October 2004 Bulletin

Hone your business skills and improve your bottom line

Academy holds first Practice Management Symposium for practicing orthopaedic surgeons

By Steven Fisher

Today, a successful physician must be more than “able, available and affable.” To succeed in the current marketplace, a physician must be a good manager and steward of his or her business, taking steps to maximize revenues, minimize costs, ensure that patients are satisfied and comply with government regulations. It also involves developing and implementing plans that will permit the business to grow in a healthy manner, in the number of physician principals, the array of services offered, or both.

Medical schools, however, do not teach these skills. Nor do orthopaedic graduate medical training programs, which generally focus on hands-on clinical skills. The result has been that, as reimbursement for medical services has fallen and operational costs have increased, some well-established physician practices have experienced economic difficulties.

To provide AAOS members with the resources needed to run efficient, effective medical offices, the Academy offers stand-alone practice management courses on focused topics, Bulletin articles and the on-line Practice Management Center (PMC). But not until now has the Academy offered an intensive workshop covering a wide array of management topics for practicing orthopaedic surgeons in direct conjunction with the Annual Meeting.

On Tuesday, Feb. 22, the day before the 2005 Annual Meeting, the Practice Management Symposium for Practicing Orthopaedic Surgeons will debut. The symposium will focus on topics that are critical to orthopaedic practices’ long-term success, such as:

Featured speakers at the symposium are experts in their respective fields. They include orthopaedic surgeons who have management roles in their groups, an attorney who specializes in Stark and HIPAA Privacy and Security regulations, and orthopaedic practice administrators who are members of the BONES Society.

The symposium will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. A lunch will be served from 12:00–12:45 p.m. A handout booklet, documenting and expanding on issues presented by speakers, will be distributed to all participants.

Attendance will be limited to 125 people so that attendees will have ample opportunity to discuss the issues presented and pose questions. Registrations will be accepted online and via fax on a first-come-first-served basis. The fee for the symposium is $399 for AAOS members and their staff and $499 for non-members.

Steven Fisher, MBA, is manager of practice management affairs. He can be reached at 847/384-4331 or sfisher@aaos.org

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