Medical Economics

Magazine has information and advice for physicians on how to manage their practices and current healthcare landscape.

Articles from Vol. 76, No. 3, February 8

25 Ways to Drive Your Staff Crazy
By following these simple guidelines, you can single-handedly alienate your employees and wreck productivity. Want to know how to help your office run more smoothly? Just read the following suggestionsand then do the opposite. This list may sound tongue-in-cheek,...
Answers to Your Tax Questions
Calculating a car's depreciated cost basis Home-sale profits Education IRAs Figuring tax on dividend income Business-travel expenses Deducting auto-registration fees Q I sold my 4-year-old business car last year and have to figure my gain or loss on...
Can You Do It Yourself?
With today's software, preparing your own return is easier than you might think. Even if you know less about taxes than about insects in Samoa, you can prepare your own tax return like a pro with today's software. We can't promise you'll have fun, but...
Did a Pretrial Drama Help Our Malpractice Defense?
In full view of potential jurors, two doctors rendered emergency care to a stricken man. The hardest part of being a defendant is not looking back when you're sitting in court. At least that's how it seemed during jury selection for my first-ever malpractice...
Do Yourself a Favor-Take Care of Nursing-Home Patients
If you don't, you're missing one of the most rewarding ways to practice medicine, says the author (at left). He shares his time-saving tips-and some advice on coding There are lots of reasons doctors say No to taking care of nursing-home patients-low...
Gurney F. Pearsall, MD: Giving Kids a Head Start on Health
Kellye Singletary's first encounter with Houston pediatrician Gurney F. Pearsall left her in tears. Kellye was an infant, and Pearsall gave her inoculations that made her howl. But not too many years later, she adopted Pearsall as her role model and...
How to Whip Your Return into Shape
There are still many ways to make mistakesand to save money. Let's check out both. Whenever Congress revises the tax code, there's plenty of news about it. And in tax season, you may be overwhelmed by all the breathless media stories. But in 1998, no...
Imitations of Mortality
Although still healthy and active, the author has drawn up a health-care power of attorneyjust in case. recently became eligible for Medicare, but I don't feel a day over 35; 40 at most. Okay, 50, tops. To deal with life, I refuse to look at it realistically....
Is Medicare in Worse Shape Than We Think?
Surgeon-senator Bill Frist reviews the findings of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. If Bill Frist, a thoracic surgeon and firstterm Republican senator from Tennessee, were to run against fellow Tennessean Al Gore, Frist would...
Letters to the Editors
On withdrawing care from terminal patients FP John Egerton recounts an episode in which he admitted a critically ill 23-year-old woman to the hospital and fought with an ICU specialist to provide her care ["We did `too much' for this patient. Good for...
Malpractice Consult
When a patient can't be found Q: I dismissed a noncompliant patient from my practice by letter, sent via certified mail Prior to sending the letter, my office staff confirmed the address in a phone conversation with the patient. The letter was returned...
Midlevel Providers: Making Their Mark in Doctors' Offices
Our Continuing Survey shows a strong presence of NPs and PAs in physician practices. Expect that trend to accelerate. There's no question that more and more physicians are choosing to " work with midlevel providers. The number of physician assistants...
Money Management
A taxwise way to leave stock to your spouse Q My wife and I hold a brokerage account jointly, so when one of us dies, the other will get immediate control of it, without having to go to court. But my broker suggests I register my stocks in TOD form,...
Money Moves to Make When You're Expecting a Child
Children are priceless. Raising them is another matter. The US Department of Agriculture estimates that a baby born in 1997 will cost its parents $353,130 to rear through age 17 (housing, food, and transportation are the three most expensive items)....
Our Model Portfolios: So Far, So Good (Mostly)
Last summer, we asked three investment pros to tell us how they would invest $50,000. Then the market went wild. What happened? "The five-year portfolio has less exposure to the equity markets. So it wasn't hit as hard by the August correction as the...
Practice Management
Will late-payment penalties hurt vour practice? Q My practice sends reminder notices to patients who haven't settled their accounts within 30 days; additional reminders go out every three weeks afterward. For each bill we resend, may we assess a $1 fee...
Prepare to Meet Your Preparer
No matter how good your accountant is, he'll be only as helpful as the records and information you give him. Still haven't sorted through the receipts, log books, and other documentation needed to do your tax return? You may be throwing away money. Every...
Redemption Fees: More Annoying Than Effective
Mutual-fund redemption fees are supposed to discourage shareholders from jumping ship when the financial tides turn choppy. Investors, the thinking goes, will hesitate to abandon a fund if they have to pay an exit fee. As a result, investors who stay...
Warning from Dallas: Doctors, Grab Your Slingshots!
Aetna is becoming a health insurance Goliath. Do physicians have a fighting chance? Since October, when their dispute first drew national attention, Aetna U.S. Healthcare and Dallasbased Genesis Physicians Practice Association have met several times...
What Kind of Patient Would Rather See a Nurse Practitioner?
Answer: one who seeks equal footing with a primary-care provider. Should you feel threatened? The 1997 announcement that Oxford Health Plans would use advanced-practice nurses as primary-care providers-and pay them on a par with physicians-caused quite...
When to File an Amended Return-And When Not To
You could reap substantial savings. You could also open a Pandora's box. Let's say that several months after filing your 1997 tax return, you found an overlooked 1099 form from a mutual fund. It showed $6,000 of capital gains and dividends on shares...
Who Will Speak for Doctors?
In America, the political challenge of the present is to find people without a past who can lead us into the future. That's no easy task, given the bad movie we've all been living through over the past year. Who among the leading actors and actresses...
You and Midlevel Providers-A Good Fit?
Not every doctor is comfortable working with an NP, PA, or nurse midwife. But for those who are, the benefits can be substantial Some primary-care doctors swear by midlevel providers; others swear at them. As the Medical Economics Continuing Survey makes...