Welcome to our PhysicianTrends Blog.  We're here to talk about physicians and how they are changing in the midst of the most massive transformation in our healthcare system since Medicare.

Business Trends

Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Christopher Carraway

Medical Practice Secret Shopper

Written by Christopher Carraway
As part of my daily work with providing clinical support to other offices, I get to speak with front desk staffers all over the country.  I can tell you that my experiences have varied widely.  It is rare that the phone etiquette is top-notch.  Most are average to below average.   That first impression is an important one and often times, it comes down to phone etiquette.
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. Since its creation, it has enabled us to stay in contact with our loved ones, regardless of how far apart we live. We have benefited from this invention, not only in our personal lives, but in our professional lives as well. Businesses all over the globe have contact numbers on which they can be reached during official hours. But what happens after official hours? Who will receive the calls when all the employees have left work for the day? For that very purpose, some companies hire call answering services, which enable them…
Dr. Lisa Crigler, DPM FACFAS starts us off: Regardless of whether you are in an established group practice or a solo provider, one of your main concerns needs to be medical marketing.  The main question you should ask yourself is “what kind of marketing should I do”?  We have all been exposed to different marketing ideas, in other words, things that stick in our heads.  How many of us recall – “How many billions have been served?” or “Home of the what?”  It is that tune we hum in our heads after the commercial plays on the radio.  So what…
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
DG Comfort

Patient-driven Office Hours

Written by DG Comfort
One way to improve practice revenue is as simple as changing your office hours to include non-traditional business hours.  One of the great advantages of being in practice for yourself is that you are the boss and can set your office hours as you please.  Unfortunately, most healthcare practitioners set their office hours to meet their needs, not the needs of their patients.  If you are just starting out in practice, or are looking to get more patients for your practice, please consider office hours which are convenient for your patients.
I came across a website,, which lists the stress involved with 300 different jobs across the US.  Among the tope ten least stressful jobs in the US are:  Audiologist, Dietician, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Chiropractor. So according to the authors of this survey, 5 of the top 10 least stressful jobs in the US are in the healthcare field.  According to the authors of the study there is even more good news because of the aging population and increased investment in healthcare due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  That should make for a promising…
In this day and age of Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO)  you will probably be spending more time conversing with patients and other providers over the phone or internet.  Is it appropriate to bill for this time spent while discussing a patient’s case with them or other team members?  The answer is ‘Yes’ in most cases.  The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) manual has coding for both communication with a patient and another healthcare provider under specific guidelines, which limit the allowable circumstances under which you can bill for your time.  After all, time is money. The CPT manual…
As a physician, your medical practice is your identity – and it is the only branding opportunity you have with your patients.  Like it or not, they associate your face with your practice and will make treatment decisions and recommendations accordingly.  Having accepted that, how do you develop a medical practice marketing strategy as a physician? The first decision you must make is what niche you want to occupy within your specialty.  If you’re a dermatologist, do you want to be seen as the life-saver who identifies and treats skin cancer or as the Botox specialist for the masses?  If…
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Sherry Krueger

What is an Enabled Provider?

Written by Sherry Krueger
After a recent  e-survey we received many inquiries asking the definition of “enabled provider”.   By now, most of you have heard of and are somewhat familiar with Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).  A less familiar term that is starting to be used in discussions pursuant to ACOs is Enabled Provider.  An Enabled Provider is simply a Provider (Physician and/or Facility) that is contracted with the ACO.  They are considered enabled due to the fact that they are integrated within the ACO from a contracting, systems and clinical perspective.  Please contact us with any additional ACO questions.
Tuesday, 09 August 2011
DG Comfort

What the New Budget Deal Means to You

Written by DG Comfort
It appears that the legislators in Washington finally got together to pass a bill to raise the nation's debt ceiling by $2.3 trillion through 2013.  This may be good news in the short term, since the nation's credit rating will probably remain the same, at least for a while, so the interest rate the US government has to pay won't increase; but the cuts in the Federal budget tied to the increase in the debt ceiling will directly affect your practice.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) may cause your office some headaches because of the “Patient Protection” aspects of the legislation. There have been high profile cases recently, in which Cignet Health and Massachusetts General Hospital, which were recently hit with $4.3 million and $1 million fines, respectively, due to federal HIPAA privacy and security violations. Donald L. Bradfield, senior counsel in the legal department of Johns Hopkins Health System warns doctors and hospital compliance officers about the teeth that the HHS office for Civil Rights (OCR), which enforces HIPAA regulations, seems to have found.
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