New regulations/laws concerning Private Healthcare – Article 22   Leave a comment

Are you up-to-date concerning new regulations/laws for your private practice?

From 31 January 2018 new compulsory regulations were implemented by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) as recommended by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The reasoning behind this gives the patient more choice and a better understanding of the whole process. It gives more information to patients and keeps them updated about possible costs, treatments and generally makes the whole private sector more transparent.

Any new patient must be informed in advance about outpatient fees, both new and follow-up consultations and any cancellation fees that may be applicable. Consultants also need to confirm whether they have any financial interest in the hospital or the equipment there and provide a list of insurance companies they are recognised with.

The letter is required to be posted or emailed to every private patient (self-pay or insured) prior to their first consultation.

                                                                                    

The next phase of the PHIN compliance is required from the 28th February 2018.

Consultants are required to send patients information concerning their treatment and test fees following their first consultation.

PHIN has suggested that all letters are sent within 2 working days of the outpatient consultation or prior to the procedure whichever is sooner. Alternatively, if the patient needs time to decide whether to proceed, then the 2 days apply from the date of agreement for treatment between the Consultant and the patient. However, if the patient undertakes a treatment or test on the same day as the consultation, verbal confirmation of the details can be given to the patient instead.  This confirmation must include the following.

  • The reasons for the tests or treatments
  • Your estimated fees
  • Confirmation that the Hospital will make a separate charge
  • If insured advise the patient that they should contact their insurance company to get pre-authorisation for the test or treatment.
  • Inform the patient that they can obtain independent information about the quality of the private treatment offered at the relevant Hospital and other private providers from the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) www.phin.org.uk

There is a legal requirement to give this information, therefore it may be advisable to state in your clinic letter that this information has been provided verbally.

The news from some hospitals is that Consultants not complying with this will be in breach of the practicing privileges.

I hope you find this information helpful and informative. There may be some Consultants and PA/Secretaries that are not aware of these changes.

It will mean more work, but I do think it will helpful to patients, as some are unaware of the process and they will be able to make a more informed decision.  It should also safeguard Consultants regarding fees, as patients will be told in advance of costs and treatments etc.

Please feel free to interact and let me know your views and comments.

Cathy

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Posted February 20, 2018 by cmm in Blog

Tagged with , , , ,

Doctors no longer need medical secretaries   Leave a comment

That is, according to a recent article in the BMJ written by Des Spence.
Needless to say, the response pages make very interesting  reading. It is easy to see how many doctors obviously realise how difficult their jobs would be without a trusted, loyal and well-trained Medical Secretary.
Read for yourself at  http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f226?tab=responses
Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Posted April 20, 2013 by cmm in Blog

Tagged with

Can email benefit both the doctor and patient?   Leave a comment

With email, patients would probably have more immediate access to the Consultant and/or Secretary and potentially get their problems and concerns dealt with more quickly.
Although these points are valid some areas of concern remain. Most patients would probably like being able to use email, being able to report any symptoms or concerns at any time of the day without having to bother with the telephone. For simple questions that are straightforward and to the point, email may well be beneficial to all concerned. Making appointments may also be more convenient.
However, email could possibly create inefficiency and confusion. Mostly everyone has either sent or received an email in which the content somehow did not fully convey the point intended. This can lead to even more confusion and inefficiency. Another real possibility could be that a diagnosis may be missed if a consultation is replaced by an email communication, or the patient might not fully understand the discussion.  Doctor/patient interaction cannot be duplicated through email.
Those who favour using email may state that only medical issues of a “minor” degree would be used for email status. A lot of patients however may not know what is a “minor” issue and what is more serious.
Maybe email communication can work in a safe and efficient manner only if certain restrictions and systems are in place. Here are a few suggestions:-
1.  Security – which is a must.
2. Receipt confirmation – possibly a receipt confirmation in the form of an autoreply, so that the patient will know right away if their message has arrived safely.
3. Limitation – messages could possibly be limited to so many characters –  ? 140 like Twitter. If over this amount then maybe a phone call or consultation is required. This also limits people from sending too long emails, after all sometime people can steer from the subject in question. Again the reason for the email or question asked may not be clear or easy to understand.
4. Email delivery – Maybe it should be stated that email is read only once per day and each email sent will have only one reply. This prevents the back and forth that can happen with email use which again may be time consuming and inefficient
So there are just a few things to consider regards email communication with patients. It is obviously a personal choice but I hope this helps in some way and maybe gives you ideas to consider regards email communciation with patients.  Let me know what you think?
Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Consultants – how to let GP’s know you are there?   Leave a comment

I am sure most of you if not all have heard of Networking. I have attended quite a few of these; mostly run by the Chamber of Commerce and a few others but I have yet to meet any doctors at these events.
It got me thinking that if I had difficulty letting the medical profession know I am here, how do newly qualified Consultants that wish to start-up in private practice go about it. Obviously GP’s know the regular Consultants to refer to, but for them to consider referring a patient to a new Consultant may take time and some effort on the Consultant’s part.
The usual form of interaction is to write to GP’s in the area and let them know where and when your private practice is held or maybe even a newsletter a couple of times a year. However is that enough or could you do more?
One thought may be for Consultants to hold a networking evening. A few Consultants may consider getting together and holding a social evening for GP’s and Practice Nurses either at the local private hospital or hire a conference room in a hotel. It need only be a couple of hours at the most and light refreshments could be arranged to make it more enjoyable.
It could be run as a social interactive evening and also an educational one. If there were a few Consultants they could give a 5-10 minute talk on their specialty and some of the problems that GP’s may face in the community when diagnosing patients with specific problems, and when to make referrals etc. There could also be a short discussion or Q&A time at the end. Most of the evening could be socialising so that you can meet the GP’s in person and interact with them, but also if there was a specific interest for GP’s surely they are more likely to attend.
This may be more worthwhile than sending out a mailing or newsletter:-
* You get to meet the GP’s in person and interact with them
* You make it a social evening and enjoyable setting so hopefully they more are likely to attend
*  You provide information that may be helpful or educational to them in specific specialties
Personal interaction and socializing with possible informative/educational benefit surely outweighs a letter of notification which probably gets filed and forgotten. This way you meet the GP’s personally and they will remember the evening and more importantly you; it gets your name out there and GP’s get to know who you are and your specialty. If it works well then maybe holding a Networking evening a few times a year may be beneficial to all concerned. It gives a chance for GP’s, Practice Nurses and Consultants to get together and interact in a relaxed social setting.   
Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Posted October 19, 2012 by cmm in Blog

Why social media may not be necessary or worth it for doctors   Leave a comment

Social media in healthcare is currently very popular. Almost every healthcare website advises you that you should be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and now Pinterest. Yet the only reason given for this is “because they are really popular and everyone is doing it.”

Do you need to listen to them though, why do doctors need social media?

1. There is no return on investment (ROI)

If you are a clinician and paid by your patient’s insurance company for the services you provide, how would social media help you. You would have to be posting something that would make more patients choose to see you and pay for your services.

2. Is it just one more thing to add to your already busy schedule

Most clinicians have an extremely busy workload and time is limited. Any social media consultant always recommends you do more than one site, they usually advise two or three at least.

From personal experience I can confirm that each site takes time to learn. Facebook is very different from Twitter or Pinterest, and each one of them takes up valuable time; time which most clinicians find hard to spare.

3. It’s a craze which will fade, it’s not worth it, unless of course

You have a lot of spare time, don’t care about money and it’s a hobby.

If you are the typical doctor with a typical medical practice, there is no need for social media, in fact the additional workload could worsen the amount of stress you are under and increase your workload.

Taking good care of your patients and spending time with your family instead are very good reasons to avoid social media all together.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Posted May 9, 2012 by cmm in Blog

Tagged with , ,

%d bloggers like this: