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Beth Thomas Hertz
Financing practice improvements the right way
Patients appreciate physician offices that look fresh and employ the latest technology, but these features can be expensive. For a physician in a solo or small-group practice, keeping up can mean taking on debt, and all the planning and tough decisions that entails.
After SGR: Physician pay facing a value-driven future
The annual battle over the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula has come to an end. But the program that replaces it will be Medicare’s leap into the world of value-based payment and risk sharing, and the resulting changes will have a massive impact on how physicians are reimbursed.
Insurers raise questions about medical device approval process
Insurers have raised concerns about the regulation and approval process of medical devices in the wake of a recent advisory notice issued by the FDA on the risks of laparoscopic power morcellators.
Managing conflict with patients
Saying no to a patient request can be a challenge. Physicians strive to maintain good relationships with patients, while not wanting to agree to anything not medically indicated. While this is certainly not a new problem, it is likely expanding due to inaccurate information on the Internet and direct-to-consumer advertising can increase patient requests for specific things.
Why empathy may be the best risk management strategy
Thirty-six states have “apology laws” that prohibit certain statements or expressions of sympathy by a physician from being admissible in a lawsuit. Experts in the field say that while the laws may help some physicians feel more comfortable about expressing empathy, they aren’t really necessary to avoid lawsuits. Instead, good patient-physician relationships and open disclosure are the keys to responding successfully to a bad outcome.
Referrals and liability: What primary care physicians need to know
Primary care physicians (PCPs) often refer patients to specialists when they face a complicated or perplexing diagnosis, or one that is beyond their purview. But is that always the right decision for the patient? Some experts say that it absolutely is, but others say knowing the patient is more valuable than being an expert in one specific area.
Moonlighting: Physicians expand income, experience by taking on secondary employment
A Medical Economics survey found nearly one-third of physicians earn a secondary income. Here's why more physicians are taking jobs outside of their practice.
Helping patients improve medication adherence
Many patients don’t take their medications as prescribed, but experts say there are ways to help fix that problem.
Treating hepatitis C means expanded role for primary care
What screening recommendations and the arrival of new—but expensive—treatments means for primary care practices
Ways to optimize EHR documentation at your medical practice
Electronic health record (EHR) systems are built to help physicians improve their practices. But EHRs may also come between a physician and a patient during an encounter. Voice recognition software and scribes may help optimize your documentation.

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