I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the TIPAAA 2019 Annual Conference March 21-23. (TIPAAA -The Independent Physician Association of America) This year was their 24th Annual Meeting.
The break-out panels covered a broad spectrum of topics ranging from “The Future of Healthcare Delivery Outside of the Physicians Office”, “Blockchain -vs BitCoin”, to “Cyber Security Trends In Healthcare”, & “Physicians & ACOs” – just to name a few.
One of the most interesting break-outs I attended came on the first day. A panel of physicians from several IPAs discussed the value an IPA can be to private practice physicians. Today, many physicians are struggling to find ways to remain independent. Hospital acquisition of small practices seems to be the disturbing trend in healthcare. We see this first hand with clients on our own service. Many doctors are entering into “employment models” with hospitals and losing their private practices.
In an effort to circumvent this trend, doctors are turning to IPAs as a way to remain independent while still being able to flourish fiscally and in patient care. Some of the benefits of joining an IPA include: support from other physicians who share resources, data, financial risk, and even overhead costs. IPAs also offer assistance with practice management and administration tasks, peer support, and the ability of the IPA to negotiate favorable contracts offering significant savings to the members. You can save on everything from EMRs to office medical supplies, and even contact center needs (such as PFMI). Being part of an Independent Physician Association allows individual providers the opportunity to remain independent, while having the collective strength of its association to expand their patient base and remain competitive in today’s evolving healthcare environment.
This is great! So why isn’t everyone part of an IPA? Well first, IPAs require you to sign a contract. If the IPA you are looking to join is underfunded that could affect a physician's personal finances. Also, one must consider the trend of “Risk Contracts” IPAs are being asked to take on. Of course I was at an IPA conference, so they didn’t offer too many cons. They did warn IPAs to make sure they plan for “risk contracts” which could affect the profitability of the association.
Although there may be risk in joining an IPA, many of the doctors that we spoke with are very happy with their decision to become a member. IPAs offer not only security for independence but allow doctors to get back to the business of being a doctor and caring for patients.
On an unrelated note, yet, something I found astonishing: I learned that at one time there were over 1500 EMR systems. Even today, one office can use 5, 10, or even 40 different EMR systems. No wonder there are so many classes on medical coding and billing. You need a PhD to figure out all of the different systems! I also didn’t realize how much doctors and their staff really don’t like EMRs. Who knew? I'm certain you did. As they say, you learn something new every day.
Stayed tuned for next month’s article, where I will share information I learned on “Tele-Medicine”. According to the presenters, it is already here but will be more mainstream soon.
General Operations Manager
It's #NationalTelephoneDay today... right in the middle of #PatientExperienceWeek. What a perfect combination to represent how we've transformed the core of communication into an unparalleled experience for medical professionals all across the country!
Thanks to the invention of the telephone, we've taken that ubiquitous piece of technology to bring our clients a level of service we are sure is hard to beat. From providing them an award-winning service in customer satisfaction, standard of quality, and eye-popping affordability, to treating their patients like our own, to continually finding ways to bring even more value to every dollar spent with us, it's no wonder that Physicians First Messages is the Doctors' First Choice Medical Call Center!
Call PFMI today for your free trial, a guaranteed 20% savings.
#TaxDay on a Monday isn't how most of us like to start a week!
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Call PFMI today at 866-737-1132 and receive 20% off your current monthly bill guaranteed.
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We bet you're feeling better about #TaxDay2020 already.
National Doctors’ Day is observed March 30 each year, and was established to recognize physicians, their work, and their contributions to society and the community. We've been celebrating this day with our doctors every year since the 90s, but do you know the history of this annual event commemorates an incredible breakthrough in medicine?
From our friends at VeryWell Health:
The holiday was officially signed into U.S. law in the early 1990s by President George Bush. The history of Doctors’ Day dates back to the early 1930s, however.
It was conceived by Eudora Brown Almond, a physician’s wife in Georgia. She chose the date of March 30 because it is the anniversary of the day that surgical anesthesia was first administered to a patient. This was an innovation by Dr. Crawford W. Long in 1842 in Georgia.
Dr Long noticed that his friends felt no pain when they injured themselves while staggering around under the influence of the recreational use of ether. He immediately thought of its potential in surgery.
Conveniently, a participant in one of those "ether frolics," a student named James Venable, had two small tumors he wanted to be excised. Fearing the pain of surgery, Venable kept putting the operation off. Long suggested that he have his operation while under the influence of ether. Venable agreed, and on March 30, 1842, he underwent a painless operation. However, Long did not announce his discovery until 1849.
Amazing! And it makes you wonder, what did we do for anesthesia before 1842??
So yes, thank you Doctors, for all you do, and Happy National Doctors' Day from all of us at PFMI!
We love our dentists! They help us all stay healthy and cheerful, as we put our best smile forward and face the challenges and enjoy the rewards of each and every day.
Dentists all across the country are smiling, and saving thousands with Physicians First Messages, Inc. Not sure what the Doctors' First Choice Medical Call Center can do for your dental practice?
Take it from our Owner, John Calhoun who knows a thing or two about the subject. He offers: Here are 4 Immediate Benefits to Using a Medical Call Center for Your Dental Practice.
Now if those aren't more reasons to smile, we don't know what are.
We're so excited to share the news!
As TIPAAA's preferred Medical Call Center, Physicians First Messages will be joining hundreds of you, our clients and your medical colleagues, at TIPAAA's 24th Annual Meeting in sunny Orlando, Florida next month!
We hope you'll join us as we all learn and benefit from from medical innovators who share their proven strategies for long-term success for medical practices in the healthcare industry.
Obviously, we're thrilled to reconnect with old friends, and to also make new ones... so thrilled we can barely contain it.
After all, who doesn't love a road trip!
See you there!
Love savings? We do too! Tell a colleague about our Award-winning Doctors' First Choice Medical Call Center. When they sign up with PFMI you save off your bill every MONTH for the life of their account!
Hey, can you keep a secret? Well, between you and me, I’m my mother’s favorite son.
Yes, I know, it sounds kind of boastful, but what can I say? As the owner of Physicians First Messages, a state-of-the-art medical call center, I can not only run my company from anywhere in the world, but my employees can work from anywhere as well.
It’s the very reason why we are the Doctors' First Choice Medical Call Center in the USA.
So you’re probably asking why I’m my mother’s favorite son. Well, when mom retired from her previous job about 15 years ago, I talked her into coming to work for yours truly and, to this day, it’s the most brilliant business decision I’ve ever made.
My mother’s position, in fact, is what I consider a vital part of my business. You see, it’s her responsibility to call all my physicians’ offices and not only ask how her son is doing, but to jot down any suggestions they may have to improve the service I am providing them.
We at Physicians First Messages, of course, take their suggestions seriously and always make the best effort to improve our service so the physicians and their staff members can run their practices like a well-oiled machine.
My customers’ reaction to mom’s position: They have fallen in love with our service and many of them, I’m proud to say, have said they’d never go anywhere else!
The way I see it, this is a win-win-win situation for my customers, myself and my mother. Her position has given her a real sense of pride and purpose in helping my customers stay ahead of what the company needs to make sure they continue getting a service that remains second-to-none.
Needless to say, I look forward to mom’s feedback concerning my customers. After all, mother knows best!
Owner and operator
With the 2019 New Year right around the corner we're in that season of looking back and taking stock as we concurrently look ahead to what is to come: with a good number of us looking forward to time-honored and common themes of hope, health, happiness...
Yet -- We live in a society that delays happiness. “I’ll be happy once I get that promotion.” “I’ll be happier when I have more money.” “Once I get that new car, I’ll be happy.” Sound familiar?
Happiness is something that we all strive for, yet many of us find it challenging to grasp and even harder to maintain. It’s time to start living in the “now” and finding a happier life. Physicians First Messages wants to give you some tips on how to make it happen:
1) EMBRACE YOUR MISTAKES
It is only natural that we make mistakes; it’s proof that you’re trying something new. Living in denial about your mistakes or getting wrapped up in your ego will only you make you miserable and block you from learning valuable lessons that will help you grow and improve. By embracing your mistakes, you will be able to forgive yourself. Happy people seem to intuitively know this, embracing mistakes as learning experiences and not judging themselves too harshly.
2) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE
Even though this life can sometimes feel like an individual journey, we need other people around us in order to feel happy. In fact, research has indicated that social relationships are the strongest predictors of happiness, more than income or wealth. Social support is a huge indicator of happiness and well-being. People with perceived positive social relationships even live longer! So be social, surround yourself with people who make you feel good, and release those who make you feel bad.
3) PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Happy people can easily find gratitude in the world around them. They recognize that they always have something to be grateful for; it doesn't matter where they are, or what they’re doing! Each of us has a choice on how we focus our attention. Choosing to focus on being grateful for the beauty and uniqueness of life instead of the stresses and problems will make you feel happier, less stressed and less depressed.
4) MAINTAIN AN OPTIMISTIC ATTITUDE
Happy people tend to respond to negative events in a more optimistic manner than unhappy people. They recognize that negative events are temporary and limited in scope. Research has linked optimism with a plethora of positive outcomes including longevity, recovery from illness, overall physical health, enhanced coping skills and problem solving in difficult situations. So, when in doubt, look on the bright side!
5) SMILE MORE
It seems like a silly concept, but if you are feeling down or having a rough day, it is possible to cheer yourself up by simply thinking of a person, place or situation that makes you smile! Just the physical act of smiling alone will make you feel happier!
6) LEARN WHEN TO SAY “NO”
Happy people know that they must say NO to people, ideas, and behaviors that do not serve their highest good. Saying yes to everyone and everything can lead you to feel overwhelmed, increase your stress, and leave you less time and resources to take care of yourself! This is especially true when you agree to do things that do not resonate with you, or allow yourself to be pressured into situations you are uncomfortable with. Before you commit to anything or anyone, ask yourself, does this serve my highest good? If the answers is no, then learn to say NO.
7) TRY NEW THINGS
Happy people are not afraid to push their boundaries and try new things. People who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions than people who have fewer experiences. Sure it might seem scary at first, but what’s the worst that could happen? And hey if it doesn't go as planned, at least you still tried, didn't you?
8) PRACTICE FORGIVENESS
This one can be challenging, but when we hold on to anger, resentment and fear towards people, they are actually occupying a space inside of us, blocking us from feeling truly happy and fulfilled. “If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.” – Mother Theresa
9) UNPLUG & SPEND MORE TIME IN NATURE
Human beings were not designed to spend our day hunched over a desk with electronics plugged into our ears and eyes. We are meant to be spending time outside, away from the buzz of technology, the radiation from cell-phones and the blaring of screens. Time outdoors in nature has been linked to happiness because light elevates people’s moods, as does vitamin D, a byproduct of spending time outside. That explains why so many people get cranky in the winter…less vitamin D!
10) TELL YOURSELF, “I LOVE YOU!”
Years of being told by family, educators and especially the media that we are not good enough, not successful enough, not attractive enough, not capable enough and so on has left many of us feeling beaten down and unworthy. The truth is that no matter who you are and what has happened in your life, you are worth something! Psychologists have long known that self-esteem is intrinsically connected to happiness. One of the simplest things you can do is to look in the mirror every morning and say, “I love you!”
With these tips for a happier life, I hope that you find joy and peace. Live each day to the fullest and know that there are always better things ahead.
Owner & Operator
What Our Customers Are Saying
"I have used many answering services in my 30 years of practice. Since joining Physicians First Messages, I can finally sleep at night knowing my calls are being handled correctly."
- Dr. Cohen
"Thank you! Not only did I get a great answering service that understands my practice, but I save thousands of dollars a year, too! Flat-rate billing allowed me to plan my budget."
- Dr. Patel