Michael Burton has extensive experience in management, sales and marketing. Burton owns and operates Burton Business Services, which provides consulting services, marketing assistance, and project management to businesses and nonprofit organizations. He is also a partner in OandP Staffing, LLC, providing expert assistance with O&P careers. Burton is a member of the Industry Advisory Council for O&P Business News and is President of the Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation. He also serves on the board of directors for The Center for O&P Learning & Evidence-Based Practice. Burton is a frequent speaker at colleges with O&P programs, as well as continuing education conferences. He focuses his blog on the business of O&P with a wide range of topics from marketing, human resources, health care reform and the latest business changes to impact O&P.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ethics as, The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. There is certainly nothing new about that. Even Aristotle wrote about ethics during his lifetime almost 2,400 years ago. It seems that we hear more about ethics today than in previous years. If this is true, has something changed?
The better question is, “Who doesn’t have time for that?” The organizations that serve the orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) community are often referred to as the “ABCs” of O&P. There are many fine organizations doing wonderful deeds. Among those are ABC, AOPA, AAOP, OPAF, NCOPE, BOC, ACPOC, ISPO and NAAOP. This list includes just a few and does not intentionally leave anyone out. All of these, and many more, do a very good job of keeping our profession moving forward.
Todays job market is filled with candidates who desperately need jobs. Unlike any period during our lifetimes there are more people applying for jobs now than ever before. Hiring practitioners is a bit easier since there is a limited pool of candidates who can meet the requirements necessary to fill the position. When it comes to office staffs there are significantly more challenges.
Business owners who have been through fire inspections with their buildings understand quite well the difference in these two types of people. O&P facilities have a good overall record of safety and most employees would likely agree that the chance of having a fire is somewhat limited.
Is your business growing? If not, do you have a marketing plan in place? If you answered no to both of these questions you may be stuck on thinking about how the economy has not recovered, reimbursement levels are shrinking and the number of days between billing and getting paid are increasing. It is also possible that you could be thinking you operate a good practice and that this should be enough to attract new business. You could also be convinced that there is no way to grow your business in this environment. When you consider marketing your practice you may be asking yourself why? when you should probably be asking why not? Whether you operate a good practice or not is irrelevant to the question of whether or not your business is growing and whether or not you need to market your practice.
It is once again that time of year where we pause to celebrate the holidays. Or do we? Before writing this today I consulted Merriam-Webster to get a definition of the word “holiday.” Their definition is, “A day on which one is exempt from work; specifically: a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event.”
As someone who has been attending O&P meetings and working inside of exhibit halls for almost 30 years, I certainly understand why these are sometimes a lonely place.
We talk about quality often, but how many of us really understand the term?
The AOPA Policy Forum was held in late May in Washington, D.C. For first-time attendees like me this presented a unique opportunity to learn about the legislative process. We learned details about pending legislation and how to influence the potential outcomes by sharing our stories with senators, members of the House of Representatives and key staff members. We have a great story to tell and there is nobody better to tell it than each of us. Appointments were made in advance for attendees to meet with members of Congress from their home states. The process was much easier than I had anticipated.
Does my business need a website? Every O&P practice needs to ask this question and the answer should be based on your specific needs, along with the needs of your patient population.