Tag Archives: practice management

Small Business: U.S. doctors going broke – Jan. 5, 2012

11 Jan

Small Business: Doctors going broke – Jan. 5, 2012.

A sad story from the USA about the financial pressured on Private Practice in a managed healthcare economy with fee-for-service consultations.

It is interesting to observe from across the pond here in UK the tough times doctors face in USA when (a) they can buy expensive drugs in bulk, then charge the patient/insurer a premium, and (b)US government has blocked plans to reduce Medicare reimbursements many times over last decade while economy has been contracting.

Here in UK, the first scenario cannot happen, at least directly.  The nearest thing to the profit from buying drugs in bulk  and getting a profit from dispensing is by dispensing (rural) general practices.

The second issue of contracting doctors pay has not met any practical resistance in UK.  GP practice did increase a lot in 2004 with the new contract for General Medical Services; since then GP Partners’ profits have fallen in real terms, particularly with National agreement to cap increases to no more than 1.5%, while recommending staff get at least 3% pay rise which is paid for from Practice income!

There is nothing comforting from the article about the dire financial position of many U.S. doctors.  Medical professionals are among the most valuable members of a community.  Their presence ensures timely treatment of illness (well not aesthetic surgeons!).  Regulations designed to protect patients (and insurers’ profits) are squeezing the life out of many practices which will result in consolidation.  Rural folks will be most at risk from this.

It is timely to be reminded of the dangers of private medicine.  The medical industrial complex should not be allowed to hijack the public NHS otherwise in a few decades from now, I fear, British doctors will be the subject of a similar story.

Receptionists Training/Paitent Confidentality – Taking Responsibility

14 Sep

Common sense. Have used the RCGP confidentiality toolkit originally designed for teenagers with good effect in my own practice. WONCA workshop in Slovenia several years ago was very well received.

Beyond the Reception Desk

Everyone working within the Health Care Sector is bound by patient confidentiality.

Every member of staff should be expected to sign a confidentiality statement when they first start working for you. Confidentiality is vital when you are working with information regarding a patient.

You must only ever disclose patient information in the patient’s best interests.

How many people do you think has access to patient information?

here are a list of some of those healthcare professionals:




HCA (Health Care Assistants)


Ambulance Technician

Other Healthcare Professionals (ie physiotherapists, dietitians, counsellors etc)

Out of Hours Personal



Administrative staff

NHS Managers

Cleaners  (They might see or hear patient information when carrying out their jobs. )

If you are working in a Surgery do you get visitors/workmen to sign a confidentiality statement when they come into your Practice?

There is every possibility that they will see or hear something regarding…

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