The business of medicine

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by DrMattOglesby, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. DrMattOglesby

    DrMattOglesby Grand Master
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    I have been researching the state of healthcare for a while now and noticed that many physicians seem quite adept at the art of medicine but suffer when it comes down to "taking care business."
    As incoming students and recent graduates, what have you all done to prepare yourselves for this aspect of medicine?
     
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  3. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me

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    I have a degree in Information Science Technology. My program focused on management, project design, leadership, and general entrepreneurship. That is my major training. I think many doctors are poor at that side of the equation because they have been pinned down in the sciences. The science curriculum is not very good at crafting leadership roles in the business world. It is great at crafting researchers and people who can get lost in that. I rarely hear "leadership" or business words used in science.

    Honestly, the key is to find someone that is an "A" at doing their job. The current state of medicine, it is just much too hard to have your finger in all the pies. You have to learn solid management techniques and find the best people for the job. Let them do what they are best at doing. State your goals for the practice and stay active in them, but don't micromanage. Odds are, the financial guy/gal you hire will be much better for that part...unless they are dirty thieves.
     
  4. EEL08

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    I married a man with an MBA. Problem solved. ;)
     
  5. Kateb4

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    I just went and worked as a medical office manager for a number of years. Now, I know the value of having a good office manager! Oh yeah, I also ran an IT business with my husband (still doing that a little) so I'd have to say that I'll be more involved in the business end than most doctors are likely to be!
     
  6. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering

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    Have a degree in economics and ran my own business for a little while.
     
  7. andexterouss

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    I'm self-employed and have been so for 3 years so I think I know a thing or two about business and customer satisfaction. I know a doctor that outsources all his medical transcription abroad. That saves him quite a bit of money yearly. I'm sure there are other loopholes doctors circumvent to save a box.
     
  8. Kateb4

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    There are alot of companies now that you can outsource things like your billing and insurance claims to so you don't have to really deal with that pain if you just want to be practicing medicine. However, these companies charge a pretty hefty fee and you are then putting that onto your patients as well, so unless you just really want nothing to do with insurance claims and patient billing, they are not really cost effective.

    Really, I think that if you want to be able to effectively practice medicine, you need to be able to remove yourself from the business and hire someone that you trust to run the business (of course you need to keep involved, but the medicine should be first for the doctor). There are some great practice managements softwares out there now that simplify things like billing and medical records. Also, alot of hospital systems provide services to their attending doctors at discounted rates like transcription and billing.

    There are really so many resources available, as long as you keep involved and plan ahead you will be fine.
     
  9. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus

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    There are some aspects of the "business" of medicine and the "politics" of medicine that you probably won't realize until you start doing clinical things. When you are writing on a chart, for instance, you actually have to be thinking about things like reimbursement because if you don't document things right, you wont get paid for it. If you order a test without documenting the problem well enough-- and to the insurance company's standards-- you don't get paid for it. When you have a patient in the hospital and you dictate the discharge summary, for instance, you can cost the hospital a lot of money by not doing it right. I'm fortunate in that I'm working with a group of hospitalists who know coding like the back of their hand. They know what you have to do to get reimbursed well. They typically pull in 40% more for their patients than any other group because they know how the system works. Their patients also leave the hospital a half day earlier than everyone elses's, freeing up the beds for other patients. The hospital absolutely loves them because they lose money on many other patients. In return, when they ask the hospital for something, they typically get it. They asked the hospital to fund a years subcription for Uptodate (BTW, you need to use this a lot for PBL) and the hospital never balked at the money.

    That's part of the money game, and a big part of the political game that you have to learn to deal with. The bottom line is what's best for your patient, though. Sometimes you have to find a reason to keep a patient one more night because Medicare won't pay for rehab unless the patient is in for three nights, for example. There's so much more to medicine than just "medicine," and most new docs aren't prepared for it. If you really want to survive, you have to learn how things work and, sometimes, how to manipulate them to yours or your patient's advantage. It's shame sometimes....but that's the way it is.
     
  10. andexterouss

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    Maybe. But the doctor doesn't have to pay benefits, medical insurance and other add-ons as he would for a full-time staff at his practice. Those things cost a lot.
     
  11. roc

    roc

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    I think it just depends on personality of the person. Some people let things let it be or business sense is not their concern. "as long as I get a big fat check, pay bills on-time, and save little, it is good enough for me."

    Others are very business savvy and always want to gain an edge for every dollar they earn/save/spend. I seriously think it all depends on how you see things.

    But as healthcare gets more restricted with constant battles with insurance companies, physician will be forced to learn more about things they avoided and run their practice like a fine-tuned company.

    For many reasons, people are almost afraid of doing anything related to business or finance. They think of the heavy losses or getting into things they do not feel comfortable with. I dont think some class in medical school will instantly help you understand. maybe they can do a class based on case studies and how medical practice increased their revenues over learning definitions from a textbook. Not to mention learn about management, marketing, accounting, and bringing efficiency to your practice.

    By the time our time roles around in the real world, thing will have changed including how coding practices are followed. The best way to learn will be through keeping open ears, learning from mistakes, and ability to do necessary trenchwork to make it happen.



    For start, go to a great website: poormd.blogspot.com
     
    #10 roc, Jun 22, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008
  12. Lamborghini1315

    Lamborghini1315 Sleep deprived

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    haha now that's smart:thumbup:
     
  13. Lamborghini1315

    Lamborghini1315 Sleep deprived

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    good stuff, like to hear more from others about their clinical experience...
     
  14. OCHO

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    I just about finished up a MBA in Health Care Management. This way I will have the opportunity to understand or be savvy enough to know how to build a business or future once I am finished with med-school. Also, it will give me the opportunity to take command sooner rather than later as a military doctor.
     

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