Confessions Podcast #3: Featuring Suzanne Berman And Your Practice Management Calendar

This may be long overdue, but worth the wait.  A few months back, Dr. Suzanne Berman (star of SOAPM list and stage) emailed me with a question about her practice.  That question led to a quick back and forth exchange of “all the things a practice should do on a periodic basis.”  We brainstormed a long list and then sat down to talk about it for almost an hour.

Below, I provide a written copy of the list for you to cut and paste into whatever tools you need to make sure they appear on your to-do lists and work calendars.  Please email or call me with items we didn’t name, I’ll gladly add them below!  The podcast adds a lot of color and advice related to each section below, so don’t skip Dr. Berman’s insight – listen to the podcast.

You can play the podcast below, download it in iTunes (subscribe! it’s free!), or go to the podcast site itself.

I reference this amazing service from the Verden Group during our conversation.

The list!


User Management and IT

  • Lock out former users from:
    • EHR and PM systems
    • Quickbooks (or other accounting software), time clock software, etc.
    • On-line accounts
      • clearinghouse and payor WWW sites
      • lab and hospital portals
  • Update the Administrator security
    • Office security system
    • Computer system
  • Update your office inventory for insurance purposes.
    • You can use a video camera (like the one on your cell phone!) to
      document each room and closet.
  • Perform a security audit (per MU guidelines)

Cleaning and Supplies

  • Clean out cabinets and drawers
  • Purge old equipment

Policies and Procedures

  • Review your policy and procedure manuals to make sure that your
    actual process reflects what’s documented.  Have everyone review it
  • Review the payor policy manuals.  Most are available on line or
    are searchable with friends like the Verden Group
  • Review all of your patient policies and handouts
    • Check the handouts you distribute at your office, including your
      practice brochure
    • Check all of your on-line materials
    • Use “version control” (i.e., put date or version numbers on each
      handout so you know if what you are holding is up to date)
    • make sure any list of your staff and clinicians is up to date (letter
      head, sign on your door, WWW site)

EHR and PM

  • Make sure that you are taking advantage of every electronic transaction
    opportunity your clearinghouse/PM vendor offers. If you are not doing
    eligibility or electronic claims for every payer, check again
  • Perform all vendor-specific cleanup functions
  • Software updates
  • Perform optional updates
  • Review update training and materials to take advantage of new features

Practice Management

  • Update your pricing for every single procedure listed in your system
  • Review your coding patterns.
    • How is your E&M distribution?
    • Did you bill any odd procedures last year?
  • Check your vaccine product combinations
    • Are the combination vaccines you use the most cost and price efficient?
    • Are there any new coverage rules from your payors?
  • Check for new procedure codes introduced this year
    • 2015: 99188, 90651, 96127
  • Make an periodic report of KPIs.
    • If your PM doesn’t make it easy to re-run reports for previous time frames,
      get your periodic sample.
    • Review your measures for comparative and discussion purposes.
  • Check your third party vendor costs
    • Credit card
    • Cable/Phone/Internet
    • WWW Site hosting
    • Pull all of your insurance contracts and confirm any “evergreen” dates
    • Check your third party vendor costs
    • Credit card
    • Cable/Phone/Internet
    • WWW Site hosting
  • Clean up Quickbooks/account categories
  • Patient cleanup
    • Mark inactive families
  • Practice Education
    • Research Seminar Opportunities
1 reply
  1. Suzanne Berman, MD, FAAP
    Suzanne Berman, MD, FAAP says:

    Another one I just discovered: updating employee lists. Hanging on my bulletin board in my office is our employee phone tree (list of extensions by name.) It has people who don’t work here any more; it omits people who do work here.

    We also have a little slip listing all employees that goes around with a birthday card. When you sign the birthday card, you scratch your name off the slip. When you’ve signed and scratched for yourself, you find someone whose name is still not scratched and route the card to them. And so on, until everyone has signed. This works great — as long as the slip has a current list of people.

    And speaking of bulletin boards — I have Christmas cards FROM LAST YEAR hanging on it.


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