American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Practice Management Tips

Accountable Care:

  • ACO Facts Every Physician Should Know
    Not all ACOs are created equal, so it's essential for physicians to understand the terms thoroughly before signing an agreement with an ACO. Read more.

Appointment Scheduling:

  • How to Reduce Your No-Shows
    When a patient misses a scheduled appointment, it affects a physician’s bottom line because that lost income can't be recaptured. Read more.

Billing and Collections:

  • How to Handle Claim Denials Effectively

    When you have good systems in place, you will be able to appeal medical billing claim denials effectively and will eventually get paid in most cases. Read more.

  • Payer Requirements for Billing a Non-Physician Provider (NPP)
    Every health plan—including Medicare—has its own rules regarding NPP billing, and each state has its own laws for NPP licensing and scope of practice. Understanding your payers’ various billing policies for NPPs may help you avoid compliance issues. Read more.

  • Basic Billing Terms Your Staff Should Know
    From "deductible" to "ICD-10," this glossary gives clear explanations for a variety of common billing terms. Read more.

  • Tips for Accepting Card Payments 
    There are many issues to consider when your practice accepts credit or debit card payments. This tip sheet offers explanations of financial terms. Read more.

Data Management and Computers:

  • Password Security For Your Practice

    Strengthening the log-in credentials on your practice computer systems can go a long way toward reducing the risk of online hackers stealing information. Read more.

  • Clinical Data Registries

    To encourage doctors and other providers to participate in registry data gathering, the fiscal-cliff legislation allows doctors to opt out of other quality-reporting requirements if they participate in an approved registry. Read more.

Patient Management:

  • 3 Ways to Improve Patients' Experiences with Reception Room Design
    Your patients’ experience in your reception area has a major impact on their impressions about your practice. Read more.

  • Briefing on Video Visits with Patients (Telehealth)
    Telehealth is a vastly different way of practicing medicine from what doctors are used to, but it’s an important trend and could at some point become a standard option in medical practices. Read more.

Practice Operations:

  • Medical Record Retention
    Physicians have an obligation to retain patient records, which may reasonably be of value to a patient. A number of variables affect the length of time a physician should keep a medical record. Factors include state and federal laws, medical board and association policies and the type of record (for example, adult patient versus pediatric patient). SCG Health provides a visual to explain medical document retention laws. Read more​.

Personnel Management:

  • Reserve” Employees Can Pinch-Hit for Absent Employees
    Managers are constantly faced with “missing” employees, who are on vacation, sick leave or unable to come to work. Consider having “Reserve” employees who can cover for employees on vacation and sometimes can even come in on short notice for a sick employee. Your best bet is former employees who may be available. Another source is experienced medical office personnel who would be willing to work on a part-time basis. Managers will do well to consider “reserve” employees as a solution to being periodically understaffed.

  • Too Little Time for Staff?
    Two-thirds of employees say they have too little interaction with their boss, according to a study by leadership training organization Leadership IQ. And with unemployment so high, some bosses feel they don’t need to spend as much time with their employees. “A lot of bosses have this ‘but-I-give-them-a-paycheck’ mentality,” says career coach Sherri Thomas, author of The Bounce Back. “They think that the paycheck is enough of a thank you.”


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