NCMS Director of Programs and Practice Management, Franklin Walker, provided participants with the basic essentials to sustaining financial stability within a medical practice. Franklin discussed the multiple steps of an effective business plan, budgets, revenue, and expenses. He also highlighted the red flags associated with practice management that physicians and their staff should be aware of. At the conclusion of the presentation, attendees reviewed the “Regional Healthcare – planning for a healthy financial future” case study, which provided a real life example of what can impact a practice’s financial climate. With this exercise, Franklin created a budgeting tool for practices to follow each year to avoid negative financial situations.
Physicians and physician assistants who attended the session also were given an update regarding EHR technology. Terri Gonzalez, NCMS Director of Practice Improvement, compared the different requirements for meeting Stage 1 Meaningful Use and becoming Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognized. She noted the importance of meeting Meaningful Use as more requirements are being put in place. Through an extensive summary, Terri provided participants with a greater understanding of each program by explaining that, contrary to what many practices think, meeting Meaningful Use is one small portion of becoming PCMH recognized.
Ray Coppedge, Executive Director of Key Physicians, a Medical Home Network, informed participants about his practice’s transition and goals as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and an Independent Physician Organization. Key Physicians collaboratively works to connect with the medical community in order to improve health care delivery. Mr. Coppedge told attendees that the practice credits the use of a practice tool that allows physicians and their staff to review quality measures and to interact with patients on a timelier basis. Key Physicians is built on a business plan with a well-formed revenue model that will allow the practice to move toward exclusive clinical integration.
Speaker Marianne Jackson, MD, MPH, Senior Management Engineer Performance Improvement at UNC Healthcare, provided information about Lean Healthcare. She conducted an exercise showcasing value stream mapping, a technique used to diagram every step involved in patient interaction and information flow. Dr. Jackson uses this method to provide more streamlined care to her patients. Stream mapping allows physicians to document these steps, see what is inefficient with the processes, and make the necessary changes to improve care.
As social media becomes a constant within the professional community, being aware of how to best utilize these tools is beneficial to medical practices. Amanda Kanaan, President and Medical Marketing Specialist of WhiteCoat Designs, spoke with attendees about how to effectively manage their practice website and social media. Statistics show that a majority of consumers are “e-patients” who turn to the internet for information about medical care. Having a sound and credible website will increase patient visits and build a presence in the community. Ms. Kanaan provided attendees with a step-by-step overview of how to improve their virtual markets. WhiteCoat Designs offers medical website design, online marketing, and physician liaison services to increase referrals for practices across North Carolina.
The NCMS and NCMS Foundation would like to thank the following physicians and physician assistants from CPP and the North Carolina Psychiatric Association for taking part in this session: Tami Lee, PA-C; Angel Polidoro, DO; Karrie Stansfield, MD, FAAP; Noah Wichman, PA-C; Alycia Brown, MD; Michael E. Smith, MD; Gratiela Zbarcea, MD; and Diana Roberson, MD.
Practice Management 101 is a great opportunity for physicians to learn more about the elements associated with practice management. The NCMS will be holding a second session at the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians (NCAFP) Winter Family Physicians Weekend from November 29 – December 2, 2012, Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC. For more information about the consulting services available through the NCMS and associated member discounts, call NCMS at 800-722-1350.