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From the Editor

In every state, some version of new insurance plans offered through health exchanges was unveiled at the beginning of the year…well, partially unveiled.
Happy New Year. Every year around December 27 or 28 we start wishing everyone a happy new year. As we look into 2014, we are trying to determine just exactly what a “happy new year” means when we manage our business of delivering healthcare services.
After months of preparation, the National Organization of Rheu­matology Managers (NORM) 8th Annual Conference was held the weekend of September 13-14, 2013, in Long Beach, CA.
Ripples from even a small change magnify and create waves. We have seen an ever-growing pattern of ripples affecting the stream of cancer care delivery in 2013 and prior years.
The management of oncology practices has always been complicated. Under the best of circumstances, managing the expectations of patients, staff, and owner-physicians is difficult.
Oncology is being actively managed by many entities, and in quite different ways. How will oncology practices and practice managers adapt, compete, and succeed in this fractured world? The first step is to look at the specialty through these many prisms and understand what gaps you might be able to fill.
In New England, October is prime leaf season. I was looking forward to that when I recently relocated to Connecticut from Florida, jumping back into consulting full bore. The first headline from the Hartford Business Journal that greeted me on my return was “United Healthcare drops thousands of CT Medicare Advantage docs.”
It is an exciting time for rheumatology practice managers when the National Organiza­tion of Rheumatology Managers (NORM) and Engage Healthcare Communications, LLC, begin a partnership to launch a publication designed exclusively for those of us who are responsible for running a rheumatology practice.
Since the last publication of Oncology Practice Management, I have transitioned to a new position with Florida Cancer Specialists. Like every practice across the country, we are facing new and different contracting challenges.
In 1971, President Nixon declared the war on cancer. Millions of dollars flooded into research facilities, and by the early 1990s, we reaped the benefits of those investments as new anticancer agents and supportive care drugs arrived to help us better manage the disease and its side effects.
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