Dear Dr. Tom

Dear Dr. Tom, How do we educate our doctors to do better in Medicare Advantage? Please help. That’s a summary of the most common question organizations ask me. And they pay me six figures for the answer. But today, against my wife’s vehement wishes (she hates me giving stuff away), I’m going to give the answer away for free. Mentorship. Clinicians are trained through mentorship. From med school on, that’s how we’ve been taught.  And...

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Old Friends

My wife and I went over to an old friend’s house to play some cards. We’ve known each other for 35 years.  We were roommates while we were in graduate and professional school. We froze on float trips together, stayed up all night playing bridge together, worked and ate and faced hard times together. He is a much better friend than I deserve. Once, when he was in law school, he sprained his ankle running...

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Shared Risk? Insane Return.

Looking For an Investment With an Insane Return? Do you have a shared-risk contract but are not doing as well financially as you had hoped?  Are you uncertain of how it works and poorly supported by your organization. Education is the key.  The return on the brief amount of time you spend on targeted learning and mentoring will be unbelievable.  

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Special Needs Plan

Here’s how you dramatically increase your revenue doing the same things you’re doing now. Look into Special Needs Plans (SNPs). These are insurance policies tailored to the needs of the underserved. The laws allowing Medicare Advantage organizations (MAOs) to create these had been temporary. As of late last year, it was changed to be permanent. And boy have MAOs responded. There are some fantastic policies out there. Policies that create real value for their beneficiaries,...

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Sunday Links

BACON REALLY IS KILLING US The short version:   If a meat is treated with nitrates, even natural ones, and then cooked, the nitrates change into a known and real carcinogen.   Tens of thousands of cases of colon cancer each year could be prevented with the elimination of processed meat.   Why haven’t folks been made aware of the risk?       OFFER RIDES FOR CANCER PATIENTS, GET A BIG FINE Someone needs...

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Finding Your Way with Medicare Advantage

My father was lost. He had inherited some money and for some demented reason decided to spend it taking his wife and five kids on a trip to Colorado—in his Caprice Classic. Madness. We got off the road in Salina, Kansas to go see the Eisenhower Library. It was a great stop. Highly recommended. But now we were on a two-lane highway literally in the middle of nowhere trying to find our way back on...

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What I Do

The title of this blog post says it all. It’s the most common question I get from people who experience my web presence. What exactly do you do? And I tell them, I teach clinicians and organizations how to drive. My first car was a 20-year-old Ford Thunderbird. It cost me $500. She was one sweet ride. She had two layers of stainless steel, was tricked out to almost 6000 lbs. curbside and it felt...

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Just Say No

If you don’t want what something your clinician wants you to have—just say no. It doesn’t matter if it’s a colonoscopy, a new pill, or even a new exercise—just say no. I write this because of what you’ve already seen happening. Clinicians are getting more and more pushy about you getting things done. They have to be.  The organizations that employ them get paid that way. They get paid less on what they do, and...

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How Does Your Employer View You?

How can you tell how your employer see you? Are you a piece worker, a cog, whose work product is a closed chart and a reasonable patient satisfaction score? Or are you a skilled clinician, a respected value-generating keystone essential to the success of the organization? Look and see if you have a shared-risk component to your compensation formula, such as under a Medicare Advantage contract. Look and see if they do well, you do...

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