Healthcare Reform Trending

Freelance? Small Business? Then You Need this Course

From the Home Office

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Healthcare Reform Trending

You know I’m a healthcare policy/reform junkie (looking for a 12-step program now). I read three newspapers a day and receive countless newsletters and lists on the topic (and, yes, still find time to work).

Here are a few key issues I’m following:

  • Pushback on electronic health records (EHRs). If there’s one thing doctors hate more than malpractice insurance, it’s EHRs. A recently published survey of 411 physicians found that they lost valuable patient time using an EHR. And last week the American Medical Association called for a complete overhaul of EHRs. Stay tuned.
  • Preparing for open enrollment. Hard to believe it’s been a year since the disastrous rollout of Yet here we go again. Open enrollment for the exchanges begins November 15 and runs through February 15. The states and the feds promise a smoother process this time.
  • Transparency, transparency, transparency. In case you missed it, a New York Times article on Sunday highlighted the “drive by” doctoring, as in unnecessary high-cost surgeons “assisting” in procedures in which a resident or advanced practice nurse could be used. The doctors are often out of network, meaning they can bill far higher than the primary surgeon. One example in the article is a healthcare professional helping a patient to the bathroom – then billing $400 because he was a physical therapist. Of course, patients have no clue about any of this until the bills come in. As someone said on a Facebook group about the topic: â€œHealthcare in America is akin to going to Target, filling up your cart with a variety of things you need (none of which have prices on them), then going to the checkout counter where they throw a whole bunch of other things into your cart that you didn’t ask for.” Plus, I would add, you find out how much any of it costs until months later and there are no returns.
  • Death and dying. The Institute of Medicine just released a new report on death and dying in America. Bottom line: It isn’t pretty. The timing is perfect; I wrote a story about end-of-life issues for Consumer Reports. Look for it in early November.

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be giving my webinar, The Business of Freelancing: Getting to Six Figures, again this fall. The four-week course is designed for want-to-bes, newbies, and experienced freelancers. It is based on my own experiences as a successful freelancer for the past 15 years.
The course covers everything from business plans, budgets, and choosing a business model, to marketing, social media, contracts, client management, and even finding work/life balance. I’m targeting it to anyone who is freelancing (not just writers or editors) and anyone who sees freelancing in their future.
The 1.5-hour webinars are slated for October 29, November 5, 12, and 19 (all Wednesdays) from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

The cost? About $60 a session—or $249 total. Each webinar will be available on demand, so you can download it, watch when it’s convenient for you, and return to it over and over as your business needs change.

Plus, there’s a money-back guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, I’ll refund your money within 30 days. You also get a 30 percent discount on one-to-one coaching and access to a private LinkedIn group to continue the discussion.

Here’s what previous participants had to say about the class:

  • “Getting to Six Figures was the perfect way to kick off my planned transition to higher earnings and a more satisfying freelance career. Debra Gordon has the credentials and skill to lead this webinar with confidence and offer pearls of freelancing wisdom. The beautifully organized presentations start and end on time, and the weekly homework helps you put your learning into practice. I know if I follow Debra's suggestions, my business will grow!”  
    — Genevieve Long, PhD
  • “The biggest thing I got out of the course was a push. A push to really think about what it is I want to be doing and how to do it. And most of all, not to keep quiet about it! I also loved that there was a sense of community and support within the course. This was something unique to Deb’s course. Anyone could list the do’s and don’ts (well, not anyone!) but Deb brought herself to the course. She was the voice of support that said, ‘hey this isn’t easy and not everyone can handle it all – all of the time.’ She brought her own personal stories to the course, which are still in my mind today.”  
    — Allison Muller, Pharm.D.
  • “I’ve been freelancing for over 20 years and didn’t think I would really learn anything new or useful from Debra’s webinar. Boy, was I wrong! Implementing just a few of her tips has improved my efficiency and allowed me to not only take on more clients but to serve them much more effectively. I’m positive I’ll be able to reach six figures within the next year.”  
    — Elizabeth Hanes, RN-BSN

Interested? Click here for more information and to register.


From The Home Office

This has been a fascinating summer project-wise, with several fascinating projects (and new ones to come). Among them: 
  • White papers on mHealth in China; the impact of healthcare reform on the revenue cycle of hospitals; and the role of telemedicine in meeting the Triple Aim.
  • Meeting coverage and articles on the future of oncology
  • An upcoming book on health information technology
  • Clinically focused projects on schizophrenia, lupus, and diabetes

This will be the first year in eight years that I won’t be at the annual meeting of the American Medical Writers Association. But I have a good excuse – my husband has a meeting in Hawaii (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) and I’m going to be covering it for a client. It’s a rough job, but someone has to do it!

I’m also really excited to speak to the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons annual meeting in Tampa, Florida in late October. I’m talking to them about the impact of health reform on surgeons. And yes, I plan to wear a flak jacket and helmet. #pleasedon’tkillthemessenger.

Need a speaker? Some training? You know where to find me!

On the Blog…

Check out my blog, Musings on Medicine and the Healthcare System, for entries on patient empowermen, the high cost of new cancer drugs, and the facts about coverage on the individual exchanges.

Want to learn more about best practices for needs assessments?

View my free webinar on the topic, provided through BeaconLive.
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