Practice Management

Don't Get Fleeced!

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Employee embezzlement is rampant in medical practices, but there are ways to reduce the risks.
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With so much focus on increased competition, the risk of lawsuits and diminishing reimbursement rates, there is one financial threat to private medical practices that is all too often ignored: employee theft or embezzlement. According to the Medical Group Management Association (mgma.com), more than 82% of healthcare professionals have been affiliated with a medical practice victimized by embezzlement.1 More than 75% of facilities affected were independent medical practices, and the majority of perpetrators were employees who worked at the practice for more than three years.

Recognize and Reward

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Easy-to-understand incentive programs provide ongoing motivation for employees working in all areas of a medical aesthetic practice.
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Cheryl Whitman

There is an old adage in sales that says, sales performance is made up of equal parts sales ability and sales motivation. Meaning, the most skilled salesperson on Earth won’t close many deals if she is not properly motivated. If your practice is focused on increasing procedure or retail sales, a staff incentive program can help motivate your employees to achieve this goal.

Ready To Serve

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Dore Gilbert, MD, caps a distinguished career in dermatology with military service—and he encourages other physicians to join him.
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Dore Gilbert, MD

Public service is nothing new to Dore Gilbert, MD. His father and grandfather both served in the United States military. He served 29 years as an elected member of his local school board while building his Newport Beach, California-based dermatology practice. Well-known in the medical aesthetic community as a leader in the use of aesthetic laser technologies, Dr Gilbert is also a researcher and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California-Irvine. But even these accomplishments pale in comparison to his latest venture.

The Search Is On

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Tips to attract and retain motivated employees who will help grow your practice.
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Man with binoculars

In this ultra-competitive industry, where patients entrust their looks and their lives to their doctors’ care, it is of the utmost importance that practice owners bring in employees who are conscientious, caring and highly motivated. We spoke with industry experts who shared their tactics for attracting, recognizing and retaining topnotch team members. Gone are the days of standard interviews that start with a simple “Tell me about yourself.” Welcome to a new era of guerilla networking, social media and unique compensatory tools that help businesses corral the best and the brightest.

Interviewing on the Job

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Working interviews are an invaluable tool for finding candidates that fit your culture, but there are some legal pitfalls to avoid.
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Working interviews—an increasingly common part of the hiring process for many medical practitioners—are an effective way to assess a job applicant’s skills and fit for the work environment. They do, however, pose some thorny legal issues that might sting if you are not prepared. So what is a “working interview”? There are multiple definitions. Some people refer to the hiring of a temporary employee through a staffing agency on a contracted temp-to-hire basis as a working interview.

Are You Covered?

Physicians who convert their practices to medspas require additional insurance coverage.
Spa woman

Traditionally, a doctor is licensed to practice a specific medical specialty and—based on his area of expertise—he’ll purchase a medical malpractice policy with blanket coverage for his practice. These policies cover all procedures offered under the physician’s medical license and, in most cases, extend coverage to everyone the doctor is supervising.

A Simple Exercise To Track Conversions

Cosmetic patient

Cosmetic practices focused on bringing in new patients often spend 10% or more of their projected revenues on marketing initiatives. But budgeting the money is only the beginning, says Catherine Maley, founder of Cosmetic Image Marketing (www.cosmeticimagemarketing.com). In order to optimize marketing efforts, she recommends that physicians undertake a simple exercise to track their prospect-to-patient conversions: Go through your schedule and look at the last 20 to 100 patients who had high-ticket procedures performed in your practice. Now look for important trends, such as:

The Lord of the Skin

Beverly Hills, California-based celebrity dermatologist Harold Lancer, MD, FAAD, credits his decades of success to a simple mantra: Be a doctor first, then specialize.
Harold Lancer, MD

As the youngest of three children raised in a small farming community in Connecticut, one of Dr. Harold Lancer’s earliest memories is of a traumatic event. At the age of five, he was scalded by boiling water and suffered serious burns. “Our local doctor took care of me and he said, ‘I’m not a dermatologist, but let me try my best to make this heal up,’” he says. The event left physical scars; it also triggered a lifelong fascination with the science—and art—of dermatology.

Buy Now, Pay Later

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Understanding today’s patient financing options.
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The sputtering economy combined with a continued demand for elective procedures have led many practitioners to embrace new and adaptive patient financing options. Third-party financing companies allow practices to collect payment for services rendered in a timely fashion while patients are afforded the opportunity to spread out payments over time.

Social Media Savvy

Physicians who are focused on building their social media marketing campaigns may want to take a cue from Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Wigoda. In September 2011, Dr. Wigoda—a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and chief of plastic surgery at Broward General Hospital—launched a Facebook sweepstakes contest.