Recent Posts by Ken Teufel

‘You’re Fired,’ Said The Doctor to the Patient

By: Dr. Ken Teufel “No shows” — patients who miss appointments a lot — and those who repeatedly show up late, run the risk of being ‘fired’ by their doctor. Usually they receive a letter from their physician saying that they would be better off seeking care elsewhere. But this is no longer the most…
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Independent Practices Losing More Ground

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Driving this apparent trend is the Affordable Care Act. In order for hospitals to meet the ACA’s requirements, hospital acquisition of independent physician practices is expected to grow by 71 percent over the next three years, according to Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Hospitals need to identify, employ, and align with the right…
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Locum Tenens Physicians Can Make a Difference in the Developing World

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Greetings from Laos! No, Interim Physicians is not setting up a branch in Southeast Asia. I’m here to help establish a four to six-week study abroad course for U.S. medical students. You may be aware of the unprecedented growth of global health studies in many of our medical schools. My own…
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Giving Patients Online Access to Lab Results: A Good Idea?

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Traditionally, physicians have been the first to see their patient’s laboratory test results. The patient usually comes into up the office for a follow-up appointment at which time the doctor explains the lab results, putting them into the context of the patient’s health condition. But what if the patient had immediate…
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The Patient Handoff: A Risk-Filled Few Minutes

By: Dr. Ken Teufel In football, what are the chances of a fumble when the quarterback hands off to the running back? In medicine, what are the chances of a '€œfumble'€ when one doctor hands off the patient to another doctor? Quite high in both situations, and becoming more frequent in medicine. The increasing fragmentation…
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Limited Work Hours For Physicians-In-Training…Or Not

By: Dr. Ken Teufel The battle lines were drawn a decade ago, but the controversy is far from being over.  A recent article in The Wall Street Journal returns to the question, “Should Medical Residents be Required to Work Shorter Shifts?” (February 19, 2013).  Here are some of the rules now governing their work schedules:…
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Physician Online Ratings: Good Or Bad?

By: Dr. Ken Teufel It seems like everyone is looking over your shoulder these days.  Patients, hospital administrators, private insurance companies, licensing boards, government insurers (not to mention your fellow physicians).  If you haven’t done so already (but I’ll bet you have) Google search yourself and your practice.  You’re likely to find very few ratings…
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Tired Of Being A Doctor?

By: Dr. Ken Tuefel What do Tess Gerritsen, Robin Cook, and Michael Palmer have in common? Known for their best-selling medical suspense novels, they are all physicians. If attendance at writing workshops is an indication, a growing number of doctors would like to follow in their footsteps. “Physicians are generally well-suited to almost anything they…
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Medical Schools: Friend Or Foe Of Primary Care?

By: Dr. Ken Teufel “There’s a crisis in primary care, probably much worse than most people realize,” says Dr. Steven Berk, Dean of the Texas Tech University School of Medicine (The New York Times, September 9, 2012).  Interestingly enough, on the first day of medical school, almost half of U.S. students surveyed intend to go…
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Is Solo Practice Dead?

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Solo practitioners have read the obituary.  And, just like Mark Twain, they have answered:  “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” No one can deny that certain forces are threatening the future of solo practice. The hassle factor is at all-time high:  more rules and regulations; rising malpractice premiums; bigger medical…
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