Dermatology World March 2012 Supplement : Page 5

connection, provides the backbone. In today’s era of ‘big data,’ high speed Internet access, server virtualization, backup, and security requirements, ASPs are again gaining popularity,” Wagener said. Dr. Leshin’s practice originally outsourced IT, but they eventually discovered that the most eff ective solution for the practice was to hire a part-time IT employee. He noted the advantages of having an IT person on staff . “We have someone who knows our staff ... he knows the systems that we all use. It’s not like every time you call for help you get a diff erent person at the help desk.” The potential downside to this option is that practices may have a hard time fi nding someone to work part-time. Dermatologists can also employ outsourcing to help brand or enhance their business. According to Andrews, dermatology practices that want to expand the cosmetic side of the practice, or already do a fair amount of business in cosmetics, should have a good team for marketing and public relations. Consultancy agencies off er services such as email blasts, Web design, and print and direct mail promotions. These services can be benefi cial in urban areas, particularly in competitive environments where marketing is the best way to skyrocket a practice into the public eye. their practice needs to function effi ciently and then fi nd a company who can meet those needs. Andrews highly recommends that dermatology practices have a practice manager or administrator. “To function effi ciently, a practice needs a person who is always available to give direction, deal with problems, deal with people outside the practice, and pitch in when needed,” she said. In fact, DermResources is so adamant about this point that they will not sign a contract for a practice startup service if the practice is not planning on hiring a practice administrator. dw DISCOVER YOUR ResouRces “There are plenty of resources to be found on the Academy website at aad.org.” said Barry Leshin, MD, “People really don’t take advantage of what the Academy has to offer them along these lines. There’s so much material that the Academy has on their website and for sale that helps people with practice management issues.” DermSource – Provides dermatologists with practical, money-saving solutions for personal and professional stability. For a complete listing of resources, visit www.aad. org/member-tools-and-benefits/practice-management-resources/dermsource. Offerings include: • AAD Advantage – A member buying program that saves money, increases office efficiency, and consolidates purchasing. Financial Connection – Secure substantial savings on financial services like practice financing, equipment leasing, and credit card acceptance. AADDermsOnline – Purchase professional website development and hosting services at discounted rates. undeRstanding thiRd-paRtY coMMitMents Before committing to a consulting agency, dermatology practices need to understand exactly how third parties work. In the case of billing companies, they usually work on a percentage of their collections. In theory, this motivates them to collect as much as possible, said Wagener. However, they are also businesses and want to spend as little as possible doing it. “In diffi cult collection cases, they face a situation where it’s possible to spend more working an account then they will ever earn in fees, and there is a natural tendency to push those claims aside by returning them to the client or referring them to a collection agency who will charge 35–50 percent to collect,” Wagener said. Making a Well-infoRMed decision Arguably, the most important decision for a practice, once they decide to outsource, is determining which company to hire. Before making any decisions, read each contract thoroughly and speak with current clients, advised Andrews, so that you know what to expect. Dr. Leshin outlined some key questions to consider. “The questions that need to be asked [of companies] are: What is your experience with dermatology practices? What is your experience with practices of this size? Who can I call for references? I think checking references is fundamentally important.” Beyond looking for companies that specialize in dermatology practices, it can go a step further, Dr. Leshin said. “Say you have a cosmetic practice. Is an outside consultant accustomed to dealing with cosmetic practices? Because some of the issues are diff erent,” he said. Dermatologists need to have a complete picture of what • • Don’t forget about the many practice management resources available for purchase at the AAD online store, www.aad.org/store, including the following: • • • Dermatology Employment Manual Office Policy and Procedures Manual Starting and Marketing a Dermatology Practice Manual www.aad.org

DISCOVER YOUR RESOURCES

“There are plenty of resources to be found on the Academy website at aad.org.” said Barry Leshin, MD, “People really don’t take advantage of what the Academy has to offer them along these lines. There’s so much material that the Academy has on their website and for sale that helps people with practice management issues.”<br /> <br /> DermSource – Provides dermatologists with practical, money-saving solutions for personal and professional stability. For a complete listing of resources, visit www.aad. org/member-tools-and-benefits/practice-managementresources/ dermsource. Offerings include:<br /> • AAD Advantage – A member buying program that saves money, increases office efficiency, and consolidates purchasing.<br /> • Financial Connection – Secure substantial savings on financial services like practice financing, equipment leasing, and credit card acceptance.<br /> • AADDermsOnline – Purchase professional website development and hosting services at discounted rates.<br /> <br /> Don’t forget about the many practice management resources available for purchase at the AAD online store, www.aad.org/store, including the following:<br /> • Dermatology Employment Manual<br /> • Office Policy and Procedures Manual<br /> • Starting and Marketing a Dermatology Practice Manual

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