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Nonclinical physician career, income & lifestyle.Freelance MD is an active community of physicians that gives you greater control of your medical practice, income, and lifestyle, even if you’re clueless about where to begin and you’re already working 80 hour weeks. Join Now For Instant Access To Members Only Content & Downloads. It's free!
 
Tuesday
May152012

Effects Of Changes In The Medicare Physician Fee System

Dr. NoGuest post by John Di Saia MD

Relatively newly practicing physicians may not know that the Medicare physician payment system changed pretty substantially in the early nineties. This was by design.

The perception of those who designed this new system was that certain services were overpaid and others underpaid. It likely had much more to do with ratcheting down the costs of health care. As physician fees constitute only 10-20% of the entire equation, the wisdom of concentrating on physician’s fees to change the system is perhaps questionable. This is what was done nevertheless.

A cornerstone philosophy of the new system was that procedure-based specialties were overpaid. The physician fee system prior to this was based on usual and customary fees. This newer one based payments on a model that paid for a service at a uniform rate regardless of who performed it. While this seems fair on the surface, it had predictable effects.

Why would a surgeon with much higher overhead remove a lump in a patient if the new payment system put the procedure in a revenue negative position? The practice of surgeons removing certain lumps gave way to family practice and dermatology physicians removing many of them. These were the only specialties that under the newer system could turn a profit doing so.

The Medicare fee schedule economically regulates procedures in medicine. It also indirectly fed the growth of cosmetic medicine and surgery as this was the escape hatch many practitioners sought as the Medicare boom feel upon us. Surgeons interested in turning a profit quickly figured on what paid adequately and more importantly on what did not. As my grandfather told me as a young child, everyone needs to make a living. It is perhaps unfortunate that doctors do not discuss these matters with patients when telling them why they cannot offer a service. Is it really ever wrong to tell your patients the truth?

About: John Di Saia MD is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon and formerly (he didn't re-certify) a board certified General Surgeon as well. He also serves on the California Medical Board's Expert Reviewer Program reviewing cases of proposed negligence in the field. He blogs at CosmeticSurgeryTruth.com and is a Contributing Author to Medical Spa MD.

Saturday
May122012

ExpedMed 2012 Brochure Available Now

Our 2012 ExpedMed brochure is now available.

If you're interested in learning more about the exciting CME activities offered by ExpedMed in the coming months, clink Here to download a pdf version of the brochure.

ExpedMed is a leading Expedition Medicine and Wilderness Medicine CME company.  In addition to the annual ExpedMed washington, DC conference, ExpedMed leads CME adventure trips to some of the most unique and remote places on earth.  

Monday
Apr302012

Average 2011 Physician Income By Specialty

Average physician incomes by specialties for 2011

Thursday
Apr262012

ZDoggMD Les Misérables

Lovers of medical musicals rejoice! We're finally turning our talents to music outside of rap.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr062012

Private Island CME Adventure with ExpedMed

Just wanted to check in with you guys and let you know about a new CME trip we've developed over at ExpedMed for February 28 - March 3, 2013 .

The trip is on Little Saint Simons Island, a private island that allows no more than 32 overnight guests, has seven miles of pristine beach, is overrun with birds, gators, dolphins, crabs, fish, deer, and other amazing wildlife, and has won numerous travel awards for its incredible food, history, service, and sustainable eco-friendly policies.

Little Saint Simons Island is an incredible place.  It's been in private hands for over 100 years and was converted from a hunting lodge into an eco-resort.  I toured it recently just to make sure it's what we would need for an event, and it was awesome.  

While on the island, I saw a bald eagle adult sitting on its nest with a chick peeking out over the nest edge, two adult gators (and two young gators), lots of birds, and wandered along a beach with no one but my friends as far as I could see in any direction.

The food was incredible and the cottages were really cool-- many were originals that had been updated with AC and electricity (but no tv, thankfully!).

Although we’ve reserved the entire island, I only have 11 rooms available. The cost per room is $1,950 which includes three nights on the island, all food, and all activities for two people.  

Activities include fishing (with all gear and bait), kayaking, guided tours of the island with naturalists, biking, exploring with motorized skiffs, beach wandering, bird and other wildlife watching, and hiking.

Rooms are double occupancy so if two people are in the room it's $325 per night each for three nights.

We are offering our 20 hour online course for CME plus 8 hours of live CME training.  CME fees are $799 (for a total of 28 hours of Category I CME).  

Please let me know ASAP if you are interested.  I’ve already sold three rooms and only have 8 more left.  

This is an incredible opportunity to visit one of my favorite places on earth.  By the way, kids are welcome and will love it-- when I toured the island I took my five year old and another dad with his 5 year old son.  Both of the kids went crazy-- it was an awesome experience for all.

If this sounds like your type of adventure, contact us at ExpedMed to reserve your place.

Friday
Mar302012

The Harvard Physicians Writers Course Is Time Well Spent  

The 2012 Harvard Writers Course Starts Today.

Guest post by Diane Radford MD

Today marks the beginning of the 2012 Harvard Writers’ Course (www.harvardwriters.com) organized and led by Julie Silver MD (www.JulieSilverMD.com). 

Entitled Improving Healthcare Leadership, Communication and Outcomes Through Writing & Publishing, the course spans three days and enriches the attendee through lectures and workshops. Designed for physicians and allied healthcare professionals who write or aspire to write, the topics covered are wide in scope: understanding the publishing industry, how to write a book proposal, how to hone a “pitch” for your book, the art of storytelling, and how to make English move, and platform-building, being a few.

I have attended the course twice before and always learn something new. Ample opportunity is given to network with other writers, agents and editors. A highlight of the course is the oral book pitches, when authors each have 70 seconds to present their book idea to the audience, and receive immediate feedback form a panel of agents, editors and book coaches on its strengths and weaknesses. Alumni of the course, who have now seen their books in print — such as Jill Grimes MD (Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDs), Jeff Szymanski PhD (The Perfectionist’s Handbook), and Julia Schlam Edelman MD (Menopause Matters: Your Guide to Living a Long and Healthy Life) — give personal insights into their respective publishing journeys.

Three- hour advanced workshops are given on social media (RustyShelton, www.sheltoninteractive.com), writing a book proposal (Julie Silver MD), maximizing creativity (Shelley Carson PhD), Memoir Writing (Leah Hagan Cohen), writing for your reader (Lisa Tener www.lisatener.com and Martha Murphy), and the craft of writing (Susan Aiello DVM,ELS).

I can highly recommend this course for any physician or health-care professional who wants to write or who writes but is unclear of the next step in the publishing process. Lessons I learned from attending last year I was able to put into practice leading to the development of my website and a presence on social media — platform, platform, platform.

About: Dr. Diane Radford is a Surgical Oncologist and Breast Surgeon at Mercy Clinic St. Louis Cancer & Breast Institute. Learn more about Dr. Radford at http://www.dianeradfordmd.com

Monday
Mar192012

Steven R Feldman MD, Founder of DrScore.com

An insider peek on how he started to care about the quality of health by creating a start up online business.


Dr. Steven R. Feldman DrScore.com

Name: Steven R. Feldman, MD, PhD
Location:
Winston-Salem, NC
Website:
DrScore.com

About: Dr. Steve Feldman is a professor of dermatology, pathology and public health sciences at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.  His research studies into patients’ compliance with their topical treatments helped transform how dermatologists understand and manipulate patients’ use of topical medications over the course of chronic disease.  Dr. Feldman’s work has been published in over 500 articles in peer-reviewed journals.  He is the author of Compartments: How the Brightest, Best Trained, and Most Caring People Can Make Judgments that are Completely & Utterly Wrong (Xlibris) and Practical Ways to Improve Patients’ Treatment Outcomes (Informa), he founded the DrScore.com

View our free webinar on "How To Protect Your Reputation As A Physician" under our Free Deals area.

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