My New Practice

Cookie Doctor

I think I reached my pinnacle:  I got my face on a cookie!

This was part of the 10-year anniversary party we held with a few of my patients who have been with me the longest.  February 5, 2013 was the first day of my new, crazy, risky, selfish, brilliant practice.

One of the best decisions of my life.

Cookie Doctor Read More »

Accidental Smartness

Well, I\’ve recently stumbled on a really great way to market my practice. It was not at all planned, nor would it ever be something you\’d read about in business magazines (Forbes, Popular Mechanics, or Highlights).  But it has become a \”thing\” in my office much like the way that llamas have become a \”thing\” on this blog (and also like how I like to put quotes around the word \”thing\”).  

My secret?  Being a goofball on the phone.

Accidental Smartness Read More »

Wisdom from a Toddler

I could say the cliche\’ things about it seeming like yesterday, yet like it has been forever since I worked anywhere else.  I guess I just did…so there’s that.  But more to the point is the reality that I actually survived.  Many expressed confidence in me when I started doing this, while many others expressed supreme skepticism over whether or not this type of practice could actually work.  To both of those groups of people I say: keep waiting to make your final judgment.  The practice, while profitable and now growing steadily, is still not near to the point I need it to be.  It’s heading in that direction, but there are no guarantees; I still could mess this thing up.

Wisdom from a Toddler Read More »

The High Cost of High Cost

Since my model of practice (a monthly fee without copay or other profitable procedures/products) benefits most from people paying for my service without heavy use of those services, this seemed to be prudent.  It seems that I was right about this, when comparing experiences with my colleague.  People are much less likely to pay $50 per month (or more) unless they have significant need, so a higher price essentially selects for more complex and/or demanding patients.  

This is why I can reasonably handle 640 patients today with only two nurses (one of whom is away on vacation).  Yes, I don\’t get as much money as I would for 640 patients at a higher monthly rate, but I wonder if I could actually handle that number of patients with only two nurses if I selected out for more demanding patients with that higher rate.    I doubt it.  The longer I consider this, the more I\’m convinced of its truth, and the less I am inclined to raise my rates (much to the chagrin of my accountant).

The High Cost of High Cost Read More »

How to Avoid Being a Dumb-Ass Doctor

It\’s been two years since I first started my new practice.  I have successfully avoided driving my business into the ground because I am a dumb-ass doctor.  Don\’t get me wrong: I am not a dumb-ass when it comes to being a doctor. I am pretty comfortable on that, but the future will hold many opportunities to change that verdict.  No, I am talking about being a dumb-ass running the business because I am a doctor.  

How to Avoid Being a Dumb-Ass Doctor Read More »

The Mission

It\’s a big job, but it\’s sure a lot easier when I have my nurses and my patients rooting for me and helping me achieve this goal.  Really.  I cannot express just how much better life is in this practice than it was in my old one.  From what I\’ve heard, things are just getting worse in that world.

It\’s my mission to help pave a road to a better way.  I am grateful to have not only nurses on my side, but patients joining in this mission.

The Mission Read More »

I am Back

Yeah, I am still here.  Sorry I left you with Bob the Llamaturkey as my last post to see.  That is very thoughtless of me.

Many who have been reading my blog adventure as I build my new practice have noted a bit of a down mood in my writing.  Yes, that has been there (not Bob the Llamaturkey, other stuff).  The past two years have been quite a but more than I expected.  They have definitely been more rewarding and fulfilling than I could have hoped, but they have also been far more anxiety provoking and exhausting than my worries could have conjured.  The medical side of things has been wonderful, but the burden of starting a business from scratch is heavy.

Hence the absence of recent blog posts.  

I am Back Read More »

The Pain and Inflammation of Documentation

My previous two posts lamented the incredibly bad the documentation I get from a local hospital is.  In truth, the documentation I get from everyone is terrible.  Seldom does it tell me what I actually want to know, and if there is useful information it is buried in an avalanche of yada yada.  The main reason for this is that documentation is driven by our ridiculous payment system, which requires us to follow arcane rules to generate notes that justify the obscure codes we submit for money from the payors.  This is the reason for much of the gibberish.  These rules, combined with computers\’ ability to quickly and efficiently generate drivel (see also The Entire Internet) are the hot house and Miracle Gro for meaningless words.  Sprinkle the rules on a computerized medical record and stand back!  Useless words and codes will spew out at you like milk from the mouth of an overfed baby.

The Pain and Inflammation of Documentation Read More »