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Influenza Coding Guidelines: How to Code the Flu

Here are some helpful coding tips to guide you through flu season. What’s the flu type? • J09 (Influenza due to identified novel influenza A virus) – this category covers the more exotic flu types, such as avian flu, swine flu or other flu viruses of animal origin. It is very unlikely that you will be able to assign a code from this category due to a lack of testing capability for these specific flu types. • J10 (Influenza due to other identified influenza virus) – this category is where most of your patients will fall. This is the average patient who tests positive for the…

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The Use of Key Performance Indicators: Keeping an Eye on Your Business

As a physician who is also a business owner, I have learned (sometimes the hard way) about “keeping an eye on the ball.” Through almost 8 years as an Medical Practice owner, there have been many successes….and misfires. Along the way, through various courses such as the Success Summit and the MPS Board, I have learned much about day-to-day operations and becoming a better owner. One of the lessons relates to watching certain metrics and defining important factors to watch on a regular basis. Key Performance Indicators are an important part of monitoring any business. KPIs…

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The Spoon Full of Sugar a Provider Needs to Succeed and Lead

Hello everyone! I wanted all Medical Practice Success blog readers to reflect on an article I read recently by the AMA. The article, “What Ails the Medical Profession--and Ways to Heal It,” written by AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD, is a pitch for physicians to enroll in “online modules” as a “medicinal cure for physician burnout.” http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/ama-wire/post/ails-medical-profession-ways-heal Although the author and AMA president receives a lot of heat for his recommendation of online modules to treat the problem, his analysis of the…

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Motivating Front Line Staff to Fan-Inspiring Service

Medical practices are service businesses whose long-term viability depends on patient loyalty and word-of-mouth. That’s why, for instance, Medical Practice entrepreneurs spend tens of thousands of dollars in selecting the right locations, equipping them with the latest technology, and then devising creative marketing campaigns to bring new patients through the door. But while these investments all contribute to medical practice success, they’re still minor compared to the one that makes the greatest impression on patients—the front-line staff. The “front-line&rdquo…

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Coding and Credentialing - Are You Doing It Right?

Are You Growing? As your business grows, so does the importance of contracting and credentialing. Imagine you are ready to expand to a second location or add a new line of business. You have devoted hours to developing the best business plan, secured the location, recruited providers, ordered equipment, and are ready to launch! But, are you ready to get paid for your services? Will You Be Paid? Are your providers credentialed in the appropriate plans for the new location? Are your contracts with payors reflecting the new location or line of business? Are you compliant with local, state and…

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The Importance of Having a Marketer in the Community

HealthCARE Express invests $30,000+/year on the salary of a community educator in each market. HealthCARE Express firmly believes that the best way to grow our patient volume and our occupational medicine client base is through positive word of mouth and educating the community about what we do. It is why we hire a community educator for each new market, instead of having one centralized person handling media buy for all markets and not being actively involved in our communities. Because over the years we have found that when we have a community educator out working hard every day in the…

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Developing a Rich Mind: How to Spend Your Spare Time

There are three ways to spend your spare (non-working) time. You can do something that: 1. Improves you somehow 2. Leaves you more or less the same 3. Damages or diminishes you in some way Look at almost any activity and you will see what I’m talking about. On your commute to work, for example, you have a fair amount of “free” time. You can spend that time getting aggravated about traffic, laughing at idiotic conversations on talk radio, or listening to an audiotape on some subject you care about—maybe a course on how to speak a foreign language. Getting apoplectic…

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Generating Positive Online Reviews in Medical Practice Marketing

Before moving to Maui, HI with his family 18 years ago, Bob owned and operated what became the largest customer service training company in the country, Sommers Communication, Inc. Since that time he has focused his attention on teaching business owners how to create and market their reputation both on and off the Internet. In 2006 Bob created and hosted the very popular Recognized Expert Marketing Show and in 2012 he and his team developed the Five Star Review System to help business owners automate the process of getting 5-star patient reviews and referrals. Today there are hundreds of…

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FMCSA Bulletin on Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Commercial Drivers

By Lawrence Earl, M.D. Finally some guidance to medical examiners from FMCSA regarding evaluation and management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in commercial drivers. Although not a “rule” and therefore no specific details of exactly how to screen, evaluate, certify/disqualify, or manage these cases, the guidance here is consistent with previous recommendations and medical expert panel reports. It is also consistent with our well established program of screening all DOT/Commercial driver examinees for OSA. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the bulletin: • The…

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6 Ways to be a Good OccDoc

Earlier in my medical practice career, I joined a predominantly busy medical practice and family medicine practice in a “bedroom community” setting. There wasn’t much occ med or workers’ comp business, but the owner of the practice, one of my early mentors, encouraged me to become the “occmed specialist” for the practice. At the time, I didn’t really have that much inclination or knowledge about occmed, besides taking care of workers comp patients for several years. This mentor ran this practice in a “patient centric” manner long before…

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