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Fam Pract Manag. 2003;10(4):8

Some time ago in this space, I asked you to let me know what was on your mind – what problems in your practice were attracting your attention, what you had done to solve them, and where we might be able to help (“A Piece of Your Mind,” November/December 2002, page 8). The number and usefulness of the responses was heartening.

It was no surprise to me, and I’m sure it won’t be to you, that the No. 1 concern expressed was that reimbursement levels are low and decreasing while expenses are high and increasing. Second came worry over rising malpractice premiums.

Beyond that, I found it somewhat reassuring that the range of concerns expressed was pretty close to the range of topics covered in FPM. That’s one way we measure our success. A “Dear FPM” card we received recently captures exactly what we’re shooting for: “Keep up the great job! Seven articles in the January 2003 issue directly addressed specific topics that had come up in our practice in the preceding week. We’re glad you’re there!”

We couldn’t do it without you

OK, I’ll admit that targeting seven articles in one issue on the immediate concerns of a practice was a lucky shot. FPM is such a slender journal, we can’t do that often. But the better the guidance we have from you, the closer we can come to addressing the concerns of your practice. Consequently, I need to ask you for more help to follow up on responses I got to my original request for a piece of your mind.

One concern that was mentioned by a good number of respondents was managed care hassles. Again, not a surprise. But can you help me prioritize the problems so we can deal with them specifically? And HIPAA was mentioned by a lot of respondents, of course. FPM has already published a number of articles on HIPAA (see, but I am sure we can do more. Can you tell me where you are in the process of HIPAA implementation? My questions are below. Thank you for your help.


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