You know Iâ€™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 Iâ€™m following:
- Pushback on electronic health records (EHRs). If thereâ€™s one thing doctors hate more than malpractice insurance, itâ€™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 itâ€™s been a year since the disastrous rollout of healthcare.gov. 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 â€œdrive byâ€ doctoring, as in unnecessary high-cost surgeons â€œassistingâ€ 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 â€“ 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 didnâ€™t ask for.â€ 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 isnâ€™t pretty. The timing is perfect; I wrote a story about end-of-life issues for Consumer Reports. Look for it in early November.
Iâ€™m pleased to announce that Iâ€™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. Iâ€™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 sessionâ€”or $249 total. Each webinar will be available on demand, so you can download it, watch when itâ€™s convenient for you, and return to it over and over as your business needs change.
Plus, thereâ€™s a money-back guarantee. If youâ€™re not completely satisfied, Iâ€™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.
Hereâ€™s what previous participants had to say about the class:
- â€œGetting 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!â€
â€” Genevieve Long, PhD
- â€œThe 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 Debâ€™s course. Anyone could list the doâ€™s and donâ€™ts (well, not anyone!) but Deb brought herself to the course. She was the voice of support that said, â€˜hey this isnâ€™t easy and not everyone can handle it all â€“ all of the time.â€™ She brought her own personal stories to the course, which are still in my mind today.â€
â€” Allison Muller, Pharm.D.
- â€œIâ€™ve been freelancing for over 20 years and didnâ€™t think I would really learn anything new or useful from Debraâ€™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. Iâ€™m positive Iâ€™ll be able to reach six figures within the next year.â€
â€” Elizabeth Hanes, RN-BSN
Interested? Click here for more information and to register.
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 wonâ€™t be at the annual meeting of the American Medical Writers Association. But I have a good excuse â€“ my husband has a meeting in Hawaii (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) and Iâ€™m going to be covering it for a client. Itâ€™s a rough job, but someone has to do it!
Iâ€™m also really excited to speak to the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons annual meeting in Tampa, Florida in late October. Iâ€™m talking to them about the impact of health reform on surgeons. And yes, I plan to wear a flak jacket and helmet. #pleasedonâ€™tkillthemessenger.
Need a speaker? Some training? You know where to find me!