Enhance Your Practice

Knowing how to manage your practice effectively can improve efficiency, satisfaction, and the bottom line. That’s why TAFP has created a new section of the blog dedicated to practice management. We started by collecting all of our practice management articles published in Texas Family Physician, TAFP’s quarterly magazine. The articles feature a variety of topics, from how to deal with recovery audit contractors to transitioning to EMRs.

Many of these articles are authored by Bradley Reiner, owner of Reiner Consulting and Associates and TAFP practice management consultant. Reiner has worked with physicians to improve their practices for 15 years, with 10 years spent at the Texas Medical Association. With TAFP, he serves as a resource to staff and members. Contact Bradley Reiner by phone at (512) 858-1570 or e-mail at breiner@austin.rr.com.

We will continue to expand this section with resources from AAFP and its publications. We’d also like to hear from you; share a practice pearl or tell us your pressing practice management questions that you want us to investigate. Send your best practice stories and inquiries to tafp@tafp.org.

Practice management articles from TEXAS FAMILY PHYSICIAN

>>“Ready or not, Recovery Audit Contractors are coming”
By Bradley K. Reiner, published fall 2010

Practices large and small will be affected by a RAC audit sooner or later. Learn how the program works, how to minimize the risk of being audited, and what to do if you are.

>>“The documentation challenge—Do you pass the test?”
By Bradley K. Reiner, published spring 2010

Many physicians make mistakes when it comes to correctly documenting their services, which can lead to expensive and frustrating reviews. Following guidelines, writing clearly, and choosing the appropriate code are some of the most frequent documentation problems physicians have.

>>“Case study: Five questions for improving your practice”
By Bradley K. Reiner, published winter 2010

Problems affecting the office staff can prevent your practice from thriving. Improving your practice can start with analyzing these questions and asking your staff for ideas.

>>“How to get out of the office by 5:30 p.m. every day”
By Melissa Gerdes, M.D., private practice physician in Whitehouse, Texas, published winter 2010                       

Good time management and keeping a schedule are key to getting out of the office on time.

>>Seven myths of practice management”
By Bradley K. Reiner, published fall 2009

Physicians’ ideas on documentation, RAC, and other business matters can be flawed. Knowing how to manage your practice correctly can save you money and frustration. Have you been tricked by these seven myths?

>>“EMR: Friend or foe?”
By Bradley K. Reiner, published summer 2009

From organizing the office, assisting with coding and improving patient communication, EMRs can improve the efficiency of your practice in a variety of ways. Keeping the staff involved and taking your time to choose a model can make for a smooth transition to EMR.

>>“Opening up your schedule: How to switch your practice to open-access scheduling”
By Gail Jones, manager of practice management, AAFP Professional Support Division, published spring 2009

Allowing patients to make same-day appointments can increase their satisfaction by decreasing wait times and making your schedule fit with theirs. Open-access scheduling can be implemented to varying degrees, each with their own pros and cons.

>>“Recovery audit contractors: Are you ready for the RAC?”
By Bradley K. Reiner, published winter 2009

Being prepared for a RAC review can make a difference in the outcome of the audit. Reviewing important documents, like claims and records, and setting up a RAC compliance plan will help your practice prevent auditing problems before they happen.

>>“E-prescribing decoded”
By Bradley K. Reiner, published fall 2008

Congress is giving incentive bonuses for practices that write prescriptions electronically. But spotty pharmacy access to the technology, EMR requirements and limits on some prescriptions show that many problems need to be solved before prescribing can be made easy.

>>“Look before you leap with medical billing services”
By Bradley K. Reiner, published summer 2008

Medical billing services seem like a convenient option for physicians who don’t want to deal with the business side of their practice. However, these services can cause more harm than good unless constantly kept in check with frequent reviews, audits, and meetings.

>>“How to find and retain great medical office staff”
By Bradley K. Reiner, published spring 2009

Using a variety of resources can help you find a great staff and keep them on board. Checking local medical training schools for applicants, having good interview skills and showing staff appreciation for a job well done are all ways to improve hiring and retention.

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