Practice Builders

By Lynn Homisak, PRT
13,442 reads | 0 comments | 02/03/2006

Mention creating a legal scope of practice for the podiatric medical assistant (PMA) to a group of doctors and you will likely stir some opinions and controversy. Unfortunately, at this point, only opinions can frame the discussion. Without a written scope of practice, there is no standardization of what an assistant can and cannot do. There is only individual interpretation and this is usually based on personal experiences within one’s own office. Here is the only reality that we know to be true. Some individuals are hired to file charts, answer the phone and bring patients back to a trea

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By Steven Peltz, CHBC
5,653 reads | 0 comments | 12/03/2005

   Any practice goes through a number of stages. The “going into practice stage” begins when you make the decision to start your own practice and ends when your cash flow exceeds your expenses, and you begin to take home a paycheck that covers your living expenses.    The third stage is the mature stage where the practice is utilizing between 80 and 100 percent of the time available for patient treatment, and the patient wait for an appointment is longer than two weeks.    In between those two stages is the second stage, the growth stage.

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By Barbara Aung, DPM and Kim Jungkind, MPH, RN, CCM
6,596 reads | 0 comments | 08/03/2005

   Podiatric medical practices strive to provide patients with high quality care. Patients with diabetes pose an added challenge due to the comprehensive nature of the condition and resulting complications. In a proactive effort to improve visit planning and improve the care of these patients, podiatrists may want to consider the use of software decision support and tracking tools to assist them in delivering needs-based care to their patients.    We have found success with a simple, practical registry, decision support and tracking system. As a “connected h

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By Bruce Werber, DPM
12,194 reads | 0 comments | 06/03/2005

   In these times of diminishing reimbursement, we must look at ways of decreasing the costs of our practices. Obviously, we cannot cut much from patient care costs and we have a limited ability to increase fees and income from our practices. In any business, there are ways to improve the net profit. One could implement extended hours to see more patients, minimize payroll costs by reducing staff or try to lower the cost of materials.    However, I recommend taking a closer look at technology and changing the standard workflow to improve efficiency and decreas

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By Kevin McDonald, DPM
12,457 reads | 0 comments | 04/03/2005

   Most podiatrists focus intently on providing excellent care for their patients. However, when the time comes to purchase or sell a podiatric medical practice, podiatrists generally lack the knowledge and experience to competently assess the value of podiatry practice, and the terms of a proposed sales agreement.    If you spend sufficient time looking at real estate, you will find that homes “for sale by owner” are frequently overpriced. The owners are in love with their own house, overly optimistic and a tad bit greedy. One frequently sees this scenario

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By David Edward Marcinko, MBA, CFP, CMP, and Gary L. Bode, CPA, MSA
9,379 reads | 0 comments | 02/03/2005

   Most podiatrists equate marketing with advertising. However, advertising is the most expensive and often least effective facet of services marketing. Internal marketing is the most cost effective, most time effective and usually the most dignified form of marketing. Internal marketing within your practice occurs continuously even if you are unaware of it.    Patient satisfaction opens the door to internal marketing of your practice and comprises the bulk of services marketing. We all know DPMs who are only average clinically but do extremely well. Conversely

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By Lynn Homisak, PRT
8,803 reads | 0 comments | 12/03/2004

   As songwriter Henry Kaiser put it, “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.” I can attest to this truth of this statement. As a podiatric medical assistant and consultant, I frequently lecture at meetings and speak to doctors and assistants all over the country. My mission is to help create a better work dynamic between doctors and assistants. With this in mind, let us consider some common questions that come up at meetings.    Q: I am not having any luck training my staff. I tell them how things should be done and I still end up doing them m

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By David Edward Marcinko, MBA, CFP, CMP
11,967 reads | 0 comments | 10/03/2004

Supply chain inventory management (SCIM) is essential for doctors who perform a number of similar procedures, those who dispense a fair number of products and surgeons because a medical practice’s profitability will suffer if it has too much or too little inventory of durable medical equipment (DME) on hand. How can a physician determine the proper DME inventory level? One uncommonly used approach is based on the economic order quantity costing (EOQC) method. EOQC is a century-old accounting formula that determines the point at which the combination of order costs and inventory carrying cos

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By David Edward Marcinko, MBA, CFP, CMP
6,849 reads | 0 comments | 08/03/2004

Assessing the value of your medical practice is an investment in your practice’s future. Not only does it help build equity value, it would be shortsighted not to have a professional appraiser working with you to understand the key issues involved and the reasons for them. After all, it is very easy in the emotion of buying or selling a practice to make a mistake, especially in a changing environment and niche specialty like podiatry. Don’t wait to have your practice appraised. There is a tendency to contact professional appraisers retroactively during valuation disputes or when sales, pa

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By Steven Peltz, CHBC
15,542 reads | 0 comments | 06/03/2004

When you decide to hire a new podiatrist for your practice, one of the most important decisions you will face is deciding how much to pay your new hire. Ideally, you want to pay a base salary and offer an incentive that encourages the new podiatrist to work hard, pay for him- or herself quickly and then participate in the collections above his or her costs to the practice. Potential employees are looking for compensation that will allow for a reasonable lifestyle along with loan payments. The challenge is how to take both of these concepts and create an agreement that is acceptable to each pa

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