Rheumatology Practice Management February 2016 Vol 4 No 1 - From the Editor
Iris W. Nichols
Founding Editor-in-Chief, Rheumatology Practice Management
Practice Administrator, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Consultants of the Carolinas
Charlotte, NC

It is with great pleasure that I introduce all of our valued readers to Ethel Owen, the new Editor-in-Chief of Rheumatology Practice Management (RPM). I have known Ethel for many years and she has been instrumental in my growth as a rheumatology practice manager. Her qualifications make her a perfect choice for the Editor-in-Chief position. I look forward to serving on her editiorial board.

Ms Owen is President of the National Organization of Rheumatology Managers (NORM), and steps up to the helm of RPM with an extensive background in the medical community that spans more than 3 decades. In addition to her duties at NORM, which include recruiting new members, planning conferences, and networking, Ms Owen is a practice administrator with Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates, a 7-physician rheumatology practice spread across 3 separate locations in Palm Beach County, FL. She is also a Certified Professional Coder, and member of the American Academy of Professional Coders, with experience training physicians and other healthcare providers in surgical coding, evaluation and management coding, and chart documentation.

In addition, Ms Owen was involved in the expansion of the Florida Society of Rheumatology’s annual meeting to accommodate an all-day meeting dedicated to better serving rheumatology managers based in Florida. She has also served on advisory boards for many pharmaceutical companies. As someone who experienced challenges when entering the rheumatology space, Ms Owen values all of the knowledge and support she gains through NORM and from other rheumatology practice managers, and in turn looks forward to sharing that continued insight and encouragement with our valued readers.

NORM is a nationwide forum that upholds and promotes education, expertise, and advocacy for rheumatology practices and their patients. We are composed of team members involved in all aspects of a rheumatology practice’s operation.

RPM Is the Official Publication of NORM

As the official publication of NORM, RPM provides the latest information on process solutions for rheumatology practices, including healthcare technology implementation, new models of care, reimbursement and coding changes, as well as clinical trial information and drug updates.

NORM—formed in 2005 after an event dedicated exclusively to rheumatology managers and hosted by the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations identified the existence of practice management issues specific to rheumatology—has experienced a growth of >500% in the past decade, and prides itself on the successful development of a rheumatology professional network that has improved members’ personal and professional lives. NORM’s goals include working toward—and being cognizant of—resolutions to problems rheumatology medical practices face, serving as a forum for experts in rheumatology practice management to communicate with each other and with people seeking their expertise, and enhancing patient access to efficient, affordable rheumatologic care via educational, supportive, and mentoring activities for NORM members.

Through their ListServ and annual conference, NORM provides a myriad of networking opportunities to rheumatology practice managers, administrators, and managing physicians, and benefits from the vast diversity in sizes and services of practices represented by its members. NORM also works with other organizations to provide members with webinars covering various topics of importance to practice managers and administrators, and is enthusiastic about the future growth of its organization.

A Word from Ethel

In a recent interview, Ms Owen shared comments about her aspirations as President of NORM and Editor-in-Chief of RPM: “I am honored by the opportunity to serve as the President of NORM and the Editor-in-Chief of Rheumatology Practice Management. Readers should expect the same level of high-quality information from the journal, and continue to look to RPM to provide process solutions for members of the rheumatology care team, including solutions to issues associated with reimbursement, staffing, electronic health records, Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies, and compliance with state and federal regulations. Also look to RPM for practical information to address financial concerns and strategic decisions that affect the bottom line, as well as tools to provide the high quality of care that patients deserve, and information that will allow rheumatology practice managers to master the ever-changing business of rheumatology.”

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Last modified: March 17, 2016
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