DoctorsManagement Celebrates 60 Years of Helping Physician Practices Thrive

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Knoxville, Tennessee Consulting Firm Stands by Providers for 60 Years and Counting

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“It's about supporting the business of medicine and the individuals who have dedicated their lives to healthcare.” Paul King, president and CEO.

DoctorsManagement, a Knoxville-based management consulting firm that works exclusively in healthcare, is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year.

Recent healthcare trends have made the services of DoctorsManagement more indispensable than ever. As the healthcare landscape has grown exponentially more complex in recent decades, physicians spend ever-increasing amounts of time complying with rules and running their practices like businesses. According to a new time-motion study conducted by experts at the American Medical Association (AMA), more than 50% of a physician's office day is spent on administrative deskwork and data entry into electronic medical records (EHRs). The firm has worked exclusively in healthcare for 60 years and its mission is to handle practice management so doctors can spend their time delivering high-quality patient care.

Founded in 1956, DoctorsManagement started as a classic entrepreneur’s dream: one man, an assistant, and a telephone, neatly situated in a home-based office (also known as the garage). After working as the business manager for Knoxville Orthopedic Group, Robert C. Fraim set his sights on greener pastures when he ventured out on his own to ease the business worries of physician owners of medical practices.
Possibly one of the first medical practice business consultants in the country, Fraim became known as the go-to practice management consultant. Physicians relied on him to free them from their business concerns, allowing them to focus on patient care and reclaim their life outside of work.

In the mid 1980s, Fraim met Paul King and introduced him to medical practice management. King fell in love with the business and the feeling was mutual as far as doctors were concerned. They felt an immediate trust with King and he purchased the business from Fraim in 1987.

The next two decades saw an explosion in government and payer regulation of physicians. Payment became based on codes and complex formulas; insurance claims required more and more information from providers. In response, King continually expanded DoctorsManagement’s service offerings to create a full-service medical practice consulting agency. The firm now has offices in three states and handles nearly all aspects of medical practice management, to as great or little an extent as each individual client needs.

“In this era of patient-centered demand and increased regulation, practice revenue continues to decline. Physicians have a business problem which contributes to the healthcare struggles faced in our country today,” states Paul King. “Our clients rely on us to stay ahead of the trends by investing in ways to help them navigate financial and operational issues, patient satisfaction as well as complex regulatory requirements.”

Over the year, several successful divisions of DoctorsManagement were spawned to serve the growing needs of non-clinical healthcare professionals, such as professional medical coders and auditors. The National Alliance of Medical Auditing Specialists (NAMAS), one of DoctorsManagement’s divisions, provides coding, auditing and compliance training services. It will hold its 8th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, in December.

As federal and private payers began using more sophisticated data mining techniques and statistical analysis to target fraud and abuse, the firm witnessed many innocent physicians being caught in an often-inaccurate crossfire of record requests and recoupment demands. According to a July 20, 2014, report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the payer saved $42 billion in payments to healthcare providers through the use of predictive analytics and other program integrity activities.

DoctorsManagement was already prepared for these payer strategies. In 2014, the firm acquired the Frank Cohen Group, a healthcare compliance consulting firm founded by statistician and analytics pioneer Frank Cohen. Cohen develops tools that use predictive analytics to detect audit risk. These tools are every bit as advanced as those used by payers and help protect healthcare facilities of all sizes from invasive and often unwarranted audits.

“We continually anticipate changes that may interfere with our clients’ ability to deliver quality care,” King comments. “It’s not just a growth strategy for our firm; it is about supporting the business of medicine and the individuals who have dedicated their lives to healthcare.”

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Karen Petrillo
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