Posts Tagged ‘Health’

What will your practice (or business) look like at the end of 2012?

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

 

Brian Tracy

Cover of Brian Tracy

What will your practice look like at the end of 2013?

What changes will you make to the practice? Will those changes buy you more free time? A better team? Less headaches? New services? Better clinical care? Better customer service? Better revenues? Better bank financing? Better strategic alliances? More fame?

Or will you simply do more of the same and hope that things will become better over time? Hint: they wont, they usually get worse.

What changes will you make personally in 2013? Will you get in better physical shape? Will you take better care of your money? Will you become personally more organized? Will you become a better partner in your romantic relationships? Will you discover new friendships? Will you get more involved in giving back?

How will you balance out your 6 human needs? Every human being needs:

  • Certainty that things will be all right
  • Variety so you don’t get bored
  • Significance, the concept you are a worthwhile person
  • Love and connection
  • Growth
  • Contribution to others

Find out where you are weakest and try to improve that area. If you want to be succesful and happy, you must grow and contribute. Otherwise, let’s face facts,  you are just mailing it in.

One last thing. Brian Tracy asks a great question, “What has to happen in 2013 for you to say it was an amazing year?” Answer that question and go to work on it every single day of the year. Then it really will be a great year!

David Zahaluk, MD is a revenue enhancement specialist for doctors and the author of “The Ultimate Practice Building Book.”

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Get out of the way!

Saturday, March 31st, 2012
NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 02:  Lars Eller #81 of t...

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You are in the way of your practice growth. Face it, if your practice is 3 years old or more, it’s not going to change unless someone (probably from the outside) brings in new people or new processes or both.

Try this exercise. Figure out your practice profit from 2011. Now multiply by ten. What would you have to do to acheive that? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Hire more providers in your specialty
  • Hire more providers in a different specialty that complements yours
  • Answer your phone more effectively
  • Code better
  • Bill and collect better
  • Acquire another practice
  • Start a new location
  • Bring new ancillary services into your practice
  • Start a cash pay practice option with affordable monthly payments
  • Reactivate inactive patients
  • Get current patients to refer
  • Get other doctors to refer to you
  • Get current patients to follow up better

Once you choose a strategy to get your revenue up, someone has to be responsible for the implementation – it has to be their primary job, no excuses. You probably are the provider, the marketing director and the executive in charge of practice development. If you needed your heart valve replaced, would you go to see the cardiovascular surgeon who is also an ObGyn and a rheumatologist? Put the best people in the key seats in your organization.

David Zahaluk, MD is a revenue enhancement specialist for doctors and the author of “The Ultimate Practice Building Book.”
This Horrid Practice

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Holy cow I can’t believe how much that is costing me!

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Robbery (film)

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That is what you will probably say when I expose the debacle that is your front office. I’m telling you it is ugly. Here’s why:

1. Finding good help is harder than ever. Turns out a generation fed a physical and mental diet of junk food is not as hardy as we would like to think. This generation of workers is hard to train and hard to motivate. Bemoan it if you will, that is the fact.

2. In one office, we counted 5 patients a day were lost to the scheduling process. Mainly it was calls answered too slowly or lost to voice mail. At $150/encounter, that is costing the office  $198,000 per year. Houston… we have a problem.

3. Nice guy/gal front office people don’t want to collcet deductibles/copays diligently at the time of service. They are too busy trying to be best friends with your patients. I don’t know anybody that wants to pay me to be their friend. If I did, I would immediately stop associating with them. Easily this is costing you $25,000-$50,0o0 per year.

Can you afford this much waste? Are you operating a charity clinic – intentionally or otherwise?

Look, you simply can’t afford to have your front office staff set the bar for your success. Measure their progress, train them and get rid of them if they can’t get it together.

Or better yet, get smart and outsource this training/measurement/management function to us so you can sleep at night. And pay your bills too.

Seriously, dude, get on this.

David Zahaluk, MD is a Dallas-based practice optimization expert and the author of The Ultimate Practice Building Book.  His firm, Ultimate Practice Builder, takes physicians to the top 10% of their specialty – in income, time off and quality indicators - within 3 years… guaranteed.  Learn more at www.UltimatePracticeBuilder.com.

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End of Q3

Friday, September 30th, 2011
Goal!

We are at the end of the third quarter of 2011. What was your revenue goal for 2011? You should be 3/4 of the way there. Are you?

Are you as excited about building your practice as you are about your kid’s soccer game? Are you excited about your financial future?

If you’re not, I’ll bet I know why. I’ll bet it’s because you don’t feel 100% certain you can get to where you want to be. Maybe you feel other doctors are good at having a successful practice, but not you. Maybe you feel other doctors are better at dealing with money than you are.

If that describes you, I want to break you of that thought pattern. You can have a financially succesful practice. I’ve helped lots of doctors increase their profits dramatically. It’s not really all that complicated. I have a vision of how to grow practice revenue and I have the confidence to know that it can be done.  That’s the only difference between having a successful practice and financial life and not having them.

Here’s the big question: Will you accept help? Will you say yes to more money and less stress or will you bar the door to positive change? I’m OK with whatever answer you come up with. Are you OK with your answer?

David Zahaluk, MD is a Dallas-based practice optimization expert and the author of The Ultimate Practice Building Book.  His firm, Ultimate Practice Builder, takes physicians to the top 10% of their specialty – in income, time off and quality indicators - within 3 years… guaranteed.  Learn more at www.UltimatePracticeBuilder.com.

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Your Most Underutilized Asset

Saturday, September 17th, 2011
Image of the insula

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Your subconscious mind is an amazingly powerful tool to help you reach your goals.  Whatever you’re struggling with, whatever your stuck on your subconscious mind has the creative genius to help you find the answer.

Here’s a way to use your subconscious mind:

Choose a list of 10 goals you would like to accomplish within the next year. Every day write down the same list of goals in the first person stated as though they were already accomplished by a certain date.

Don’t say “I want to quit smoking.”  Instead say, “I am a non-smoker by December 1, 2009.”  Or say “I earn $300,000 annualized net income from my practice by March 1, 2012.”

Your subconscious mind lacks the ability to refute these messages.  It takes these statements as fact and goes to work trying to resolve the tension between our current and future reality.

David Zahaluk, MD is a Dallas-based practice optimization expert and the author of The Ultimate Practice Building Book.  His firm, Ultimate Practice Builder, takes physicians to the top 10% of their specialty – in income, time off and quality indicators - within 3 years… guaranteed.  Learn more at www.UltimatePracticeBuilder.com.

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Would you do this?

Monday, August 22nd, 2011
Artie Lange at a FYE in Glendale, California

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A little while ago I was listening to the Howard Stern Show and I heard a segment featuring a clincial psychologist that did a standardized psychological inventory on the show members to see who was the craziest. It was a fascinating look into the psyches of radio’s quintessential dysfunctional family.

The show was a huge success and it crashed the doctor’s website. When I finally could get onto the psychologist‘s website I found the name of her publicist. So I emailed her and called her up. Our conversation went well and I’m flying to Beverly Hills to meet with her next week to discuss projects we might work on.

Will it lead anywhere? I don’t know. There is a good chance it may be a waste of time. But I do know this – nothing is better for your business/practice than publicity. And as Wayne Gretzky says, “100% of the shots you don’t take don’t go in”.

Are you aggressive enough in ethically exploiting the good opportunities that pass you by every day?

David Zahaluk, MD is a Dallas-based practice optimization expert and the author of The Ultimate Practice Building Book.  His firm, Ultimate Practice Builder, takes physicians to the top 10% of their specialty – in income, time off and quality indicators - within 3 years… guaranteed.  Learn more at www.UltimatePracticeBuilder.com.

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Personal Productivity

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Here’s a tip from business expert Chet Holmes. Put only 6 things on your daily to do list. Make sure that those 6 things will move your practice forward in a significant way – and that it is consistent with your overall practice plan.

And here’s one more from me. Schedule time to work on your to do list away from direct patient care. Working on business growth requires getting into the right frame of mind. Many high value tasks require a different type of thinking than clinical care dictates. It doesn’t take many knocks on the door or phone calls to take me right out of that mental state. First thing in the morning before everyone gets there works best. Even though I’m not a morning person I’ve found it necessary to develop the discipline to work when the getting’s good.

David Zahaluk, MD is a Dallas-based practice optimization expert and the author of The Ultimate Practice Building Book.  His firm, Ultimate Practice Builder, takes physicians to the top 10% of their specialty – in income, time off and quality indicators - within 3 years… guaranteed.  Learn more at www.UltimatePracticeBuilder.com.

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The low hanging fruit

Monday, August 8th, 2011
Apple of Sodom;

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What is the “low hanging fruit” in your practice? By that I mean what is the opportunity to improve your practice that is ripe for the picking? What could raise the revenue in your practice without a lot of time, energy and money expended?

I know some of you think that making money is a crass subject that is completely beneath you. To those select few I have an important message: “Wake up!”

If you do not do everything you can to service your patients‘ health needs you are doing them a complete disservice. And if you think they are only patronizing your services perhaps you are likewise deluding yourself.

As a physician, you have to ask yourself how you can best help your patients to maximum health. But as a business person you have to ask yourself a completely different question – What can I do to raise revenue? As long as the answer to the second question does not conflict with the first, you have every reason to move forward with vigor.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Improve billing processes and personnel
  • Raise more capital and add more providers to your team
  • Improve patient retention and reactivation
  • Run TV and radio ads
  • Revise your website to be a patient capture site
  • Do weekly staff training
  • Bring in ancillary services
  • Start a medical village concept
  • Do public speaking
  • Start a wellness program

David Zahaluk, MD is a Dallas-based practice optimization expert and the author of The Ultimate Practice Building Book.  His firm, Ultimate Practice Builder, takes physicians to the top 10% of their specialty – in income, time off and quality indicators - within 3 years… guaranteed.  Learn more at www.UltimatePracticeBuilder.com.

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Trends in the business of medicine

Monday, July 25th, 2011
WAIMEA, HAWAII - DECEMBER 8:  Six surfers drop...

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There are three big trends going on in medical business practice:

1. Online health records and medical community portals

2. Aggregation to be part of a larger group

3. Corporate wellness

All 3 are huge waves to increase revenue and simplify practice workflows. Which wave are you on and what is your practice goal in participating.

David Zahaluk, MD is a Dallas-based practice optimization expert and the author of The Ultimate Practice Building Book.  His firm, Ultimate Practice Builder, takes physicians to the top 10% of their specialty – in income, time off and quality indicators - within 3 years… guaranteed.  Learn more at www.UltimatePracticeBuilder.com.

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Shhh!… its a secret

Friday, May 20th, 2011
AURORA, CO - JULY 22:  Dental hygienist Pam Me...

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For some reason this is an apparently little understood concept in medical marketing. And I’m the kind of big mouth that loves to expose secrets like this.

It’s called “word of mouth“. You may have heard the term, but do you know how to use it? I see few examples of doctors making effective use of this critical concept. It’s one of the most imporotant things you can track in your medical marketing. But how can you measure what you can’t understand or influence?

I take the position that it can be managed and measured. Let me give you an example. I recently participated at a free school physical event put on by a local hospital. Throngs of students put through an assembly line of coughing and head-turning. The 2.5 hour event resulted in one new patient within the same week.

First of all, I deserve massive credit for keeping numbers on these things. Do you track sources of new patients? You should if you don’t. But here’s the more interesting part. Total visits increased as well compared to the same period a year earlier – by 15%.

Why? Random variation? Or did the event start a conversation about our practice. Did it remind existing pateints why they like us and to come in for a problem they have been neglecting? Did it trigger existing patients to recommend a friend to see us?

This is how to think about the new marketing and advertising, although it is not new at all. Don’t think impressions, think conversations that happen after they meet you or encounter your message. And find ways to track the resulting lift.

Come on, you’re all scientists anyway. You’d get all excited if this were a virus that you were tracking epidemiologically. This is the same thing but instead of a virus, it’s a conversation . Show the appropriate interest in the things that attract patients to your business.  

The old dental joke is “Ignore your teeth and they will just go away”. The same thing could be said about the patients in your practice.

If you need help engineering word of mouth into your practice we just happen to have proprietary, proven, kick-butt, make-you-stand-out-in-the-crowd-of-doctor-sameness methodologies that will do wonders for your practice. 

David Zahaluk, MD is a practice optimization expert and the author of The Ultimate Practice Building Book.  His firm, Ultimate Practice Builder, takes physicians to the top 10% of their specialty – in income, time off and quality indicators - within 3 years… guaranteed.  Learn more at www.UltimatePracticeBuilder.com.

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