Neil H. Baum, MD

Neil H. Baum, MD

Tulane University School of Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical School, Vanguard Communications Group

New Orleans, Louisiana

Neil H. Baum, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is also a retired urologic surgeon. Additionally, Dr. Baum serves as the Medical Advisor to Vanguard Communications Group. Dr. Baum is the author of Marketing Your Clinical Practice - Ethically, Effectively, and Economically, which is in its 4th edition, has sold over 175,000 copies, and has been translated into Spanish. He also wrote The Complete Business Guide to a Successful Medical Practice, which was published in 2015. Dr. Baum was the columnist for American Medical News for more than 25 years. Dr. Baum also wrote the popular column, “The Bottom Line,” for Urology Times for more than 20 years. He is a requested speaker each year to the Practice Management Seminar for the American Urological Association (AUA), where he discusses techniques for making urology practices more efficient and more productive. He has written more than 9 books on practice management and over 250 peer-reviewed articles on various urologic topics. Dr. Baum is also the medical advisor to Vanguard Communications Group.


Lectures by Neil H. Baum, MD

Practice Management Advice for the Urologist: Advocating for Your Patient

Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School, considers how and why physicians should advocate for their patients in the face of insurance claim denials. He explains that denials occur because rejections lower costs for insurance companies and allow them to hold money for weeks or months as appeals take place. Dr. Baum then tells the story of Shelly (name and likeness used with permission), a patient of his with cerebral palsy. Shelly used a voice synthesizer (VS) to communicate, but the school board refused to allow her to keep the VS once she graduated high school. Dr. Baum describes how Shelly’s family requested a new VS from their insurance so that Shelly could attend college, but were denied on the grounds that the VS was a “creature comfort” and the insurance company was “not responsible for replacing something not present at birth.” Dr. Baum decided to serve as Shelly’s advocate, reaching out to the state insurance commissioner, the insurance company’s medical director, government representatives, and the media. As a result of this advocacy, the medical director approved coverage of the VS and Shelly was able to go to college. Dr. Baum summarizes what he learned from this experience, highlighting the power that physicians have to help their patients, but also noting that they cannot advocate for every patient since the process is too laborious. He concludes that insurance companies are focused on their bottom line, so physicians must be focused on the welfare of patients.

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Improving Your Public Speaking Performance with PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach Tool

Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School, explains how urologists can use PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach tool to improve their public speaking skills. He observes that while public speaking is important for building and maintaining a urology practice, many urologists lack training in this area and may even be terrified to speak in front of an audience. To help gain these skills and alleviate fear, Dr. Baum recommends using the Presenter Coach tool, a free feature in PowerPoint that gives users feedback to improve their presentations before they ever have to speak in front of another person. He explains that users can present to the computer, and the Presenter Coach will evaluate pacing and pitch, as well as use of filler words, informal speech, euphemisms, and culturally insensitive terms. Dr. Baum then goes over how to use Presenter Coach step-by-step, highlighting the benefits of its real-time feedback and in-depth rehearsal reports. He also recommends practicing with the coach more than once in order to see improvement.

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Seeing Your Last Patient On Time

Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School, discusses scheduling in a urology practice, with the goal of seeing the last patient on time. He provides six suggestions for maintaining on-time appointments. Dr. Baum stresses the importance of doing so by noting that sitting in the waiting room or exam room for a long time can increase patient anxiety and reduce their overall satisfaction. For the practice, delayed appointments create stress for staff and can increase overtime expenses. Dr. Baum suggests physicians rethink the “waiting area” as the “reception area,” and encourages physicians to make a commitment to be on time each day. He also recommends managing appointment types based on the estimated time each will take. Follow-up visits to check BPH or testosterone deficiency may only require five minutes, but a new patient or new diagnosis is likely to require a 30-minute appointment. Dr. Baum adds that doctors should not accept meetings with pharmaceutical representatives or vendors while patients are present, nor is it acceptable to make or accept phone calls while in the exam room with a patient. Finally, he notes the value of rewarding staff if they help manage an efficient schedule.

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Recalculating Route: Options Besides Clinical Urology

Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School, discusses alternative careers for clinical urologists seeking to switch paths. He lists factors that can lead to a departure from clinical practice and provides five examples of career options that effectively utilize a urologist’s skillset. Dr. Baum highlights decreased reimbursements, increased overhead costs, loss of autonomy, and other pain points like burnout as some of the key reasons why clinical practice may lose its appeal. He then describes alternative careers such as medical educator, pharma and medical manufacturing, legal advisor, healthcare appraiser, or medical writer. For example, a physician may have an opportunity to teach internationally or provide legal advice to defense attorneys in malpractice claims or by serving as an expert witness. Dr. Baum concludes that physicians who leave clinical practice can apply their experience in a variety of ways.

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One-Page Marketing Plan for a Urology Practice (Part 3 of 3)

In the third part of his series on urology practice marketing strategies, Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane University, discusses the result of successful prospecting and conversion as well as how to cultivate “raving fans” of a practice. After converting leads to patients, it is critical to create an exceptional customer experience. To do so, Dr. Baum emphasizes reducing “pain points” in a practice, such as patients completing duplicate demographic forms and excessive waiting prior to an appointment. He suggests calculating the total time a patient spends in the office versus the time spent with the doctor. Dr. Baum advises leaving one to two time slots open every day to account for inevitable delays. Another helpful tool is to provide each patient with a card for writing down three questions they want to be answered and responding to a brief feedback survey. This simple system allows the doctor to finish consultations on time and ensures patients receive the information they need, with the added benefit of conveying their customer experience. Dr. Baum then describes how increasing customer value translates into a stellar patient experience and ultimately into ambassadors for the practice.

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