If you are one of the many podiatrists who have been reluctant to prescribe wound care because of the overwhelming paperwork involved, you are not alone. Up until recently, the process of prescribing wound care has been archaic and time-consuming.

Finally, there is another way!

Let’s take a look at how digital submission of your clients’ wound care prescriptions can free up time and money for you and your patients.

Recently, a new process for prescribing wound care solutions has been introduced that’s easy and efficient. The recent partnership with iRemedy has allowed us to streamline the wound care prescription process, leading to more income and better client satisfaction.

The process is simple—submit your patients’ wound care prescriptions online, and we’ll handle claims, insurance verification, wound care package preparation, and shipping.

Because the process is handled electronically, you and your staff won’t have to waste time filling out paper forms and faxing them to the supply company. Digital filing also eliminates going through the long process of waiting for a reply and having to resubmit any necessary changes in order to able to fulfill the request. The simple process of digital prescribing frees up time and allows you to put your focus back on the patient.

This revolutionary program ensures that supplies are put together and shipped directly to the patient’s home in a timely manner.

It also allows you to generate revenue and reduce the amount of time spent on prescription management. You dispense and profit from wound care supplies through your DME license—not the billing or supply company.

E-prescribing is growing rapidly—not just because the technology has improved but because of the substantial benefits for patients and physicians.

The key benefits include:

Fewer errors
Automated and immediate support
Quicker reconciliation process
Instant notifications of allergies, drug interactions, and duplicate therapies
Ability to track patient fulfillment
Podiatrists, by nature, may be the first to diagnose chronic wounds due to the growing number of people with diabetes and subsequent foot problems that follow. There are many wounds that surface on the feet first, which makes a visit to the podiatrist an obvious choice. If you have been hesitant about offering wound care, we implore you to reconsider, as wound care is becoming a focal point of the podiatry practice.

The ability to successfully and efficiently fill wound care prescriptions for your patients offers many benefits to both doctor and patient.

Save Money: Using an e-commerce system eliminates much of the overhead costs associated with medical supply companies. These savings are then passed on to the prescriber and patient.
Save time: Wound care kits are quickly and conveniently delivered directly to each patient’s front door. No trips to the pharmacy or waiting in lines.
No guesswork: Digital prescribing drastically reduces prescription mistakes, ensuring that your patients are getting exactly what they need. Wound care kits are complete and provide patients with everything they need to successfully treat their wounds in the comfort of their own home.
Podiatrist and patient are on the same page: The likelihood of follow-through with at-home wound dressing is much higher when the patient has all of the supplies they need. A proper demonstration during their office visit is recommended to ensure proper dressing.
Due to extensive knowledge of bio mechanics, offloading, and debridement, podiatrists are more than capable of diagnosing and healing chronic wounds. The ability to combine this knowledge with the right supplies creates a recipe for success within your practice. Doing so eliminates the need for your patient to seek other treatment when it is not necessary and leads to better patient satisfaction.

Correct wound care that starts early is now a realistic possibility, without the headache of paperwork. Offering wound care kits to patients can ensure that their needs are met and catapult your practice to the next level. By having the convenient option of digitally prescribing wound care kits, your patients can feel the confidence for healing they are seeking.

There’s never been a better way to make your practice more profitable for you and convenient for patients.


Many podiatrists already dispense wound care supplies or durable medical equipment (DME) from their offices for patient use. However, if you are one who simply writes a prescription then sends your patients to a DME provider, you are missing out on a considerable source of revenue for your practice.

Let’s take a look at how you can increase revenue and patient satisfaction just by taking advantage of your DME license.

Having wound care options and DME supplies available in the office is a great service to the patient. Patients prefer to get as much done in one appointment as possible, saving time and relieving stress. As opposed to sending them elsewhere to wait for additional services, you provide the service and collect the revenue. It really is that simple.

Another benefit of your practice distributing the DME is that you have control over the quality of equipment provided. There are many variances from company to company on each piece of equipment. Stocking a quality product ensures that your patients are getting exactly what you want them to have rather than a “knockoff’ version of what you want.

Podiatrists have an extensive background and training in biomechanics, as well as a complete understanding of diabetes and its complications in the lower extremities, which often results in the need to provide patients with immediate immobilization. That alone demonstrates that DME is one of the more important offerings that you can extend to those you treat.

Benefits of DME for patients include the following:

Ease of use
Patient acceptability/understanding
Maximized healing/outcomes
Instant immobilization when needed
DME has a place in the treatment plan for many of the conditions treated on a daily basis in your office. Unlike services or procedures that are diagnosis driven, DME must simply meet medical necessity. Practically speaking, integrating DME into existing treatment protocols will improve and diversify your practice revenue stream and increase patient satisfaction.

In order to furnish durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS), you must obtain a durable medical equipment regional carrier (DMERC) accreditation. This can be a lengthy process, so be sure to start early.

There are certain supplier and quality standards that must be met in order to obtain your DMERC accreditation and to be eligible to have Medicare billing privileges. Understanding the DMEPOS Quality Standards and involving all staff in the process will help you meet the DMEPOS Quality Standards and obtain accreditation.

1. Pre-application process

Contact an accreditation organization (AO) and get information about their process.
Review and apply to the AO of your choice.
Your AO will help you determine if any changes will be required to ensure you’ve met the accreditation standards.
You will apply after all changes have been implemented.
2. Application process

Submit a completed application to the AO with all required supporting documentation.
The AO reviews the application and documentation. The average review period is 4-6 months.
3. On-site survey

The AO conducts an unannounced on-site survey.
The AO determines your accreditation based on the data that you have submitted and the on-site survey results.
AOs report accreditation information to the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC).
You may also report accrediting information to the NSC on your enrollment application.
**Remember that your AO will conduct an unannounced on-site survey every 3 years.**

There are significant ramifications for noncompliance when it comes to acquiring and maintaining accreditation. Taking the time to complete accreditation through a reputable AO is crucial to ensure that you are in compliance with all rules and regulations within your state.

Many HMOs require the use of a preferred vendor for DMEPOS equipment. Being aware of this before prescribing can keep you from violating your HMO contract.

However, there are often provisions written into the HMO contract for “urgent” situations. Be aware, however, that there could still be a lengthy and difficult process of retro-authorization.

If your practice does its own billing as opposed to having it outsourced, DO NOT rely on the manufacturers’ recommendations about which code to use. Instead, refer to the Statistical Analysis SADMERC, a department that will tell you the correct HCPCS code to use for a specific item.

When you are both provider and supplier, carefully navigating that distinction can be arduous at first as you are essentially wearing 2 hats. Completely filling out all DMEPOS dispensing forms can help to alleviate some of the stress that can accompany combined billing.

Being aware and informed about the potential billing difficulties that could arise is the best defense against them.

Durable medical equipment (DME) plays a critical role in the treatment of an ever-expanding list of conditions frequently seen by podiatric physicians. Patients often need these products immediately, and they should be available for dispensing in the office.

As specialty providers of comprehensive foot and ankle care, podiatrists are well positioned to improve patient outcomes and patient satisfaction significantly with the proper use of their DME license.


Many podiatrists are currently trying to juggle the business part of owning their own practice and the practical part of providing patients with exceptional podiatry care. How can you balance both and create a successful podiatry practice that will lead to the best overall outcome? While the answer isn’t simple, it can be simply broken down.

Too often, there are distractions within the inner workings of the business, and it becomes easy to forget the primary focus—the patient. First and foremost, having patients who return for care is the best thing you can do to ensure that your practice is successful.

Did you know that, on average, studies show it costs 5 times as much for a practice to find a new patient than to keep an existing one?

Once a patient has entered your office, the hard part is done. The only thing left to do is instill confidence in your patient that you are listening to them and ready to help in all ways possible.

What Leads to a Pleasant Office Visit?
Greet your patient: Take the time to say hello and start with some small get-to-know-you questions before you jump right into what they need from you. This tells the patient that you are interested in getting to know them as a person, not just their condition as a patient.
Listen to them: Let your patient describe in full what they believe is going on without completing their sentences or cutting them off. When patients feel rushed, they tend to shut down and become withdrawn or defensive.
Be on time: Making a patient consistently wait on you is the quickest way to lose them. Granted, you can’t predict every minute of your day and there are times when you will run behind schedule. However, if it is a recurring problem, you may need to tweak your scheduling process to accommodate.
Provide eye contact: By making eye contact with your patient, you show them that you are listening and willing to give them your undivided attention. With all of the electronics that are used in the office, it is easy to get caught up in typing notes or searching for the correct aftercare sheet for print. Be aware if that is something you have a tendency to do.
Be knowledgeable: Being able to correctly identify the patient’s condition and start them on a path to healing is the whole reason they have walked into your office. You want them to leave with confidence that they haven’t wasted their time and money.
These simple things can mean the difference between a happy returning patient who recommends you to others and an unhappy patient who seeks treatment elsewhere.

Your staff is the foundation of your business. Even if you only have 1 or 2 employees, they are essential to the success of your practice. Recognition for a job well done and respect for individual effort are important contributors to low employee turnover and high productivity.

Losing an employee can be costly. When an employee leaves, general productivity can take a big hit, as other employees are required to take over extra duties during the process of hiring and training a replacement.

5 Helpful Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Work Environment for Retaining Employees.
Thorough communication and training on office protocols will help reduce employee stressors and lead to unity within the office. Consistent instruction among your staff is going to alleviate many problems that stem from training variances.
Practical relationship-building activities are encouraged quarterly to create a positive work attitude. This will also allow you to get feedback in a setting outside of the office.
Cross-train employees on more than one position to ensure that when one is out sick or ends up leaving, there is always somebody else in the office who can fill that role. This also alleviates feelings of superiority.
Training employees is an ongoing process and shouldn’t be overlooked. Revisiting rules and common practices regularly with your office staff is the best way for everyone to be on the same page. Frequent communication will allow you to talk about what protocols aren’t working and redefine them.
Be careful as to not overload your staff. Overloading staff happens gradually, so pay attention to their workloads. They can’t be productive if they are juggling too much. You may need to consider other options such as hiring more staff, redistributing tasks, or outsourcing some of the responsibilities to a reliable company.
There are many different reasons that podiatrists open their own practice and many different theories on what constitutes success. Viewing your practice through a holistic lens can help produce the outcome you’re desiring, be it a large multi-physician clinic or an at-home office.

Customer Service
Podiatrists provide a service. Determining how you want that service delivered to your patients will be crucial when it comes to producing results. Clearly defining a purpose and the actions required to accomplish that purpose will get you started in the right direction. We must remember that the purpose of our office should be to help our patients feel cared for on a road to recovery, not achieve an outcome that only benefits the business.

Questions that you can ask yourself to get started are as follows:

What purpose do I serve?
What am I trying to achieve?
What has to happen in order for me to achieve_______?
How can I recover when things don’t go as planned?
Billing and Insurance
Making sure your office staff is well trained in coding and billing will greatly contribute to the success of the practice. Having an efficient billing process can reduce headaches in private practices for podiatrists and patients alike. Patients want to feel that your billing process is upfront and fair.

Insurance claims should be handled swiftly and professionally, with full transparency to the insured client. Keep in mind that outsourced billing can all but eliminate the stressors that accompany these tasks. Billing is obviously an important process for any business. The more efficient and streamlined this process is, the more money you make and the more satisfied your patients will be.

Clean and Organized Environment
Creating a peaceful environment that is clean and free of clutter is a great way to show patients that you take pride in your practice. Throwing away outdated magazines and obtaining regularly scheduled housekeeping can make all the difference for a good first impression.

Keeping items that are regularly used in stock and easily accessible will lend to an overall feeling of professionalism. Clients want to feel relaxed and comfortable in both the waiting and exam rooms.

It’s true that there are many ways to bolster business through marketing, but if you don’t have the staff or an efficient business and billing process in place, then patients will be less likely to get your full attention.

Practically speaking, marketing before taking the time to ensure that these 3 areas of your business are running smoothly is much like putting the cart before the horse. It’s ineffective, to say the least.

These keys will unlock the door to success. Make a business plan and execute it. Train your staff well, but be prepared for bumps in the road. Learn from the bumps and be willing to put others first. Last but not least, outsource when it makes sense to streamline efficiency. Taking the correct steps will take time and investment, but it will surely pay off in the long run.


There is no real “secret” to marketing your podiatry practice—the general approach is something that is pretty well known. But knowing you need to do something isn’t the same as knowing how to do it, especially if you plan on marketing to a specific population such as diabetic patients.

The truth is that marketing, like everything else in life, is a process that requires time, tools, and people to make it work.

Let’s take a look at a step-by-step approach that can grow your diabetic clientele and your bottom line.

Creating an enjoyable work environment will prove to be invaluable when you are trying to get people to come to your practice and have a good experience.

Educating your office staff on some of the key components to diabetic care can be useful as they transition your patients from the waiting room to an exam room.

After all, it is not as much about selling a service or product as it is about informing the patient of the options available to them.

Having a knowledgeable staff will reflect favorably on the podiatrist and the practice.

Marketing is essentially just “talking the talk.” When you begin to market your practice as an industry leader in the treatment of diabetic wounds and lower extremity ulcers, you must be able to “walk the walk.”

Your office needs to provide the latest, state-of-the-art medical care and up-to-date information and have a method of communicating that information to patients.

Effective marketing needs to provide cutting-edge education. If not, your patients will have seen your content before and skip over it.

Look for new and relevant information you can give to the clientele you are seeking.

If you already have a website, then don’t be afraid to add regular content to it and update it continually. Just as the field of diabetic podiatry is ever changing and evolving, so should your website.

If you don’t have a website, then you need to get one. It is by far the best way to communicate with hundreds or possibly thousands of people all at once. Utilize your site to share accurate and relevant information with anyone who is searching for it.

This does not have to be something that requires a lot of extra work and time. Posting weekly blogs can be as easy as highlighting patient testimonials.

Although social media can be intimidating, it can also be your best friend when it comes to marketing your practice. You can join diabetic support groups and other relevant groups that can introduce your practice to people in your surrounding areas.

If you are not savvy in the inner workings of social media forums, don’t fret. Just start small. Pick 1 or 2 social media platforms and get familiar with how they work.

You already know everyone you need to know to grow your practice, and they are your patients.

Work hard to retain the people who are already walking through your door and they will be the best tool in your tool belt for marketing. Best of all, you are not paying them…they are paying you!

Referrals can grow your practice exponentially.

Think about it: You have 1 happy patient who tells 2 people about their fantastic experience at your podiatry practice. Those 2 people come and have the same great experience and tell 2 other people, and on and on it goes. Before you know it, that one patient is as valuable as 10 patients. This only holds true, however, if your patients return and refer others.

The key is working hard to understand each patient’s needs and then exceeding them!

Here comes the hard part…putting into practice what you already know you should be doing. If this information seems repetitive to you, yet you are still struggling with growing your practice, then the problem may be a broken part in your marketing system.

There is a silver lining in that conclusion however, because you are the only person you can control. Make a plan of action and execute it.

Small, reasonable steps can make a big difference over time.

Great marketing doesn’t have to require many complex hours figuring out various tactics when you are following these 5 simple steps. It is simply a creative approach to providing your patients, current and future, with information that leads them to the correct conclusion—that you are the best choice for solving their problem.


Employees are a key component of any medical practice. They are the spokes that keep the wheel of your practice turning in alignment with the goals you set out to achieve. That’s why it’s crucial to identify and prevent employee burnout…

What happens when you notice a certain employee—who was once a great asset to your business—start to disengage? Though it is often overlooked or discounted, employee burnout is real. So real, in fact, that it has gained much attention in recent years.

A Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes. That means about 2/3 of full-time workers experience burnout on the job.

The effects of employee burnout can be detrimental to a small practice. So, here are few simple ways that you can recognize, reverse, and prevent podiatry employee burnout and reduce unnecessary workplace stressors.

In order to recognize when an employee is burning out, you need to know what employee burnout actually is.

Employee burnout can be described as any situation in which an employee once committed to their work has become distant or withdrawn from their co-workers and responsibilities.

Some of the behaviors you might see in an employee suffering from burnout include apathy, withdrawal, exhaustion, or cynicism within the workplace. They often start to show up late or frequently miss work altogether.

Burnout has 3 primary symptoms:

1. Exhaustion

Employees who suffer from burnout often feel drained and emotionally exhausted. Over time, this symptom manifests itself with an inability to cope and low energy.

2. Detachment and cynicism

Often when an employee is dealing with burnout, they will detach themselves from the job and their co-workers. They will be less likely to attend or engage in work-related activities.

3. Doubt in their ability

The feeling of inability to do their job at all, let alone do it well, starts to plague employees dealing with burnout. They feel that they are of little or no value to your practice.

Employers need to be aware of their role in adding to the workplace stress that leads to burnout—heavy workloads, job insecurity, lack of recognition, and frustrating work routines are some of the things that should be considered when trying to diagnose and prevent employee burnout.

You can prevent burnout (and even reverse it) by changing how you manage and lead your employees. However, if you don’t address the root problem of podiatry employee burnout in your practice, you will experience it as a chronic issue.

Here is a list of best practices that can help eliminate the issue of employee burnout:

Create a supportive practice culture. Make sure that you value support for one another within the practice. If you notice any cattiness, exclusive cliques, or gossip, the issue needs to be addressed immediately and with sensitivity. Let everyone know that you expect your office staff to work together as a team and that anything disrupting that team mentality will not be tolerated.
Clearly communicate your expectations and job requirements. Make sure that all of your employees understand their roles and how their duties fit into the larger picture of your practice.
Give recognition for a job well done. Remind your employees often that they are of value to your practice. Thank them when they have gone above and beyond as well as when they have done their job effectively.
Be realistic when you are assigning tasks. Have a conversation about the task you want to assign. Be open-minded—if an employee feels overwhelmed, look at other options for accomplishing the new task. Allow them the opportunity of saying no without worrying that it will cost them their job.
Equip employees with the proper tools to accomplish their jobs. It is much easier to do a job well when you have the right equipment. If your employees ask for something to make their job easier, listen and come up with realistic goals to make it happen.
Encourage (but don’t force) friendships. Encouraging friendships through office potlucks or gatherings can create lasting relationships that will be valued. Obviously when you care about the people you work with, it makes your workday much more enjoyable.
Be sensitive to differences. Don’t expect everyone to fit the mold of a perfect employee. Instead, understand that people are often very different from one another. They may process and hear things differently, even when you feel that is has been communicated clearly. Be sure to ask questions so that everyone is on the same page.
Communicate clearly and frequently. Don’t expect people to know your expectations if they differ from their regular tasks. Daily 10-minute meetings are often a great way to map out the day and give clear expectations. If you hold a daily meeting, don’t forget to thank your staff.
Set a clear example. Your employees will follow your lead. If you are succumbing to burnout, so will they. Be sure that you are “practicing what you preach.” Because of the many demands placed on them, business owners are very susceptible to burnout. If you feel that this description fits you, then you need to make immediate changes. Consider reducing the amount of work done in the office by outsourcing to reliable companies where possible.
Besides the obvious wasted cost of training employees and low productivity, employee burnout can be associated with many other unnecessary business costs.

Your employees are likely the first people to interact with your patients, and their attitude will reflect the attitude of the practice. Unhappy employees who have lost the desire and energy to do their job well can ultimately affect your entire practice, from patients to other office staff.

Employees suffering from burnout are also more likely to not follow through on billing or collections as ambitiously as they once did, leading to a chaotic billing and collections process for both the practice and the patient.

Though it can be costly, there is good news and it starts with you. You can use these tips to identify and prevent employee burnout. These minor adjustments may be all it takes to return vitality and ambition back to your staff and podiatry practice.

Hippocratic Solutions