February 2017 MMN

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To Offer Compassion While Collecting Money Is an Art, continued from page 4 purchasing. As for practices and insurance companies, all we know is we have discounted our fees to be on a list of providers that a patient may choose according to his or her preferences. There are no guarantees. Insurance carriers for years also required global agreements to any product they would be offering at any given moment and time. Now there are narrow networks, usually associated with larger health systems not including independent physicians. Many long-time patients are told that

their practice suddenly is out of network for their plan. Now is the time to speak with payers and legislators regarding these concerns. As physicians, we should be able to care for our patients. As business people we have to watch out for ourselves. It is as simple as that. Consider the long-term implications and decisions we are making right now. Now that’s a business decision. As managers – many of you are financial wizards. Let’s utilize that. And never forget the subscriber’s voice to their insurance marketing departments that hear it

loud and clear when he or she calls in.

Telemedicine

When the average age of an individual can vary seven years just within one county or two due to access to care, think of how easily we can improve the lives of patients, compliance and maintained wellness. The patient really could become engaged in this type care. On the other hand, how much can you really see in this venue when 49 percent of patients typically withhold information from their

doctor? You know your patients better than anyone and only you can answer this. We also should consider the availability of broadband support as well as insurance plan coverage for these kinds of visits. This of course depends upon your geographic area as well as insurance carrier plans. Be in touch with your insurance representatives to inquire about telemedicine and coverage for your area. It is growing rapidly in all specialties and only adds to access to care for patients. This, of course, can result in better outcomes, one of our major goals. We also know that happy patients often remit their bills sooner.

Politics, Politics

Culinary Medicine Continuing Medical Education

Just as with insurance companies, meeting with your local and state representatives is always a good move. In my state, we have an advocacy group that works with the state medical society where many of us get together and meet with local legislators. Let your local political representatives feel your pain. Ask them to spend time in your office observing. Attend a local medical managers group.

Saturday April 22, 2017 Church Health Demonstration Kitchen 1350 Concourse Avenue, Suite 142 Memphis,TN 38104

How Do We Stack Up?

These day patients view us as they view any other business. Our services are purchased contingent upon the patient’s preference. We are a commodity that can be selected and replaced with a newer model if need be. I believe we are like car repair shop – when patients need us, they really need us, and when they don’t, they would prefer to just stay away.

Join Certified Culinary Medicine Specialist Susan W. Warner M.D. and Church Health’s own Registered Dietitian Nichole Reed for an interactive cooking class! Along with preparing and eating a delicious, nutritious meal, you’ll gain the skills you need to integrate practical nutrition advice and counsel into your practice. Introduction to Culinary Medicine 9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. An examination of how the Mediterranean and DASH diets can help treat diet-related illnesses Hypertension and Nutrition 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Examine the research-based physiological effects of high-sodium diets and prevalence in the American diet. Learn cooking principles of flavor building and balancing without added sodium. Each module counts for 4 CME credit hours with completion of online and classroom portions.

For complete information or to enroll, visit culinarymedicine.org/index.php/shop/. We cannot accept AmEx at this time.

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FEBRUARY 2017

Dealing with Insurance Plans

No no, no, we are not like other businesses. We are not car salesman and we don’t manufacture washing machines. People don’t often look for cars when they’re sick. As we all know, healthcare is beyond personal. It goes to the core of our bodies. As a patient, what we expect can come from a very fearful space, especially when seeing a specialist. For example I may be your millionth patient but you are my first rheumatologist. Please respect both my invalid and valid concerns and fears. Take that extra special need for our profession and provide the level of stellar care in the most efficient way possible. Now take a moment and reflect upon each of your staff members. Is everyone really pulling his or her weight? Which employees do we need to speak with regarding their performance and potential for excellence? Are good employees leaving because we won’t get rid of bad employees? Every single staff member has value to the practices operations as well as the cost associated with that specific employee’s role. Next Month: Staff Accountability

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