AAOS Now, November 2009
Using technology to market your orthopaedic practice
Whatever your practice setting, technology can help you grow Marketing is the effort of promoting your practice to a target group, with the goal of maintaining or improving the financial health of the practice. Although some orthopaedic surgeons claim to be averse to “marketing,” it is necessary to keep a practice viable. Using e-mail to market Technology can play a significant role in effective marketing.
Managing overhead in the orthopaedic practice
Controlling costs is key component of practice’s long-term success Although labor costs are a practice’s largest overhead expense, controlling other aspects of overhead should not be overlooked. Practices need to effectively manage—not simply reduce—these costs to maintain their present viability and ensure future success. Controlling fixed costs Occupancy costs include rents/mortgage, property taxes and insurance, utilities, housekeeping, and maintenance.
Tips for dealing with the difficult patient
Communicate, set boundaries, and extricate yourself carefully When it comes to dealing with difficult patients, you’re not alone. Every office has them. You dread seeing their names on your schedule. Your staff puts off returning their calls. Clearly, something needs to be done to improve relationships with these patients, but what? Difficult patients are dependent, clingy, and entitled at best; they may also be manipulative, self-destructive, noncompliant, litigious, and even hostile.
Key trends for orthopaedic medical liability claims
One third of claims are settled with payment According to the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA), the average indemnity payment in medical liability lawsuits involving orthopaedic surgeons rose by 13 percent from 2003 to 2008, from approximately $233,000 to $270,000. Of the 28 specialties tracked by the PIAA, orthopaedic surgery has the seventh highest average indemnity (Fig. 1). Of the 2,284 paid claims reported to PIAA in 2008, 195 (8.
Medical liability reform: Back on the table
President Obama, AAOS take steps in the right direction In his speech to Congress on health care on Sept. 9, 2009, President Barack Obama recognized that medical liability issues were leading to increasing healthcare costs. In this public forum, the president stated, “I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs.
Teaching residents system-based practices
Now it is easier than ever for orthopaedic residency programs to fulfill the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirement for systems-based practice (SBP), while residents learn important practice management concepts and skills. The Resident Practice Management Lecture Series (RPMLS) includes eight audio-slide lectures presented by orthopaedic surgeons, practice management consultants, and Academy staff experts in orthopaedic practice management.
Are you ready for HITECH?
By William J. Mallon, MD Tips on making the transition to EMRs According to a national survey of physicians in 2008, only 4 percent of practices had a “fully functioning” electronic medical record (EMR) system, and 13 percent had a “basic system.” But that’s about to change. Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, medical practices must make the transition to using an EMR system under a timeline that begins in 2011 and concludes in 2015.
Sample EMR implementation survey
How much do you know about electronic medical record (EMR) systems? a. Almost nothing b. Somewhat c. A few things d. A great deal Comment: Sometimes less is better. Having preconceived notions about EMR systems can create false expectations. What are your expectations of the new EMR system? a. The EMR system will improve productivity and office efficiency starting on day one. b.