Share with linkedin. Share using email. JFH Be prepared for your next doctor's visit with these helpful tips. Make a human connection Before you dive into your concerns, break the ice with a greeting or even a joke. Stay on message Most doctor visits last 13 to 16 minutes, according to Medscape's "Physician Compensation Report," so after your greeting, get to the point.
Tell the whole truth You can't expect a doctor to listen to your complaints, or adequately resolve them, if you're not forthright. Rehearse before you go If you're uncomfortable discussing embarrassing topics , write a script and rehearse it in front of a mirror. Don't accept 'it's just aging' If you have a symptom that has come on suddenly, keeps you up at night or interferes with your daily life, be specific about the changes you've noticed. Don't save questions for the end Once your doctor is halfway out the door, he or she is already thinking about the next patient.
Explain what you can afford Most doctors don't have a clue about patients' out-of-pocket costs. Have that end-of-life discussion Talk to your family about what you want done when you are near death, and make sure your doctor is aware of those wishes. Don't go it alone Bringing a loved one or family member to your medical visits can help ensure that the doctor listens to you and answers your questions.
Don't be afraid to make a switch If your doctor rushes through visits, doesn't address your questions or fails to listen to you without interrupting, look for a new physician. Amy Paturel is a health and science writer who lives in California. The Latest On Health 11 surprising heart attack triggers 6 surprisingly germy places What will you pay for Medicare in ?
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See All. Pill Identifier This tool helps you identify your pills by color, shape and markings. National Hearing Test Members can take a free confidential hearing test by phone. Join or Renew Today! Travel Tips Vacation Ideas Destinations. Rest assured there are plenty of doctors who care about building good relationships with their patients. The successful practices are those who can communicate and form genuine relationships with their patients. Physicians who are unable to learn how to communicate find themselves not getting reimbursed as much and their practices dwindling.
Choosing the right doctor is important. Learn more about family doctors, primary care practitioners PCP , and internists. Keep reading to learn more about some common doctors you may need to see in your lifetime. Collagen is an essential building block for the entire body, from skin to gut, and more.
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If your take on meditation is that it's boring or too "new age," then read this. One man shares how - and why - he learned to meditate even though he…. Eliminate redundant, non-contributory functions. Get professional help if necessary to identify them, but be careful. Many practice management consultants are process-oriented and don't focus enough on outcome.
Using forms for histories, physicals and progress notes should reduce documentation time. Use check-off forms where practical to avoid writing — for instance a well-designed prescription form for your 15 most frequently prescribed medications, if that makes sense for your practice. Critically evaluate new services and equipment. Don't start a new service or buy a major equipment item without a cost-benefit analysis. You'll need to make assumptions about anticipated volume and the cost of delivering the service, but don't shy away from the work.
These investments can produce poor results and can occasion disputes among the practice owners, so make sure you know what you are getting into before you make the leap. Be cautious with small payer groups. Some health plans and IPAs may not be adequately capitalized, and their administrative burden is often heavy.
If they only have a few patients for you, make them convince you that the contract is worth the trouble —and don't be easily convinced. We often find practices with dozens of contracts producing little volume but bringing with them the same credentialing hassles and other administrative chores as big contracts.
Form a group. Or, if you don't want to form one, join one. A well-organized and well-managed group provides the greatest probability of effective management.
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A well-managed group will produce higher physician incomes for the same amount of business. Expenses may increase, but resource utilization should improve. An efficient group should have at least six or seven physicians or have the potential to grow to that size in the near term. A group of six or seven can afford better infrastructure, technology and facilities, and it can offer increased leverage in negotiating with health plans. Some of the savings come from consolidation of practice sites, which also helps the group provide office hours in keeping with community expectations.
Groups without walls tend to be poorly conceived and generally produce disappointing results. If you can't bring yourself to consolidate into a true group, you might just as well stay solo. Chances are good that your practice expenses are higher than they need to be and your revenues lower than they could be.
The potential might be there for as much as a percent increase in net income. Taking action can enhance the bottom line, and that becomes increasingly important as managed care penetrates your market. If you manage your resources effectively, you will be better positioned to manage risks as risk-sharing opportunities come up.
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Knowing your costs, taking action to improve your effectiveness and making the best use of your staff will make your practice more rewarding — and not just economically. But economically, it will help you generate a better bottom line and make you more attractive to newer patients and health plans.
Certainly, some of the ideas I have advanced here won't be practicable in some settings.
But if you intend to practice for more than three to five more years, I strongly recommend that you take a hard look at the market and what will be required to sustain financial viability. Change will occur in the health care marketplace whether you take the initiative or not, but taking the initiative to position your practice pays dividends. I believe that the best practice organizations are physician-driven. If you agree, I urge you to make changes in anticipation of the evolving market, not in reaction.
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