Breakout Sessions

Monday, April 15: 1a–1d | 10:45 – 11:45 am | Tacoma Convention and Trade Center


1a. Meeting Facilitation

Patti Lind

Poorly run meetings can be very frustrating. Some people talk too much while others don’t talk enough. Discussions lose their focus, conflicts go unaddressed, and there are struggles reaching agreement. Interruptions, side conversations, sarcastic remarks are all common meeting behaviors. And yet, this doesn’t need to be the fate of the meetings you lead or attend. This workshop provides specific strategies for designing meeting agendas, which increase the likelihood that outcomes are achieved, time is used productively and there is a greater balance of participation. You will learn how to intervene when the group has lost its focus, to more comfortably address distracting behaviors and the essential skills for addressing conflict when it arises in your meetings. This workshop will be helpful whether you lead meetings or just attend them.

1b. HIPAA Policies – Privacy and Security of Health Information

Cindy Dunn

HIPAA regulations include areas such as insurance reform, fraud and abuse, electronic transactions, and privacy rules. All covered entities, including physician practices of all sizes, are required to be aware of HIPAA’s requirements and develop/revamp their policies and procedures accordingly. But HIPAA compliance must be more than a binder on a shelf or an electronic file. Staff must be trained and incentivized and other steps should be taken to make compliance a number-one priority and workplace norm. Join us in this session as we focus on physician practice obligations under HIPAA, HIPAA privacy and security rules, and creating policies for auditing and required documentation.

1c. Negotiating Across Generational Differences

Jeanette Nyden

Businesses have a wonderful mix of employees ranging in age from early 20’s to 60’s and beyond. Each one of these generations has its own outlook on life. And, that outlook impacts how they interact and negotiate with each other. This interactive session will outline five things you need to know when negotiating with people from different generations: 1) Why paying attention to generational issues at the bargaining table matters; 2) What each generation brings to the negotiation table; 3) What the newest generation is looking for; 4) How to structure an effective back and forth conversation; and, 5) How to manage conversations to avoid obvious conflicts.

1d. Change Management

Cheryl Toth

Onboarding a new physician, implementing EHR, instituting pre-surgical financial counseling, or merging with another practice, all involve organizational change. Initiated from within or externally, organizational change is a given. Studies show, however, that 70% of the population is uncomfortable with change. If 70% of staff, physicians, maybe even you, are uncomfortable with change, managing it successfully is especially challenging. This lively and interactive session covers: Initiating, planning and coordinating change; managing responses to externally imposed change; and leadership during times of organizational change.

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Monday, April 15 2a – 2d | 2:30 – 3:30 PM | Tacoma Convention and Trade Center

2a. Listening When it is Hard to Listen

Patti Lind

We all know the basics of listening….be physically attentive, ask curious questions, confirm your understanding. If it only was that easy! This workshop focuses on the times when listening feels like the last thing you want to do. How do you listen to people who keep repeating their point; who are constantly complaining; who are frustrated and angry or whose viewpoints are the direct opposite of yours? How do you interrupt a wandering speaker and get them to come to their point? How do you listen to someone who is exaggerating and challenging? This workshop will present strategies on how you can keep your cool, use questioning to redirect conversations so they become more meaningful, and leave the person feeling heard….even when you disagree.

2b. EMR Implementation – Optimization and Adoption

Cindy Dunn

Take advantage of the operational, clinical and financial benefits of your electronic medical record (EMR) system and qualify for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 incentive payments. This session will address some of the challenges you and your practice face during the EHR implementation and optimization process. Are you getting the most out of your technology investment? Join us in this session as we focus on analyzing current inefficiencies in all areas of the practice, applying appropriate technologies to streamline delivery of care, and creating policies and procedures that improve patient flow and reduce cost.

2c. Getting to We—And Still Getting a Good Deal

Jeanette Nyden

Businesses and organizations are increasingly looking to work more collaboratively with customers, suppliers, strategic partners and employees. Collaboration offers many great opportunities and rewards, yet if not approached from the right perspective can lead to inaction, passivity and poor results. This interactive session will outline five things you need to know to negotiate collaborative relationships without losing your shirt in the process: 1) Why collaborative negotiations are different from traditional negotiations, 2) What the hallmarks of a collaborative negotiation are; 3) What changes in a collaborative negotiation; 4) How to get and keep people focused on one common outcome; and, 5) How to play by the same set of rules for optimum outcomes.

2d. Point of Service Collections

Cheryl Toth

If a practice were to see the same number of patients, and perform the same number of treatments and procedures in 2013 as they did in 2012, the economic results would not be the same. Why? Headlines scream that consumer (aka your patients) paychecks are reduced at the same time their deductibles are up. Rethink your long held assumptions, retool your systems and retrain your staff if you want 2013 revenue to be strong. This session covers specific, tangible changes you can make in your practice immediately to improve your point of service collections.

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Tuesday, April 16, 3a – 3d 8:30 – 9:30 AM | Tacoma Convention and Trade Center

3a. Simple Hiring Strategies

Jamie Verkamp

A study of 20,000 newly hired employees showed that 46 percent of all new hires fail within 18 months; on average, these failures cost practices, $3400. Hiring new employees is one of the most important tasks facing medical practices today. However, it often allows for time to plan for your organization’s growth strategy or to identify the right type of person to fit the vacant role. In this workshop, you’ll learn simple planning strategies for filling employee vacancies while incorporating best practices to align with your practice’s strategic plan for growth. These simple strategies will arm you with the knowledge you need to make better decisions, reduce employee turnover, and minimize costs associated with failed new hires.

3b. Oregon Health Exchanges

Amy Fauver

Cover Oregon is the state's health insurance exchange. Launching in 2013, Cover Oregon is a central marketplace where individuals and small employers can shop for health coverage and access financial assistance to help pay for premiums and out-of-pocket costs. This presentation will provide an overview of Cover Oregon and the services it will provide to Oregonians as well as how the medical community can become involved in education and outreach.

3c. Payer Contracting

Dwight Johnson

Join in a discussion of the mechanics of provider/payor contracting with an executive possessing over a decade of commercial insurance experience. Learn about successful negotiation methods and where to watch out for pitfalls. Gain valuable insights into the dynamics of the local healthcare market. Understand how the state health exchanges and government programs will utilize value and trend based contracting. Compare the strengths and weaknesses of new and old reimbursement methodologies and develop a reimbursement strategy for your practice. Predict how healthcare reform and the ACA will impact your practice. Led by one of the leading consultants in the local and statewide marketplace, this program is designed to cover current real world topics in an interactive format.

3d. Coding for Non-Coding Managers

Betsy Nicoletti

While practice administrators don’t need to be medical coders to ensure their practices’ success, they do need to understand the difference between medical coding rules and reimbursement policies, the source of authoritative citations, and rules to achieve maximum revenues while maintaining compliance. This session will provide answers to common medical coding questions applicable to a wide range of specialties, and help participants find answers to other questions when they return to their practice. As a result of attending this session, participates will be able to describe the difference between coding rules and reimbursement policies, list three relevant coding concepts and identify the source documentation that explains each concept, and more effectively supervise coding staff along with coding systems and processes.

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Tuesday April 16: 4a – 4d | 9:45 – 10:45 AM | Tacoma Convention and Trade Center

4a. Strategic Marketing Plans

Jamie Verkamp

In the reality of our changing healthcare climate, successful, business-minded medical practices are shifting their marketing strategies in ways that bring greater return on their investment. You can expand your practice in this economy, and during this session you will learn what it takes to make it happen. You will learn key marketing initiatives you can implement right away in your practice to increase your new-patient volume, and successfully market to your current patients to increase patient retention and referrals.

4b. Washington State Health Exchanges

Michael Marchand

Washington Healthplanfinder will be a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing, and public programs such as Medicaid. Washington Healthplanfinder will begin enrolling consumers on October 1, 2013, for health insurance coverage beginning on January 1, 2014. Michael Marchand, Director of Communications for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, will provide an update on Exchange activities as well as what to look for in the coming months.

4c. Payer Contracting (Repeat of 3c)

Dwight Johnson

Join in a discussion of the mechanics of provider/payor contracting with an executive possessing over a decade of commercial insurance experience. Learn about successful negotiation methods and where to watch out for pitfalls. Gain valuable insights into the dynamics of the local healthcare market. Understand how the state health exchanges and government programs will utilize value and trend based contracting. Compare the strengths and weaknesses of new and old reimbursement methodologies and develop a reimbursement strategy for your practice. Predict how healthcare reform and the ACA will impact your practice. Led by one of the leading consultants in the local and statewide marketplace, this program is designed to cover current real world topics in an interactive format.

4d. How Your Notes Can Pass Payer Scrutiny if You Own—Don’t Clone—the Content

Betsy Nicoletti

The OIG, CMS and private payers have warned clinicians against producing identical notes using their EHRs. And yet, we want physicians to use the features of these programs to more easily document their services. Often the results are lowered productivity and clinical notes that don’t provide meaningful clinical data and look identical to one another. Medical practices need policies to assist clinicians and auditors with the documentation guidelines and with guidance from payers in mind. As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to define a policy for copying/pre-populating from previous notes, identify audit strategies for new and established patient services, and list three strategies for engaging physician leadership.

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Tuesday, April 16: 5a – 5d | 1:15 – 2:15 PM | Tacoma Convention and Trade Center

5a. Accountable Care Organizations - What’s Next?

Lance Heineccius

One of the most talked-about features of health reform has been the creation of Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and the expectation that these new forms of health care delivery and payment would spread quickly to private sector health plans. After a shaky start in 2011, the final Medicare regulations were more tolerable and currently over 150 health care organizations are participating in the Medicare payment program. Private sector health plans are also rolling out their own versions of ACOs. It looks like ACOs may well be the wave of the future. What are ACOs, how do they work, what are the opportunities for physicians, and what are the pitfalls to be wary of? This session will outline the basic structure of Medicare and private sector ACOs and speculate where they are headed.

5b. Compliance – Latest Enforcement and Audit Trends

David Robbins

Medicare and medical claims audits embody significant risk to legitimate revenues and profit margins for healthcare providers. These audits typically include very complex appeals processes with strict deadlines and stiff penalties. This session will provide an overview and update on the latest trends in government enforcement and audit programs, including false claims, RACs, MACs, MICs and ZPICs, with an emphasis on best defense practices.

5c. National Government Affairs Update (MGMA)

Jeb Shepard

This update will provide timely information on the status of pertinent healthcare issues under consideration by Congress and federal regulatory agencies. Attendees will learn about recent legislative and regulatory developments affecting medical groups, gaining a deeper understand of these changes and their impact on the day-to-day activities of medical group practices. Additionally, attendees will learn what resources are available to clarify these federal initiatives. Topics will include Medicare physician payment (SGR), Medicare changes, healthcare reform, and e-health initiatives.

5d. Upgrade Your Revenue Cycle Tools and Techniques

Betsy Nicoletti

Medical practices must collect revenue quickly and at the lowest possible cost. Manual systems, collecting months after the date of service, submit and hope for the best results in lower payments and net revenues. From the first phone call or emergency visit to a zero balance, practices must use up-to-date technology and work processes to effectively collect patient and insurance due balances. As a result of attending this session participants will be able to access the effectiveness of Revenue Cycle Management in your practice, identify one key process and one technology for improvement, and measure current denial rate, define a strategy for decreasing, and set a goal to re-measure quarterly.

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Tuesday, April 16: 6a – 6d | 3:00 – 3:50 PM | Tacoma Convention and Trade Center

6a. Patient Centered Medical Home

Katie Bell

From setting the goal to become a patient centered medical home to receiving Level 3 NCQA recognition can be a journey of discovery, disappointment, sleeplessness, pride and a dose of “what were we thinking.” We will cover why this work is important, what leadership does it take and how to get your teams on board. We will also talk about the basic task of application, audits and the grind of pulling it off. Bring your questions and plan on an interactive session.

6b. Voluntary Disclosures: Mitigating Risk When Overpayments are identified

Renee Howard

This presentation will provide an overview and update on: 1) CMS’s 60-day and report and return regulations; 2) CMS’s Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol for Stark law violations; and 3) the OIG’s Self-Disclosure Protocol. The presentation will also provide practical advice on conducing self-audits and deciding when, where and how to disclose potential overpayments.

6c. Cloud Computing Security (check with Dave to see if this is final title before press)

Ben Brizendine

Everyone is talking about the cloud or actually moving their applications and data to the cloud. Most savvy practice managers know that there are benefits to do so, as well as some risks. The little known or often times ignored component of cloud computing that is sometimes overlooked is security in the cloud. This presentation will cover a short review and definition of cloud computing, along with cloud definitions and services; cloud computing trends in healthcare; maturity of cloud offerings; benefits and risks; security challenges and threats; and security technology. The overall presentation is layered around HIPAA requirements.

6d. Customer Service – From the Eyes of a Patient

Cathy Rider

This is a firsthand account of how to inspire your staff to provide excellent customer service. After coaching and consulting on customer service issues for over 20 years, Cathy spent the past two years in the seat of a patient. This breakout provides insight into what it takes to create a place where patients are truly glad they came to YOU. It’s an inside job that starts here … Does your front office see their job as answering the phone and having patients filling out forms, or do they truly see that they are the first to care for the patient? Do they know enough to care enough?

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Tuesday, April 16: 7a – 7d | 4:00 – 4:50 PM | Tacoma Convention and Trade Center

7a. Oregon Medical Association Legislative Update

Gwen Dayton

This presentation will advise attendees of the status of significant health care legislation in the Oregon legislature. The conversation will includes Oregon’s liability reform effort, health reform budget and other issues.

7b. WSMA 2013 Legislative Campaign Update

Kathryn Kolan

This presentation will provide attendees with the status of the WSMA key legislative priorities. Focus will be on healthcare reform implementation (exchange development/Medicaid expansion), system and payment reform proposals, and budget issues.

7c. NLRB and Non-Union Employers

Sheryl Willert

After decades of focusing on unionized employers, the NLRB is turning its attention to non-unionized employers. The NLRB has traditionally been viewed by employers as having no relationship to private businesses if those businesses are not unionized. With a decrease in the number of unionized employers in the U.S., the NLRB has begun to interpret those laws that have traditionally been mainly related to unions as having application to non-unionized employers. Consequently, all medical clinics and practitioners need to get their eye on the NLRB ball and learn what they need to know about social media policies now and in the future, including implications of linked-in, non-competition agreements, and pressing the “like” button; whether at-will employment policies will continue to be viable; and how in-house departments can protect themselves and their companies from liability in investigations if you can’t conduct “confidential” investigations.

7d. Leadership and Self Improvement – It’s Personal!

Cathy Rider

Leadership and self improvement are based on the same principal - to be effective and last - they must become personal. Transform your current efforts of personnel management into PERSONAL management. Lead others and provide them the skills, processes and tools to manage themselves. This presentation will provide three step processes (don’t make it complicated) for managing expectations; holding others accountable for real change; preventing problems and making continuous improvement. There is far too much that needs to be done to make things complicated. A tool kit of three step processes will help you lead the way to preventing problems and supporting quality efforts.

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