Last week I attended PCC’s Pediatric Practice Management Conference in Burlington Vermont. I decided to jot down my thoughts on the conference as I flew back.
As usual, PCC put on a great conference. They lined up great speakers with great topics. For example, there was a talk on finding and keeping the right people by Tim Rushford who is a Senior Project Manager for the Medical Practice Start Up Group. Tim showed us how to take a more proactive approach in employing people that fit our practices’ vision for success, share practice values and work ethic, and enhance our corporate culture in an effort to create a healthy and productive environment in our offices.
Chip Hart from PCC gave an excellent talk on how to manage the “Business Side of Vaccines.” He presented practical and easy steps to follow in order to determine the real cost of vaccines. Chip emphasized that the cost of the “vial” is just part of the cost. We must also consider everything that goes into the administration of the cost. That means figuring out the cost of the syringe we used, to the time it takes the nurse to prepare the shots, to the cost of the VIS sheets we give out.
Meetings, Sharing, Socializing
One of the things I enjoy most about the conference, is getting to know people from all over the US that actually manage pediatric practices. These are people that talk my language and I talk theirs… I love it.
It is always nice to hear what other people are doing in their practice, what are their challenges as well as share some of my troubles and successes and get their perspective on them.
Not gonna lie… sometimes I get overwhelmed
I often get overwhelmed when I hear everything that the speakers suggest we ought to be doing but are not. Things like waivers, charging for forms, charge late fees for people that don’t pay their balance on time, charge a service fee for people that call in credit card payments over the phone, charging for no-shows, having 3 people check every claim that goes out, doing vaccine reconciliations to see if we are wasting vaccines or having the doc check and vet every single EOB.
What makes it worse is, as the speaker is suggesting all these things we ought to be doing to not lose our shirts on the business, there is always a group of people that acknowledges and nods in agreement as if saying: “well of course, who doesn’t do all that..? Pff!”
OK, they don’t actually say that; but in my mind, their body language suggests they are saying that in their heads.
It is not until I talk to other attendees during the break that I feel better when they confirm that they don’t actually do everything the speaker was saying either.
Whew… what a relief. I’m not the only one.
Here is the thing… I’m not saying that just because others compromise on certain things, that gives me an excuse to compromise as well. I think the things we are learning should all be considered because in fact, in some way or other, these recommendations will enhance our practices in some way if we implement it appropriately.
However, all these suggestions and recommendations from the speakers require effort, planning, resources, time and often money. And the truth is, some will fit in our practices, and others won’t. But that is OK.
As it turns out, even the speakers that have practices of their own have their own perspective on what is important and what is not. They don’t do everything either and they often do contradicting things. One on hand they’ll make a big deal about why it’s important to do XYZ or otherwise, we lose money, but on the other, they admit doing something else that in my mind probably cost them more than not doing XYZ.
Choosing our battles
In this complex world of private practice — where we are trying to find common ground between offering medical care and not lose money– it is by belief that we have to choose and fight our battles. Some battles are worth fighting for, while others are not. Because we can’t possibly fight them all.
But that is what the conference is about for me. Learning from the speakers and the attendees, which battles are the best ones to fight.
How about you?
Did you go to the PCC’s practice management conference? What did you take away from the experience? Did you like it? Did you have complaints? I know some PCC employee read my blog. So I’m sure they’ll take notice if you post your thoughts here.