Entries by Heidi Hallett

New Technology Automates The Vaccination Workflow – AccuVax White Paper

Operating an Effective and Profitable Vaccine Business Within Your Healthcare Practice

Running a successful and profitable vaccine business within your practice requires significant investment in vaccine inventory. Storing and handling this inventory requires specialized equipment and extensive non-clinical activities, which are time consuming for your staff and costly to your practice.

What if you could automate these activities? What if your healthcare staff could focus more on patient care instead of tracking, documenting and reporting vaccine inventory? What if you could do all this and save significant vaccine inventory costs?

To continue reading click here for a pdf of the complete white paper from TruMed Systems.

Forming a Medical Practice ‘Super Group’

Pearl | September 03, 2014 | Practice ModelsManagers AdministratorsOperationsPearlsReferrals
We have seen an enormous consolidation in medical practices across the industry in the last three years. Many practices are being bought out by hospital systems in preparation for laying the groundwork for accountable care organizations and for building market share in the new value-based purchasing environment.

But rest assured, the independent practice is alive and well — there are practice models available that allow physicians to operate independently, while coming together as one entity to reap the benefits of cost efficiency. One way physicians can reinvent their practices, is to become a “super group.”

Looking for more ways to boost performance at your practice? Join experts Rosemarie Nelson, Lucien W. Roberts, Owen Dahl, and others as they help improve your medical practice and your bottom line atPractice Rx, a new conference for physicians and office administrators. Join us Sept. 19 & 20 in Philadelphia.

Patient Portals Can Help You Meet Medical-home Criteria

Pearl | October 08, 2014 | Patient PortalsMeaningful UsePatient RelationsPearlsPractice Models
If you are thinking about implementing a patient portal, or already have one in place, you may not realize that this is a great tool to help you meet certain criteria necessary for achieving Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition.

Many portals offer the components required to meet part of the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) PCMH Standard for patient-centered electronic access. The purpose of doing so is to allow the practice to offer information and services to patients and their families via a secure electronic system whereby patients can view their medical record, access services, and communicate with the healthcare team electronically.

Providing electronic access to this information also enables practices to meet meaningful use requirements, so you get a double return on your portal investment if you are attempting to meet requirements for both the NCQA PCMH and meaningful use programs.

New Practice Models Are Gaining Acceptance in Primary Care

August 20, 2014 | Great American Physician SurveyPatient RelationsPhysician CompensationPractice ModelsWork/Life Balance
Manhattan cardiologist Arthur Weisenseel has enjoyed a long and satisfying medical career; one that encompassed teaching at New York-based Mt. Sinai Hospital, running a successful cardiology practice with another physician, and stewarding his aging patients into a healthy old age. But, somewhere in the last five years to 10 years, his practice became problematic. Weisenseel says that despite working as hard as he could, he wasn’t able to consistently pay both practice expenses and himself. He says of that time, “I worked awful hard to get [there]. And to go home without reimbursement was becoming demoralizing.”

So, like a growing contingent of like-minded physicians, Weisenseel decided to explore other practice models. Encouraged by his patients and positive conversations with colleagues, he has now successfully converted his practice to a hybrid-concierge model, where patients can choose to pay an extra fee for concierge services or continue to reimburse him through traditional insurance plans like Medicare and third-party payers. Now he couldn’t be happier: Relieved of worries about financial and regulatory burdens, he says, “I come to work with joy and confidence.”

Efficiency In Influenza Vaccine Packaging

Health care professionals administering adult influenza vaccines have multiple products from which to choose. Influenza vaccines are packaged in multi-dose and single-dose vials, in prefilled syringes that require a needle for intramuscular injection, and in prefilled syringes with a microneedle for intradermal injection. There are several criteria that are evaluated when determining product selection; efficiency, the ease and speed at which a dose of vaccine can be delivered, should be considered a key factor…

To continue reading this research paper or to download a pdf please click here: Efficiency in Influenza Vaccine Packaging

Patient-Centered Specialty Practice for Specialists

Pearl | June 25, 2014 | Patients, Operations, Partnerships, Patient Relations, Pearls, Practice Models

While still in its infancy, word about the National Committee on Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) medical home program for specialists is spreading fast. The program was released last March and appears to be gaining considerable momentum. We receive inquiries daily from practices asking how we can assist them with meeting the program’s standards; from gastroenterologists, oncologists, nephrologists, orthopedists, even ophthalmologists.

Unlike the primary-care Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program that has taken several years to become firmly established, it appears that specialists are “early adopters” of this new similar program — Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP) — designed especially for them.

NYS Insurance Price Wars

One of the puzzling questions about the Health Insurance Exchanges (a key component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is, “How can the same products have such variations in premium pricing?” Differentials of between $200 and $500 a month are noted for the same metallically labeled products.  Why the difference? Answer: the insurance carrier.

The lowest prices have been associated with the newest entrants into the NY market, Heath Republic and OSCAR. The established payers, such as Empire and, in particular, United Healthcare, were priced at the high end.

Since all products are essentially the same in terms of benefits, the difference would be in the costs of the network that supports the payer’s product and the pricing philosophy of the company.

The Verden Group welcomes Paul Vanchiere to our team.

The Verden Group is pleased to welcome the founder of the Pediatric Management Institute, Paul Vanchiere (MBA) to our team. With over 15 years of healthcare management experience, Paul joins The Verden Group to provide our clients with financial and operational practice consulting.

Currently working exclusively with Pediatric practices, Paul’s past experience with cardiology and pathology practices, as well as physician practice acquisitions for the largest non-for-profit hospital in Texas, adds a unique depth to our client services. For the past five years, Paul has worked on financial and management issues for a physician group of over 200 general Pediatricians.

Paul_Vanchiere“Paul brings considerable experience to our group. As a speaker on a range of pediatric practice management issues and with a national portfolio of clients, his extensive knowledge of practice dynamics will play a pivotal role in our efforts to provide unparalleled service to our clients,” says Susanne Madden, founder of The Verden Group. “Paul’s seasoned practice management expertise allows us to provide our Pediatric clients with the tools to not only meet every day challenges, but to do so successfully as the healthcare environment continues its dizzying pace of change.”

Paul will focus on a unique service that provides a full financial analysis of Pediatric practices along with an onsite assessment for a nominal fixed price. According to Paul, “Pediatricians often have limited resources to invest in such engagements. I am extremely sensitive to their investment of time and resources in what we do for them. I strive everyday to provide tangible advice on how to manage their practice properly.”

Paul can be reached at paul@theverdengroup.com and more information about these services can be found here.

The Verden Group Brings a Legal Context to Guidance on Business Matters

The Verden Group is very pleased to announce the addition of Sumita Saxena, Esq., to our consulting team. Admitted to the California State Bar in 2000, Sumita brings her legal focus to the Group in the capacity of business consulting services, specializing in matters such as practice agreements, guidance on employment laws, and negotiation and language interpretation for insurance contracts.

“The addition of Sumita to our team brings the level of services we provide up another notch,” says Susanne Madden, CEO and founder of the Verden Group. “We’re not a law firm. We work in a strictly non-legal, business-only capacity when advising clients but the fact is that legal issues are a part of doing business in healthcare today. Sumita’s expertise ensures our clients have the benefit of expert business advice on these matters and are guided appropriately as to when to seek legal counsel.”

With current experience as in-house counsel for a medical group, Sumita has the hands on expertise required to confidently advise Verden’s clients on the development of sound business operating procedures and practices from a legal perspective. Sumita also has extensive experience working on employment matters, workforce & performance management, and human resources management.

She is located in Redwood City, CA, and can be reached at sumi@theverdengroup.com




How You Can Successfully Participate in P4P Programs

Pearl | April 30, 2014 | PerformancePayersPearlsPhysician Compensation

Participating in pay-for-performance (P4P) programs can work out well for both provider and payer. By “performing well” on certain clinical and administrative measures, savings are created that can be shared with both parties. That is, if providers can meet specific metrics that appear to produce some savings by, say, coordinating patient care better or ensuring that the population is receiving timely preventive care, then everyone wins and costs go down.

However, it can be a little perilous to participate in these programs if you don’t have a good understanding of your own data. Signing up to meet specific goals without first knowing where you currently stand or without being able to monitor progress as you go along a defined time period can mean falling short of expectations and losing out on additional revenues. So, it is vital that you must be able to run reports in your own system to either validate or dispute the data that the payer will be producing, in terms of how your providers have performed. Depending on your IT infrastructure, this may or may not be an easy task!