AMA Wire

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013

Practice News

Know your rights regarding contract amendments

An AMA webinar at 1 p.m. Eastern time Feb. 12 will explain how physicians can address disadvantageous amendments to their managed care contracts. Register today.

Part of a series on managed care contracting in an evolving health care environment, this webinar will help physicians understand the potential hazards of contract amendments and how to avoid the effects of amendments that may have harmful effects for physicians.

Participants will hear guidance from an experienced health law attorney about how to identify and evaluate contract amendment language, when an insurer might amend a contract and physician rights under state laws.

Visit the AMA Practice Management Center to access archived webinars that can help physicians negotiate fair contracts and navigate relationships with health insurers.

Expanding your practice? Don't forget these things

Hiring an extra clinician also means taking care of tasks that may seem small but could be big for patients, according to a recent article in American Medical News.

With an expected 14 million newly insured patients arriving in the health system as of Jan. 1, 2014, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many practices are thinking about adding physicians, physician assistants or nurse practitioners to handle an expected bump in patient traffic, American Medical News reports.

It's important for growing practices to also prepare for the marketing and infrastructure changes that additional hires will bring, practice management consultants caution.

For instance, one practice saw an increase in patients when it brought obstetrician-gynecologists on board but forgot to expand their bathroom facilities to accommodate the influx of expectant mothers.

The article offers several critical examples of what not to forget, including telling the community about the practice expansion, ensuring such facilities as parking lots and waiting rooms can accommodate changes in patient volume or needs, and securing any necessary technology changes.