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What's your story?


Everyone has a story to tell-and we want to hear yours. The entries are already starting to pour in for Medical Economics' 2011 Doctors' Writing Contest, and we would like nothing more than to add your compelling story about practicing medicine or the business of medicine to the mix.

The entries are already starting to pour in for Medical Economics' 2011 Doctors' Writing Contest, and we would like nothing more than to add your compelling story about practicing medicine or the business of medicine to the mix. And, great news-we've extended the deadline to November 15.

When James A. Feinstein, MD, was pursuing his undergraduate degree, he didn't really like writing-in fact, he says he avoided doing it as much as possible. But then, once he entered medical school and then residency, "I used writing to cope with things. It became a force and outlet in my life again," he says. "Using the computer and writing things down became like my therapy."

However, you don't have to be a published author to enter our contest (most of our entrants and winners aren't). You just need to have an interesting story to share about something you've been through that other doctors might learn from. For example, you might want to enter an article focusing on:

Some of the top entries will receive cash prizes (for themselves and a charity of their choice) and crystal awards; they will be published in a special issue early next year, and honorable mentions and other entries will run in the magazine throughout the rest of the year.

Lawrence Rifkin, MD, who took home our grand prize 2 years ago and was a runner-up the year before, urges other doctors to share their stories. "If you feel like you have something of significance to share or do, don't just sit there...and say "someday"-get up and do it," he says. "The thrill of being published, the idea of being read and possibly appreciated, and the chance to communicate ideas with thousands of doctors is, well, incredibly cool."

Entries should be emailed to me at tstultz@advanstar.com
. Also, please see our ad "ENTER THE 2011 DOCTORS' WRITING CONTEST!", and for even more details, check out our rules, author guidelines, and a list of past winners at http://www.memag.com/contest. Good luck!

Midlevel management With shrinking revenue and patient volume, Bruce Ippel, MD, a rural Indiana family physician, thought he would have to close his practice in the late 1990s until he discovered it could become a rural health clinic that he and nurse practitioners could staff. Today, Ippel runs a profitable, growing practice with thousands of satisfied patients, most of whom are on Medicaid and Medicare.


Error rates are now being calculated using a more rigorous method to identify improper Medicare fee-for-service payments. Here's what you need to know if the insurance auditor comes calling. You'll also find out ways to minimize your chances of being audited at all.


Tail coverage acts as extended liability insurance that provides coverage against claims reported after your claims-made policy expires. If you have-or plan to have-such a policy, read our tips to avoid gaps in coverage, negotiate coverage, and possibly obtain free coverage.


In this issue's Coding Cues column, learn whether you can be reimbursed if you perform a diabetic foot exam on the same day as an office visit. Also, read about the conditions under which to obtain an advance beneficiary notice of noncoverage for the Medicare program.

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