Defining “Deep” Physician Debt

Exiting the Quagmire

By Staff Reportersfp-book3

There is no magical method or SIMPLE button that a physician or lay household can use to get out of debt. The two most critical factors in this process are budgeting and discipline, as discussed elsewhere on this ME-P blog forum. And, a payment plan that pays off debt by a selected target date will help. Debt consolidation can also be of assistance in this regard.

Defining “Deep-Debt”

According to Eugene Schmuckler PhD, MBA, of the Institute of Medical Business Advisors Inc:

“deep debt” is any financial burden that produces negative daily thoughts, interferes with professional work and/or keeps the doctor awake at night.”

www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

Payment Plans and Budgets

Once a payment plan has been computed, the doctor should develop a budget that will free up enough money to make the payments. If this isn’t possible because the monthly payments are too high, the payoff period should be lengthened until the amount available for debt payment is equal to (or greater than) the readjusted monthly payment. After this, the doctor should set up a more disciplined approach to spending, budgeting and investing, going forward.

www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Consumer Credit Counseling Services

Unfortunately, more than a few doctors get themselves so deeply into debt that they can’t make the minimum payments required by lenders. This is a very serious situation and usually involves negotiation for payment adjustments. Unless the doctor or his fiduciary financial advisor has experience in this area; it is a good idea to seek help from to an organization like the Consumer Credit Counseling Service.

The CCCS

The CCCS is an organization that works with those who are struggling to manage their financial debt through counseling in the areas of budgeting, understanding credit reports, and debt management. CCCS also provides educational courses for the public, with fee services ranging from $0 to a few hundred dollars. The counseling sessions focus on developing a budget that allows the client to pay all of his/her monthly expenses. The debt management program teaches about debt and also negotiates with lenders for adjusted monthly payments. CCCS tries to get the payment reduced by spreading the payments over a longer period of time and has been successful at getting lenders to reduce or even waive interest on the loans, in some cases.

Bill Consolidation

Another service of the debt-management program is bill consolidation. The debtor sends one payment a month to CCCS, who in turn pays the client’s bills. The education service provides seminars at which various speakers address different financial issues. A medical professional can find the location of the nearest CCCS office (or similar organizations) by calling the National Foundation for Consumer Credit referral line at 800-388-2227.

Assessment

In the climate of today, the above post is no longer one that some physicians might not heed. In fact, the days of the financial super-specialist with arcane products or sophisticated strategies that depend on a perfect storm of economic indicators, is long over. It is time to call in the financial primary care doctor and get back to basics; live on less than you make, and invest prudently, watching all costs.

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Have you ever used the serves of CCCS, or similar? Feel free to opine anonymously.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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Introducing Douglas B. Sherlock MBA CFA

About Our Newest Thought-Leader

By Ann Miller; RN, MHAcap-and-gown

Douglas B. Sherlock CFA is President of Sherlock Company which assists health plans, their business partners and their investors in the treasury and control functions of finance.

Resume

Prior to the founding of Sherlock Company, Mr. Sherlock was Vice President of Financial Analysis of U.S. Healthcare, Inc. where he directed the company’s merger and joint venture activity, its investor relations program and its HMO product for Medicare beneficiaries. Sherlock was formerly Vice President of Salomon Brothers, Inc where he specialized in the financial research of prepaid health plans and hospital systems, and assisted in the capital formation and merger activities of health care companies. He was the Greenwich Survey First Place HMO Analyst and a runner-up in the Institutional Investor polls. 

Professional Associations and Memberships

Mr. Sherlock is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He has been a member of the Financial Accounting Policy Committee of the CFA Institute. He has served on the Editorial Board of Inquiry, a journal of health care organization, provision and financing published by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and is a reviewer for Chartered Financial Analyst. He has been a member of the Financial Accounting Policy Committee. Sherlock is a frequent speaker before health care groups including the American Association of Health Plans, the HealthCare Financial Management Association, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The research of Sherlock Company has recently been cited in such periodicals as The New York Times, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, Modern Healthcare, Hospitals, The Wall Street Journal, HMO Managers Letter, Business Week and The Medical Business Journal.

Educational Background

Mr. Sherlock holds an M.B.A. in finance from Loyola College in Maryland. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Conclusion

We look forward to his contributions and now professionally welcome him warmly, as our newest ME-P thought-leader. 

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About the Hospital Debt Justice Project

Aggressive Debt Collectors Take to the Web

By Staff Reportersradar2

Thousands of patients face crippling debt to hospitals and healthcare systems across the country; even though they may have qualified for free care.

www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Yale-New Haven Health System

Now, the Yale-New Haven Health System, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Bridgeport Hospitals are pursuing aggressive debt-collection practices—including liens, wage garnishments and foreclosures—even though they have millions of dollars set aside for free care for patients who can’t pay. Others have colossal endowments as well, and often pay their CEOs handsomely.

Assessment

But, according to their website, the Hospital Debt Justice Project is only fighting for fair treatment and accountability from our community hospitals.

Link: http://www.hospitaldebtjustice.org

Industry Indignation Index: 85

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Isn’t it a charity hospital standard that not-for-profits typically charge the poor and indigent up to four times the UCR of insured patients? Your experiences are welcomed. 

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

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