Dunatov and Wagner receive National MGMA Edward B. Stevens Article of the Year Award

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Award represents exceptional achievements in medical practice leadership

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has named Amy Poplin Dunatov, MPH, FACMPE, CCS-P, ICDCM-CT, and Jim Wagner, MBA, LSSBB, as the recipients of the 2014 Edward B. Stevens Article of the Year Award.

Using Lean Six Sigma tools, the authors set out to improve processes for a Triad-based dermatology practice. They identified ways to increase office visits without adding new providers or increasing work hours. They assessed inadvertently upcoded and downcoded office visits and calculated the time wasted on each non-surgical office visit to reduce the time investment without jeopardizing the quality of care. The project used specific Lean Six Sigma tools to determine the root cause of no-shows so that the authors and practice leadership could reduce the rate with an automated patient appointment reminder system.

“The Lean Six Sigma tools that were used in the project displayed data that revealed the true magnitude of an issue that was previously overlooked,” Wagner says. “I thought it was important to share how anyone could use these same statistical and non-statistical tools to uncover similar issues, determine root cause and make improvements in any practice.”

“We were so pleased with the positive outcome from the project that we wanted to share our findings with other medical practices,” adds Dunatov. “We wanted other administrators to understand that evaluating even one component of the practice can identify easy opportunities for tremendous impact. Physicians and practice administrators often feel that the Lean process is not worth the investment, but we are happy to report a real world example to the contrary.”

The Edward B. Stevens Article of the Year Award recognizes a medical practice professional who has made a substantial contribution to the body of published literature to foster more effective and efficient healthcare delivery in the field of medical practice management.

“Recognition for Dunatov’s and Wagner’s work is a tremendous validation of the value MSOC Health provides to our clients,” said Cameron Cox, president of MSOC Health, a Triangle-based medical practice consulting firm. “The article is an excellent document detailing the expertise we provide to help practices improve their business operations.”

Dunatov joined MSOC Health in 2011 with extensive experience in medical practice management, including both private practice and hospital-owned multi-specialty group settings. She received her BS in Business Administration from Gardner-Webb University and a MPH from University of North Carolina School of Public Health. Dunatov has achieved fellowship status in the American College of Medical Practice Executives, the educational branch of MGMA, and is an ICD-10 certified trainer.

Wagner is the director of Performance Improvement, Surgical Services, for Hospital Corporation of America, Far West Division Office. He is responsible for implementing process improvement initiatives in the operating rooms at nine hospitals located in California and Nevada. As a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma, he has led multiple business process redesign projects for healthcare organizations reducing costs ranging from $100,000 to $1.2 million. Wagner has extensive knowledge of statistics, business process analysis and design, Root Cause Analysis, Six Sigma Design of Experiments, Lean, Kaizen and Project Management.

About MSOC Health

MSOC Health was founded in 1997 by Cameron Cox, III, MHA, FACMPE, as a medical billing company. As MSOC has grown over the years, the healthcare industry has undergone massive changes. This has brought about new complexities for practice management, and MSOC has responded to clients’ needs, building a team of veteran practice administrators and MHA graduates who have current, in-depth knowledge on the many issues physicians, practice administrators and hospitals face. Today, MSOC not only offer revenue cycle management, but also consulting services to physicians looking to start a practice, improve business operations, or develop strategies for enhanced business opportunities. MSOC Health’s mission is to provide the business expertise and knowledge that will assist medical providers in proactively adapting to the changing healthcare environment. The company works with each practice to understand its unique characteristics and culture, provide information, and recommend approaches that will move the practice toward its vision of success.

About MGMA

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) helps create successful medical practices that deliver the highest-quality patient care. As the leading association for medical practice administrators and executives since 1926, MGMA helps improve members’ practices through exclusive member benefits, education, resources, news, information, advocacy, and networking opportunities, and produces some of the most credible and robust medical practice economic data and data solutions in the industry, MGMA advances the profession of medical practice management with its industry-leading board certification and Fellowship programs through the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

Through its national membership and 50 state affiliates, MGMA represents more than 33,000 medical practice administrators and executives in practices of all sizes, types, structures and specialties. MGMA is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., with a Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C.

Physician practices, as well as members of the media, are encouraged to contact Amy Poplin Dunatov at a.dunatov@msochealth.com to discuss the business aspect of healthcare.

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