Medical Economics

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

Articles from Vol. 73, No. 19, October 14

Are PODS the Way to Go?
These new physician-governed organizations enable doctors to bear risk with people they trust their colleagues. It's a conundrum: If doctors want to regain control of clinical decision-making and also get their fair share of healthcare profits, they'll...
Book Publishing the Old-Fashioned Way
he traditional route to becoming an author runs through a mainstream publishing house. You have two basic options-approach a publisher directly or work through an agent. You'll find lists of publishers in the annual "Writer's Market." Most major publishers...
Build Rapport without Taking More Time
he communication programs described in the accompanying article teach doctors techniques to build rapport with patientswithout spending more time. Here's a sampling: / Focus on the positive. If the patient complains about a long wait, for instance, don't...
Can't Get No (Patient) Satisfaction? Try Charm School
To become more competitive, groups are teaching doctors to relate better to patients. Here's what the physicians are learning. In a second-floor conference room at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, 325 members of the Southern California Permanente Medical...
Claiming T&E Expenses as an Employee
If you're an employee and pay travel or entertainment costs out of your own pocket, report them on Form 2106, along with other practice-related outlays, like those for professional use of your car, continuing education, subscriptions, dues, etc. Also...
Disarming Hired Guns
he plaintiff's expert witness was a longtime enemy of the defendant doctor, recalls malpractice defense attorney Jack E. Horsley of Mattoon, Ill. "Throughout his deposition, the expert concealed his hostility very well," says Horsley, an editorial consultant...
Does Your Physician Network Violate Antitrust Law?
Who knows better than the head of the Federal Trade Commission? He answers your questions, and explains the agency's new liberalized rules. Robert Pitofsky, the Federal Trade Commission chairman, isn't careful, he's going to give govemment a good name....
Estate-Planning Lessons I Learned the Hard Way
Using the how-not-to-do-it method of teaching, the authors father opened his eyes to the value of a good, simple will. Not long after my father died, ran into a friend at a party. She offered condolences and spoke of her own father's death the previous...
Florida Gives Up Trying to Prove This M.D. Is a Criminal
Florida's Office of the State Attorney recently dismissed its case against an HMO medical director just days before trial. FP Roger H. Strube had been charged with the "unlicensed" practice of medicine-a felony that could have sent him to jail for as...
HMOs Are Developing Their Own PODS
orth American Medical Management, based in Nashville, isn't the only company-or even the first-to form PODS-like entities. Several HMOs are doing the same thing to help organize and motivate office-based physicians. In the early '80s, for example, Blue...
How a Sheep Shattered My Bucolic Dream
've long had an idyllic retirement dream: After closing my Los Angelesarea practice, I'd split time between the big city and my rural northern California cabin. Up north, my wife, Mary, and I would sit on our sun-kissed porch overlooking our 5-acre spread....
How to Make T&E Deductions Stick
Eat, drink, and be merry. It's still deductible, if you play by the rules. AII work and no play makes a business trip dull, but deductible. Fess up, though: Didn't you sneak .in a round of golf at your last medical convention? And when you entertain...
How to Qualify for a Safety Zone
Statement Eight of the 1996 Statements of Antitrust Enforcement Policy in Health Care, issued by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, attempts to explain how the two federal agencies apply antitrust laws to physician networks....
How to Win a Malpractice Suit
Reach the hearts-rather than the minds-of the jurors. And throw in a few other tricks, too. It worked beautifully for the author. More than 25 years ago, just after completing my residency, worked for another physician. Although he would often start...
I Published My Own Book-And So Can You
The secret. Bypass publishers and agents, and do it yourself This doctor author tells you how. ant to write a book? If you think it could make you money and bring you patients, You're right. Sure it's next to impossible? You're wrong. Let me show you...
Letters to the Editors
Top graduates didn't always choose specialty medicine I was offended by the headline on your July 29 cover, "Why primary care is drawing more top graduates." As an FP and soon-to-be director of a family practice residency program, I know that we've been...
Malpractice Consult
Continuity of care with managed-care patients I'm an orthopedic surgeon and am often called to the ER to treat patients who be ong to health plans I'm not affiliated with. Many insurers won't pay me for necessary followup care. When managed care was...
Managed-Care Participation-And Income-Keep Rising
As you'd expect, virtually all HMO and PPO numbers are up. The surprise is that capitation hasn't s,own much. anaged care is growing much faster than capitation. That conclusion leaps out of the findings of the latest Medical Economics Continuing Survey,...
Memo from the Editor
Managed care is a bigger chunk of your bottom line You and your colleagues may chafe under the rules and roles demanded by managed care. But your bottom line shows that HMOs and PPOs are contributing more income than ever. According to our 44th Medical...
Money Management
If a mortgage balance seems too hih I've been paying off a 30-year, $225,000 mortgage for 10 years, but the bank says I still owe $200,000. That's hard to believe. How can I be sure the bank hasn't made an error? Many people don't realize how slowly...
My Partner Vanished. Then My Practice Flourished
Just six months after he'd joined me, my associate left without notice, not even bothering to say goodbye. So much for the great partnership I'd envisioned. But here's the good news: I've managed to recoup every penny I spent to adapt my office for him....
Practice Management
When a partner doesn't want to set up a pension plan I'd like to start a retirement plan for our incorporated two-doctor practice. My partner is against it, and I haven't been able to get him to change his mind. Must I contribute the full 100 percent...
Sharpen Your Bargaining Skills
As the health-care revolution continues, bargaining skills have become more crucial for doctors than ever before. If you want your practice to thrive, you must regularly negotiate with colleagues, practice administrators, allied health professionals,...
Should You Lease Your Next Car?
It depends on your budget and driving habits. Here's how to determine if it's the best choice. ttracted by low up-front costs and affordable monthly payments, Americans will lease more than a third of all new cars that roll off the lots this year-up...
Speeding Insurers' Approval of Hospital Admissions
Even the simplest pre-cert once took this doctor up to 45 minutes. Now it's done in a fraction of the time. no stranger to red tape. For 12 years, after all, I practiced in the United States Army. Say I needed to order tongue depressors. Typically, I'd...
The Hippocratic Oath Didn't Help Me Here
Out in the killing fields, there are no ethics committees, no other doctors to talk to just a lone surgeon, and a patient facing a terrible death. t is almost time for dinner. The Rwandan sun is setting over its hills, and the surgery team has just finished...
When You Hear Hoofbeats, Sniff the Air
When treatment fails, you may doubt your medical judgment. But maybe you should doubt the patient. 14 FM X doubt any medical student ever made it past his first clinical rotation without hearing the old saw-"think horses, not zebras, when you hear hoofbeats."...
Where the Jobs Are Now
Eager for a change of scene ? A veteran recruiter maps out your best opportunities. Ready to move to Horseheads, N.Y.? Liberty, Mo.? Gadsden, Ala.? Perhaps you've never heard of these towns. But if you're looking for a new practice setting, you might...
With Routine Physicals, Less Is Dangerous
ou can't cut corners with physical exams. Follow California FP Gil L. Solomon's advice in these pages,* and you risk becoming a mediocre physician in search of a lawsuit. The classic physical exam, careful and complete, helps the open-minded physician...