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Category Archives: Practice Management

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Healthcare Companies Score Low in Cybersecurity Study

Posted in Health Reform, Practice Management

An article on Businessweek.com today suggests that healthcare companies rank worse than financial institutions, utility companies and even retailers when it comes to cybersecurity.  This is particularly frightening news given the intense focus on healthcare data security under HIPAA for a number of years now.  By now, healthcare companies and providers should be well aware of… Continue Reading

New Tool For HIPAA Security Assessment

Posted in Health Reform, Medicare, Practice Management

This past Friday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, in collaboration with the HHS Office for Civil Rights and HHS Office of the General Counsel, developed a HIPAA “Security Risk Assessment Tool.”  The Security Risk Assessment Tool is a downloadable program that was developed to assist providers in performing HIPAA security… Continue Reading

Why Medical Practice Mergers Fail (or Fail to Get Off the Ground)

Posted in Practice Management

Mergers and acquisitions are exceedingly common in most industries as business leaders have seen the obvious value in consolidation. Even in healthcare, major players such as hospitals and insurance companies are moving to consolidate and grow. Medical practices, however, have been much slower to consolidate — much to the detriment of many physicians who are… Continue Reading

Physicians Leaving Private Practice for Hospital Employment but at What Cost?

Posted in Health Reform, Practice Management

There was an interesting article published on nytimes.com over the weekend (see ”New Law’s Demands on Doctors Have Many Seeking a Network“) comparing and contrastng the practice of two primary care physicians, one employed by a hospital and another still in private practice but perhaps concerned about her ability to remain there.   The hospital-employed physician touts the… Continue Reading

Hospital Acquisition of Physician Practices Can Raise Antitrust Concerns

Posted in Health Reform, Practice Management

The recent federal antitrust case of Federal Trade Commission and State of Idaho, Plaintiffs, v. St. Luke’s Health System, Ltd, and Saltzer Medical Group, P.A. highlights an important legal consideration for hospitals looking to acquire medical practices and physicians looking to sell to them.  Notwithstanding arguments of cost savings and increased quality and convenience through… Continue Reading

Medical Practice Mergers: Is bigger really better?

Posted in Practice Management

Is bigger better when it comes to private medical practices?  This is a question I get quite frequently from physicians who are considering whether to merge with other practices.  In my experience, the answer is almost always “yes”,  but usually for different reasons from those the inquiring physician has in mind.  Quite often physicians believe… Continue Reading

Use of Online Physician Rating Sites on the Rise

Posted in Practice Management

Many physicians still haven’t come to grips with the fact that .  More and more frequently the public turns to the internet first when making purchasing choices — even when purchasing health care services and selecting physicians.  According to a research paper published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 59% of… Continue Reading

Pay Attention to Non-Financial Terms in Managed Care Agreements Too

Posted in Physician Compensation, Practice Management, Reimbursement

Many physicians pay very little attention to their managed care participation agreements.  In fact, some simply sign these agreements without ever reading them.  I think this apathy stems from the fact that managed care plans generally refuse, at least for smaller practices, to “negotiate” their fee schedules.  But, even if a payor won’t negotiate fees,… Continue Reading

Consider an Unwind Clause in Hospital-Physician Employment Arrangements

Posted in Health Reform, Practice Management

Hospital-physician acquisition of medical practices continues at a furious pace.  Unfortunately, no one knows for certain whether physician employment by hospitals is the key to better or more cost-effective care.  Moreover, the hospital or the physician in such a transaction may for any number of reasons decide later on that the relationship is less than desirable.  Because… Continue Reading

Thinking About Hiring a New Physician?

Posted in Practice Management

Hiring a new physician into a practice can be an expensive and risky proposition but for most practices it is a necessary endeavor.  Aside from the actual costs of recruiting and negotiating a contract with the new physician, there are associated increases in overhead, and perhaps most importantly, the risk of damaging valuable practice goodwill in the… Continue Reading

More Physicians Opting to Punch the Time Clock

Posted in Physician Compensation, Practice Management

Curious what the future of medicine will look like?  According to this recent article on CNBC.com, it appears that for many physicians it will involve a boss, a timeclock and a steady paycheck.  Not surprisingly, as the legal and administrative burdens of running a private practice continue to increase, more and more seasoned physicians are… Continue Reading

Physician-Hospital Integration Strategies

Posted in Health Reform, Medicare, Physician Compensation, Practice Management

As the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues in fits and starts, healthcare providers are scrambling to best position themselves to accommodate anticipated and developing payment models.  Unfortunately no one really knows what these new payment models will look like or how they will ultimately work.  It is apparent, however, that most… Continue Reading

Emphasize the Value of the Physician-Patient Relationship

Posted in Practice Management

The article Pediatricians v Retail Clinics: Is It Time to Think Beyond the Office Visit? published today at time.com, highlights an important shift occurring in the delivery of physician services.  Patients are foregoing their regular physician office visits in favor of  “as-needed” treatment from retail clinics, urgent care centers and walk-in clinics springing up around… Continue Reading

HIPAA Changes Required by 2013 Omnibus Rule

Posted in Health Reform, Practice Management

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the “HIPAA Omnibus Rule,” implementing various provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act as the related to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules.  If you are a “covered entity” or “bsuiness associate” under HIPAA, these new… Continue Reading

Don’t Expect Hospital Employment to be Free from Economic Pressures

Posted in Practice Management

Finding it increasingly difficult to remain profitable in private practice, many physicians are turning to hospital employment to avoid the economic realities of running a small business. However, as a recent article in the New York Times illustrates (see "A Hospital War Reflects a Bind for Doctors"), physicians should bear in mind that even under hospital… Continue Reading