Published 9/1/2007
Marty Krawczyk

Improve your practice income with audio consults

From maximizing income and minimizing expenses to selecting an EMR or digital radiograph system, Practice Management Consults help you with “the business side of medicine.”

Most medical schools don’t cover the business side of medicine. But to succeed in today’s economic environment, orthopaedic surgeons must know more than just the proper approach to a surgical technique. That’s why the AAOS introduced the Practice Management Consults series last year. As the program enters its second year, the focus remains on helping AAOS members improve their business practices.

Moderated by David A. Halsey, MD, chair of the Council on Advocacy, the audio programs provide information and perspectives from experienced orthopaedic surgeons, practice management consultants, and knowledgeable experts. All programs are available in both MP3 and CD-ROM formats.

“These podcasts are designed to provide practical information on topics that directly affect the day-to-day management of any orthopaedic practice from solo to large groups,” said Dr. Halsey. “They are well organized and feature panels of knowledgeable speakers and commentators representing various viewpoints.”

Making the move to EMRs
The 2007 Practice Management Consults Series II kicked off in early February with the educational initiative on electronic medical records (EMRs). Two products—the “Electronic Medical Record: A Primer for Orthopaedic Surgeons,” and the special Practice Management Consults podcast on EMR (also available on CD-ROM)—are designed to provide you with information that will help you make decisions about incorporating EMRs into your practice.

The materials were developed by the Practice Management Committee under the direction of Stephen P. Makk, MD, MBA. Because EMR is such an important topic, the podcast is available to AAOS members free of charge via the Internet. Simply log in with your member ID to the AAOS online Practice Management Center (www.aaos.org/pracman), click on the “Academy Launches Educational Initiative on EMR” link and download the “EMR Primer” Acrobat file (pdf) and EMR podcast. You can also order the podcast in CD format online; visit www.aaos.org/products.

For a healthier practice
The audio program on “Managing Financial Performance” features two orthopaedic surgeons and a practice administrator who present basic principles as well as financial and management strategies to help you increase your practice income. They explain what various financial statements tell you about the “financial health” of your practice, and how you can use that information effectively.

The consult on “Strategies for Maximizing Income” examines how modifying specific aspects of your current practice operation can positively affect income. New initiatives that can generate income are also discussed.

In “Tips for Managing Expenses,” the experts explain how they manage many of their major and minor practice expenses.

The fourth program in the 2007 series focuses on a relatively new technology, “Implementing Digital Radiography.” The panel will discuss whether filmless radiography set-ups offer the flexibility to make them practical, cost-effective, and income-producing.

Improve your basic practice management skills
The 2006 Practice Management Consults Series I programs cover basic skills in four other arenas. The “Pay for Performance (P4P)” audio program provides a clear explanation of P4P theoretical goals, principles, and guidelines. “Proactively Managing Payer Agreements” details the most important aspects you need to know when negotiating, implementing, and managing the agreement process.

The various risks, the pros and cons of professional liability insurance, strategies for avoiding a professional liability lawsuit, and other risk management topics are key discussion points in the program “Effectively Managing Medical Risk Liability.”

Finally, “Income Distribution” offers group practices the tools needed to develop an income distribution formula, within the context of a practice’s mission and strategic plan, the physician compensation program, and the group’s expectations. Equally important, it provides strategies designed to achieve group consensus.

Buy online
All Practice Management Consults programs are available online in both formats and can be purchased individually or by series (2006 or 2007). From the AAOS Web site (
www.aaos.org), click on “Physician Education,” “Digital Media,” and “Practice Management.” Or place your order today through the AAOS online store (www.aaos.org/products). Take advantage of a pricing discount when you purchase the entire 2006 or 2007 series.

For more information, contact Steven Fisher, manager of the practice management group, at sfisher@aaos.org or (847) 384-4331, or Marty Krawczyk, program coordinator, at krawczyk@aaos.org or (847) 384-4337.

Marty Krawczyk is the practice management program coordinator. She can be reached at krawczyk@aaos.org.