Why Podiatrists need an Office-based Surgery Suite

An office-based surgical suite has a lot of benefits. Here are the main benefits to the patient and to you as the physician.

Patient benefits

Convenience and comfort: Your patients are already used to coming to your office, seeing the same staff, and the same environment so they’re used to it. They’re less nervous.

Huge out-of-pocket savings if you perform surgeries at your office-based surgical suite. I’m not talking about a billing facility fee or anything like that; you just bill straight, simple. Just like surgical procedures, you would bill at the surgical center or hospitals. You don’t need JCAHO or AAAHC certification or anything like that. Just like you perform P&A at your office, you’re performing other foot and ankle procedures at your office.

Less chance of hospital infection because you’re not taking your patients to the hospital.

Physician benefits

What about physicians? You have your own benefits too.

Greater Rewards: Insurance companies, including Medicare, reward you typically 20% more than hospitals or surgical centers for the same procedures. Insurance companies and government know you are saving them a lot of money, so why not reward you?

Huge saving of your time: Time is your most invaluable asset. You don’t have to commute to the hospital or surgery center. You don’t have to worry about traffic. You don’t have to worry about your own turns for your procedure since you do everything at your own office.

You are making yourself future proof. What does that mean? Value-based healthcare – MACRA and MIPS – is being implemented.

As you can see in this graph, we’re in a transition period. Once that data gets collected, they’re going to start rewarding or punishing, depending on your performance. What do they see? They see who saves the government or insurance company the most money. Because, it’s not going to be fee-for-service, it’s going to be value based. If you save them more money, you will be rewarded if you continue to choose to be in that network.

The most beautiful thing about the office-based surgical suite is that not many doctors have it. So you still have a unique positioning if you can market to your patient clientele in your community that you offer office-based surgery. You obviously get more attention because patients will prefer this.

There will be consequences

There was an article in social media about a patient who came out and was so upset and angry, frustrated, scared. She underwent some kind of shoulder and foot procedure and then she stayed at the hospital for a few days. She showed the bill on the article. It was $120,000 or something. The hospital charged $15,000 for “four little screws for foot surgery”. We’re talking about huge, huge costs for an individual patient.

Think about your own office-based surgical suite. Patients don’t have to worry about these types of consequences. How strong you will be? That’s why I’m a big proponent of the office-based surgical suite.

How to get started with Office-based Surgery

It’s not that difficult. You have to basically find a room, get the equipment, train your staff and get the documentation prepared. You may have to review training for staff: how to gown and glove, how to set up instruments, etc. Again, those are not difficult but you need to know the right sequence and the right system.

If you need help setting up an OBS or learning MIFAS please don’t hesitate to book a free strategy session with me and my team – Click here to book a time.

-TJ Ahn

Why You Need a Coach or Mentor for Your Medical Practice

Why do you need a coach or mentor for Your Medical Practice?

Do you want to grow your practice fast, efficiently and effectively without taking unnecessary risks or wasting time? That’s truly one of the main reasons why you need a mentor or a coach.

Now a coach and mentor are slightly different. In my opinion, a mentor is more like a teacher, council, or adviser. So you seek a mentor if you need certain direction or advice on something that you’re not sure of. It can be both a coach and mentor at the same time but coach, to me, is slightly different.

You have a coach to push you to the limit so that you can achieve higher than where you are right now.

A coach can provide you with assurance and accountability; they can hold your hand and motivate you. A coach has a slightly more active role in teaching. Mentors are a little bit different in that you have to be more active; you have to seek advice. You have to go to the mentor but a coach is going to be right by you every step of the way.

Many of you know already that I’ve been a serious martial artist. I’ve been practicing Japanese Aikido and Brazilian jiu-jitsu for many years. I still practice Japanese Aikido. Here are some quotes that can resonate with you as far as mentoring and coaching.

Bruce Lee once said, “He doesn’t fear the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, however, he fears the man who practices one kick 10,000 times.”

Have you heard about the shiny object syndrome?

You can go for this and if it doesn’t work you can go for the other. If you don’t have good direction or good advice, then you will be poking around many different things but you’re not really achieving anything.

Coaches and Mentors can give you the guidance you need to reach the next level.

A coach or mentor can give you great guidance; they can give you time-saving direction.

You can trust them and follow their path and perfect it for yourself so that it helps you achieve what you are looking for. You can trust your coach and mentor because they’ve done it before. They’ve done a lot of trial and error within themselves so you don’t have to repeat it. In other words, you learn from what they’ve already gone through so they know they can teach you what works. That way you can save time, energy, and money and not go through the same trial and error.

Choose your coach and mentor wisely.

You need to choose your coach or mentor very wisely. Here is another quote: “Practice doesn’t make you perfect but practice can make you permanent.”

I think originally the “practice makes permanent” quote is from Bobby Robson. Then I’ve heard a little bit different versions of it, even from Ben Hogan, my golf idol. So if you choose the wrong practice and continue to practice the wrong thing, it will only make you permanent. That’s why it’s very important who you choose as your mentor or coach.

I always thought I was lucky or fortunate to have great mentors and coaches. However, now I look back, it’s not just luck; it’s your direction, your mindset. If you are consistently thinking about improving yourself to become a better version of yourself, the universe will align with you. Or God, the Universal force, will be aligned with you and somehow it will bring it in front of you. The opportunities and chances will be presented to you almost naturally. I really think that it starts from within you.

A good coach or mentor can give you the right kind of things that you need to work on so you don’t have to poke around different things. They can make sure what you practice is the right thing making practice more valuable and effective.

If you’re struggling, concerned or if you don’t know what direction you need to take, seek out a good coach or mentor. They’ll help you tremendously.

If you need help setting up an OBS or learning MIFAS please don’t hesitate to book a free strategy session with me and my team – Click here to book a time.

-TJ Ahn

How to Build a Profitable Practice Without Spending a Lot of Money

Do you think you need a huge practice to grow to seven-figures, or that you’ve got to be a big player to earn a big profit?

ou may think you need three doctors working for you and 10 to 15 employees to run your practice in order to reach a huge revenue goal.

You may think you need to have 3 to 4,000 square feet of space to have so many patients with expensive equipment to build a profitable practice.

Well, none of those could be further from the truth nor are they necessary.

Huge practice means huge costs, not anymore.

Associates, employees, space, equipment, none of them is important to build a successful practice. In fact, it would be harder for you to build a dream practice that way. Here is why. Those are the overheads. Those are your fixed costs to run your practice every single day, every single month and every year. Those are the expenses you cannot avoid. It doesn’t matter if your revenue is two million a year because your overhead is 70 to 80%. Your take home after expenses and tax is about 300K. Is it really worth running that kind of practice with blown up overhead?

We’re talking simple business math looking at the numbers. It’s all a numbers game when it comes to running a business. You’ve got to start treating your practice as a business. You are healing patients and fixing patients’ problems for the better. Of course, that’s given. But are you also trying to build a profitable podiatry practice so you can continue to provide the best care for your patients in optimal status?

A few coaching clients of mine have a large scale practice. When I interviewed them to assess their situations, they’re running everywhere like doomsday is coming onto them. So many broken holes to cover, chasing 10 rabbits at the same time, chaotic, hectic, constant anxieties!

Let’s think about your status as a person mentally and physically. The simpler your practice model is, the more stable your mind, body, and spirit. As a matter of fact, in which model are you going to be tested? A huge practice with gigantic overheads or an efficient practice where you can focus on patients’ real problems? You can absolutely run a very efficient, yet profitable practice and still build a high six-figure or even seven-figure practice.

How can you achieve a profitable practice?

Consider these three key steps:

Create your own niche within your specialty. Be the best in your field of expertise. Continue to learn, practice and get better in your chosen niche, so when it comes to your specialized skill set, you become the authority. You are the go-to doctor.

Do not reinvent the wheel. Get some help from someone who has done it. Why? You don’t have time for this. How long will you sustain your practice like you’re running right now? Invest in yourself. Learn the foundation and techniques and tactics from someone who has actually done it and is ready to coach you with a proven system.

Do not waste another dollar in marketing and advertising agencies blindly. All those generic contents they’re blasting for you, they’re frankly fading away. You don’t need to waste your money blindly in advertising and marketing. You don’t even know what to advertise for, what your potential patients are looking for, yet how do you expect to bring high-quality leads?

Those are three key things you need to work on, not dream about those fancy 3,000 square feet blown up practices. Now, you may be wondering, “Dr. TJ, that’s great. But how do I do that step by step?” If you seriously consider building this type of lean, efficient, successful practice, don’t do this alone. You need to invest in coaching and mentoring.

If you are committed, coachable and resourceful and if you’re ready to take some massive action in the shortest possible time with accountability, consider it done. How? Register and watch my webinar. Connect with me. I’ll sit down with you on the phone just you and me, analyze together if you are a good fit for this. I included my calendar booking link below as well. Remember, you don’t need to spend huge overhead expenses to build a successful practice. In this era, you need to think differently and evolve to a new breed of modern podiatry practice: Lean, profitable, yet patient-focused practice, and not those outdated ways of thinking around the insurance-focused practice.

Let’s do this together. A 45-minute strategy session may be the best 45 minutes you will spend on your practice.

Click here to book a call with me.

4 Reasons Why You Must Consider Providing Minimally Invasive Foot & Ankle Surgery

Here are four reasons why you need to consider minimally invasive foot & ankle surgery

Minimally invasive foot & ankle surgery is a great alternative surgical solution to your patients.

Patients know about minimally invasive surgery so if you can provide an equivalent solution to traditional open surgery, why not?

MACRA and MIPS are value-based healthcare that are in place.

As you know, government and insurance companies are running out of money, and our reimbursement rate is going down every year.

Based on big data, if you happen to spend a lot of money doing surgery, for example, using an expensive fixation system or taking up a lot of OR time, you’ll be penalized. On the other hand, if you can save government or insurance company money, you’ll be rewarded. So, why not consider minimally invasive surgery because you don’t use expensive fixation system with MIS.

That’s what the market wants.

Most surgical procedures nowadays, if you see a market, social media, Internet, everything’s minimally invasive surgery. Arthroscopic, laparoscopic, non-surgical and now, with the surgical foot, why not percutaneous minimally invasive surgery? Two-millimeter and three-millimeter incisions a lot of times don’t need internal hardware fixation.

Minimally invasive surgery has been proven to be effective.

We’ve been kind of blind from the world of minimally invasive surgery, especially percutaneous techniques. If you look at the outside world, even “Foot & Ankle International” magazine, and a lot of studies, the percutaneous minimally invasive surgical techniques have been published, and then proven to be effective.

So, if you look a little bit outside of the box, it is out there. And now the US is catching up: the Orthopedic Society and podiatrists in the US. You can see a cadaver lab doing minimally invasive surgeries everywhere in the US, especially in the past two years.

Let’s recap why the trend is heading towards minimally invasive foot & ankle surgery:

This is a great alternative to traditional open surgery.
Good protection to value-based healthcare such as MACRA and MIPS.
Minimally invasive surgery is what the market wants, and this is what is in trend right now.
Minimally invasive surgery has been proven to be effective.

There you have it, four reasons why you must consider minimally invasive foot & ankle surgery in your practice.

Please do not hesitate to leave comments, concerns, and questions. I am passionate about minimally invasive surgery. I am passionate about promoting and increasing awareness and to create and provide an educational source to help you learn about minimally invasive surgery.

If you need help setting up OBS or learning MIFAS please don’t hesitate to book a free strategy session with me and my team – Click here to book a time.

All the best,

Dr. TJ Ahn