Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

December 28, 2019


To start, wishing everyone Happy Holidays to you and your families!  I've spent the past two weeks with my family without childcare, hence the void of material in this forum.  I am reminded that contemplation/reflection is an art reserved for those not under the constant barrage of [fill in the blank] but for me the past two weeks it was "MOMMY!".  Which brings me to my end of  2019 sentiments  and wishes for 2020.  TIME.  For each of us it is one of our most finite measures.  Each of us can use our time somewhat more efficiently and to each the measure is different.  As related to our practices, many of us are fighting against a system of additional administrative hurdles, amplified by entrusting solutions to what we find are still inefficient costly technologies.   We are still groping around in the dark.  For example, 2019 was another year I spent resolving failed relationships with EMR, billing, IT, marketing and recruiting relationships.   As related to the EMR, billing and IT specifically, those vendors over promised and under-delivered in each instance.  Sometimes the noted deficiency was on the human end, sometimes the noted deficiency was on the technology end.  In each instance time (and money) was wasted by my provider client handling the deficiency and in extricating from the relationship.

The benefit of my insight is educating on areas of innovation the innovators in our field are making.   With private practice, the thought leaders are focusing on time management - Patient Flow, Efficient Provider Staffing, Effective Use of Mid-Level Providers, Post-Visit Follow up for qualitative and scheduling purposes.   Each of those areas are impossible to evaluate without TIME and data.  Is now the time to bring on a mid-level or even hire a new doctor?  Many of us struggle with that question.  How many new visits are you missing out on or follow up are you now able to handle or are you missing out on?  Is patient care optimized?  Are we properly documenting and billing for services?  (Many practices under treat and under bill for services.) Most practices are not able to properly capture data on these questions.  Most, no matter the size, do not have the excellent staff needed to work through these issues for them.  So then how can you effectuate?   

Here is the positive - almost everyone reading employs people and has vendors assisting in their practice.  For 2020 I am looking to motivate you to effectively utilize your infrastructure to allocate their time more efficiently for you.   Let's set the training standard necessary for your staff on issues such as patient follow up and pulling reports (to the extent you have the capability in house) (I'm happy to establish policies and train for you if you prefer to outsource for message and to save you TIME).  Let's put the process in writing, train on it, and hold staff to it.   Next, please email your vendors and set up 2020 Goal meetings, if you have not already done so.  Set them to task for regular reports.  You are likely paying for this functionality from your EMR and billing company already.   

Also, I'd like to hear from you on thoughts/recommendations I can share for your colleagues.  Do you have any recommendations for your colleagues?  I am happy to share anonymously.  

Hope this message is well and timely received.  Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year!