pediatrics EMR

Some Potential Effects on Pediatric Care due to September 11th, 2001

September 11, 2012 in Blog by support Team  |  Comments Off on Some Potential Effects on Pediatric Care due to September 11th, 2001

My 9th grade daughter asked me, as an assignment for school, where I was and what was my first reaction when I learned of the news related to the tragic events of 9-11-01. Most of us whom were adults at the time could describe the exact location and what we were doing when we learned this shocking news. The tragic events of this day changed many things in our country. What are some of the potential additional treatments in Pediatrics due to 9-11-01? The answer to this question is that it depends.

If you were a Pediatrician in New York, NY, you might have children that had early development of asthma. The Pediatrician would need to do a detailed history to see if there is any link to the events of 9-11-01. Where was this patient on 9-11-01? Where their parents exposed to the debris and air associated with 9-11-01? Asthma is not the only disease that the Pediatrician needs to complete a detailed history. Other potential diseases such as acid reflux, depression, anxiety, or sinus congestion might also might have a link.

Today is a day to remember the tragic events of that day as well as to remember our brave fire fighters, police officers, and other public servants that risked their lives to help others in a difficult situation. Although 9-11-01 was 11 years ago, the negative impact is still felt today.

How Aligned are your consultants to the Goals of Your Pediatric Practice?

July 10, 2012 in EHR Selection by support Team  |  Comments Off on How Aligned are your consultants to the Goals of Your Pediatric Practice?

A Pediatric practice needs to successfully work with both internal and external stakeholders to be successful. These stakeholders include employees and external vendors/companies and sometimes, consultants. There can be misalignment of the goals of each of these stakeholders with the goals of your Pediatric Practice. There are a number of questions to ask a consultant to insure they represent your best interests.

Some of these questions could include:
-Is the consultant recommending a product or service due to an alliance with their firm or due to quality of the product for your practice? For instance, a company that sells servers will have a bias to recommend server E.H.R. systems due to their revenue being made based on providing advice and maintaining servers. If a consultant speaks at an event sponsored by a Vendor, this might indicate that there is a bias for this vendor. A question to ask: Is the speaking engagement with a particular vendor due to the vendor providing them customers that they can charge their consultant service and do they speak equally at events for all vendors in the same state (not just the ones that send them practices)?
-Having a consultant choose an E.H.R. service, could cause a Pediatric office to obtain an ‘old’ technology product or a product that does not appropriately balance the revenue/cost needs of the practice with the desire for a consultant to provide a service. Some consultants might not have the technical expertise to make the ‘right’ decision for your Pediatric Practice. Recommend asking any “E.H.R. consultant” how long they have managed a practice as well as their experiences with optimizing revenue for a practice (there are many with great experiences and unfortunately some with none to minimal experience). Equal time should be spent discussing the revenue cycle/practice management as well as clinical aspects of the E.H.R.. Consulting advice should look to optimize revenue, minimize burden, cost and start-up time. The practice is ‘on the hook’ for long-term operation of a system/process and the receiving end of decisions made regarding a system.
-Does this consultant make more or less money if the practice identifies a solution that requires minimal work on their part? Why would a consultant that charges by the hour (whether paid for by the practice or the government) seek a system that reduces billable hours? The long-term operational burdens are the responsibilities of the practice not a consultant.

Exceptional consultants with a solid history should be able to balance the needs of their clients with the need to optimize their own billable hours. Great consultants know and understand the revenue cycle and provide hints on how to reduce administrative burdens of Pediatric Practices. With all the conflicting priorities and needs of a Pediatric Practice, it is important for a practice owner to select the ‘best’ consultants/advisors for their particular needs.

Some Questions to Ask when Starting a Pediatric Practice

May 3, 2012 in Blog by support Team  |  1 Comments

Although Integrating Delivery Networks in the United States are growing, there are still many Pediatricians whom leave a large group, a Hospital Group or other Integrated Delivery System to start their own practice. Starting a Pediatric Practice can be both an exciting and scary at the same time. Before any Pediatrician considers staring a practice they should look at the primary reasons why they are interested in starting a practice. Is it financial? A different level of service? What if they start the practice and makeSome of these questions include:

1. What is the demand in my market for another Pediatric Group and what additional value will my new group bring? Patients and parents need a Pediatrician. How fast your practice grows depends on the market and their choices within this market. If they have 5 other choices of Pediatric groups within a small radius and two of the practices have availability to new patients as well as many hours, the growth rate of the practice will be much less than in a town for which there is only family practice physicians. The research that should be done is to look at the population demographics and match this up with the number of Pediatricians in the area then evaluate the number of Family Practice Physicians in the area. I know of cases in which very good clinical Pediatricians make minimal salary due to the demand in the area and growth rate of their practice.

2. How should my office be configured and what are the best options for commercial real estate? When establishing a new practice, know what your goal is for the practice as well as the needed space. Fortunately, this is a buyers/renters market so the practice should be able to negotiate some favorable terms. Before looking at any commercial real estate, decide what is the appropriate square footage needed for the practice. You might consider calling a contact or service that has a background in Medical Space planning. Be careful to not over size your start-up practice: many start-up practices can manage with 2-3 exam rooms (8X10 feet), a reception area, a small lab/kitchen area and a waiting room. Some commercial real estate spaces manage the rest rooms outside of the practice while others will require the tenants to have bathrooms in their space. The location, quality and cost of the space is very important. Choosing a ‘great’ facility in a ‘bad’ location can cost the practice significant growth. Also, choosing a facility that is much larger than what is needed can cost the owner in higher expenses (this is reduced salary for you as the owner).

3. Should I start on my own or with another Pediatrician? This is a personal decision. The advantage of another owner is someone else to divide the work load with managing a Pediatric practice including seeing patients, managing staff, after-hours call, administrative items and other tasks associated with managing a practice. Some disadvantages with another partner in the start-up phases are: need a larger patient load for both Pediatricians to meet the previous income when you were a salaried employee, conflicts on choices/decisions, different work ethics/beliefs, two decision makers is less efficient than one. Being in a practice together with a partner is similar to a working marriage. Make sure that you explore this option real closely prior to joining together.

4. How should I finance my practice? There are a number of options to finance a practice including taking a line of credit on your home, obtaining a SBA loan or working with a banker to obtain a business loan. I helped my wife start her Pediatric practice through using 0% interest credit cards and our savings in the bank then moving the debt from the credit cards to a line of credit on the house. I would not suggest this method for most individuals but this allowed us to minimize the interest payments and delay a loan until we understood the amount of debt we would need. For most individuals that are pursuing financing, recommend either a SBA loan or a business loan.

5. Do I hire a medical biller or outsource my Medical Billing? Managing the revenue cycle for most Pediatric practices can be done more effectively by outsourcing to a Pediatric Medical Billing company. I have seen some pediatric practices move the ‘brink’ of bankruptcy because they had the medical billing managed by a front desk person or a biller with minimal experience in Pediatric Medical billing or questionable performance. Most Pediatrician owners can manage the front desk and Medical Assistant/nursing staff very effectively since both of these work functions are in the middle of their work flow. Managing a back office billing team requires monthly verification processes to check the claims as well as training and re-training of billing staff in the area of Pediatrics. This is outside of the scope of the expertise of most Pediatricians. Even some larger practices with Medical office staffs are not aware that half their billing staff is out of date and they are personally losing thousands of dollars a month. Unfortunately, according to the Medical Group Management Association, a high percentage (>50%) of practices have theft at the practice. Establishing strong processes and leveraging an outside Pediatric Medical Biller can help with these risks while optimizing the revenue for the practice. Additionally, this team can reduce the work load from the Pediatric Owner(s).

These are a few of the questions to ask when starting a Pediatric Practice. There are many more to ask prior to starting up a practice.