Yours truly is now 45

 

Ho, Ho! Christmas is coming and guess what – I just turned a year older! Yup, yours truly is now 45.
Now whether I have been a good boy this past year is up to Monsieur Santa Claus to decide, but as always, my birthday has me going in a bit of self-reflection mode.
I feel like having gained the wisdom of 75-year-old in a body of 25-year-old, thanks to the love and support of my family and friends (of all age groups) who continuously challenge me to do something new every day.
The number ‘75’ stirs up all sorts of emotions and memories because that’s the age that my Dad died. I missed him like hell this past year, but I miss him especially today. I couldn’t do much for him in his last moments, sitting here in the U.S, and that’s something that I’ll live with forever. But I am happy that my mother, who lives in India, is doing well, surrounded by neighbors and extended family.
As someone said, let’s be positive and move forward, so I’m indeed counting all my blessings. For instance, I wasn’t admitted to the hospital or I didn’t run into a car accident although I did get two-speed citations (psst Santa, could you overlook that?).
Keeping myself in the best shape has remained my obsession, but my CrossFit schedule is suspended for a month due to the injury on my left foot. However, I picked up a new habit of indoor cycling which will help in keeping my weight in control during the winter season.
I had mixed feelings this year when our immigration status changed through naturalization. I suddenly realized that my excitement level is not the same about living an American dream as it was 15 years ago when we applied for H1B visa since it gave me a little feeling of guilt somewhere deep in my heart of leaving my country of birth. Although, listening to India News on YouTube during driving back to home on my smartphone is still the part of my regular daily schedule. Indian politics and Bollywood movies still excite me.
Out of all this, it seems I have completely forgotten to mention work. I gained little more popularity on my professional social media accounts in terms of the number of followers and content views. My speaking engagements have gone up this year because I finally figured out a new work mantra – If you can’t do the things yourself then it’s better to inspire someone else who can do it for you!
I think my parents figured out the formula for success and that is if you marry the smartest person on this planet you don’t need to worry about your financial affairs. While I’m busy dreaming about the future, my wife Parul is protecting the present, working hard taking care of the business and our family. Speaking of which, our kids have started showing the signs of adolescence and now preach us on how to behave like responsible parents. Go figure!
Thank you all, who connected with me online and offline to wish me on this special day. My love for you will never change.
If we don’t get to speak before the year ends, I wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Be naughty and nice 😊
God bless us all!
Kunal Jain

How I applied moral ethics in my business which helped it grow without resorting to traditional advertising methods.

I received a business inquiry last week through our website which I responded to quickly and arranged a meeting with the prospective client. Following the conversation, the prospect signed up for our services and paid the Kickstarter Practice Package fee for new physicians of $5,000.  Immediately I began reviewing the credentialing paperwork for the new group Medicare number they were seeking due to a new doctor starting the practice.  Very quickly I noticed something which the client had not previously realized during the hiring of the new physician.  I noticed that the new physician did not have what I thought was the necessary certification needed to sit as Medical Director for the new group per Medicare guidelines. I also was not fully convinced of my feeling so upon returning to my office I asked my assistant to dig deeper into the Medicare requirements. My assistant reported back to me that Medicare said the new physician is qualified and we should not have a problem moving forward.  We deposited the check of $5,000 for the Kickstarter Practice Package, signed the contract and began moving forward with credentialing.  Despite the response from Medicare I was still struggling with the thought that this new physician did not meet Medicare guidelines, so I asked my assistant to ask the same questions to Medicare but in a different manner. Surprisingly, she received a different answer from Medicare this time.  The physician, in fact, did not qualify to be Medical Director based on Medicare guidelines.  My thoughts had been validated. Without hesitation, I called the owner of the group and immediately offered a full refund of his money stating that we cannot undertake the credentialing and that I did not want him to waste his money on an effort that would not lead to their goals being accomplished.  The owner then told me that this is the first time he had met someone who refunded his money based on the principals of ethics and not by contractual obligation.  He then mentioned that he had paid large sums of money on two different occasions to consultants who could not get the job done either but offered no refund.

I have seen this type of scenario play out several times during the past few years where consultants do not pay close enough attention to small, critical details at the time of grabbing a new contract, then later come back with an excuse that due to third party involvement or situation they could not assure the success of the project.  Nothing is new in the situation mentioned above.  The point I want to make here is that by being honest and upfront with this client, I have made a lasting, positive impression about the credibility of myself and my company.

I have another recent example where one of my clients who has been working with me for a long time did not agree on one of the judgment calls I had about their IT situation. As a result, they ended up losing a tremendous amount of clinical data during a hard drive crash, or so they thought.  I have a habit of protecting my client’s interest even if they are not careful enough to do it on their own. While this client had moved their IT support elsewhere and was not using our services at the time of the crash, we were still able to recover the data from a copy of a backup which we had setup previously for him before he moved to the other IT company. The same IT company who failed to step up when he needed them most.

There is one more incident that happened recently which reminded me of how important it is to deal with others in an ethical manner. Another billing company in the area lost many clients recently because of trust issues.  I wrote about them in an earlier blog, but this billing company was siphoning physician’s money into their personal bank account without the physician’s knowledge. They did this by giving their own bank information instead of the physicians to the various insurance companies.  Later on, when one of their physicians moved their medical billing to us, he noticed a huge increase in his revenue which triggered concern in his mind about the previous billing practices of his old billing company. A few phone calls later, and the other billing company was involved in a large-scale federal investigation involving the mishandling of money.

The above personal behavior and professional ethics reaffirm our ability to judge situations correctly and make the right choices for our clients resulting in long-term sustainable trust. This is something we can all do. It is repeatable, and it pays big rewards.

Be honest, transparent, and firm when you deal with your prospects or clients.  Your company culture is nothing but your personal reputation, build it carefully or continue spending money endlessly on your marketing for the rest of the life.

10 Super “IT Things” for a Group Medical Practice (Checklist)

I owe a great deal to the following Products and IT solutions used by me personally over a period of last 13 years managing multiple medical group practices and businesses. They are the real, magical solutions for managing or building a great medical practice. This article is written for IT vendors, practice administrators and physicians, these are the tools that make the lives of physicians and patients more comfortable, and this can also be used as a checklist to start your medical group practice.

1. VMware Vsphere 5.5

VMware Vsphere 5.5 ESXI is a free tool for managing up to four virtual servers in any environment. Medical practices should opt for this tool, which sits in between Windows server software and Dell or any hardware, This helps in managing multiple servers with very little space, and provides scalability for the life of your EMR Data.

Even if your office is using a Cloud-based solution for critical applications like EMR, you still need domain servers, fax and phone servers, file servers for managing the daily office work or communicaiton across the different offices and employees. One VMware license for VM center server can also be purchased for large size enterprises.

2. Office 365

Office 365 provides Cloud-based email exchange and office applications. For less than $5 per user, per month, you can enjoy lifetime access to the Office applications and email exchange, which can be synced among multiple devices like your iPhone and desktop.

Office 365 can be purchased online or through your IT vendor. This easy-to-use service also protects the medical practice from unauthorized use of expired email accounts, such as those of terminated employees.

3. 3CX or Fonality Cloud-based/Onsite Phone System

IP Phones are the best option for multiple location, multi-provider offices. 3CX and Fonality phone server applications provide some great Cloud-based solutions that can also be installed on a small server onsite. Our recommendations would be to keep data in-house and use an in-house server. These solutions work with Voicepulse or any IP based telephony service. The cost of IP based telephony services is very cheap compare to analog phone line. these solutions are flexible enough to move without changing the analog line in case your practice location changes.

Internal servers are faster than the cloud , and free-from ongoing subscription charges and data remain in your control. 3CX servers provide multi-location advantages, and a reliable recording facility. You can configure your holiday messages and patient phone calls for better call center service. Supervisors are even able to jump into calls to intervene if required.

Calls can be forwarded to outside locations to save answering service expenses. You may use iPhone apps to make calls using the same network, and run both data and phone traffic on one network wire; this gives iPhones a tremendous edge over traditional, analog phone lines. ALERT if you decide to go to cloud then expect a little delay in your calls.

4. 2008/2012 Windows Servers

Windows Servers 2008 or 2012 are lifelines for IT infrastructure. You can use these servers to connect desktops under one network, and install phone and fax servers, DHCP and file servers. Most EMR or database applications require a Windows server platform. These are the most important IT assets to your organization.

5. Backup Strategy, Including Acronis or Windows backup

Backup storage, onsite and online, provides peace of mind against disastrous failures, such as hard drive crashes and server failures. Windows 2008 and 2012 provide a great backup utility to help in restoring data in real-time; however, if you are looking for restorations that are more flexible and application-based, then we recommend using Acronis.

Acronis is a leading software in backup disaster management that can be installed on every desktop or server. If you are using VMware, then you have a different version of this designed for VMware. NetGear and Dell provide network-based storage solutions that can be used for the whole enterprise.

We also recommend creating an additional storage drive on each server for dedicated backups, which will allow the data to be restored in a much faster way than using network-based storage.

6. Fax Servers Such as RightFax

HIPAA compliant fax servers are essential applications that should be deployed in the entire enterprise. RightFax is a great tool that provides HIPAA complaint solutions for medical groups or business that deal with patient data. Practices should use these software solutions to send faxes with guaranteed security. Most EMR come with their own built-in faxing solutions, which can be used as well.

7. Secure Encrypted Email Exchange Through Globalscape or Appriver

A secure email exchange service is extremely important if you use email in patient communication. Appriver and Globalscape provide secure email solutions that are easy to use, and protect patient confidentiality. Secure communication is extremely important from a compliance perspective.

8. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a great accounting solution for practice offices large and small. Network-based versions can manage your HR functions, bill pay, self-pay patient invoicing and vendor management very effectively. We recommend keeping the accounting software in-house, and providing remote access to an external accountant using the terminal server.

This gives you total control over your data, and helps you avoid duplicate data entry and errors during the transition of paper-based accounting data to the CPA firm. In the new version of QuickBooks, you can scan invoices and important documents centrally, providing a repository of all important documents in one place. You can also link scanned documents to their respective accounts.

9. Acroprint and Other Fingerprint Readers

Biometric fingerprint readers are a great choice for tracking employee hours; Acroprint provides amazing solutions for this. Depending upon the size of your group, you can pick from different versions of Acroprint, through which data can be exported to QuickBooks as a report, creating accurate payroll for the period.

10. Hootsuit.com

Last but not least, Hootsuit.com is a great tool to market your services by using multiple social medial platforms all in one place. Social media is a great way to connect with new or existing patients, and can help in marketing and patient satisfaction.