New Year Resolutions For Physicians And How To Keep Them

Did you know the history of New Year’s resolutions traces back to the Babylonians? They celebrated the New Year with 11 days of festivities. They made promises to the gods so they would receive good tidings and success in the coming year. For our busy physician clients, resolutions that improve both their medical practice bottom line and patient care can be appealing!

Resolution 1: Serve the Millennials. Research suggests that Millennials, aged 19-34 years, were responsible for the largest bump in insurance sign-ups. To appeal to the newly insured who just might just become your patients for many years to come, consider modernizing your website, making it mobile friendly, and creating a social media presence. It would also be a good idea to make all medical records available online and mobile platforms, because Millennials love technology and access.

Resolution 2: Take another look at your rates. Although all physicians practice evidence-based medicine, not all physicians in your local area charge the same. To remain competitive, and to make sure your costs are being covered, it’s a good idea to review what you are charging, especially if you have not done so recently.

Resolution 3: Try Telehealth. Your patients want it. Telehealth has plenty of advantages, including improved workflow, expanded services, and greater accessibility to your patients. Furthermore, Medicare now reimburses for telehealth, so that’s another upside to integrating telehealth into your practice. Telehealth is particularly useful when visiting with patients with chronic health conditions, patients with disabilities, patients with psychiatric illness or substance use disorders, and patients who lack access to transportation. Many experts applaud telemedicine for decreasing wait times and improving follow-up.

Resolution 4: Really go paperless. Even with EHR in place, many physicians are still flooded in paper, including intake forms, referrals, outside imaging, lab slips, and more. Look for ways to decrease your paper footprint including the use of kiosks, and email to send patient registration forms, online scheduling, and website payment portals.

Resolution 5: Make EHR work for you. Improving the EHR experience could involve programming customized templates, forms and plug-ins, with an eye toward efficiency. If you can’t make the changes yourself, there are programmers who can help you implement such staff friendly changes.

Resolution 6: Start a 2-way wellness conversation with patients. Give “Motivational Interviewing” a try. You can work together with patients that have difficult-to-manage medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and heart disease, by starting a conversation about beneficial lifestlye changes and commitment. Find out what is in their way. Help them to find the internal drive to address their health problems. Discussing experiences can motivate changes like exercising more, drinking less, drug abstinence, and medication adherence. Get your patients to commit to change and verbally make their own resolutions. (The American College of Physicians’ has online modules dedicated to “motivational interviewing” at https://www.acponline.org/).

Resolution 7: Keep your resolutions! New Year’s resolutions tend to have short lifespans, for everyone, not just with physicians. The key is to be strategic in your approach and hold yourself accountable:

• Being outcome oriented is not enough – you need to focus on the process needed to achieve your goal. Build a system that will support it: make the time to focus on it, dedicate the dollars necessary, arrange for the services/consulting help you need. Aside from office goals, this can also help with your resolutions for weight loss, better exercise routine, and financial/retirement goals.
• Keep it simple – don’t overcomplicate the process. Let’s say one of your New Year’s resolutions is to fix your EHR problem. Do the math, calculate your hourly rate, and hire an EHR scribe because there are better things to do with your time.
• Remember you are the sum of the folks you associate with most, so surround yourself with people, family, and coworkers who support your resolutions, and maybe even inspire you.

CONTACT US: Whatever your New Year’s resolutions may be, make sure any actions you take are tax-efficient, and contribute toward your bottom line. A TFG Health Services professional can assist you with implementing new sources of income such as telehealth, get you that commercial loan for new equipment, or help you build a better budget to put more profit in your pocket. If your goals revolve around the financial security for your family as well as retirement, we can provide planning and consulting services related to insurance and investment. Call toll free 855-534-2727.
 

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