Category: Practice Management

SEASONS GREETING MESSAGE

Yes, we listened to your feedback from last year! As another year draws to a close, we celebrate 27 years in practice. The team at Health and Life would like to wish all of our clients, readers and supporters a Merry Christmas and safe holiday and New Year. We could not have done this without you. It has

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Keeping the family in family practice

We all know about the importance of continuity of care to patient health outcomes, not to mention GP job satisfaction. We also know that building strong relationships with patients is the foundation that allows this to happen. But how does your practice approach this? Do you rely solely on doctor-patient rapport and good quality care?

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Practices facing tough penalties for MBS abuse

A recent headline in the Australian Doctor may set some alarm bells ringing “Corporates face tough new laws for MBS abuse”. Legislation just passed by the Federal Government means that, from July next year, where a practitioner has been found guilty of inappropriate billing, the practice not just the practitioner will have to refund the money to Medicare. This

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How to opt out of the Government’s national electronic health record now

Seriously how safe will your personal health records be? The Australian Government announced in 2017  the creation of a My Health Record for every Australian to have by the end of 2018. The ABC’s recent article My Health Record: Your questions answered on cybersecurity, police, and privacy boasts the now in trouble with Privacy Laws Health

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Health Engine Patient Data scandal; what should you do next?

After a recent national patient data breaches headlines …. ‘Scandal-hit HealthEngine axes third party referrals, patient reviews’ ‘HealthEngine app announces ‘major changes’ after doctor and patient backlash’ This important article comes from an independent law firm Peripheral Blue.  Now is a good time to consider what you need to do. Even amidst the (almost daily)

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Medicare Audit Anxiety is hurting patient care; High Court Challenge – Thank you Julian Burnside QC – complete this historic survey

Medical error is the third biggest cause of death, and the following is yet another systemic example. Source: Medical error the third biggest cause of death According to a research report published by the British Medical Journal Medicare billing practitioners receive very little if any billing education in Australia. The current system is legally and

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1st July 2018 3.5% Award pay rise or freeze revisited!

Did you know that on the 1st July 2018 your staff may be legally entitled up to a 3.5 % pay rise? Also just announced is a new option for people to be paid out their four weeks’ annual leave. Just ensure you have the agreement with them in writing! July 2018 up to 3.5%

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What am I doing wrong? How does a practice keep up with practice overheads and continue to provide quality patient care?

The recent Medicare increase is equivalent to a wage earner receiving a 1.5% p.a. pay rise after a decade of pay freezes. Practices will either have to cut costs or work longer hours, risking burnout. On 1st July wages increase up to 3.5% but Medicare increases by less than 1.5% after a long freeze.  

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2018 Historic Doctors/Providers Payroll Tax warning!

Beware of the payroll taxman… As reported in a recent interview in the Medical Republic paying doctors or providers incentives may attract payroll tax that many are unaware of. A checklist based on this recent case is below so you can test how safe you are from an audit. We have recently received a number

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The Royal Commission: cannot legislate good behaviour, so how do you protect yourself?

Five key tips towards finding a trusted ethical financial adviser In this article we cover the following key tips: Being financially self-aware and literate is the best protection you can give yourself Do not be fooled by glossy brochures and flashy offices, qualifications  or professional associations or organisations Do not be rushed into to doing anything, and

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New Data Privacy Laws breached every two days!

Australians’ sensitive health information, including data on women who have had abortions, is not being properly protected, a News Corp investigation has found. Under a new mandatory notification scheme, businesses must now report a data breach to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.  The first 37 days of the new mandatory notification scheme has

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Medicare Audit Anxiety is it fake or real what does the High Court think?

Medicare Audit Anxiety is it fake or real? We have asked this question in our last news alert article Do you find trouble in interpreting the MBS item numbers?. We need your feedback. Please complete and share this important five-minute survey . We collect this de-identified data for the High Court of Australia. Prior to

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New Tax warnings for doctors – Health care home tax ruling and excessive income splitting and service entities

There are two areas of concern: Homecare tax ruling Excessive income splitting and service entities   Homecare tax ruling Practices have been given up to 18 months to get compliant or lose out on the Practice Incentive Payments (even though trials are taking place). It is not certain whether the program will actually ever be

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Does your professional association represent you? What do you personally risk losing?

It is so important professional membership associations and not for profits to walk the talk when it comes to representing their members as well as the community’s best interest. This is about being open, transparent and accountable. By taking this for granted, this will risk any statutory privilege provided by the Government that their members

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New Excessive Pathology Rent Red Book Alert!

We have been receiving reports from some practices that GP’s in private medical practices have been targeted by a recent mass Pathology Rent Red Book mail out from the Department of Health. The Department is informing referring GPs of the current prohibited kickback rules e.g. excessive rents being offered to practices and to be wary

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Readers question – Why start succession planning when you start up your practice?

We have just received an important question from a reader, regarding succession planning. Practice manager ‘Ali’ asked; when do you start to think about succession planning… in particular about issues such as timelines, how long it takes on average to sell a practice, and whether staff are retained versus replaced?  When should you start planning? 

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Fixed Fee Financial outsourcing of your bookkeeping and or accounting  – NEW!

If you cannot measure it you cannot manage it! Australian first for healthcare practices a new way to lower your overheads and improve profitability. What are the three important things people want in life? Go big, boutique or broke by tackling two of your greatest stresses There are three important things people want in life: That

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Doctors pay Calculator (‘DPC’) and service agreement a new national service just got easier and more cost effective! – NEW

Australian first for healthcare practices a new way to lower your overheads and improve profitability – NEW! Are you being paid correctly? You cannot afford to get your key providers pay wrong.Keeping their trust is a must. If you are paying providers a percentage of their gross fees, you will be pleased to know you

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Time to start restructuring now before 30th June!

If you are trying to formulate a succession plan or are simply getting your books into order so you can draw up a succession plan or sell a practice, now is the time to restructure, i.e. before the end of the financial year, so to save as much as 40% on your bookkeeping and accounting

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We have updated our Privacy Policy

At Health and Life, it’s our mission to improve the lives of people, here in Australia and globally. Health and Life hosts this The Business of Healthcare blog and the Health and Life website. To help us achieve this mission, and in preparation for the new EU data protection laws, we’ve updated our Privacy Policy,

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VIDEO’s ON DEMAND – New Video Releases

We have a library of our cutting edge seminar presentations made around Australia. Armchair Medical have made this initially available free. (We received no commissions or payment for this service). If you are interested in clinical and non clinical topics, Armchair Medical offer a low cost subscriber option. They offer excellent and timely advice tailored

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Your Medical Records Exposed… Confirmed!

As I predicted in February 2016, your personal health record is being exposed, with or without your full knowledge. The Federal Government’s new $2bn national patient electronic health record system rollout is at full throttle. This potentially means others have electronic access to your mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, sexually transmitted disease, domestic violence, and

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Pathology Rent Police

As an accountant specialising in assisting medical practitioners, I am concerned about the unfair playing field and potential intimidating and questionable legality of the Government’s new initiative to protect big pathology business against small practices with a new data kick back monitoring system, when the there are no clear rules for enforcement or ethical brakes

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A Powerful New Way to Manage Your Practice…!

In a world that is already going through major changes due to technological advancement, the business of healthcare is evolving to meet the demands of a new fast-paced culture. Today, we want everything immediately, and this has created opportunities for optimisation in the world of healthcare. Will you be ready to ride with these changes,

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Time to change to a proactive Accountant/Adviser?

Start off on the right foot with an experienced, future proof accountant/advisor who cares for your practice/business and will help you work.. on the fun stuff too! This article will help you find the right accountant for you. Asking the right questions is more important than asking for the right answers. Financial security – Start

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Do you find trouble in interpreting the MBS item numbers? We need your feed back…

If you want to know why you have trouble interpreting the MBS (Medicare Benefits Schedule),  here is why you cannot get a straight answer- the answer is nobody knows. It is time this issue was fixed, so we need to hear from you, regardless of whether you are a doctor or a practice manager. As

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Why we nearly liquidated our high profile international professional body CPA Australia

Dear readers; you are probably wondering why I, David Dahm am involved with this matter. The answer is simple. It has to do with my work in promoting the accounting profession (and issues in the medical profession as well – in particular how the medical and health care professions can reduce fatal medical errors.) After

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HEALTH AND LIFE IN THE MEDIA

Tax nightmare looms healthcare homes May 2017 Disease challenge April 2017  – the need for standards David Dahm’s innovative solution to prevent ‘bullying’  international healthcare standards and his views on the ethics board was cited in the American Journal of Physicians and Surgeons December 2016 David is interviewed on top practice tips you can implement.

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Reminder 2.4 % Staff Award Pay Rise from 1st July 2016?

1st July 2016 2.4% Award pay rise or freeze?! Did you know that on the 1st July 2016 your staff may be legally entitled up to a 2.4 % pay rise? Also just announced is a new option for people to be paid out their four weeks’ annual leave. Just ensure you have the agreement in

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To reduce fatal medical errors, look to the world of accountancy

AFTER heart attacks and cancer, medical errors are the third biggest cause of death in Australia. And believe it or not, there’s an easy solution without having to invest the billions we spend on other medical research. For full video presentation click here Human error accounts for about 40 deaths per day in Australia’s health

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Australia’s Most Trusted Doctor!

As reported last week in  on the 8th April 2016 at Sydney Novotel Darling Harbour, David Dahm is honoured to be invited to speak with an eclectic group of speakers. This includes the controversial  Dr Charlie Teo, who was voted Australia’s most trusted person in 2014 by Readers Digest subscribers and Professor Barry Boettcher, a blood

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Is Private Health Insurance or Doctors a Rip Off?

How can you save your money when using our healthcare services? We have recently had some interesting media reports on the best value for money private health insurers, such as HBF and the least value NIB. We have become increasingly concerned about excluded procedures and significant patient gaps amongst these schemes. It is important to

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How much do Doctors earn?

There are some surprising and not so surprising statistics on the money that a Doctor earns compared to other occupations. The disparity between male and female practitioners is interesting to note. Clearly there are exceptions to the rule. We need to keep in mind that Doctors commit to a lot of training throughout their careers. There can be

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Medicare Cheques to be killed off in July 2016!

This is a quick reminder to everyone. Give your bank account details to your treating practitioner before July. Medicare will stop issuing cheques to patients. The change — announced in the Federal Budget last year — does not include Pay Doctor via Claimant (PDVC) cheques, which will continue to be issued. Patients can register their

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2016 A New Tax Blitz on Practice Trusts/Companies and Payroll Tax!

As both State and Federal Governments continue to struggle for money, the medical profession is increasingly becoming a low hanging fruit opportunity. Poor understanding, documentation or a less than wise frugal approach is landing some doctors and practices into hot water. To be fair, setting up and running a practice can be a complex affair.

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National Health Media News Round Up (new)

This is a new section. These are the latest articles on practice tips such as patients are their own worst enemy to the latest practice financial incentives. They include updates on how the national media have reported issues from our news alert series which has vindicated key observations we have made or key areas to

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Doctors and Staff Contracts: Finally the video!

Finally, after a number of requests, thanks to our friend Gary Smith from Armchair Medical and the East Melbourne PHN, we have produced a live recording from the East Melbourne PHN seminar series David Dahm recently presented on Doctor and Staff Contracts. We hope this video will clear up any common confusion between contactors and

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Fair Work National Underpayment of Wages Phone Audit Blitz! Risk a $54,000 fine?!

Fair Work National Underpayment of Wages Phone Audit Blitz! Risk a $54,000 fine?! Practices risk a fine up to $54,000 per breach. Time poor practices who do not keep their documentation up to date are at risk. Paying above the Award rate is not enough. Fair Work Australia are randomly calling practice staff i.e. your

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Your Private Medical Condition Exposed?! A $20 solution!

Your Private Medical Condition Exposed?! A $20 solution! Did you know the Government will pay cash to your GP for your personal medical records without having to ask you?! This is now legal. Your local GP could lose up to $50,000 each year if they do not comply. Did you know over 60 Government agencies

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Why are new GP’s terrified of Practice Ownership?

Why are new GP’s terrified of Practice Ownership? The fear factor…!  News reports http://www.healthandlife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Id-be-terrified-Why-new-GPs-fear-practice-ownership.pdf that new GPs are terrified of practice ownership is more a myth than a reality. Ignorance is the source of much unnecessary fear. Clearly many practice do not have any succession planning programs in place which is breeding much uncertainty in practice.

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General Practice Business Model is Dead? A New Killing Season?!

General Practice Business Model is Dead? A New Killing Season?! How are you feeling with recent national headlines like these? 1. GP Business Model Off the Rails! 2. The Biggest Threat to GP’s 3. Small or solo practices won’t cut it: Professor Hickie Recently it is becoming rare to get up in the morning and read

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Got a spare appointment Doc? New immunisation law – no jab no pay from 1 January 2016 plus more!

Got a spare appointment Doc? New immunisation law – no jab no pay from 1 January 2016 plus more! The financial incentive for your children to get an immunisation jab is on. It may improve your health and wealth. We always believe in empowering patients to have freedom of choice through education. This is a personal family decision

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Congratulations: More clients making the RACGP National Awards!

Congratulations to Littlehampton Medical Centre and Inglis Medical Centre. They both feature in the latest national RACGP (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) magazine. The RACGP each year recognises practices for their approach to patient’s health and wellbeing. The award criteria takes into account a number of factors, including services offered to patients, health promotion

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Do you use standard contracts/agreements in your practice? Are they legally binding? New ACCC Law 2016

Do you use standard contracts/agreements in your practice? Are they legally binding? New ACCC Law 2016 This new “standard form” law is designed to protect smaller parties such as contractors, employees and suppliers from unfair contract terms and conditions. If there is a breach, this term or agreement may not be legally enforceable. “A standard

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New Pathology Pain: Warning for GP Practices: There is a price for certainty!

New Pathology Pain: Warning for GP Practices: There is a price for certainty! Practices are on notice. In December 2015, the Senate proposed dramatic changes to reduce patient pathology and radiology rebates. These were announced by the Government late last year. We advise our pathology and radiology related clients that these changes in government policy may

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New laws when employing a health professional

New laws when employing a health professional: Practices must do a background check! Be aware of the Australian Health Provider Regulation Agency (AHPRA) laws in relation to hiring a health professional. For the benefit of your practice, it is important you do the relevant background checks and make them a standard part of your recruitment

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Your doctor is being set up to fail – the evidence so far …!

It is time to end the blame game, defend doctors and provide an actual solution for restructuring the MBS, following the comments from Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley in the wake of the recent 4 Corners report see http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2015/09/28/4318883.htm and http://www.healthandlife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/TV-show-points-finger-at-GPs-for-much-of-Medicare-waste.pdf. These statements were comments on the alleged rampant misuse of outdated Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)

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Could you be responsible for the death of your Practice? Four key areas to watch!

What keeps Practice Owners and Managers up at night – 4 key areas to watch! If you are too busy to read this, you are missing out on an opportunity to learn how to work more efficiently and effectively in a way that is both sustainable and profitable. This news alert is all about setting

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