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Practice Management Workshop Pearls

September 2015
We reviewed the current Meaningful Use and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) incentive programs and what the AAAAI can do to help with these confusing issues. Many allergists that met Stage I Meaningful Use are finding it harder to meet Stage II and none of us are sure what Stage III will hold. Ms. Nelson gave an update on the current status of the programs while I presented what these mean to the practicing allergist. The session closed with Dr. Cox giving a detailed overview of the AAAAI Allergy Asthma and Immunology Quality Clinical Data Registry (AAAAI QCDR). The AAAAI QCDR will provide an easier mechanism for practicing allergists to report on PQRS measures. This will allow us to avoid the 2% PQRS penalties which take effect in 2017.

November 2014
At the 2014 AAAAI Practice Management Workshop, Gerald Lee, MD, and Nathan Hare, MD, reviewed tips and tricks to market yourself and your practice using social media platforms. Here are some ways to establish your online presence:

1. Create a social media marketing plan. Prioritize your goals: is your target audience current and potential new patients, or your colleagues and potential referrers? Decide how you would like to distinguish your online presence from your competitors and generate content around a core message and platform.
2. Claim your listing on online reputation sites. 59% of patients use online physician rating sites such as Google Places, Healthgrades, and when selecting a physician. These sites may have inaccurate information, so review each website and correct inaccuracies.
3. Create a professional Facebook page. A 2011 survey found that 1 in 5 Americans use social media as a source of healthcare information and 94% of them use Facebook. Examples of content include announcing pollen seasons, air quality alerts, disease information, office closings, or special events.
4. Establish a Twitter account. Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that can be used to engage patients. In addition, several allergist/immunologists share interesting articles or post key learning points from medical conferences on Twitter. It's like attending a virtual meeting!
5. Take an online course. The Webicina Social MEDia Course and the Mayo Clinic Social Media residency can help you gain new skills and ideas on establishing an online presence.

September 2014
At the 2014 AAAAI Practice Management Workshop in Atlanta, attendees learned 3 of 4 physicians will suffer a significant loss due to employee dishonesty and fraud at least once in their careers. Presenter Mohamed Yassin, MD, FAAAAI, explained in “Embezzlement and Fraud in Medical Practice” that any medical practice, regardless of the size, specialty or location, is a potential victim of employee theft and embezzlement. Most fraudsters are first-time offenders with clean employment histories.

Why are medical practices susceptible to embezzlement?
• A physician’s trusting personality and lack of business training
• Lax or non-existing financial controls
• Cash and personal checks transactions for copays, deductibles, and services
• Complex business structure; busy physician schedule, too many vendors and expenses

Although fraudulent behavior has no limits, Dr. Yassin shared common fraud and embezzlement schemes with attendees so that they could learn from and protect their practices. Also discussed were ways to detect and prevent embezzlement in medical practices that ranged from fraudsters’ behavioral red flags to tight financial controls.

August 2014
“The Future of Healthcare,” was led by Rosemarie Nelson, a nationally-recognized practice management consultant and a workshop favorite. She provided a tantalizing look at what A/I practices may look like over the next 10 years and discussed emerging trends in technology, patient engagement and the impact of the Affordable Healthcare Act. One of the most important things attendees learned was that healthcare consumers are ripe for change and demanding access, convenience and value. Access the Future of Healthcare presentation handout here.
Close-up of pine tree branches in Winter Close-up of pine tree branches in Winter