'Reform U' Schools Physicians' Staff

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , January 17, 2011

Topics for the 2011 Physician Office Staff Education Series, which runs from March through October, include managing stress in the office, difficult patients, patient access, insurance verification, hospital scheduling, claims and collections, motivating staff, marketing and advertising, negotiating contracts with insurance carriers, and case management.

There are also hands-on training and networking opportunities, and a chance to speak with guest instructors. "We are offering practices strategies on how to deal with claims and collections, negotiating contracts with different insurance carriers," Greaves says.

"We did a survey of the last participants of the first series and one of the popular topics that came up was stress and difficult patients, along with patient access and marketing ideas for the practice," she says. "The industry has changed where physicians are left on their own in a private practice where they don't necessarily have the tools to market the practice and bring in the business."

This is a great idea, and a remarkable and cost-effective way to promote engagement with physicians and their staff. With so much going on inside the hospital walls, it would be easy to forget about the critical role that physicians' office managers and staff play in coordinating care. Courses such as these not only provide practical solutions-based training on specific issues, they also provide a valuable outlet for office managers to build professional relationships and socialize with colleagues. Perhaps most importantly, these classes send a strong message that BGMC values its physician partners and their staff.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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