Test Yourself: How much do you know about key practice points? (Answers)

April 18, 2008

Here are answers to the questions posed in the April 18, 2008, issue of Medical Economics.

Knowledge is power, and the more information you have, the greater your chance of making better decisions that will help your practice flourish.

Here are answers to the questions posed in the April 18, 2008, issue of Medical Economics. If you’ve scored 12 to 15 correct, you’re a practice expert! Eight to 11 correct, you’re reasonably knowledgeable. Four to 7 right, you’ll want to pay more attention to practice information. Below 7 right, make sure you allow enough time for reading about practice management, legal, and professional issues.

Legal Issues

1) If you gloss over potential problems when discussing treatment options with a patient, you could potentially trigger a lawsuit for lack of informed consent, even if you exceed the standard of care.

True (“Becareful what you promise,” Jan. 4, 2008 )

2) A person who was never your patient could sue you and win, if he or she was infected by a patient whom you treated for a dangerous communicable disease.

True (“Apatient you never saw can sue you,” Jul. 20, 2007)

3) When patients refuse treatment for chronic conditions or routine screening tests like colonoscopy or mammography, they should sign a form acknowledging that you advised them to be treated or tested and they declined.

True (“Batteryredefined,” Aug. 17, 2007)

4) If a patient’s spouse phones to ask about the patient’s diagnosis, you can discuss it, even if the patient hasn’t explicitly said that you could.

False (“Legalrisks of giving information,” Feb. 16, 2007)

Practice Management/Professional Issues

5) The more appointment categories a practice offers (routine visits, complete physicals, new patient visits, and so forth), the easier it is for schedulers to book appointments and avoid back-ups.

False (“Smarter scheduling puts you in control,” Jan. 18, 2008)

6) If you’re joining a practice with a potential partnership track, you should get a three- or four-year contract.

False (“Look out for employment contract snags,” Feb. 1, 2008)

7) Instituting a no-show fee of $10 is an effective way of changing the behavior of patients who continually fail to keep appointments.

False (“When patients cancel appointments, you’re on the line,” Mar. 7, 2008)

8) Instituting shorter workdays and staggered work hours can trim payroll costs without cutting staff.

True (“Keep more of your practice income,” Nov. 2, 2007)

Technology Issues

9) Two-thirds of pharmacies - including most chain stores - can accept online scripts, although independent drug stores are lagging.

True (“E-prescribing: The rewards and risks,” Jan. 4, 2008)

10) A practice-management program and an EHR built on the same database work better together than two programs connected with interface software.

True (“CME: Fighting through the EHR jungle,” Mar. 21, 2008)

11) Choose your EHR system before you the select desktop and mobile computers for your office.

True (“The right EHR hardware for your exam room,” Sep. 7, 2007)

12) A web-based EHR is always hosted on the software vendor’s server.

False (“If your EHR web host locks you out,”Mar. 21, 2008)

Coding Issues

13) If a patient has a chronic condition, such as high cholesterol, you should code the condition every time the patient comes in.

False (“CodingCues: Chronic conditions,” Nov. 3, 2006,)

14) CMS doesn't permit physicians to bill for medical services provided to his own family members or those of other doctors in their group.

True (“Coding Cues: Answers to your questions about...billing for family members,” Mar.21, 2008)

15) To be paid for a level 3 or level 4 visit when you see a new patient, you must review-and document-at least four HPI (history of present illness) elements or the status of at least three chronic or inactive conditions.

True (“Code your way to better reimbursement,” Oct. 19, 2007)