Future-Proofing Your Practice

modern practice podcast

On this episode of The Modern Practice Podcast, host Gary Tiratsuyan is joined by Sejma (Shay) Hodzic, Senior Practice Solutions Consultant at Rectangle Health, to discuss future-proofing a practice.

During the conversation, Shay shares how providers can:

  • Simplify processes and consolidate systems to offload work from staff.
  • Utilize technology to for payment capture and reduce AR.
  • Automate patient appointment scheduling and reminders.
  • Meet compliance and security requirements to protect patient and practice data.
  • Offer a no risk financing solution that enables more patients to consumer care.

Connect with Shay on LinkedIn.

Learn more about the ASPCA >>

Learn more about the Keyway center for diversion and re-entry >>


Gary Tiratsuyan 00:21

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to the Modern Practice Podcast. excited for today’s episode as we’re joined by Shay Hodzic, Senior Practice Solutions Consultant at Rectangle Health, to discuss how providers can future proof their practice. We’ll get into exactly what that means and entails here in just a minute. But before we do, Shay, thank you so much for taking the time to join the show.

Sejma Hodzic 00:45

Yeah, absolutely. Good morning to you, Gary, thank you so much for having me on. I’m really excited to be a part of the podcast. I’m a big fan of yours.

Gary Tiratsuyan 00:58

Thank you. That’s the first time I’m hearing that, so I appreciate it greatly. The pleasure’s all mine and again, we’re happy to have you here. So, Shay, before we dive into what future proofing a practice or healthcare organization looks like, I know you I know you do a ton of volunteer work. You’re involved with a few organizations. Can you talk to me about them?

Sejma Hodzic 01:19

Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, me too well, Gary. If I’m not working, I’m out volunteering. I spent a ton of my time and resources working with ASPCA and Keyway Center for Diversion and Reentry here locally in St. Louis.

Gary Tiratsuyan 01:37

That’s awesome stuff, and how long have you been involved with them?

Sejma Hodzic 01:42

I’ve been involved with the ASPCA for the last 10 years, it’s more national. So even as I moved, I was able to spend a lot of time working with them. And then the Center for Women in Transition. I’ve been involved for about three years now since COVID.

The Current State of Dental Practices

Gary Tiratsuyan 02:03

Wow, great work. super impressive. And I’ll be sure to link to those groups in the episode description for anyone that wants to learn more get involved. So, let’s get into it. In order to future proof a practice, you’ve got to have a deep understanding of what’s happening now to practices across the country, really. You get to talk to these dentists, doctors, optometrists, office managers and other staff every day. What’s going on? Are you still hearing about staffing shortages? Are they facing challenges and getting paid for the care they provide? Can you sort of give me a high-level overview, and then we can get more in depth?

Sejma Hodzic 02:42

Yeah, absolutely, Gary. So yeah, I speak to a variety of practitioners all across the country, every single day. And unfortunately, yes, it’s 2023, three years post-pandemic era, and practices are still facing the challenges of being short staffed. They’re experiencing high employee turnaround rates. And on top of that, they’re faced with the challenge of collecting balances owed by patients. Accounts receivables collections are at an all-time high. It’s harder than ever to collect payments.

Gary Tiratsuyan 03:22

And it as you mentioned, it’s 2023. We’re so accustomed, as consumers, to paying online, digitally, quickly and easily. So, what are practices saying? Why is it harder to collect?

Sejma Hodzic 03:36

Unfortunately, a lot of practices across the country – they just don’t have a payment platform that gives patients that flexibility to pay after 5 p.m. They don’t have the ability to text patients a link to pay. They’re still, sending out hundreds of statements every single month, spending hundreds of dollars in doing so. And they’re patients, they want to pay. They want to stay with their trusted provider, but they’re just accustomed to these digitalized amenities.

Gary Tiratsuyan 04:11

Yeah… to think that a paper statement… I don’t think I’ve written a check in quite a while honestly. So, we’re so accustomed to checking out with the Amazon experience. Just shifting gears… What about maintaining compliance? I’d imagine, based on a conversation I recently had with our resident compliance expert, Terry McDonald, that meeting compliance requirements has got to be harder because staff is spending all their time chasing down AR. Is that true?

Sejma Hodzic 04:52

Oh, yes, absolutely… Terry MacDonald is a great colleague of mine, so I had the opportunity actually to sit in on a lot of his webinars. I’ve actually watched the podcast he did with you. So, yeah, it’s absolutely 1,000% true. They’re faced with turnover rates that are higher than ever, it’s impossible for one office manager to get their staff trained with everything that they need in order to be in compliance with HIPAA and OSHA standards, within 10 days of start, just for the employee to quit lead the organization a few months later. So, I would say every, just about every single office manager that I work with, wears multiple hats, they’re the accountant, they’re the HR, operations manager… You name it, they do it. So, this is just another major task for them to keep up with. And Gary, they’re struggling. They need an efficient, mainstream way.

Gary Tiratsuyan 06:06

We’ve heard that so many times the point of office managers wearing so many hats. We’ve seen it time and time again at trade shows as we as we meet with OMs. It’s a constant point that’s brought up on this show. So, given this high turnover rate of staff, given the lack of time to focus on compliance, given the challenges and collecting payments, how does it practice get ahead of all of it, is it possible?

Sejma Hodzic 06:38

We’ll start with one pain point at a time. So, with the staffing and turnover issue, you want to be able to have the ability to transition smoothly, right? That’s not possible with 10 different system logins. There’s a learning curve there, you can’t properly train if all your staff is on calls, following up for appointment reminders, payment reminders, mailing statements, calling insurance companies, etc. Take your time. That’s important for future proofing. Find the right software that does as much of the operational tasks as possible. Learning one system is way easier than 10 any day of the week. And as far as payments, it’s like you said, it’s 2023 were used to paying digitally. So, make that available to your patients.

Payment Options for Practices

Gary Tiratsuyan 07:36

Can you go into more detail on the payments? What are the options? Should practices have one or all of those options?

Sejma Hodzic 07:45

Sure. And the simple answer is a practice should have a system that allows them to text, store card on file, offer financing, online bill pay links, etc.

Gary Tiratsuyan 08:01

And, again, these are all things that people are using every day in other industries.

Sejma Hodzic 08:07

Right, it’s automated, it’s smooth. I actually have a client that is based in Utah that has reduced AR simply through Text-to-Pay and the QR codes. And it’s not, just the payment side. It’s also reminders and scheduling too. That stuff takes time when you do it manually. If you can have an intelligent tool simply work for you to keep your schedule full, productive and keep your practice generating revenue, but most importantly, keeping your patients healthy, why wouldn’t you rely on it? Your staff can focus on really developing strong bonds and relationships with patients during their visits.

Future-Proofing Your Practice for Compliance

Gary Tiratsuyan 08:59

Now on to the scary one, compliance. How do you future proof that component of the business?

Sejma Hodzic 09:08

I love that. So, it doesn’t have to be scary. And I show that to practices that I speak to. For practices not using software to manage it, you’re doing 95% of the work manually. That’s a lot of time and effort. But the ratio should be reversed: 5% effort and work and let the system or solution you use, like Rectangle Health’s solution, do 95% of the work for you. Imagine having that time back or that pressure off of your back?

Gary Tiratsuyan 09:45

Yeah, absolutely. And I love what you said there – reversing that ratio. That’s a massive time impact. Massive amounts of effort given back to the staff that’s already wearing, like you said, so many hats. That’s huge. What’s your process for a practice that comes to you and has staffing problems, high turnover, high AR, compliance worries… everything we’ve discussed today?

Sejma Hodzic 10:18

Gary, my process is, I really love to spend some time with practice. Every practice is different, right? And I like to know what they’re doing great in their practice. And I like to learn what their pain points are, so I can structure a program that helps them meet their individual needs.

Gary Tiratsuyan 10:41

Can I drop your LinkedIn profile in the description of this episode for anyone that would like to kick that conversation off with you?

Sejma Hodzic 10:50

Yeah, absolutely. I would love that. I love connecting with people.

Gary Tiratsuyan 10:55

Great. Thank you so much. And before we wrap up with the last question, I want to say I think we can get into the weeds much further and I’d love to have you back real soon. Because what I think happens is technology or software layering, this idea of paying for one tool that solves for one issue but not another than adding more on top of that, it’s really important to find and identify software that does all of it, if not most, from a single sign on. It’s much more cost-effective. It helps new staff and legacy staff learn quicker and really future proofs the practice.

Sejma Hodzic 11:33

Yeah, absolutely. Gary, I love to come back. You mentioned a second ago — a practice has to make a software buying decision that helps today, and tomorrow and a year from now. It has to be adaptive. And it has to constantly be growing. Again, just a shameless plug, that’s what Rectangle Health does. But we can get into that another time. For sure.

Gary Tiratsuyan 12:04

Shay, so last question here is, this is something I’ve asked other guests on the show, and because you speak to practices directly every day… What is the impact of this future proofing, modernizing on the patients?

Sejma Hodzic 12:20

Happier patients, of course. Better patient experience, easier patient experience, and seamless. It doesn’t need to be a burden to go into your practitioner’s office, it should be seamless, it should be pleasurable. You want more visits.

Gary Tiratsuyan 12:39

So true and amazing. Thank you for that, Shay. And thank you for taking the time to join me today.

Sejma Hodzic 12:44

Thank you so much for having me, Gary. It’s truly been a pleasure.

Gary Tiratsuyan 12:50

The pleasure is all mine, and I’m looking forward to having you on the show again in the upcoming weeks. For our listeners tuning in today, let us know how we’re doing. Give us your feedback and let us know what you’d like to hear discussed on future episodes of the Modern Practice Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s show, be sure to like and subscribe as well. Thanks for tuning in. ‘Til next time, everybody.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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