May 2014

   “Ultimately, enhanced compliance by healthcare providers, patients and visitors with current recommendations and protocols can prevent the spread of infectious pathogens,” maintains Dr. Fitzgerald.

Survey Compares Self-Employment With Institutional Healthcare Employment

By Brian McCurdy, Senior Editor

Is it better to work at a larger healthcare institution or be self-employed in private practice? A recent survey on Medscape points to some reasons why doctors may choose one type of practice over the other.

   As the survey notes, 38 percent noted that they sought employment due to the financial challenges of private practice. The factors for this decision included not having to worry about billing, office management or administrative issues. On the other side of the fence, the survey noted that self-employed doctors have autonomy but less security, and are somewhat more satisfied with their situation than employed doctors.

   William Fishco, DPM, calls his business a “mom and pop” podiatry practice that consists of him and two employees. He is able to control how busy the practice is and his staff does not overbook the schedule. Accordingly, Dr. Fishco says he does not have to rush through patients or feel overwhelmed, and feel the pressure that “irate patients are barking in the waiting room.”

   “My philosophy is that the patient’s time is just as important as mine and I rarely run more than five minutes behind,” says Dr. Fishco, who is in private practice in Phoenix. “Most of my patients don’t even have time to sit down in the waiting room before being set up in a treatment room. I hear from my patients that they commonly wait one to two hours to see their other specialists.”

   Dr. Fishco says his patients still have the feeling that they are family and that the staff knows who they are rather than as just a medical record number. He cites his autonomy in delivering healthcare, saying “The last thing that I want is some MBA guy in a suit telling me that I have to see more patients, use less expensive products or do more surgery.” Other benefits for Dr. Fishco are having control of his overhead and business decisions, and having the potential of unlimited income as he is not bound by a salary.

   Dr. Fishco does acknowledge advantages of the employed setting, typically a hospital or multispecialty facility, saying obtaining ancillary testing or subspecialty care may be streamlined, which is optimum for the patient. He says one drawback to this type of practice is a lack of selection of a physician for the patient. From the self-employed setting, he notes patients get more personalized care and more quality time with the physician, saying it ultimately boils down to the individual physician and his/her ability to communicate and deliver services to the patient.

What Does The ICD-10 Delay Mean For DPMs?

By Brian McCurdy, Senior Editor

The deadline for conversion to ICD-10 coding has lingered on the horizon for podiatrists. However, they now have more time to prepare thanks to a new law that delays the Department of Health and Human Services’ implementation of ICD-10 until at least October 1, 2015.

   The original deadline was October 2014. An article in Modern Healthcare notes that the American Medical Association, the Medical Group Management Association and other groups had expressed serious concerns about the feasibility and costs of meeting the deadline while the American Hospital Association strongly opposed delaying ICD-10.

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