SAVE THE DATE!!!!! 62nd ANNUAL CLINICAL SYMPOSIUM. December 14, The Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel and Conference Center Iselin, NJ

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1 NEW JERSEY CHAPTER AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS NEWSLETTER Volume 5; Issue 1 SAVE THE DATE!!!!! 62nd ANNUAL CLINICAL SYMPOSIUM December 14, 2013 The Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel and Conference Center Iselin, NJ A minimum of 7.5 AMA Category I Credits will be available 2012 Sheen Award Recipient Dr. Michael Longaker with Chapter Officers: Drs. James Alexander, Fred Weber, Michael Longaker, Michael Arvanitis, Michael Spedick, Michael Goldfarb and Ronald Chamberlain 2012 Winners of the Chapter Resident Abstract Contest Representing Monmouth Medical Center pictured with Chapter Officers: Drs. Harry Agis, David Chiapaikeo, Ronald Chamberlain, Manpreet Kohli, Michael Goldfarb, Molly Schultheis and Gurdeep Matharoo

2 Page 2 NEW JERSEY CHAPTER, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS Executive Office: 52 Elm Street, Morristown, NJ (973) FAX: (973) Newsletter Editor: Frank T. Padberg, Jr., M.D. Managing Editor: Andrea Donelan Opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of NJACS. Mention of products or services does not constitute endorsement. Clinical, legal, tax and other comments are offered for general guidance only. Professional counsel should be sought for specific situations. For reprint permission call (973) Chapter Officers President...Michael A. Goldfarb, M.D. President-Elect...Fred Weber, M.D., JD Vice-President...Michael J. Spedick, M.D. Secretary.Michael Arvanitis, M.D. Treasurer.Justin T. Sambol, M.D. Executive Director. Andrea Donelan Immediate Past President..Ronald Chamberlain, MD Chapter Councilors Arnold Baskies, M.D. Howard M. Berger, M.D. Kai Bickenbach, M.D. Frank Borao, M.D. Jeffrey P. Carpenter, M.D. Joseph Cauda, M.D. Aaron Chevinsky, M.D. Joseph P. Costabile, M.D. James N. Gardner, M.D. John Gatti, M.D. Paul Haser, M.D. Mark Jordan, M.D. Adam Kopelan, M.D. Anne C. Mosenthal, M.D. Charles Moss, M.D. Michael Nussbaum, M.D. Robert Olson, M.D. Rolando Rolandelli, M.D. Richard J. Scott, M.D. Paul Starker, M.D. Stanley Z. Trooskin, M.D. Willingboro Toms River Eatontown Camden Shrewsbury Morristown Marlton Summit Cherry Hill New Brunswick Millburn Hackensack Livingston New Brunswick Morristown Little Silver Summit New Brunswick Governors Bruce Brenner, M.D. Mark J. Moritz, M.D. Frank T. Padberg, Jr., M.D. Fred Weber, M.D. Lewis Wetstein, M.D. Felix Garcia, M.D. Jarrod Kaufman, M.D. ACS Committees Past Presidents Ronald S. Chamberlain, M.D. Paul J. Carniol, M.D. Mark Moritz, M.D. Bruce Brenner, M.D. Paul LoVerme, M.D. Robert W. Hobson, M.D. James Alexander, M.D. John Donahue, M.D. Ralph S. Greco, M.D. John Krause, M.D. George Saj. M.D. Cyril S. Arvanitis, M.D. Ames Filippone, Jr., M.D. Anita Falla, M.D. William Muir, M.D. Victor Parsonnet, M.D. James Chandler, M.D. Committee on Trauma Cancer Commission Frank T. Padberg, M.D. Lewis Wetstein, M.D. William Rough, M.D. H. Stephen Fletcher, M.D. J. Thomas Davidson, MD Robert C. Davies, M.D. Kathleen Kelly, M.D. Albert Frankel, M.D. William Hardesty, M.D. Rudolph Camishion, M.D. William Rainer, M.D. Donald Brief, M.D. Roy Morrow, M.D. Francis Barse, M.D. James Mackenzie, M.D. Benjamin Rush, Jr., MD

3 Page 3 The December meeting of the New Jersey Chapter on December 3, 2012, presented many substantial lectures by leaders in many fields. The Cancer commission session was moderated by Jarrod Kaufman, M.D., Cardio-Thoracic by Robert M. Neibart, M.D., Neurosurgery by Charles Prestigiacomo, M.D., Otolaryngology by Gabriel Wong, M.D., Plastic Surgery by William Franckle, M.D., Urology by Michael Esposito, M.D., General Surgery by Adam Kopelan M.D., Trauma Surgery by Vincente Gracias, M.D., Vascular Surgery by Michael Curi, M.D., Colo-rectal Surgery by Michael Arvanitis, M.D., and Upper GI surgery by Frank Borao, M.D.. I thank all of the surgeons who helped organize their sections and provided high level lecturers. The resident session of S u r g i c a l J e o p a r d y, w a s conducted by Dr. Ronald Chamberlain. The resident team from St. Barnabas Medical Center solidly prevailed. Dr. Harry Agis then presided over the resident research papers and presented all of the prizes to residents from Monmouth Medical Center. The Sheen Award was given to Michael T. Longaker, MD. He is a Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine. His lecture on Regenerative Medicine: Implications for Surgery, described fascinating a nd innovative achievements in the field. The Annual Socio-Economic Meeting on March 9th, was titled, The Future of Surgical Practice in PRESIDENT S MESSAGE NJ- Which Path Will You Choose? The volunteer speakers included Robert J Conroy, Esq., who discussed the legal changes wrought by the Affordable Care Act. Denise L. Sanders, Esq. and Charles H Newman Esq., detailed the trends in business structures available for the practice of surgery, and the accompanying regulatory issues, benefits and pitfalls. Sheila M. Mints Esq. lectured about the tax consequences of selling a practice to a hospital or joining a supergroup. There were l i v e l y d i s c u s s i o n s a b o u t controversial issues such as non participation in insurance programs. Many aspects of the variety of e m p l o y m e n t a r r a n g e m e n t s available were noted, including regulatory constraints. The meeting was packed and the topics were on target. Dr. Fred Weber, President Elect will lead a group of NJ surgeons to Dublin Ireland On April 21st. The highlights will include scientific sessions with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and visits to many historic sites. Plans for next year s trip have been initiated. I mentioned at the meeting about the continuation of the M e d i c a l S t u d e n t L o a n Forgiveness Program. I can now officially announce that we are formally requesting applications (call the Chapter office to obtain an application) for medical student forgiveness for loans, as we have done in the past. The object of the program has been to provide $100,000 of loan forgiveness to new surgeons who will agree to practice in designated needy areas of New Jersey. The New Jersey Chapter Student Loan Repayment Committee will meet to select the winning candidates. We will also send notices to all Surgical Department Chairs in New Jersey. There will be more information on our web site including application forms. T h e r e a r e m a n y communications during the year, monitored and expedited by Ms. Andrea Donelan, the Executive Director. Please contact her regarding membership questions or participation in the activities of the Chapter in a more involved fashion. I am honored to be chosen as President of the NJ Chapter and remain very accessible to questions or comments. Respectfully, Michael A. Goldfarb MD President, Michael A. Goldfarb, M.D.

4 Page 4 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE A3665 (Conaway) - Current law provides that a medical malpractice insurer shall not increase the premium of any policy based on a claim of negligence or malpractice if the insured is dismissed from the action alleging malpractice within 180 days of the filing of the last responsive pleading. This bill amends that statute to provide that an insurer also shall not increase the premium of any medical malpractice liability insurance policy based on a claim of medical negligence or malpractice against an insured unless the claim, as defined in the bill, results in a medical malpractice claim settlement, judgment or arbitration award against the insured. The bill further prohibits an insurer from increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums if the alleged malpractice occurred in certain charitable or emergency situations. A1806 ( Conaway) Concerns liability, standards of care, and insurance coverage for medical malpractice actions. A1810 (Conaway) Revises standards for expert witnesses in medical malpractice actions -this prohibits experts who are not in the same specialty, are not board certified or hospital- credentialed, or are academic only (as allowed in Ryan v. Renney) A1831 (Conaway) Concerns liability and insurance coverage for medical malpractice actions. -this is the light version of A1806, limited to three provisions the trial lawyers said they could live with. *The Assembly Health Committee released this bill unanimously on 2/7/13. A3137 ( Conaway) Revises various laws concerning medical malpractice. -this prohibits insurers from increasing premiums based on a claim of medical negligence or malpractice against an insured unless the claim, as defined in the bill, results in a medical malpractice claim settlement, judgment, or arbitration award against the insured. A-3677 (Caride) - Designates ephedrine and pseudoephedrine as Schedule III controlled dangerous substances (which cannot be dispensed by a pharmacist without a prescription from a licensed health care practitioner). A3699 (Handlin/Bramnick) - Requires managed care plans to disclose allowed amounts for out-of-network health care services under certain circumstances. (This bill was introduced, according to Handlin's aide, because spinal surgeons and other out of network specialty surgeons are unable to get info on procedures.) A3699 (Handlin/Bramnick) - Requires managed care plans to disclose allowed amounts for out-of-network health care services under certain circumstances. The bill requires a carrier which offers a managed care plan that provides for both in-network and out-of-network benefits to disclose, upon the request of a covered person or the covered person s health care provider, the allowed amount of payment by the carrier for any out-of-network health care service covered under the covered person s health benefits plan. The carrier must disclose the allowed amount within a reasonable period of time. ) A3805 (Wimberly) - Permits payment of only one co-payment or deductible for follow-up care or treatment after surgery or illness under certain health benefits plans. (This bill supplements the Health Care Quality Act to provide that, when a covered person is receiving postoperative follow-up care, follow-up care for the treatment of a diagnosed illness or condition, or other follow-up care for any other covered service, which follow-up care is provided by a participating provider, the covered person shall be responsible for the payment of only one co-payment or deductible to the participating provider under the plan during any period of 180 days following the payment of that co-payment or deductible. The bill further prohibits the participating provider from collecting more than one such co-payment or deductible, during any period of 180 days following the payment of that co-payment or deductible, regardless of the number of follow-up care visits during that period. The provisions of the bill would only apply if the covered person complies with the preauthorization or review requirements of the health benefits plan regarding the determination of medical necessity to access in-network inpatient benefits.

5 Page 5 CONGRATULATIONS TO NEW JERSEY S NEWEST FELLOWS OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS REMINDER The following certificates are required to practice medicine in New Jersey. Congratulations to the following New Jersey surgeons who were initiated as Fellows in the American College of Surgeons in October Diana M. Addis, M.D., FACS Westfield Michael Addis, M.D., FACS Westfield Renee P. Armour, M.D., FACS Atlantic Highlands Andrew Blechman, M.D., FACS Neptune Vincent Carrao, M.D., FACS Fort Lee Frank S. Ciminello, M.D., FACS Saddle River Michael S. Cohen, M.D., FACS Lawrenceville Bruno N. Cole, M.D., FACS Princeton Michael A. Curi, M.D., FACS Andrew N. de la Torre, M.D., FACS, Gregory E. Dean, M.D., FACS Voorhees Victor J. Ferlise, M.D., FACS Wall Lauren J. Fischer, M.D., FACS Holmdel Raymond H. Green, D.O., FACS Camden Kayvon Haghighi, M.D., FACS Red Bank Kevin J. Holzman, M.D., FACS Jersey City Jorge Lopez-Canino, M.D., FACS Essex Fells Robert V. Madlinger, M.D., FACS Clifton Anish B. Nihalani, M.D., FACS Edison James V. Pasquariello,MD, FACS Toms River Manoj B. Patel, M.D., FACS Kendall Park Munjal P. Patel, M.D., FACS Old Bridge Winnie M.. Polen, D.O., FACS Berkeley Heights Combiz Rezayat, M.D., FACS West Orange Jonathan A. Schor, M.D., FACS Summit Rocco R. Tutela, M.D., FACS Highland Park Leslie S. Tyrie, M.D., FACS Vincent B. Ziccardi, M.D., FACS TERMINATION OF THE PHYSICIAN/PATIENT RELATIONSHIP NJAC 13: requires that physicians notify patients in writing of termination of care no less than thirty days prior to the date of termination. The notification is to be mailed certified mail, return receipt to the last known address of the patient. Physicians are required to provide all necessary emergency care and services including prescriptions. Physicians are not required to comply with the requirements if the physician/patient relationship has been terminated by the patient or if the physician has discontinued providing services to a particular managed care carrier or HMO in which the patient is enrolled. Copies of the regulations can be obtained by calling the Chapter office, (973) NJ State BME Mr. William Roeder Executive Director P.O.Box 183 Trenton, NJ (609) CDS Registration Susan Gartland,Chief Drug Control Department of L& P Safety P.O. Box Halsey Street, 7th Floor,, NJ (973) County Clerk Registration Certificate NJ SBME regulation 45:9.17 requires that you register your license with the County Clerk in the County in which you reside. Drug Enforcement Administration 80 Mulberry Street, NJ (973) FAX: (973) (800)

6 Page LISBON, PORTUGAL PILGRIMAGE In conjunction with the Portuguese Chapter of the ACS, 16 members of the NJ ACS and their spouses participated in a Joint Educational Conference at the Instituto Português de Oncologia in Lisboa. President-Elect, Michael A. Goldfarb organized the event in conjunction with Francisco J F Castro Sousa, current President and Governor of the Portuguese Chapter. Moderating the morning Academic session with Dr. F.J.F. Castro Sousa was current NJ ACS President, Ronald S. Chamberlain, who commenced the session with a presentation on Liver Resection. Next, Professor Doutor Guilherme Tralhão presented his experimental work on the Study of Liver Regeneration: from Experimental Research to Clinical Application. It is certainly remarkable how quickly hepatic regeneration is stimulated. Dr. Moneer Hanna then discussed the subtleties of Urinary Bladder Augmentation and Substitution in Children. Appropriate to the venue at the Instituto Português de Oncologia, Dr Hugo Vasques presented their single center experience with retroperitoneal sarcoma. The presenters are shown in Figure 1. Moderating the afternoon Academic session with Dr Goldfarb, was Professor Doutor J C Mendes de Almeida, also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Returning to the technical theme, Dr Anthony Squillaro presented recent experience with Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy. He was followed by Dr Catarina Santos, who reported basic scientific data relating the Blood Lipid Profile to Progression of Breast Cancer. Dr Frank Borao discussed the Pitfalls encountered in Paraesophalgeal Hernia Repair. Vigorous discussion ensued regarding Dr J.M. Schiappa s review of Surgical Education in Europe. Portuguese surgical specialists are graduated following 6 years of training; similar to that in Italy. The regulatory environment and enforcement of Resident Work Hour restrictions is clearly a hot topic throughout the world, but the 48 hours currently permitted in Portugal would probably be unacceptable in the US. The presenters are shown. Following this excellent academic exchange, our Portuguese Fellows hosted a spectacular Portuguese Luncheon. The discussion centered on the topic of Health Care Plans. The Portuguese citizen has equal access at all public hospitals and even has some say in selection of his doctor. Meanwhile, there is a parallel network of private institutions. An increasing emphasis on simulation training is developing, as trainees have less access to traditional supervised experience. Regulation of work hours apparently varies from one country to another in Europe. After traveling so far, it was also important to learn a bit about the sites and attractions of Portugal. Tours included Obidos, a small fortified hill town, which has retained its medieval walls; as you might expect, several NJ Fellows attempted an elevated circumambulation. We experienced a fresh feast at the seaside town of Nazare, while traveling the Atlantic coast above Lisbon. Sintra, the summer residence of the Portuguese Royal family in the sixteenth century, took advantage of the Atlantic breeze and an elevated mountain location. Batalha, a cathedral and monastery, is the burial site for the royal family involved in the fifteenth century navigational exploits that made Portugal a world player. The Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon is the resting place for Vasco da Gama and Camoes, the Portuguese poet; also located in Belem, is the tower and the Monument to the Discoveries shown with our delegation. The overnight flight arrived early, while the city was awakening. This provided an unusual opportunity to experience a major metropolitan center with minimal traffic; throughout the country the sidewalks and public squares are paved with alternating patterns of black and white tile. A side trip to the Al Garve took us to Cabo St Vincent, Sagres, and Lagos the latter, key ports during the era of Prince Henry the Navigator and the progressive exploration of the African coast, the Indian Ocean, and the Moluccas or spice islands at the turn of the fifteenth century. The southern agricultural fields of the Alantejo produce a good red wine and numerous cork oak trees. A unique Portugese tradition is Fado, a sorrowful combination of guitarre and vocals; we attended the Clubbe De Fado. Lunch at the Alantejo and the farewell dinner at Pesce preceded our return to NJ. Frank T. Padberg, Jr., M.D., FACS Past President & ACS Governor Lisbon Pilgrimage 2012 Lisbon Chapter Members with Drs. Anthony Squillaro, Frank Boroa and Michael Goldfarb. Lisbon Pilgrimage 2012 Lisbon Chapter Members with Dr. Ronald Chamberlain

7 Page 7 61ST ANNUAL CLINICAL SYMPOSIUM DECEMBER 1, ANNUAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC MEETING MARCH 9, 2013 Out-Going President Dr. Ronald S. Chamberlain and Incoming President Dr. Michael A. Goldfarb Drs. Harry Agis, Gregory Fleming, Mark Moritz and H. Stephen Fletcher Drs. Justin Sambol, Donald Syracuse, Richard Neibart, Nazly Shariti, Fred Weber, Benjamin Youdelman and Ziad Hanhan Drs. Paul Haser, Frank Borao, Frank Padberg, Michael LaSalle and Steven Binenbaum LISBON, PORTUGUAL, APRIL 2012 Cancer Institute of Lisbon, April 2012 Lisbon, April 2012

8 Page 8 THREE THINGS EVERY PHYSICIAN MUST STOP DOING RIGHT NOW From an admittedly prophysician, overly doctor-protective and openly biased perspective, there has never been a greater need for all physicians throughout the United States to immediately increase their healthy paranoia, eliminate any residual trust they may have had in their state and federal governments, and become completely and relentlessly self-protective. Let me say it directly - No investigator from any office of the federal or state government visits a physician to help them, educate them or simply chat with them. No request for medical records is benign, academic or routine. What is even more disturbing than the use of these deceptions, however, is that physicians continue to fail to recognize them as deceptions and, to make matters worse, blindly cooperate in (and many times, enable) their own destruction. So, while there are certainly more, here are the three things every physician can, should and must stop doing right now: S T O P T A L K I N G T O I N V E S T I G A T O R S : A n y investigator, from any entity and/or agency, is specifically and vigorously trained to deceive the person being investigated. Deceive them into lowering their guard, deceive them into thinking the investigator and/or investigation is harmless, and deceive them into believing that the target will be treated more harshly if they do not speak with the investigator. All of these deceptions are bold-faced lies, nothing more. No investigator is granted a raise, given a promotion or advances their career by announcing that he or she has exonerated the target. Physicians have a duty to cooperate in an investigation but doing so alone, without obtaining all of the information that can be obtained, without proper preparation, and without the protection and guidance of experienced health law counsel, is professional suicide and must stop today. STOP IGNORING YOUR LEGAL OBLIGATIONS: Frankly stated, many physicians and medical practices are enabling their enemies (and those enemies are aware of the opportunity) to harm them. Like it or not. Agree with it or not. Find it to be counter to your ability to focus on patient care. You must acknowledge that there are very specific rules that govern you and your practice. T o r e m a i n d e l i b e r a t e l y ignorant (a term created to prosecute physicians) of these rules not only fails to protect you, it increases your liability, and the severity of the resulting damage/punishment. As but one example, every payor in the United States (Medicare, Medicaid, private health plans, union plans, etc.) publishes specific rules on what a physician must do and must provide in order to get paid. Yet most practices remain defiant in refusing to seek out these rules, incorporate them into their practice methods, and comply with their requirements. As a result (bearing in mind, the payors are well aware of this defiance and resulting deficiency), the payors audit the physicians, readily identify violations (whether intended violations or not), and easily demand and obtain monies back from the physician (even though the physician provided the service they billed for) Once again, this must stop today. STOP TAKING LESS T H A N W H A T Y O U A R E ENTITLED TO: There is virtually no other profession or business in this country that provides a critical service to the public, does it at an incredibly h i g h l e v e l o f s u c c e s s a n d sophistication, and yet fails to get paid for the services they ve provided. That is, however, exactly the current state of most medical practices. Throughout medicine, contracted rates are ignored (or unknown), unpaid bills go uncollected, reduced payments are accepted without challenge or explanation, and co-pays and deductibles are ignored or not acted upon. No physician should accept less than 100% of the monies due them for their services, regardless of the debtor or payor. However, the first step in doing so is for every physician to KNOW the amount to which they are entitled. Every physician and/or medical practice should have the current fee schedule for each payor with which they deal readily available to their staff for cross-checking and payment audits. Accepting the hard reality that virtually everyone who obtains medical care tries very hard not to pay for it is the first step for physicians in getting paid for the services they render. Accepting less than every penny physicians are entitled to must stop today. Unfortunately, there are many other pro-active, self-protective and positive measures that physicians and medical practices should undertake. However, these are the foundational first three. Taking these three steps will help insure that physicians will no longer enable their enemies, do no harm to themselves financially, and actually see an increase in reimbursement. Certainly such results (counter to every aspect of the current culture of medicine) are worth pursuing today. Michael J. Schoppmann, Esq. Kern Augustine Conroy Schoppmann, P.C. Kern Augustine Conroy & Schoppmann, P.C., Attorneys to Health Professionals, has offices in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois. The firm s practice is solely devoted to the representation of health care professionals. Mr. Schoppmann can be contacted at or via at

9 Page 9 IN MEMORIAM BENJAMIN F. RUSH, JR., M.D Dr. Rush passed away at his home in Summit on February 22, He was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Rush received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1944 and his medical degree from Yale Medical School in He served in the Army during the Korean War and was assigned to a M.A.S.H. unit. Dr. Rush was an instructor of surgery and assistant professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Rush moved to the University of Kentucky at Lexington in 1962 where he was appointed an associate professor of surgery. In 1969 he accepted the Chairmanship of the Department of Surgery, New Jersey Medical School, New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry (now UMDNJ). Dr. Rush held two chairs at UMDNJ, the Johnson and Johnson Chair from and the Wesley Howe Chair from He retired from the active faculty on June 30, Dr. Rush was an active member and past president of the New Jersey Chapter, ACS. Donations in his memory can be made to the Foundation of University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, NEW MEMBERS WELCOMED! The following physicians are welcomed as members of the Chapter Shahid Aziz, M.D., FACS, General Surgery, Jagbir Beniwal, M.D., F.A.C.S. Vascular Surgery, Wayne David Berg, M.D., F.A.C.S. Colon & Rectal Surgery, Haddon Heights Kai Bickenbach, M.D., F.A.C.S. General Surgery, Donald Cinotti, M.D. Ophthalmology, Jersey City Malcolm Coblentz, M.D. General Surgery, Livingston Adam Fox, M.D., F.A.C.S. General Surgery, Renee Georges, M.D. General Surgery, Howell Mark Gesell, M.D. Orthopedic Surgery, Tinton Falls Raymond Green, D.O., F.A.C.S.,General Surgery/ Trauma, Camden Kaynon Haghighi, M.D., F.A.C.S., General Surgery, Red Bank Stephen Hall, M.D., F.A.C.S. Plastic Surgery, Summit Robert Madlinger, M.D., F.A.C.S. General Surgery, Clifton Bernard Park, M.D., F.A.C.S. Thoracic Surgery, Hackensack Leslie Tyrie, M.D., F.A.C.S. General Surgery, Vincent Ziccardi, M.D., F.A.C.S., General Surgery, Lisbon Pilgrimage 2012 Sagres Harbor BENJAMIN RUSH, M.D Lisbon Pilgrimage 2012 Cork Harvest

10 Page 10 Many physicians mistakenly believe that every staff member is born understanding how to communicate effectively and provide good customer service..wrong! Developing great skills in this area requires good instincts, hard work, compassion and experience. It is critical to remember that your staff represents you. If your patients first impression is negative because of the way they were treated on the telephone, or at the reception window, that negativity will factor into the care they believe you will provide. After all, you are the leader of the practice so, therefore, you set the tone for everyone else. The ability to provide great customer service begins with selecting the right people to be on your team. People who possess positive character traits are out there in the job market, and having these traits is just as important, if not more so, than having the right skills, experience, or background. Remember, you can train someone to take vitals, but, it is far more difficult to break bad habits, such as poor listening skills. If you already have a solid team in place, it is never too late to build on this foundation and restore the team s commitment to care, respect, and dedication to the goals of the practice. Determine what you are passionate about, decide what the practice is best at, and develop an understanding how you can be the driving force to achieve these goals. Once you have done this, make a plan and share it with your staff. Set a timeline with benchmarks along the way to achieve a reputation for delivering excellent customer service. Reward your staff for their time, effort, and dedication to providing this service. Remember that it is important to be grateful for every patient who chooses to obtain services from your Effective Customer Service Delivery practice, and to let your patients know that you feel this way. If they feel comfortable with the office they will have a greater level of trust in your ability to care for them and will share this feeling outside of your practice. Your patients can be your best marketing tool! Everyone is busy, but displaying a lack of patience, or appearing stressed or harried, tells your patient that you are too busy to give them the individual attention they crave. Listen to your telephone greeting carefully, as well as how it is delivered. Does it thank the patient for calling and give them a sense of confidence that they ve made a good choice in contacting you? Are patients made to feel embarrassed or harassed if they arrive late for an appointment? Or, do they sincerely believe you care that they ran into difficulties in getting to the practice and that your staff is going to assist them by rescheduling their appointment? When you or another healthcare provider are running late, are the patients called and advised that their appointment time will not be met? Are they offered the opportunity to reschedule? Are they thanked for their understanding? If patients are already at the office and you are running behind schedule, are they apologized to as they are put into an examination room, and again when they are leaving? Simple courtesies can make the difference between having an understanding attitude or being annoyed. The best customer service is achieved when the entire team channels their energy into doing what is best for the practice and works together giving each other support and respect. The best of leaders are determined, rely on inspired standards, and channel their ambitions into what is right for the practice not themselves or their personal ambitious. They are driven by the greater success achieved by a dedicated team of people working together. They are good listeners and give support and recognition to the people who work with them. They know that, although each ship needs a captain, without a crew the ship never leaves the dock. This same positive, smiling, thankful attitude should follow the patient all the way to the checkout desk where they make payment and schedule their appointment. You should thank patients again for coming in, thank them again for their patience if they have had to wait, and certainly thank them for making their payment and scheduling another appointment. In your attitude adjustment to thankfulness, please don t grovel or beg, and it can be a fine line. Desperation will make your patients uncomfortable; even if you are, is not the right attitude to project it turns patients off and makes them uncomfortable. Try these suggestions on for size in your practice. Attitude is contagious, so pass around your fantastic attitude to your co-workers, staff, and patients. Please understand the depth of attitude you choose your attitude every moment, and the simple tool of choosing to change to an attitude of thankfulness, of gratitude, is life changing and will transform your business. Once you and your staff have mastered the art, there will be no stopping the successes personally and professionally that comes your way. Approximately 7 out of 10 physician offices I consult with aren t saying thank you to their patients, at all. How does your office stack up? Bevelyjean Jenkins, CMM, CPM,CPM- HRS, COM, CPC, CPM-MCS, CPMA Priority Practice Management, LLC (908) com

11 Page 11 SPONSORSHIP 62nd Annual Clinical Meeting Saturday, December 14, 2013 The Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel & Conference Center Iselin, NJ Sponsorship Opportunities Gold Sponsor Contribution of $3,500 Credit for sponsoring all meals provided and AV support. Gold sponsors will be given NJ-ACS website home page recognition and a link to their own website for one year. Acknowledgement of this level will appear in promotional materials, on site signage, and post -meeting communications. Gold sponsors also enjoy all the benefits of Bronze Sponsors (see below) and 4 representatives. Silver Sponsor Contribution of $2,500 Credit for sponsoring the membership luncheon. Silver sponsors will be given NJ-ACS website home page recognition and a link to their own website for one year. Acknowledgement of this level will appear in promotional materials, on site signage, and post-meeting communications. Silver sponsors also enjoy all the benefits of Bronze Sponsors (see below) and 3 representatives. Bronze Sponsor Contribution of $1,500 Bronze sponsors will enjoy the following benefits and privileges for 2 representatives: One 6 draped table display area and chairs Access to an electrical outlet Continental breakfast, morning break and luncheon Badges for company representatives Registration liist of conference attendees The exhibit hall will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. FEDERAL TAX ID # Company Contact Address City State Zip Phone Fax Company Website Make checks payable to: 52 Elm Street Morristown, NJ 07960

12 NEW JERSEY CHAPTER AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS 52 ELM STREET MORRISTOWN, NJ 07960

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