#22 Holiday Special Episode [Pediatric Practice Management AwesomeCast]

Chip and I put together a holiday edition of the AwesomeCast. We decided to merge two holidays and discuss: 1) What we are thankful for; 2) New year resolutions.

Don’t worry. We discussed both of these topics in the context of practice management. So don’t dismiss this episode. Chip shared 3 resolutions that I think were great. I wrote them down so that I would remember to include them in my “things that I need to do in the next year” list for 2014

Enjoy!

You can listen to the AwesomeCast by visiting the links below:

iTunes

Pediatric Practice Management Media Cast 

Click to Listen

#18 Is the Independent Physician a Dinosaur? [Pediatric Practice Management AwesomeCast]

ExtinctionNot too long ago, you couldn’t avoid reading in the media about how the independent doctors  were becoming extinct.

Pundits and experts in the field stressed that if independent doctors, those that own their own practice, didn’t join, sell, merge or retire all together, they were going to walk the same path as travel agents, video stores and mom-and-pop own book stores.

I’ve subscribed to a different thought.

I’m crazy enough to believe that there will always be a place for the small independent practice.

Sure, practices will have to adjust, figure out new ways to meet the demands (just like any other business) of a changing healthcare landscape.

But I’ve argued that even though travel agents aren’t around anymore, airlines, hotels and car rental companies are. Even though video stores are a thing of the past, Hollywood hasn’t stopped making movies. If anything, we have access to more video content than ever before.

But it has been a hard sell (not that I’m really selling anything) to convince people that the end of the world for private practices is not a certainty for all.

Recently, I’ve received great news from the consultant fronts. In conversations with Susanne Madden from the Verden Group, Mary Pat Whaley from Managemypractice.com and the Pediatric Practice Management AwesomeCast’s very own, Chip Hart with PCC, it seems that the independent private practice pediatrician is on the rise.

They all have shared with me that in recent months, their offices have field numerous inquiries from pediatricians looking to breakaway from the, let’s say, industrialized, corporate, factory style medicine, and start their own practice so they can practice medicine on their own terms.

Chip and I couldn’t wait much longer to talk about this topic because it is an area we are both very interested in. So for this week’s episode, we dedicate almost a full hour on the topic of being an independent physician.

We talk about what it means to be independent, the different kinds of independency (yes, there are several kinds), what are some of the trends out there and what to look for when exploring other options for your practice.

Here are other ways you can check out the AwesomeCast:

#17 What Every Medical Practice Needs to Know about Web Design [Pediatric Practice Management AwesomeCast]

For today’s Pediatric Awesome-Cast Chip and I sit down with Alan Houser of Squareflair. Alan is a web designer. He and I worked together on Salud Pediatrics’ website.

I really enjoyed working with Alan. I’ve also enjoyed talking with him. We’ve had some interesting conversations ranging from web design (of course), to managing a small business, to how our wive’s use the iPad.

So I thought, why don’t we bring Alan on the AwesomeCast so we could talk about web design, some of the pitfalls people run into when designing their web sites and what are the things we could all do to make better websites that not only look pretty, but are also functional for our parents.

So we did.

We always like to make our AwesomeCast available in multiple formats so you can consume however you’d like:

 

Don’t forget to visit the PPMMC Google+ page, and PCC.

#14 Dr. Natasha Burgert Joins Us To Talk About Social Media [Pediatric Practice Management Awesome-Cast]

Wow, we scored big this week and somehow convinced Natasha Burgert – queen of pediatric social media – to speak to us. Her real-life stories are great.

Don’t believe us? Watch/listen and see her Twitter effort or check out her blog.

A special shout out to an awesome vaccine-related charity that Dr. Burgert supports: Shot @ Life!

As always, you can get the AwesomeCast in different formats:

iTunes

Google+ PPMM Community Page

Pediatric Practice Management MediaCast

#13 What Will You Do With All That Money? [Pediatric Practice Management Awesome-Cast]

For this episode of our pediatric awesome-cast, Chip and I discuss a series of little items that have piled up over the last few weeks.

We discuss pediatric practice management seminars, the avoidance of autoposting and eligibility checking, the compensation model survey, and some important considerations for those expecting the ACA-Medicaid-Payment-Adjustment boost this year.

In fact, the ‘gold’ of this episode is probably in the middle, so make sure you listen or watch all the way through!

iTunes

Google+ PPMM Community Page

Pediatric Practice Management MediaCast

#9 Marketing Your Pediatric Practice [Practice Management VideoCast]

Marketing is a topic that most private practices are interested in. Who doesn’t want to get the word out about their practice and draw more patients, right?

When we think about marketing, however, we often focus on the tactics. In other words, we think about whether an ad in the paper or a post-card or social media is better than mailing a letter to daycares in the area announcing the new doc that joined the practice.

 But marketing is much more than the tactics.

Unfortunately, many among us, focus too much on the tactics and not enough on the important.

In this episode, Chip and I talk about what is the essence of marketing and what are the steps or activities we ought to embrace in our practice in order for the tactics to really have an impact.

As always, we’ve made the episode available in various format.  See the links below for details. Also, if you liked our discussion, we’d love to hear from you. Oh, and don’t forget to tell your friends about this AwesomeCast.

Different Ways to Engage:

1. Google+ Community

2. Pediatric Practice Management Mediacast PodCast

3. iTunes

And of course, YouTube:

If you would like to learn more about the conferences Chip and I mentioned in the recording, check out the links below.

Goryeb Children’s Hospital 15th Annual Pediatric Gurus Conference at Skytop Lodge

PCC Users and Practice Management Conference in Burlington, VT

#7 Key Metrics We Should Use to Gauge the Financial Health of Our Medical Practice [Practice Management VideoCast]

In his 20 plus years in practice management, Chip has advised thousands of medical practices. So it occurred to me,  why don’t I ask Chip how he assesses a practice? In other words, when he is preparing to counsel a practice, what reports, data sets or financial instruments he uses to identify whether or not the practice is a financially healthy practice.

You don’t want to miss this episode because Chip share with us some of the key metrics he uses to pin point the weaknesses and strength of a practice.

As always, we’ve made this episode available on various platform. Below are the links:

1. Google+ Community

2. Pediatric Practice Management Mediacast PodCast

3. iTunes

And of course, YouTube:

To follow along, you may want to view this chart that Chip uses as reference.

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 9.47.05 AM

#5: Company or Practice Culture [Practice Management VideoCast]

Chip and I finally got our act together and recorded another video cast. This time, we talk about company culture.

There is so much to say about company culture. Chip and I only focused on few items of course.

I mostly talked about what are some of the efforts I’ve been employing in an effort to not only strengthen our company culture, but also grow it.

I share some of the tools I used un order to accomplish this.

Chip shares some of the implications of having a less than stellar company culture. He also talks about how company culture comes from the top of the organization.

What does he mean by coming from the top? Well, you will have to see the video to find out.

The video is only 32:22 minutes.

Chip and I however, go on for longer than 32:00 minutes. So, for those of you that want to hear us give further insights, thoughts, or simply hear our discussion, we’ve made the entire hour long conversation available in podcast form.

You can search in iTunes for Pediatric Practice Management or you can go to http://ppmmc.libsyn.com/ which is where we host the podcast.

 

Resources referenced during the mediacast:  

DISC Assessments

Zappos and “Deliver Happiness”

The Netflix Employee Guide

Management By Baseball by Jeff Angus

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

Small or Big: What is the future of small private practices?

Many experts and pundits are predicting that the downward pressure we are seeing in healthcare will claim small independent private physicians first. Those that are not affiliated or belong to a hospital or large healthcare network will not survive, say the pundits.

The argument is that these small practices will not be able to withstand the financial and administrative pressures of the new healthcare landscape.

Others very eloquently argue that if we don’t band together soon, and form larger groups, they will not have a seat at the table when the time comes, therefore forcing them to accept a deal that may not be in their best interest in the future.

It is like jumping on a large tanker to survive a huge storm or last longer at sea without returning to port. Which is a good strategy, I guess. If your goal is to cross the Atlantic back and forth, a small independent ship may not be the best strategy.

But to me, jumping on a larger vessels dismisses the fact that there are other destinations… destinations that can be reached far easier on a smaller boat.

Jumping on a big ship, you dismiss the opportunity to go up and down the coast, making lots of stops, go in and out of ports, explore new islands and have a say on where you want to go everyday. The large vessel, once it sets its course, it is set.

The big vessel does have many advantages, like protecting you better from a big storm. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that a smaller vessel can’t maneuver faster around the storm or find shelter in another port.

I do acknowledge that we are being squeezed in many ways, and I agree that many will eventually go out of business, fold or simply disappear; but I don’t believe there will be a massive small private independently own practice extinction.

If anything, I see this as a huge opportunity for those of us that are small, flexible and nimble to adapt to the new challenges of the healthcare industry.

Something to think about…

Amazon might have driven Borders out of business, but they haven’t put “writers” out of business. iTunes has changed how consumers buy music, thus crippleling the record labels’ business model, but iTunes hasn’t put artist out of business. If anything, they now have more distribution channels than ever.

The Internet is challenging the newspaper industry, but we don’t have a shortage of journalist.

McDonalds and Burger King mass produce hamburgers, but we all know of a place that sells the best burger in town.

Expedia and Travelocity might have driven travel agents out of business, but it has not bankrupt hotels, beach resorts, bed and breakfast and cruise lines.

There are going to be opportunities. It is just a matter of figuring out how the delivery of care will change.

Now, I’m not suggesting that becoming part of a larger entity is a bad strategy. But what I am suggesting is that it ought not to be the only strategy.

Personally, I believe that smaller practices will be positioned uniquely to transform the healthcare landscape. How we “deliver” medicine may change, but I believe that these larger groups cannot, and will not fulfill every single need.

And that is where some of us will jump in.