2 Imperatives for Successful Practice Management

Highly effective practice managers emphasize that success in the healthcare arena requires the planning and conduct of operations based on two imperatives: adaptability, and perseverance.


Adaptability is the skill and willingness to develop new structures or methods to accommodate different situations, ones requiring careful mission analysis, comprehensive intelligence, and market-specific expertise. In an era when the future of healthcare may not be predictable, practice managers must avoid overreliance on pre-existing assumptions.


Navigating through healthcare regulations sometimes gives the appearance of not having a clear beginning or end. Indeed it often seems to be a protracted struggle. Perseverance is the patient, resolute, persistent pursuit of practice goals and objectives for as long as necessary to achieve them. It does not preclude taking decisive action but does require careful, informed analysis to select the right time and place for action. While success is important, it is equally important to recognize that in the healthcare industry success will generally not come easily or quickly.

A seasoned practice manager with good leadership skills and a great work ethic can be invaluable to the operations of a practice. Adaptability and perseverance are two essentials if your practice is to survive the turmoil of healthcare reform.


Contact ABISA, a consultancy specializing in solo and small group practice management. Visit us at ABISALLC.com.

Recruiting for your Medical/Dental Office Manager

Undoubtedly a talented manager will help to ensure a medical/dental practice operates efficiently, is profitable, and has great employees. Finding such a manager, however, can sometimes be challenging since your practice is not the only one attempting to recruit that stellar candidate. So, if you like gambling in casinos and/or have plenty of time to spend interviewing countless candidates, then you should put an advertisement in your local paper or online. Otherwise, your time and money would be better spent using a recruiter to find an experienced manager/administrator who you will value for years to come.

A good recruiter will weed through the candidates and give you just a few (no more than three) who appear to be a good fit for you and your practice. Of course, when it comes time to interview, there are several items you need to ensure are covered.

Top Characteristics

Here a few things that you should ensure the candidates have when you are conducting your interview:

• Appropriate education level (Do they need a high school diploma? Specific type of college degree? Master’s degree?)
• Business acumen (This is your business person, so don’t skimp on this criteria. You are not hiring them to perform surgery; you are hiring them to keep the practice in order.)
• Leadership capabilities (Are they motivating? Can they delegate?)
• Healthcare administrator qualities (Do they communicate well? Are they empathetic? Do they have a sense of attention to detail?)

Warning Characteristics

Recruiters should be interviewing candidates in great detail before they ever send them your way. It is their job to be acute and to have a thorough selective process. Even the best of recruiters may miss something when they screen candidates, so here are a few red flags you should be on the lookout for when conducting your interviews:

• Did the candidate ask about salary upfront? (Actually, when using a recruiter, the candidate should not even bring it up since the recruiter should have already covered the salary range, benefits, etc.)
• Did the candidate ask about long hours?
• Did the candidate slam their former co-workers?
• Does the candidate appear to have poor people skills?
• Does the candidate appear to miss the point about patient care? (This can sometimes be the case if this will be the first job they have in a medical/dental practice. Obviously, patient care is a priority. The candidate that does not get that, will not do a job well since they will be unable to relate to the tasks the clinical staff perform on a daily basis. The manager does NOT have to have clinical experience to do a great job as an administrator.)

This position is crucial member of your staff and critical to the success of your practice. Finding the right manager is not easy, but being open about your needs to a recruiter can help to facilitate the search for a perfect fit.

We work with several great recruiters. Please let us know if you need help finding one. Contact ABISA, a consultancy specializing in solo and small group practice management. Visit us at ABISALLC.com.

Stress Attacks Physicians and Practice Managers

Last week I attended a meeting of the Pinellas Park Medical District. The speaker, Dr. Colette Cseszko, presented a topic entitled “How to Eliminate the Harmful Effects of Stress”. This subject is indeed applicable to the medical community where physicians and their practice managers are being inundated with stress-causing issues today.

Obamacare. What does it mean? Am I ready to meet the requirements of the law for my patients? Am I ready to meet the requirements of the law for my staff as a business? How will this affect my livelihood?

Reimbursement Challenges. How can I better forecast financial profitability? How deep will the reimbursement cuts be next year? What impact will Obamacare have on reimbursement? With the changes in the economy, will my practice be seeing more Medicaid patients? As more baby boomers retire, will my patient demographics switch from commercial insurance to Medicare?

Rising Costs. Do I need to cut staff to survive? Will I be able to budget for staff pay increases? Has anyone reviewed the various service contracts and agreements that the practice has? Is there the ability to negotiate with vendors for better rates? Do I have the time to tackle these important issues?

Competition. How can I better compete for more patients? What should I focus on regarding marketing? Do I have a competitive strategy for my practice? Do I have time to spend on refining a strategy and implementing it?

Social Media. Is it really that important for my practice? What do I need to focus on? How do we get started? Who is going to keep the content fresh? Do I need to hire staff for this? What is it going to cost the practice?

Indeed, there are countless issues physicians and practice managers face. These challenges accumulate to the point that they can lead to frustration, burnout, and depression (in addition to other health-related issues as explained by Dr. Cseszko).


Contact ABISA, a consultancy specializing in solo and small group practice management. Visit us at ABISALLC.com.