company's network. The goal here is to make sure that you are signing up to be in network with an insurance company that is actually to your benefit rather than just signing up to sign up. This is ultimately one of the keys to working smarter, not harder.Step 3: Understand the Key Terms in a contract before you start to read itType of Agreement:AmendmentTerm, Termination, and RenewalClaim Filing and PaymentCompensationStep 4: Skim the ContractSkim the agreement the first time through, locating the key data that you outlined in your checklist. Focus on what matters most, and don’t get lost in the verbiage. You’ll notice that the reimbursement is always an attachment at the very back of the agreement. Don't allow yourself to get bogged down by the recitals and definitions at the very beginning.Step 5: Read the contractGet an electronic copy of the contract and make red-lined changes as you go. Make sure that you turn on your track changes so that it's easier to identify changes. It's better to give your own proposed language rather than allow the other side to paraphrase your thoughts. Click here to get your checklist of the key contract terms.If you would like to hear more tips on how to start, run and grow your practice and related medical businesses, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.drsandraweitz.com . And, if you are love this podcast,  I'd also tremendously appreciate it if you would leave a review.
December 30, 2020
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Episode 15: First Steps In Negotiating Your Insurance Contracts

When you are first getting  started you are so preoccupied that it's easy to lose sight of how important it is to nail down your payor agreements.You may be thinking, "let's just get a contract in place so I can start getting paid." Or, "I HAVE to participate with this payor." But I want you to take a step back to realize that you are literally making a decision that's going to potentially cost you 10-20% of your professional fees from that payor for the next 10-20  years.Why? Because you are establishing your base rate. So when you go back to renegotiate your rates in the future--the initial (low) rate is where you are starting from.Once you get your initial contract offer, you are likely going to want to negotiate the details. In this episode, I am going to tell you the first steps to getting better rates.If you don't want to miss out on my tips on everything you always wanted to know about maximizing your medical practice make sure to  sign up for my newsletter and subscribe to this podcast.
December 23, 2020
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Episode 14: Couch to Opening Your Doors–How long will it take?

Sign up for the How To Start Your Own Private Practice waitlist! People on the waitlist get early-bird access to the Course starting December 16, 2020, receive a waitlist-only di$count on the Course and additional bonuses!One of the questions that everyone asks is "How long is it going to take?" And the question is the same regardless of whether you are looking to start your practice, add a provider or satellite or totally new revenue stream. You can't decide run a marathon if your idea of exercise is pushing the buttons on the remote control.  The answer to how long it takes is similar to a "Couch to 5K" except in this case it's Couch to Opening Your Doors.Realistically, from idea to implementation, on average, takes six months. But I want you to recognize that there are a few key steps that affect this timeline and that really require your attention at the very beginning.Your decision on whether to take only cash or accept insuranceIf you are planning a cash only business--no worriesIf you are planning to take insurance--regardless of whether you will be in-network or out-of-network--this step takes at least 3 months. Start now!Figure out your new spaceHow much space do you need?Are you renting or buying a space?How much renovation is needed?Obviously, some renovations may take longer. You may need permitting and the renovations themselves take time.If you are buying a space this will also take longer especially if you need financing.Money (that dirty word)If you don't need financing for your start-up and initial operating costs and you don't need a mortgage (if you are buying)--great--this won't affect your time to open.If you are need financing from a bank to cover your start-up, initial operating costs or mortgage--this step can take a significant amount of time. You will need to have:Your financial projections for your revenue ramp-upProjected start-up expenses and operating expensesIn order to have your projected start-up expenses and operating expenses you will have to estimate your personnel needs, furniture and equipment and other expenses.Furniture and equipmentDetermine whether you need some special piece of furniture (like a built-in) or a specific piece of equipment in order to open your doors as early as possible.  This is the last thing that you want to stand in the way of getting your doors open.You can mitigate the issues that are most likely to cause a slow down by being proactive. For a complete list of the steps to starting your own practice, download my free cheat sheet here.
December 14, 2020
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Episode 13: Customer Service Is Key To Your Practice's Success

Doctors are sometimes so focused on delivering their medical expertise as a commodity that they seem to forget the customer service component of providing care. Have you ever thought about whether patients are clients or customers?  In this episode, I am going to tell you the very personal story of my recent visit to the  ER with acute onset complete heart block. My (surgeon) husband and I will tell you that being a patient and family member gives you a totally different perspective. The key takeaways are:Communication is key between all team members Make sure that your messaging (as the physician) is consistent Patients need explicit instructions (even doctor patients) and are looking to you for clear, definitive answers.Patients don't like the run around or having to make multiple calls to your office. I know that we all get annoyed by those patients that are difficult or who are repeatedly calling our offices. But having been on the other side I will tell  you  that you need to make sure that your staff is not contributing to the repeated calling and patient frustration.Your office staff is a reflection on you. Make sure that they are delivering the best customer service.Act like a secret shopper and assess your office's customer serviceDo patient satisfaction surveys so you understand (and correct) any weaknesses--before the poor online review.
December 9, 2020
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Episode 12: Everything CAQH (that you need to know)

What is CAQH?CAQH (Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare) is nothing more than a giant database of credentialing information. Insurance companies and other credentialing entities pay to access  the information but is free for YOU, the provider.What does CAQH do and why is it important to you?If you want to be credentialed by an insurance company, you have to send them a whole bunch of documentation--licenses, proof of malpractice, your DEA/state CDS and more. And when each document expires, you have to provided updated documents. Using CAQH allows you to upload the documents in one central location and have them disseminated to insurance companies rather than having to send the documents to each individual insurance company. It will save you a huge amount of time.CAQH does not submit application to the insurance companies or complete the credentialing process for you.How to register with CAQH?Have all of your documents ready for uploading. Make sure your CV is updated. You'll need your license, DEA/CDS, proof of malpractice, CV, W9, proof of board certification, diplomas, and proof of hospital privileges (if applicable.)Have three professional referencesIf you are starting a practice you'll also need information about the new entity: the legal entity info, tax id #, address (including payment and correspondence if they're different), billing company info if you are outsourcing, credentialing contact, billing contact, hours of operation, phone/fax, group NPI (if you have multiple providers) and your NPI. Once you have everything ready, go to https://proview.caqh.org/pr/registration/selfregistrationAt the end of your application you need to grant access to the payers. In order to do this you MUST submit a signed ATTESTATION form provided by CAQH.Once you have signed and dated the attestation, make sure to upload the document (or nothing will happen).Save your CAQH ID#, user id and password in a safe place. Check CAQH at least every 60 days to make sure there's nothing that needs attention.Can you do this yourself? Yes, absolutely. The majority of the time and effort comes from gathering all of the information. You will need to do this part regardless of whether you enter the data in the portal or you outsource it. Click here to get  my free How To Start Your Own Private Practice Cheat Sheet.Just a reminder for all of you, if you want help starting your own practice  sign up for the How to Start Your Own Practice course waitlist! The course launch kicks off with a wait list sale on December 16th and 17th. Make sure you get signed up to take advantage of all of the early bird perks! 
December 1, 2020
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Episode 11: Contracting 101

You have made one of your first major decisions. You want to take be in network with at least one insurance company. But now what? I bet you are wondering where do I start?In this episode, I will walk you throughWhen you should  start the whole contracting processHow to figure out who are the insurers in your areaHow many insurance companies you should initially contract withAnd, the steps you need to take to get a contractJust a reminder for all of you, if you want help starting your own practice  sign up for the How to Start Your Own Practice course waitlist! The course launch kicks off with a wait list sale on December 16th and 17th. Make sure you get signed up to take advantage of all of the early bird perks! 
November 24, 2020
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Episode 10: Why You Need A Business Plan

The reason to write a business plan is for you. Sure--you may eventually show it to someone else--like a partner or if you are trying to get financing. But the real reason is that it is a road map for you and your business. Your "why" for writing a business plan is that the clearer the plan, the more detailed with the specifics of execution, the more likely you are to succeed. Why? Because business success is based on data driven analysis--not wishful thinking and an idea. And, of course you want to have a plan to set yourself up transform your idea into a successful reality.Here are the key components of the business plan:Executive SummaryEven though this is first, write it lastEssentially this is your elevator pitchCompany DescriptionWhat problem do you solve?Who is your ideal client?What's your niche?Market AnalysisWho's your competition?What can you do better?OrganizationHow is your business organized?Who's responsible for running the business?ServiceWhat service do you provide?MarketingWhat is your marketing plan?Financial ProjectionsFirst year--monthly--outlining your ramp up of revenue, your start up and operating expensesSubsequent years can be projected either quarterly or annuallyIf you want help starting your own practice  sign up for the How to Start Your Own Practice course waitlist! People on the waitlist will receive early -bird access to the course, bonus and a significant waitlist-only discount for the course. 
November 17, 2020
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Episode 9: Figuring out your business' capacity

How many patients or clients do you need in order for your practice or business to be full (at capacity)? In order to figure out how successful your business is going to be or how to scale it depends on understanding your capacity. The answer is--it depends. Now there are some simple formulas to figure out the panel size that you will need but they really don't flesh out the whole picture.  Panel size refers to the number of patients or clients that you need to have a full business. Here is one of those formulas:Panel size × visits per patient per year (demand) = visits per provider per day × number of days worked per year (supply). For example, if a physician provides 20 visits per day, 220 days per year, and see the average patient for two visits per patient per year, the ideal panel size would be 2,200. You can quickly see from this example that it does not take into consideration the type of visit (new patient, follow-up or procedure), how much time is spent per visit (which obviously depends on the service offered) and more. In this episode, I talk about some of the considerations when figuring out what your capacity is. You will need to consider how many people can utilize your service in any given day, how often they will need the service and how many people you can accommodate in any given day.So why do you need to figure this out?  For a couple of big reasons:You will need this information in order to come up with your financial projections including your ramp up.Everything from space to number of employees and more depends on understanding this number.I totally get that you may not have all of the answers. You will have to make assumptions. But let me reassure you that these assumptions can be based on information that you have readily available. Where? Right in front of you. Look at your current situation--how many new patients and follow-ups? How long do you spend with each of them? If you are looking to add a service or another business--what does that utilization look like. For example, if you want to start a Physical Therapy center and are currently referring to PT--what does your script look like. Hint--I would write for 3x per week. And most commercial insurances and Medicare will cover up to 12 weeks.Do you want to know how to make more money in private practice without working harder? Please sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you  tips on everything you always wanted to know about maximizing your medical practice. 
November 10, 2020
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Episode 8: Understanding Your Competition To Get Ahead

Announcement: Join my free masterclass on How to Write a Business Plan on November 10, 2020 at 8pm CST. Register here. Are you thinking about starting a new business? Really, it doesn't matter whether it's a new practice or one of the multiple medically related businesses (Imaging Center, Surgery Center, Physical Therapy, Massage and more)--you will need to figure out who your competition is.In this episode, I discuss how to assess your competition and ways to position yourself. Three of the big takeaways--The more you can identify the holes in what your competition has to offer and then use them to define your niche--the easier to competeThe client customer service experience will help differentiate you from everyone elseYou can compete with the big organizations by offering better customer service--even if you just get their overflow. You can have a very successful business just from overflow.Do you want to know how to make more money in private practice without working harder? Please sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you  tips on everything you always wanted to know about maximizing your medical practice. 
November 3, 2020
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Episode 7: How to decide if you should take insurance

Are you trying to figure out whether you should take insurance? Are you considering having a cash only business? How do you figure out the right answer? In this episode, I'll address the factors that are fundamental to making the decision of whether you should take insurance. The most obvious factor is whether the service you are offering is covered by insurance. If the service or business (e.g. float center or yoga studio) is not covered then of course it's cash pay. On the other hand, if you are thinking about starting a private medical practice where most of the services you will offer are going to be covered by insurance. In this case, it is your choice whether you want to accept insurance. Here are some of the factors that should go into your decision-making:What is the service or business you are offering?Who is your ideal client?DemographicsDo they have insurance?What is their Income level?What is your competition doing? Do they take insurance?How do you figure that out?How many patients do you need in order to make the service or business profitable?How large is the catch area?How much competition is there?Deciding whether you should take insurance needs to be based on real data rather than emotion. Understanding and evaluating these factors will help you to mitigate the risks of starting any new venture. Look out for my FB Live where I will be answering questions about this podcast episode. Do you want to know how to make more money in private practice without working harder? Please sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you  tips on everything you always wanted to know about maximizing your medical practice. 
October 27, 2020
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Episode 6: Credentialing And Contracting

There always seems to be a great deal of confusion about credentialing and contracting. In this episode, I'll talk you through the differences and give you some pearls on navigating the "system." Really--it is very straightforward. If you are all Cash Pay--you don't need to worry about being either credentialed or contracted.Credentialing is the equivalent of the good housekeeping seal of approval. It means that the insurance company "recognizes" you. It has absolutely nothing to do with money--meaning how much the insurance company is going to pay you. You need to be credentialed regardless of whether you plan to be in network or out of network.You can use CAQH Pro to apply for credentialing with multiple insurers--and it's a free service. Here the link: https://proview.caqh.org/Login/Index?ReturnUrl=%2fGet all of your documents together before you even start--this is the part that takes the longest time. Here's a list of the documents/info you need to get started:License to practiceDEA and CDS certificatesEducation and training Board certificationWork historyMalpractice history (NPDB)License sanctions (NPDB)Medicare/Medicaid Sanctions (NPDB)Hospital privilegesCurrent malpractice coverageIf you are going to be out of network, you do not need a contract. You only need to be credentialed.If you want to be in network, you need to have a contract.Many insurers will allow you to go through the credentialing and contracting process simultaneouslyCredentialing and Contracting take a long time--way longer than you think (like 3-6 months)--Plan aheadSign up for my newsletter for tips on everything about how to make more money in private practice without working harder.
October 20, 2020
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Episode 5: Understanding Your Payor Mix: The Key To Adding New Services

Are you thinking about starting a new practice or adding an ancillary service? Are you considering adding an additional business like an imaging center or ambulatory surgery center? Understanding your payor mix is fundamental to any financial projections for your new project. What does payor mix mean? The breakdown of all of the sources paying for your service. There are basically 3 categories: cash, insurance (out-of-network), and insurance (in network). Out of network insurance is essentially the same as cash since you can balance bill.What is an example of a payor mix?Medicare-25%Commercial-55%Blue Cross-28%United-18%Aetna-9%Self-pay (Cash)-20%Why is the payor mix important? If you accept insurance then you are likely to have different contracted amounts for the same code. Therefore, your overall reimbursement is going to be a blend of rates based on your payor mix. As you build out your financial projections for your business plan you will need to have this information.How do I figure out the demographics? Here is a link that will give you a breakdown in your catch area.Where can I find the Medicare fee schedule? Click here to access the Medicare fee schedule. Make sure to look for the rates for your specific geographic area. This fee schedule will give you a starting place for understanding rates.What is an example of blended reimbursement? The blend of reimbursement as a function of your payor mix percentage. Use my calculator to determine this.I have created a plug-and-play calculator for you to determine your payor mix and to determine your blended reimbursement rate. Click here to get your calculator.The purpose of this episode is to show you how understanding your projected payor mix will help you assess opportunities. I will discuss strategies for changing your payor mix to maximize revenue in a future episode.Sign up for my newsletter for tips on everything about how to make more money in private practice without working harder.
October 13, 2020
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Episode 4: Assessing The Opportunity

In this episode, I talk about assessing an opportunity. For starters, what is an opportunity? Anything that you want to invest in. This may include starting a private practice, adding providers as well as adding a new service line or business. Regardless of what opportunity you are thinking about, the factors to consider are the same.So what are those factors?Demographics--who exactly is your ideal client for this new opportunity? You can check out https://datausa.io for demographic info. Using this site you can get information regarding age, gender, employment, healthcare and more.Catch Area--how large is the geographical area needed to provide enough clients to make your new opportunity successfulPayor Mix--the same website, https://datausa.io, will give you information regarding what is the % uninsured, Medicare and commercial insurance for a particular demographic or catch area. Competition--don't let competition scare you. But you do need to understand it.Cost of Doing Business--obviously, places with a higher cost of doing business require better demographics, more patients, larger catch area and/or better payor mixThe purpose of this episode is to help you understand the information you need to collect in order to make the most educated decisions in evaluating how great an opportunity is.Sign up for my newsletter for tips on everything about how to make more money in private practice without working harder.
October 5, 2020
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Episode 3: Carving Out Your Niche

When I moved to Baton Rouge, I was the only fellowship-trained pain management specialist. My multi-disciplinary, multi-modality approach to treating chronic pain also allowed me to differentiate myself. Marketing was super easy because I offered tangible advantages. When I negotiated with insurance companies, I was able to secure better contracted rates by spotlighting how I was different.Carving out a niche for yourself can be an excellent way to increase patient referrals and command higher paying rates from insurance companies. In this episode, I'll tell you about how to identify/craft a niche for yourself. Sign up for my newsletter for tips on everything about how to make more money in private practice without working harder.
September 23, 2020
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Episode 2: The Key Steps to Actually Starting A Business

Getting your business started is fast and easy. In this episode, I will walk you through the steps so you can do it yourself.Here are the key steps:Choose your company nameCheck the Secretary of State website for your state to determine if the name is available. Obtain the domain name(s) for your companyTalk to your CPA and determine whether you want to have an LLC or an S-CorporationComplete the Articles of Incorporation (sometimes called Articles of Organization) on the Secretary of State website and any other required steps for becoming incorporatedApply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number)--your business tax ID. Here is the link to get your EIN https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-onlineApply for a business NPI (different than your individual NPI). Here is the link: https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/webhelp/nppeshelp/MAIN%20PAGE.html If you are a sole proprietor you don't need this (yet).Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and I'll keep you up to date on everything about starting, running and growing your practice and more.https://www.drsandraweitz.com/newletter
September 17, 2020
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Episode 1: Why Do You Want To Start Your Own Private Practice?

At some point, most of us think about the possibility of starting our own private practice. The first, and probably the most important question, is WHY? In this episode, I discuss the two major motivators to start your own practice: autonomy and money. Autonomy takes on many forms including the ability to: practice medicine the way you want, control your schedule, manage your staff, decide whether to take insurance, manage expenses and more. And, of course, I talk about the elephant in the room. Can you make more money if you own your own private practice? The answer--an emphatic YES!Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and I'll keep you up to date on everything about starting, running and growing your practice and more.https://www.drsandraweitz.com/newletter
September 11, 2020
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About The Private Medical Practice Academy

Learn the nuts and bolts of how to start, run and grow your own private medical practice. I'll also talk about how to leverage your practice by adding vertically-integrated services. Using the tips discussed in this podcast you will make more money and take better care of your patients.

Host

Sandra Weitz

Sandra Weitz

Dr. Weitz is a fellowship-trained, board certified pain management specialist who started and ran a multidisciplinary, multimodality practice with 11 providers. She did a surgery internship, anesthesia residency and pain management fellowship at UCSF. Dr. Weitz stayed on faculty at UCSF as the Director of the Pain Service. After 5 years in academics, she grew frustrated with the red tape, lack of control and limited income potential.

Dr. Weitz recognized that the only way to control the quality of medicine she practiced and her financial potential was to start her own private practice. Dr. Weitz bought a lot and built a 25,000 square foot medical office building to house her clinic and multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center. Dr. Weitz started, ran and grew multiple horizontally and vertically integrated medical businesses related to her medical practice in order to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes as well as generate revenue. She has syndicated shares in businesses to other physicians, sold businesses to publicly traded companies and private equity.

Now, Dr. Weitz teaches other physicians how to start, run, grow and leverage their own private practices. Her goal is to teach physicians the business of medicine so that they can have successful, lucrative medical practices that can be leveraged into other related revenue streams. In addition to The Private Medical Practice Academy podcast, Dr. Weitz has a Facebook group, The Private Medical Practice Academy to provide a supportive community for physicians at all stages of the private practice success path. She also offers consulting through her Private Medical Practice Academy Membership and on a one-on-one basis.

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