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Secrets of The Best-Run Practices 3rd Edition

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Secrets of the Best-Run Practices delivers timely solutions for the critical challenges that medical practices face every day from front desk service, to workflow efficiency, to effective billing and collections, to understanding the critical steps required to adapt to a new business model.

Also available in these eBook formats.


By Judy Capko

Healthcare practices. Uncertain times. Practices are under pressure to accomplish more with fewer resources, while facing new regulatory demands and other changes that compete with the responsibilities of running a practice.

How do the most successful medical practices excel in this constantly changing practice environment?

Secrets of the Best-Run Practices delivers timely solutions for the critical challenges that medical practices face every day from front desk service, to workflow efficiency, to effective billing and collections, to understanding the critical steps required to adapt to a new business model.

As in previous editions, author Judy Capko uses case studies from practices large and small to illustrate real-world practice management problems and their solutions.


  • A practice where mastering the appointment schedule reduced no-shows by 70% and decreased overtime payroll cost by $60,000 per year.
  • A practice that doubled time-of-service collections within 30-days once staff members once staff learned new collection techniques.
  • A simple formula for determining the hassle factor in dealing with 3rd party payers.
  • An amazingly productive physician generated $600,000 more in revenue than the national benchmark for his specialty.
  • A practice’s team approach to get exceptional results from their billing service.
By reading Secrets of the Best-Run Practices you will learn how to:
  • Improve time-of-service collections to increase practice profitability
  • Use proven techniques for appointment scheduling, increasing patient satisfaction
  • Discover outsourcing possibilities that improve practice performance
  • Apply the key components of a practice Turnaround Plan to achieve a profitable footing
  • Keep credit card numbers on file, and use virtual cc payments...and how to do it properly
  • Conduct random chart audits; we have tips for you
  • Discharge a non-compliant or difficult patient and protect the practice from liability
  • Leverage your patient portal to smooth out workflow
  • Improve your efforts to secure data with no-nonsense info on the new world of patient data security and HIPAA

BONUS: The 3rd edition includes 46 downloadable toolbox forms (in Word and in PDF) designed to help you manage your busy practice. These forms can be customized for any practice and cover workflow, business analysis, and human resource management.

Just as doctors need to stay up-to-date with the best practices in patient care, their practices need to keep up with the real-life solutions that can keep their practices healthy.

The 3rd edition of SECRETS OF THE BEST-RUN PRACTICES is a cost-effective investment in practice success.

Selected Table of Contents

  • Introduction and Guide to This Edition   
  • Success Factors in a Time of Change
  • A Peek at the Pages Ahead
CHAPTER 1 - Managing Revenue to Maximize Practice Profit
  • Capturing Charges and Maximizing Their Value
  • Patient Registration
  • Charge Reporting
  • Revenue Recovery
  • Monitoring Performance
  • Accounts Receivable Management
  • Payment Estimation And Real-Time Claims Adjudication
  • Whose Practice Is It, Anyway?
  • Don’t Be a Target For Embezzlement
CHAPTER 2 - Mastering the Appointment Schedule
  • Looking at the Indicators
  • Getting to the Root of the Problem
  • The Financial Impact
  • Defining the Objectives
  • Mastering the Schedule
  • Checking Out the Gains
CHAPTER 3 - The Perfect Receptionist in a High-Deductible World
  • The Game Has Changed—But the Complaints Are the Same
  • Everyone (Still) Loves Susan
  • The Illusion of Multitasking
  • Technology: More Important Than Ever
  • Workload and Productivity
  • Branding at Reception
CHAPTER 4 - Conquering Workflow Problems 
  • What Was Wrong
  • The Challenge
  • The Power of Data
  • The Findings
  • The Remedy
  • Searching for a Champion
  • Making It Happen
  • Reaping the Rewards
  • Adapting to Change
CHAPTER 5 - Commonsense Management of Today’s Risk
  • Could It Happen to You?
  • Start with the Relationship
  • Documentation
  • Develop a Risk Management Plan
  • Discharging Patients
  • Tapping Into Risk Management Resources
  • Attitudes
  • Data Protection
CHAPTER 6 - Surviving (and Avoiding) a Money Crunch
  • They Grew Too Fast
  • Checking Out the Numbers
  • The Infrastructure
  • The Final Diagnosis
  • No Pain, No Gain
  • Turnaround Strategies
  • The Action Plan
  • The Results
  • The Next Step
CHAPTER 7 - The Amazingly Productive Doctor
  • Making Time Count
  • The Clinical Flow
  • Everyone Benefits
  • Numbers Talk
  • Lessons Learned
CHAPTER 8 - Committed Staff and Adoring Patients 
  • The Supremely Supportive Physician/Owner
  • A Brilliant Physician Still Has Things to Learn
  • Satisfaction and Prosperity in an Underserved Community
  • Words of Wisdom
CHAPTER 9 - Making Smart Use of Outsourcing: RCM And Beyond
  • Knowledge, Technology, and Management
  • A Tale of Two Pediatric Billing Services
  • Beyond Billing
CHAPTER 10 - Going Outside-the-Box: Considering New Models
  • Planning Starts with Introspection
  • Brutally Honest Analysis is Key
  • Comprehensive Business Planning: Worth the Effort
  • Don’t Overlook Human Factors
  • Innovating Inside the Box: Exploiting Core Competencies
  • Pulling It All Together
Judy Capko

Judy Capko is founder of Capko & Morgan and a nationally recognized management consultant with over 30-years of experience working with medical practices. She is a sought-after speaker and author of the popular books Secrets of the Best-Run Practices, 3rd Edition, The Patient-Centered Payoff, and Take Back Time: Bringing Time Management to Medicine, all in print and in eBook from Greenbranch Publishing. She has been interviewed by and published in over 50 prestigious national medical journals, including such publications as Physicians Practice, Urology Times, Dermatology Times, and Repertoire. She has been a frequent presenter at the healthcare management conferences of organizations such as MGMA, AOA, and Pri-Med. Judy also serves on the Advisory Board for The Journal of Medical Practice Management® by Greenbranch Publishing. At Capko & Morgan, Judy works with practices of all sizes to help them solve management problems and run their businesses more effectively. Judy and her Capko and Morgan partners, Joe Capko and Laurie Morgan, also build on their consulting experiences to provide content and market research services to healthcare organizations looking to gain insight into medical practice management.

Testimonials for Secrets of the Best-Run Practices. Our Readers Say it Best!

"With multiple printings and a Second Edition, it's safe to say doctors love Secrets of the Best-Run Practices. Reviewers enjoy author Judy Capko's no-nonsense, plain-English writing style nearly as much as her practical, easy-to-follow advice."
Editorial Endorsement in: "The 5 Best Medical Practice Management Books for Small Practices."

"Secrets is hands down my favorite how to Medical Office 101."
Sharon E. McKinney, Practice Administrator, Gainesville, Georgia

"I LOVED THIS BOOK~! I manage Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center with 5 physicians. I modified slightly, and incorporated some of the suggestions in this book to our medical practice and things are going great! Fantastic read and extremely helpful!"
Amazon Review

"Judy Capko has provided the medical practice manager with a treasure trove of practice improvement ideas that can be implemented today. What are you waiting for?"
Kenneth T. Hertz, CMPE Pineville, LA

"Outstanding overview of what it takes to run a successful medical practice, and filled with great examples . . ."
Louise Garcia, MD, FACOG Thousand Oaks, CA

"Judy's book is a comprehensive collection of ideas that will assist you in the running of a successful medical practice. The 46 downloadable Tool Box forms will save you hours and hours of tying to develop your own measurement tools."
Customer Review

"This book should become one of the secrets of your own 'best-run' practice."
Timothy W. Boden, CMPE, Executive Director, Physicians & Surgeons Clinic, Amory, MS

"Thank you, Judy Capko, for this easy-to-read, insightful book on health care practice change management!"
Mitchell Kusy, PhD Program in Leadership & Change at Antioch University

"One place to read and get good advice without having to search out each dilemma. I appreciated the real life stories that I could easily identify with and the way the author provided solutions which made sense and were also fiscally responsible."
Amazon Review

"Judy's experience and knowledge in practice management is extraordinary. A copy of this book should be given to every physician graduating from medical school."
Chris Riley, MBA and RCM and EMR Consultant Colorado Springs, Colorado

"Secrets has been a ready guide and Judy Capko an excellent coach when confronted with challenging situations. "
Mark Milinski, RN, MS, and Practice Administrator Norfolk, VA

"I wanted to tell you I read your book last night and found it very helpful! So many books out there, written by 'professionals,' fail to deliver anything but rehashed information . . . but yours is different!"
Customer Review

". . . innovative solutions for both small and large practices. These valuable secrets on improving business performance are practical and easy to apply."
Glen S. Kay, MD, FACEP Newburgh, NY

"Wow, once again Judy has provided the medical practice management world with straight-shooting and insightful solutions to our most daunting obstacles. Thanks Judy!"
Amy McIntosh, Director Health Choice Memphis, TN

"If you don't have the time for an MBA program and you don't have access to trustworthy consultants or reliable outsourced service providers, then this book is for you . . . Capko's book is a real treasure of carefully selected and very well articulated practice management secrets."
Amazon Review

"Real-time practice management solutions that every physician and medical practice leader should have as required reading. Judy's Secrets of the Best-Run Practices shouldn't be Secret any longer."
Clifford H Meyer, MBA, CMPE, and CEO Monterey, CA

"Reading the Capko book is like having your own practice consultant on call 24/7."
Marc Wishingrad, MD, Partner, GI Associates, and Assistant Clinical Professor, David Geffen/UCLA School of Medicine

"After reading this book, we put the information to good use and saw amazing results. Ms. Capko offers much needed information for smooth operations and a successful healthcare practice."
Amazon Review

"A physician in practice today can no longer rely on the art of medicine for success. Business is a complex and time consuming chore. This book affords the busy clinician all the tools for success; truly a manifestation of working smarter not harder."
Carol L. Henwood, DO, FACOFP, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

"Your Medical Practice can be the 'best of the best'... just follow Judy's advice... A treasure of practice management secrets. "
Customer Review

"I can say without reservation that I have been there, done that! The chapters read like a great mystery... uncovering the nucleus of the office problems. Judy is the Pink Panther of health care management. Judy presents the problem, solution and implementation plan in a very neat and orderly manner."
Colleen Burgess, CMM, Past-President, PAHCOM (Professional Association of Health Care Office Management)

"The format takes the reader through real-life encounters with practices struggling to conquer challenges in their operations and provides solutions to turning the practice into a best-run practice."
Ann C. McFarland, FACMPE, Past President of CA MGMA (Medical Group Management Association)

"As far as I'm concerned, it should be required reading for any doctor who manages their business. The book focuses on the important numbers of a medical practice: what goes in vs. what is going out."
Brent Greenberg, MD, President, Penn Elm Medical Group

"Many helpful ideas to "remind" a manager of various procedures and techniques for many areas of practice management. Good investment."
Amazon Review

"Every practice has pitfalls to avoid, crises to fix, and goals to meet. No matter how well we think our practices are doing, there is usually room for improvement and trouble always looming on the horizon. Judy's analysis and recommendations are very specific, practical and direct."
W. Lee Wan, MD, Coastal Eye Specialists

"5 Stars! Excellent Book! Validated Concerns, Insights and Valuable Recommendations Within . . . The book is an excellent book to validate one's concerns re: what one thinks is and isn't running smoothly with one's practice. Takes a step further by offering insights and valuable recommendations for promoting and catalyzing change from within ... if you take just a single tip from this excellent read and integrate it into your business, it will pay for itself many times over."
Amazon Review

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