From: Michael Benavides 

Subject: Re: [Med-Managers] practices can't afford raises for staff Date:

To: Med-mgrs Forum (Don's listserv with 818 folks) 

"We are preparing our annual reviews and I plan to give raises to my staff and have given raises the past 4 years. Because 4 years ago I finally listened to Don and took his advice and implemented his recommendations as such I have been blessed all of our vendors are paid, we have not missed a payroll and later this year several of the equipment leases will mature and I expect to give myself a pay raise as well. Praise the Lord! What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing the same way but expecting a different outcome. You all need to encourage your docs to visit with Don and implement his recommendations. Look at his Ansar, pft, abi, VAT and labs cpt codes and get the average reimbursements for these. Let him perform an analysis of your practice and you will be shocked at the potential revenues walking out of your offices. Don can confirm this! I am simply telling you as a FP in Texas I did this 4 years ago and it works!"

~ Michael Benavides, D.O. - Dallas, TX 

This is a big part of why I do what I do!

"Thank you Don. We have a patient who retired a while ago partly because her memory was failing somewhat. She became Toni's patient about a year ago and came to see her recently because the memory loss had worsened. Toni put her right on the CANS-MCI that you started us using and it showed a very poor score, but with executive function and memory function remarkably different. Toni sent the patient for a scan which showed a history of multiple small strokes over many years, none of which had produced other symptoms. Now she is chasing down what is causing the strokes--but it was the MCI that revealed the nature of the problem!"

~ David Parmelee

The following is about BREATH HYDROGEN and not H Pylori which is totally different!  

"Don, I want to give you a little feedback on the breath hydrogen unit that you sold me several months ago. This has been a great piece of equipment. From the financial aspect it is relatively inexpensive, not expensive to run and good reimbursement. Bloating and heartburn patients are plentiful in my practice and it is amazing to see patients who have had ct scans, ultrasounds, EGD's along with the GI consultation and still they are miserable and told to live with it. A simple test with the breath hydrogen and you identify the underlying problem, usually meaning a short course of antibiotics or more likely avoidance of certain foods. Patients come back crying with joy and relief that they finally have their problem solved(their spouses are even more happy!) I have had multiple scenarios played out in my office and when it comes to the bloating/burping indigestion patient, I have not found a patient yet that we could not solve their problem. If anyone treats these Patients I strongly recommend this unit as it is very cost-effective and you will have patients that think you are a genius for solving their problem." 

Orrin McLeod D.O. McLeod Medical Centers 

"It is my opinion that you are one of the best assets we coders and billers have in the medical field. It is such a joy to hear someone actual speak the truth! And it shows that you actual care about what you do. You are greatly appreciated :-) "

~ Valerie Dubsky, Goodman Gastroenterology - Chattanooga, TN 

"I started to skim over Don's book at noon, and could not put this down. It not only is straight-forward, honest, and real life situations, it has such a great sense of humor with it, saying the things we ALL think and want to say but are "filtered" to actually not say. I would recommend this book to physicians, staff, clinicians, coders, billers, administrators, and anyone else in or considering a career in the Medical Field. It was a pleasure to read and I endorse it 100%! I will be encouraging all to buy it once you have it available."

~Terry Fletcher, BS, CPC, CCS-P, CCS, CMSCS, CCC, CEMC, CMC  

CEO/President Terry Fletcher Consulting, Inc. 

"Managing a medical practice in the 21st century is perhaps the most complex of all business endeavors. In his new book, The Unfiltered Guide to Medical Office Management, Don Self has managed to provide both a tool and a guide for those so inclined to tackle this challenge. Cutting through the maze of confusion, complexity and confounding rules and regulations, Don's book is a must-read for anyone wanting to assume hero status within their medical practice."

~ Frank Cohen, MIT Systems, Inc. 

"I think managers and physicians would be hard-pressed to find this amount of information available in one book. The Unfiltered Guide to Medical Office Management is the "bible" of medical office management! What you have successfully developed is a comprehensive guide to just about all aspects of physician billing, coding, collections and compliance in one easy to read (and entertaining) tome! Just implement a few of these tips and you are on your way to a more efficient practice. Don has provided information on increasing revenue and sharpening efficiency...both extremely important in these tough times." 

Charlene Endre-Burgett, MS, CMA (AAMA), CPM, CPC, CMSCS,

Administrator, North Scottsdale Family Medicine 

"The Unfiltered Guide To Medical Office Management" written by Don Self will keep you interested, give you knowledge and make you laugh at the same time. I have read many practice management books over the past 9 years and this book is a keeper. I would advise any practice manager to make this small investment for their career" 

~Desiree R. Baylin, CMOM, CPM-HRS, Executive Director, Physician Office Managers Association of America (POMAA) 

"Complete practice management, authoritative and experienced writings are difficult to come by. Don's book is one that qualifies. All in healthcare management should read it. Terry McVey, President, McVey Associates, Inc. Great info and in a very easy read format. Along with their diploma, Don's book, the Unfiltered Guide to Medical Office Management, should be given to all medical school graduates. I only wish we had this type of practical information available when my husband started his practice!" 

~ Marvel J Hammer RN CPC CCS-P PCS ACS-PM CHCO MJH Consulting - Denver, CO 

"This information is fantastic. It's exactly what office managers and physician's need to read and hear in these troubling economic and litigious times. Proper reimbursement has become the most difficult task for every physician's practice. Way to go Don!" ~John Bishop, P.A.

"This book is the fasttrack to moneytown. You've done what I have wanted to write about for years. Steve Verno Economic survival and effective, timely, and affordable healthcare delivery in an increasingly complex and tumultuous healthcare market necessitates that Osteopathic Physicians continuously implement proactive rather than reactive clinical and practice management systems. For more than 20 years Don Self & Associates has helped pave Community Medical Clinic's roadmap to success through informative state and national workshops, monthly newsletters, timely legislative and coding alerts, practice site and management systems evaluations and solutions. Don's recommendations on implementing new diagnostic technologies, laboratory testing methodologies and invaluable advice on dealing with onerous insurance policies have enabled our family practice clinic not only to survive, but thrive in its operational, financial and clinical health outcomes and most importantly in improved doctor-patient outcomes."

~ Hector Lopez DO, TOMA Past President - El Paso, Texas 

"I was very impressed when I first heard Don speak at the AOA convention in Anaheim, and I subsequently purchased the Ansar and PFT machines. He took good care of me and I am providing even better care for my patients because of him, not to mention the satisfaction of increased reimbursements."

~ Ernesto Quinto, D.O. - Sacramento, CA

"You have helped me in so many ways. You introduced me to autonomic nervous system testing with the ANSAR device. This machine allows me to diagnose and treat my patients for autonomic conditions that would otherwise have gone undetected. I just diagnosed 2 patients last week with atrial fibrillation. You also have helped me with billing and coding. I have learned the correct way to get reimbursed for all that I do with my patients. You have encouraged me to use my osteopathic skills and use them to ease painful musculoskeletal conditions for my patients. I have increased revenue and I have been able to sustain a fully staffed office as a solo practitioner even in these tough economic times. Most recently I have used the breath hydrogen test to diagnose malabsorption syndromes in patients with symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas and bloating. A patient of mine had been suffering with "IBS" for 10 years. We found she was intolerant to fructose. She was eating a granola bar and yogurt every morning both of which had fructose added to them. She changed the brands she was buying and now she is symptom free. She even did her own research on fructose intolerance and bought 3 books for me to share with my other patients. She had tears in her eyes and thanked me many times for helping her. So you have helped me in many ways. But even more, you have helped me help others get the medical intervention they need to be healthy and well. And that is why I do what I do. I love what I do. And thanks to you I will continue to make a difference in my patient's lives" 

~ Tasha Wallace, D.O. - Lehigh Acres, FL 

"Having known you for many years and thinking I never "needed" your services I attended a lecture you gave and what heard made me feel like I was falling behind in my approach to managing my office. After a visit to my office and implementation of a few suggestions, within 6 months I had realized over a 30% increase in office revenue which has allowed me to add new employees and more diagnostic equipment which will continue to increase my office bottom line"

~ Jeffrey Lindenbaum, D.O. - Yardley, PA 

"We're doing great. Praise the Lord! " I am sooooooo very glad that we finally opened our eyes and agreed to follow your recommendations for our practice. Our patients have benefitted clinically and our practice income has seen a dramatic increase in the years we've been adopting your suggestions. Again, thank you for your help."

~ Cindy Benavides, Michael Benavides, D.O. - Dallas, Texas 

"After 17 years of practice I felt I had a reasonably efficient well-run practice. I still at times found myself discouraged by cash flow issues, which I found to be a fairly common problem among primary care practices in today's medical climate. Over the years I have heard many promises from many consultants, and I was more than a little skeptical when you were recommended to me.  Don, I must tell you that it was very refreshing when I quickly realized that you were not just another salesman with pie in the sky ideas. Your analysis of my practice was thorough and extremely accurate. Incorporation of some of your most basic suggestions immediately impacted my bottom line, but what was most impressive was the fact that you focused your recommendations not on money but on enhanced patient care. As I have continued to incorporate your ideas, I have seen a substantial improvement in the overall financial health of my practice. As you know, some of your ideas will still take several months to fully implement, but I have great confidence that my ability to care for my patients will only continue to improve.More than anything, I have come to think of you more as a friend than as a consultant. Your core belief that by doing the right thing for the patient will result in the money taking care of itself has proven to be quite true. Thanks for your continued concern for me and my practice and I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship. A.H." 

~ Tilley, MD  Pinnacle Physicians Group - Malvern, Arkansas 

"I am a solo practice primary care/sports medicine provider in Missouri City, Texas. I have been using Don and the ANSAR testing equipment in my office since August of 2007. During that time, I have identified at least two patients with severe autonomic neuropathy requiring urgent cardiology evaluation. In both of those cases, the cardiologic evaluation confirmed severe coronary disease and prompted change in medical management. In many other cases, I have been able to manipulate hypertension medication changes compatible with autonomic state and coming up with better control. This added service has increased my ability to provide quality care for my patients with objective data. The fact that this study is non-invasive and takes less than 20 minutes to complete makes it very acceptable to my patient base.I highly recommend the implementation of this tool in any primary care office. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to spread the news." 

~ David Braunreiter, MD -  Missouri City, TX 

"A little more than 6 years ago, we met in your seminar and since then, we have been following your advice. You have always willingly answered our questions and helped us with billing and ancillary services. We have told others how much you have helped us and in the almost 6 years since we have been using your recommendations, we have increased our annual income by more than $200,000 a year. You introduced us to the ANSAR and although we do bone density scans, PFTs, EKGs, NCVs and other services, none of them even come close to the ANSAR as far as reimbursement and patient care goes. In addition to the great reimbursement we've received, it is also a test that can be performed multiple times a year to help patients. I would recommend any physician interested in increasing his cash flow while helping their patients to take a serious look at doing the ANSAR in his office."

~ J Michael Holder, D.O. - Phoenix, AZ 

"When our physician met Don at a FOMA seminar she was so impressed upon her return she had me go to his website to see if there was anything I could use to improve our practice. As I entered I was amazed at all the tools he has provided for medical practices. We then scheduled a practice evaluation that has helped us tremendously our revenue has significantly improved with all the new equipment and training Don and his company has provided for us. It has been about four months since we have instituted some of the tools on his website and we continue researching for answers weekly as well as med-managers because of how quickly Don responds to questions the answer is typically there already. We are very happy to have met you and for the support you have given to our practice". Thanks Don for being there for us!"

~ I.M. Healthcare PA - James B. Martin, MBA, Adminstrator/Compliance Officer - Lehigh Acres, FL. 

"Being in the Medical Field for over 35 years, in the position of Office Manager, I have seen a lot. Don Self is one of the greatest assets you could ever have come into your practice to consult with. He knows what will give your patients great service and help you increase your revenue by expounding upon good patient care. His integrity surpasses many I have dealt with. I would not hesitate to recommend him for any practice." 

~ Linda Martin, Regional Manager, Calvary Medical Clinic, Cleveland, TX 

"I just received and have read the June newsletter. As always it was very beneficial. And now a testimonial. As you will recall I resisted implementing Ansar in my office. The 2006 year had been a particularly difficult year for my office in many ways but especially financially. There were 3 pay periods where I had to defer receiving a check and several others where I had to delay depositing my paycheck. I ran up my credit card for reoccurring monthly expenses and was late in paying several of my creditors including IRS payroll taxes. Needless to say it was looking very bleak. So much so that I had to take out 2 loans to compensate for the poor and inadequate cash flow. There were other difficulties but I think you get the idea.Well, that was then. Now the good news. Since your visit and implementation of Ansar and other recommendations that you made we now have positive cash flow. I am current with all my vendors, I am no longer late with my bills or IRS payroll taxes. I have paid off the office credit card. And I anticipate that I will have one of the 2 loans that I took out last year paid off as well by the end of this calendar year. Now, catch your breath, not one payroll period has passed where I have not taken a check home and just today i was able to pay myself a bonus so that we could get a transmission overhaul done on Cindy's car that I had been putting off simply because we didn't have the resources to pay for it! It gets better! I have been able to give 2 of the office staff a pay raise and Cindy and I are seriously considering giving other non-payroll perks. Additionally, I haven't funded my retirement program in several years. Yes you guessed it I fully anticipate that I will be able to fully fund the account the maximum allowed by law this year. Don I could go on but these are just a few examples of the turnaround I have experienced since your visit. I can't tell you how relieved we are and how I have changed my outlook on the business of medicine. I want to thank God first and you secondly for we know who our supplier truly is."

~ Michael A. Benavides, D.O. - Dallas, Texas 

"In the current age of medicine's evolution, Primary care physicians, like myself, are straddled with skyrocketing expenses and declining reimbursement, not to mention, unfunded bureaucratic mandates. It is indeed very difficult to keep the doors open,much less getting ahead financially and professionally. Medicine as a profession is now less than enjoyable, and as a business,it is increasingly unappealing and under attack. The Establishment and Insurance worlds seems not to hear or care. They, however, keep agitating for optimal outcomes without appropriate funding or incentive. The end result is that physicians become disillusioned and patient- care ultimately suffers. Primary care is especially battered, especially solo primary Care providers like myself. I have,however, refused to compromise on the delivery of quality care in the face of such pressures. I exist for patient's health and wellness promotion. I have long searched for an avenue to address these two seemingly contradictory issues. Listening to your common sense and practical approach/presentations at recent medical conferences, made me realized that working smarter and more efficient is an avenue and strategy I needed to employ. To this end,utilizing ANSAR technology, fits perfectly. After research and with some conviction, I called you and you delivered. I have been using ANSAR responsibly for the last 5 months or so now, and I am having wonderful results. It has added a new dimension of cutting- edge care that have benefited both my patients, and my office. It has enabled me to diagnose issues as diverse as orthostatic hypotension, potentially dangerous arrhythmia, medication titration and optimization,the need for cardiology evaluation, and gives me a greater sense of providing more comprehensive and evidence-based medical care. ANSAR may have indeed saved lives in my office; one patient received cardiac stents and another CABG, as a result of issues uncovered during ANSAR testing. The use of ANSAR in a proactive and health-maintenance manner, to get ahead of catastrophic and expensive care, earns it a place at the table,especially in Primary Care. The financial rewards derived from billing for its components are just as tangible, and have enabled my office to keep afloat in these troubling times. The dual goals of providing comprehensive and quality patient care are not mutually exclusive, but inclusive with the use of ANSAR.I will strongly recommend that my colleagues avail themselves of this cutting edge diagnostic tool. I thank you for your keen interest and commitment in providing me with this important tool. It has enabled continued growth and the means to continue to provide quality care to my patients. I look forward to working with you in the future." 

~ Ashton Molai, D.O. - - Ashton Molai Family Medicine - - N. Wilksboro NC 

"Just a note from an practice managers point of view, which is a pretty reliable point of view as I do clinical, billing, ordering, training, and just about anything else you can think of in this office. We are a popular solo physician office in a suburban area and our doctor has been on his own since 2003. The first couple of years were spent building the patient logs, but the last couple have been trying to discover ancillary services for our office that pay well without denials to have to argue, do not take a long time to perform and staff can be trained to perform the procedures and free the physician to still see patients. Through your company we were introduced to several that I would recommend to other offices looking for revenue. The first recommendation would be the ANSAR, which has good reimbursement, takes 16-20 minutes, patients love it, and the staff learning curve is simple. Within a couple of hours, the staff will be able to perform the testing like pros. It introduces a multitude of diagnostic information in one test that in the past required several different types of test to get. It is so convenient for the patient as many can do it while they are here in the office waiting to see the doctor or just after seeing the doctor and that is truly convenient, especially for our elderly patients. It has definitely increased our bottom line without significantly increasing our overhead-no added staff, remodeling to make room for the equipment, expensive training, etc. Thank you for this and the other ancillary testing, ABI and Full PFT bedside machine, that you and your staff introduced us to. It has really been beneficial to us both in improved patient care and improved cash flow. We have been able to open a savings account to save for purchasing our own building in the near future. Thanks again."

~ Pamela J. Schulman, RRT, AAS, AS, AA,

Practice Administrator/Billing Mgr. - Diego Torres, MD - Ormond Beach FL

Don Self & Associates Inc. 

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