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A Physician Focused Financial Advisior and Certified Medical Planner™

Financial Management Experience

https://www.medicuswealthplanning.com/team/david-k-luke

David K. Luke focuses on helping physicians, medical professionals, and successful retirees with financial planning, investment and risk management.

In the past 24 years of industry experience, David has held licenses including general securities registered representative, registered investment advisor, Branch management supervision, and Life, Accident, and Health Producers.

David, a fee-only advisor, is able to help his clients to achieve peace of mind and greater assurance with their financial goals by giving advice and providing investment management that is in their best interest, untainted by commissions or sales objectives. Likewise, in a true fiduciary capacity, he is able to help investors determine the reliability and suitability of products and services that they have been sold by other advisors.

David began his career managing money in 1986 in the General Motors of Canada Banking and Investments department where he was engaged in cash management, foreign currency hedging, and the debt issuance of a $100 million Eurobond and a $300 million Note Issuance facility. In 1988 as Supervisor of Borrowings for GMAC Canada David was responsible for the daily average issuance of $125 million in short-term Commercial Paper. David worked as a stock broker and portfolio manager for 2 major national brokerage firms (A.G. Edwards and Wachovia Securities) from 1989 to 2008.

Additionally, at Wachovia Securities David was among an elite group of financial advisors approved as a PIM (Private Investment Management) Portfolio Manager. Prior to joining Net Worth Advisory Group in 2010, David managed his own independent firm, Luke Wealth Strategies, working as a registered representative and investment advisor.

Education and Designations

  • President 2009/2010, Financial Planning Association (FPA) – Utah Chapter Affiliate
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  • Member, Medical Group Management Association Master of International Management (Finance concentration)
  • American Graduate School of International Management Bachelor of Arts, Brigham Young University
  • Certified Medical Planner™ Professiobnal Designation from iMBA, Inc www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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David is our newest ME-P “thought-leader”. We look foward to his insider comments and posts. So, please welcome him and give his site a click: http://networthadvice.com/our-team/david-k-luke/

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Fixing the Mental Health Infrastructure of the US

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The Political Topic Du Jour

By David K. Luke MIM CMP™ www.NetWorthAdvice.com

David K. LukeThe sad events of the recent tragedy which occurred in at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut where 20 children and 6 adults were killed painfully reminds us of two problems that are not going away in the United States: continued gun violence and untreated mental illness.

As a Father I could not bear to watch the news coverage. Resolving the problem of high gun violence in this country typically leads to an emotional debate over gun control and gun rights, a debate that in the past has ended with both sides drawing the line and little being accomplished. Politicians that would like to be reelected avoid this emotionally charged hot potato like a leper colony with the hope that the Topic Du Jour will change quickly back to how they can reduce taxes, increase entitlements, or frankly any other issue that will ensure their livelihood for the current elected term. In the meantime, this stalemate is unnecessarily costing the lives of our innocent children and productive citizens that happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Commonalities

The common thread to almost all of the tragic public gun violence episodes in the past few decades is that the shooter is suffering a serious mental illness. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year according to the National Institute of Mental Health (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml).

Unique among the developed countries is the position of the United States that those with mental illness, like those with any other disease, can receive treatment as long as they pay for it. Those that can’t or choose not to pay for it often end up in dire straits in one of our emergency rooms (the de facto health care solution in the United States for the uninsured) forcing our overworked and understaffed emergency room health professionals to deal with the problem and our hospital systems with spiraling unpaid ER bills. As a country that was founded on the principles of self-reliance and freedom of choice, we recognize the fact that some individuals may prefer not to pay for their health care by electing to not have private health insurance. Lest we become too judgmental of our fellow citizens that do not have health insurance, we should be reminded that our for-profit health insurance industry in the United States that provides the largest portion of payment for healthcare services also precludes individuals that are unhealthy from purchasing coverage. This is done by hiking premiums to unaffordable levels or simply by flat issuing a denial of coverage. So individuals with mental illness, even those diagnosed with mild depression, are often branded by the system that considers mental health issues as preexisting conditions.

Which brings about the question:  How does an individual with a mental health illness in the US normally get medical treatment?

Link: Chapter 07: Workplace Violence

Standard Protocol

Normally, the individual sees their primary care physician, talks about the problem, is diagnosed by the physician and receives treatment, which often includes prescription medications. The individual’s private health insurance plan (or Medicare or Medicaid, depending on the age or financial qualification of the individual), covers all this with typically a small or no copay at the doctor’s office. If a medication is prescribed, the drug (often a generic) is covered typically by a small copay at the pharmacy. Further checkups and treatment are all typically covered by insurance with little money out-of-pocket.

Here are the complications to the “normal” answer regarding an individual with a mental illness in the United States seeking help:

Reasons Mental Illness Goes Untreated That Involve Lack of Access to Medical Care

  1. The individual does not have insurance.  The cost to treat the problem may be considered unaffordable.
  2. The individual has insurance but the mental illness has been ruled a preexisting condition and is not covered under the policy. The cost to treat the problem may be considered unaffordable.
  3. The individual does not see a health service provider on a regular basis and may not realize that they are sick with a mental illness or consider that it is just stress or a temporary mood change.

Reasons Mental Illness Goes Untreated In Spite of Access to Medical Care

  1. The individual considers seeing a physician for such an issue to be a hassle or too time consuming. Some primary care practices in some parts of the country require a long wait to be scheduled and then a long wait in the waiting room to be seen.
  2. The individual would like to receive treatment for their mental illness, but knows that such treatment will be recorded on their medical records and likewise have repercussions that could include such events as losing their job, tarnishing their reputation in their community, family, church, or other organization, or denying them access to a gun license, pilot’s license, medical licenses, etc. Military service people and police officers, for example can be rightfully disqualified from their positions if certain mental illnesses were revealed on a medical record. Also having a mental illness on their medical record could increase their cost to get life insurance or their ability to get new health insurance should they leave their current employer. Likewise many of these individuals may seek help “off the record” or may avoid seeking help all together and simply “man up” as expected.
  3. The individual, for reasons mentioned above and regardless of medical care access, avoids professional medical care and self-diagnoses their mental illness. Likewise, an individual suffering from severe depression may decide that they have only mild depression and based on “Dr. Google” may start a regimen of Vitamin B, a chromium supplement, and some St. John’s Wort. Self-treatment of mental illness issues with easy access to information and prescription drugs through the internet lulls some individuals into a false sense that they are on the road to recovery when their condition can actually worsen.
  4. The individual may know they need help, may have access to qualified medical help, but may be discouraged from seeking help due to a trusted family member or friend that assures them professional medical help is not necessary. I have even witnessed a loving father tell his diagnosed schizophrenic son who had just experienced a manic episode to “shake it off and be happy”. Can you imagine telling your child who suffers from a serious chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes to just “shake it off and be happy”?
  5. The individual perceives that continued medical treatment of their mental illness could threaten their personal freedoms, by resulting in a court ordered commitment to a psychiatric facility for example. Fearing such restrictions, the individual cuts off all medical treatment. In fact recent news is now coming forth that Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old Sandy Hook shooter, had been taken to a psychiatrist by his mother and was in fear of being committed to a facility, which may have been part of the motive for the mass shooting spree, which included the killing of his mother.

[Re-Thinking our Gun Control Dialog]

Gun control dialog

Will the PP-ACA Fix Our Maligned Mental Health Care System?

Mental health services are a part of the services provided under the Affordable Care Act. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which was signed into law in 2008, also helped increase coverage that includes mental health services by requiring employers with more than 50 workers to cover them at the same level as other medical conditions offered by the insurance plan.

In other words, the plan could not provide fewer inpatient hospital days or require higher out-of-pocket costs for mental health conditions. It is still possible however for larger employers to not offer mental health coverage in their insurance plans even after 2014. The ACA will require small group and individual plans however to offer the coverage in 2014 through health exchanges created under the law. An individual that earns less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level may be eligible for Medicaid coverage in 2014, which offers mental health benefits.

It is estimated that as many as 30 million people will gain insurance coverage and likewise mental health care beginning in 2014. Some estimates are lower, with the expectation that many will forgo the mandated insurance coverage and pay the “tax” instead. Even with more Americans having access to mental health care, many will opt to forgo such care as outlined above in “Reasons Mental Illness Goes Untreated In Spite Of Access To Medical Care”.

For those folks we can fault the independent American spirit, good old fashioned stubbornness, the desire to avoid any stigma attached to mental illness, or simply the desire to be unencumbered by a system that threatens to “lock you up and put you away” for your disease. As with the case of Adam Lanza, access to mental health care does not mean the disease is cured or that the patient is an obedient, willing participant.

Assessment

Sadly, preventing another Sandy Hook from occurring is impossible. Whether or not the gun debate this time around will produce any results remains to be seen. Where is the limit of personal freedoms? However, with increased mental health access beginning in 2014 and with increased mental health awareness and acceptance we can hope that such events in the future will be less common.

About the Author:

David K. K. Luke focuses on helping physicians and successful retirees with financial planning, investment and risk management. In the past 24 years of industry experience, David has held licenses including general securities registered representative, registered investment advisor, Branch management supervision, and Life, Accident, and Health Producers.  David, a fee-only advisor, is able to help his clients to achieve peace of mind and greater assurance with their financial goals by giving advice and providing investment management that is in their best interest, untainted by commissions or sales objectives. Likewise, in a true fiduciary capacity, he is able to help investors determine the reliability and suitability of products and services that they have been sold by other advisors. David began his career managing money in 1986 in the General Motors of Canada Banking and Investments department where he was engaged in cash management, foreign currency hedging, and the debt issuance of a $100 million Eurobond and a $300 million Note Issuance facility. In 1988 as Supervisor of Borrowings for GMAC Canada David was responsible for the daily average issuance of $125 million in short-term Commercial Paper. David worked as a stock broker and portfolio manager for 2 major national brokerage firms (A.G. Edwards and Wachovia Securities) from 1989 to 2008. Additionally, at Wachovia Securities David was among an elite group of financial advisors approved as a PIM (Private Investment Management) Portfolio Manager. Prior to joining Net Worth Advisory Group in 2010, David managed his own independent firm, Luke Wealth Strategies, working as a registered representative and investment advisor.

He is also a Certified Medical Planner™ charterholder: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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With Obama Election Win “Mr. Market” Weighs in on the ACA Equity Winners and Losers

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The Wisdom of Crowds

By David K. Luke MIM, Certified Medical Planner™

Website: www.networthadvice.com

The first trading session following the election on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 gave us some clues on how different sectors of the health care market may be affected by the ACA, as Obama’s win confirms that health reform marches forward. “Mr. Market” has spoken.

“Mr. Market”

For those that may be unaware, “Mr. Market” was Benjamin Graham’s term for the stock market in explaining fluctuations. Graham is the father of value investing and Warren Buffet’s most influential mentor. According to Graham, Mr. Market is emotionally unstable but doesn’t mind being slighted. If Mr. Market’s quotes are ignored, he will be back again tomorrow with a new quote.

So, the point is that successful investors do not place themselves in emotional whirlwinds often created by the market. This first post-election trading session was such a whirlwind. Large groups of people (such as those that voted with their pocketbook in this telling stock market session) are smarter than an elite few, or so goes the premise of James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of the Crowds.

Now; what did we learn from the combined investing public wisdom about the future of healthcare companies profitability with ACA?

Keep in mind the overall market was down 2.4% on the day as measured by both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor 500. The biggest concern of the day was investor worry about the so called “fiscal cliff” and the debate over billions in spending and tax increases. Considering the total market on November 7th, health care stocks performed as a group better than the averages, but Mr. Market definitely parsed health care stocks by sector from “great” to “dreadful” based on the implications of impending health care reform:

Great:

Hospital Stocks

  • Health Management Associates (HMA) +7.3%
  • HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA) +9.4%
  • Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH) +6.0%
  • Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC) +9.6%

Yes, there were stocks that went up stridently on the big down day. Not surprisingly, hospital stocks are expected to benefit from the estimated 30 million Americans who will line up for insurance coverage beginning in 2014, increasing profits and decreasing bad debts.

Medicaid HMOs

  • Molina Healthcare Inc. (MOH) +4.6%
  • Centene Corp. (CNC) +10.1%
  • WellCare Health Plans Inc. (WCG) +4.4%

Health insurers that typically focus heavily on Medicaid are up in line with ACA provisions to expand care for the poor. Mr. Market tips his hat to Centene Corporation, which has been successful in procuring multi-line coverage contracts with States including long-term care, vision, dental, behavioral health, CHIP and disability.

Good:

Drug Wholesalers

  • McKesson (MCK) +1.3%
  • Cardinal Health (CAH) +.5%
  • AmerisourceBergen (ABC) +1.0%

Growth in prescription drug spending means increased revenues for the drug wholesalers, so ACA should be a positive for this group. But because a majority of wholesaler profits come from generic drugs, and because wholesalers are indirectly affected by changes in pharmacies, pricing pressures will keep the wholesalers in check.

Fair:

Pharmacy Benefit Mangers

  • Express Scripts (ESRX) -0.4%
  • CVS Caremark Corp (CVS) -0.4%

As an intermediary between the payor and everyone else in the health-care system, PBMs process prescriptions for groups such as insurance companies and corporations and use their large size to drive down prices. These companies are incentivized to cut costs and have been thought to benefit greatly from ACA, and will expand prescription drug insurance plans sold through health insurance exchanges starting in 2014.

Generic Pharmaceuticals

  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd ADR (TEVA) -0.7%
  • Mylan Inc (MYL) -0.8%
  • Dr. Reddy’s Labs (RDY) -0.6%

Health care reform is good for generic drugs with anticipated increased dispensing of drugs in general.  With more funds spent on Medicaid, the ACA will certainly be generic oriented and should fare better than the name-brand drugs. Pricing pressures are expected over the longer term however.

Testing Laboratories

  • Quest Diagnostics (DGX) -1.5%
  • Laboratory Corp of America (LH) -1.9%

More patients you would think would mean more medical tests. In a recent Gallup survey, physicians attributed 34 percent of overall healthcare costs to defensive medicine (think diagnostic blood tests/invasive biopsies, etc). ACA may curb this expensive part of medicine and appears to have very negative implications going forward as Labs will have intense pressure to reduce rates. However, these larger labs held up better than the market averages suggesting that lab work isn’t going away with ACA.

Big Pharmaceutical Companies

  • Pfizer Inc.  (PFE) -2.2%
  • GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) -0.8%
  • Eli Lily & Co. (LLY) -1.2%

The name-brand large Pharmaceutical companies have agreed to rebate Uncle Sam on Medicaid purchases and must give the elderly discounts. But there will be a lot more of us taking drugs too.

I’ve ranked these 4 health care sectors “fair” considering that broader stock market averages were down 2.4% for the day and Mr. Market was kinder to this group with only a slight negative. Likewise, it appears that he is anointing this group as a benefactor of upcoming reforms.

Not Good:

Medical Device Companies

  • Medtronic Inc. (MDT) -3.0%
  • Stryker Corporation (SYK) -1.6%
  • Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) -3.6%
  • Zimmer Holdings Inc. (ZMH) -1.8%

The 2.3% excise tax on revenue of medical-device companies is looking more inevitable, in spite of industry lobbying group efforts.

Dreadful:

Medicare Part D Companies

  • Humana Inc. (HUM) -7.9%
  • WellPoint (WLP) -5.5%
  • Cigna Corp. (CI) -0.7%

Even though managed-care companies should gain millions of new customers thanks to the ACA, profit margins are expected to decline significantly.  Mr. Market went easy on Cigna, perhaps because of the company’s focus on self-insured large employers.

Currently

Currently it is unclear how the increased revenue generated from more patients will affect the increased margins to the various sectors of the healthcare market. Also, too much weight should not be placed on this one day action by the market. One thing is clear however, and that is how Mr. Market and the market at large feels at first blush towards the impending implementation of the ACA based on the November 7, 2012 trading of the respective stocks.

Assessment

Remember: Mr. Market is temperamental and can change his mind anytime!

About the Author:

David K. Luke MIM, a Certified Medical Planner™, focuses on helping physicians, medical professionals, and successful retirees with financial planning, investment and risk management. He directs physicians through their complex planning needs, helping them foster a better medical practice and lifestyle. David is a fee-only financial planner.

Disclosure:

Percentage changes in price of stocks represent published change in price from closing price November 6, 2012 to closing price November 7, 2012. Stocks listed here are not considered to be past, present or future recommendations to buy or sell securities and is for educational purposes only. This information should NOT be considered as investment recommendations or advice but rather summary comments and opinions on the health care market by David K. Luke, MIM CMP™, who is entirely responsible for the contents of this article.

Link: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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New-Age Physician Risks Courtesy of Health Information Technology

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Issues You May Not Have Considered

By David K. Luke MIM, Certified Medical Planner™

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The entire nation continues to experience a medical malpractice liability crisis.

Facing physicians is the concern of frequency and severity of claims that either continues to rise or remains steady. And, much has been written about the impact of the liability crisis on physicians, the medical community, patients and access to care.

But, with health 2.0 connectivity, there are even more risks for doctors, and most all medical professionals, to consider.

So, here are a few fresh liability risks to your medical practice, to you, and to your patients courtesy of the health information age:

  1. Data breech risk. While not a new risk, the higher prevalence is new. The risks of a being fined by OCR due to the privacy rules of HIPAA because a practice had a data-breech with their EHR is becoming more common and very expensive
  2. Risks of telemedicine. As physicians become more technologically enabled in their practice of medicine, some are turning to real-time videoconferencing and other technologies. Some specialties such as psychiatry have been early adopters, but have to make sure they are still employing the same standards of care required by an in office visit (Cash 26). Also, the telephone can facilitate medical care but also result in adverse outcomes leading to telephone-related malpractice suits (Mondor, et al 517).
  3. Risks of new age medicine practices and their regulation. Case in point: Dry needling, which is like acupuncture, is a growing practice in places like Australia but is unregulated. Physicians should understand all regulatory and other risks when implementing new unregulated practices pushed by our new age society (Janz). Home births are on the rise in North America (even in Canada with government provided hospital delivery) but physicians end up dealing with the disasters and associated risks when they occur (Bochove 68).
  4. Reputation Risk. Reputation is a doctor’s most valuable asset. With the new age of internet and instant information, physicians must take great care in managing their reputation on such media sources as they are under increasing public and press scrutiny (Boyd 221).
  5. Communication risks to immigrants with limited non-native language proficiency. With today’s higher immigrant population in the United States, more medical practices are treating patients with limited English language proficiency. Clinicians now run the risk of not properly communicating medical risk information to these populations. A recent study shows that materials that include visual aids are being used by medical practices to effectively communicate with the patient (Garcia-Retamero, Rocio, and Mandeep, K. Dhami 47).
  6. The rise of the informed distrusting patient and related risks. With the ubiquity of medical information on the internet, the risks incurred by a medical practice in properly dealing with the newly informed patients with medical degrees from the University of Google Medical School are on the rise. Physicians must refine their “bed side manner” and improve their communication skills in order to deal with a more questioning patient population. Clinicians should actively discuss what patients have read on the internet when patients refer to their internet diagnoses (Lam-Po-Tang, John, and Diana McKay 130).

Works Cited

  • Bochove, Danielle. “Don’t Try This At Home.” Maclean’s 124.33/34 (2011): 68. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 27 Apr. 2012.
  • Boyd, M. “Managing Risk To Reputation.” Clinical Risk 15.6 (2009): 221-223. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 27 Apr. 2012.
  • Cash, Charles, D. “Telepsychiatry And Risk Management.” Innovations In Clinical Neuroscience 8.9 (2011): 26-30. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 27 Apr. 2012.
  • Garcia-Retamero, Rocio, and Mandeep, K. Dhami. “Pictures Speak Louder Than Numbers: On Communicating Medical Risks To Immigrants With Limited Non-Native Language Proficiency.” Health Expectations 14.(2011): 46-57. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 27 Apr. 2012.
  • Janz, StephenAdams “Acupuncture by Another Name: Dry Needling in Australia.” Australian Journal Of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine 6, no. 2: 3-11. Alt HealthWatch, EBSCOhost. Web. 27 Apr. 2012
    • Lam-Po-Tang, John, and Diana McKay. “Dr Google, MD: A Survey Of Mental Health-Related Internet Use In A Private Practice Sample.” Australasian Psychiatry 18.2 (2010): 130-133. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Apr. 2012.
    • Maureen Mondor, et al. “Patient Safety And Telephone Medicine.” JGIM: Journal Of General Internal Medicine 23.5 (2008): 517-522. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Apr. 2012

Conclusion

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Physician’s Update on Dividend-Paying Stocks

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But Some Doctors Ask – Why All the Hype?

By David K. Luke MIM CMPcandidate [www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com]

www.NetWorthAdvice.com

In an effort to help the US economy recover, the Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates to historically low levels. Furthermore, the Fed has announced its intent to keep interest rates low until 2014. Classic income-producing investments such as savings accounts and certificates of deposit pay next to nothing.

Borrowing Good – Saving Bad!

Borrowers are being rewarded, but savers are being punished. Low interest rates may have spurred the economy somewhat, but they have been devastating for retired people who have a low tolerance for risk. Physicians, other investors and their advisors are turning toward alternatives that pay higher returns, but these vehicles necessarily carry more risk. Among these alternatives, some investors are considering the purchase of stocks that pay reliable dividends.

Assessment

But, is this an appropriate strategy for mature doctors and similar retirees? What are the potential benefits and drawbacks?

Conclusion

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Marketing Basics for Financial Advisors and Physicians

On Differences and Similarities

By David K. Luke; MIM

[Investment Advisor]

www.NetWorthAdvice.com

The difference between internal marketing and external marketing for physicians is that internal marketing is the management strategy of improving satisfaction by making patients aware of the positive differences in the physician’s practice –versus- other modern or traditional alternatives that the doctor might externally use [yellow pages, coupons, TV, radio, internet, blogs, etc].

Now, compare marketing with advertising, which attempts to draw patients to the medical practice or clinic using more expensive channel distribution means and/or media messaging.

The “X” Factor

Internal marketing gives the patient “something extra” during the visit that tends to make them pleased, satisfied – or better yet – delighted!

In show business, Simon Cowell calls this something extra the “X” factor.

Whether it is a “Patient Bill of Rights” or just making sure that patients are treated fairly, and with respect throughout the process, turns the patient into a practice advocate instead of a patient from hell.

Improved listening/communication can come in the form of an attentive and caring human ear, enhanced bedside manner, or technology like P[C]RM (Patient {Client} Relationship Management) tools and/or eMRs, for example.

Sloppy Medical Office Procedures

Having office staff involved, by noticing improvements, can also help with the implementation of a successful internal marketing strategy. Sloppy office procedures can be cleaned up, scheduling access management can be revamped, and any administrative mix-ups can be avoided.

Negative practices such as “we enforce a minimum $50 office visit fee” should be stopped, as this casts a negative attitude on all patients, not just future deadbeats.

An effective P[C] RM strategy can increase patient satisfaction and be inexpensive to implement and maintain, especially in light of modern advertising tools for medical practices.

Financial Advisor Comparisons 

A physician’s internal marketing program is comparative to an FA’s internal marketing program, in that both methods are much more cost effective and yield better results than traditional external marketing or advertising.

For an FA, the practice of encouraging referrals can be done discreetly without making the existing clients uncomfortable.

An FA practice that is “referable” is one in which there are consistent standards and procedures in place. This creates a comfort factor with existing clients and assures them that when they refer their friends and family they will also receive consistent quality treatment.

Assessment

An FA can implement procedures similar to a medical practice by training staff to point out and recognize office procedures that might be improved. Letting clients know they are appreciated and that referrals are accepted sounds like obvious advice, but is often ignored by too many Financial Advisors, and even doctors.

Editor’s Note: David K. Luke is currently enrolled in the online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org chartered professional designation program.

Conclusion

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On Healthcare Collaboration Trends

A Lay Perspective

By David K. Luke MIM CMP

[Investment Advisor]

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Collaboration within healthcare has sprung from the general body of health communication research; ie., crowd-sourcing, etc..

And, there are a number of other emerging trends, visible to the lay man or woman, in the patient collaboration arena today.

1. Cross-Discipline Communication Teams

One trend is the formation of cross-discipline communication teams among health care professionals.  Different disciplines in pairs, small groups and teams now collaborate directly with each other. This is an important development in improving the healthcare delivery process to the patient.

Typically health care providers tend to identify strongly with their own discipline and likewise cross collaboration may be very difficult. But this trend is developing so that Nurses, Social workers, pharmacists and others work with physicians with a full realm of issues. Likewise we see now the Nurse/Physician collaborative, Nurse Practitioner/Physician Collaborative, Social Worker/Physician, Pharmacist/Physician and even Physician/Physician collaborative groups.

2. Clinical Health Care Teams

A second trend in patient collaboration is Clinical Health Care Teams.  A team approach to care and measurable patient outcomes has shown in studies (Cooke, 1997; Cooley, 1994: Fagin, 1992, et al.) as improving overall care for patients. These multidisciplinary teams facilitate and improve training of students in medicine and nursing and other related fields as well.

3. Informal Backstage Communication

Finally, a third emerging patient collaborative trend is the increase is informal backstage communication.

Typically communication in the healthcare setting regarding the patient has been done among the team members in a team meeting setting for a one to two hour collaboration session.

Now we see the emergence of the backstage regions such as the break rooms, hallways, clinic computer desk, work tables, photocopy rooms, and offices. While these encounters between team members are often fleeting and “messy”, the environment within a practice setting can be consciously created to allow for this increased interaction among team members that will certainly improve the care of the patient.

Of course social media and e-communication facilitates this trend.

Conclusion                

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