Five years ago, Brooke Weaver, one of the instructors for the AAPPM’s CMOM-POD certification course, got her certification as a general medical practice manager. While it was a wonderful program, it was also obvious that, for a podiatry practice manager, there were some big gaps.
“There are certain things we do every day that your normal everyday medical practices don’t do and don’t have to deal with,” said Weaver. “Regular practices don’t market. Regular practices don’t do DME (fitting of durable medical equipment). But we needed that component.”
That experience was part of the inspiration for CMOM-POD, a certification program specific to podiatry practices. Developed in collaboration with the Practice Management Institute and offered exclusively through the AAPPM, the program graduated its first five managers (a 100% pass rate) at the AAPPM’s Fall 2016 Symposium.
There Was Clearly a Need
“We had doctors ask, ‘Where can I send my office manager to learn? I don’t have time to train them,’” said Weaver.
“You have to invest in your staff,” added Dr. Benjamin Weaver, president of the AAPPM. “They want to make you proud. They want to make you money. But we have to show them how to help us.”
With modules on compliance, practice administration and leadership, employee relations, financial management, managed care delivery, DME, and insurance and billing, the CMOM-POD provides a thorough education in all the areas required to run a successful practice. The outcome? Managers who have their doctor’s backs and can run the business side of the practice, so their doctor can focus on medicine.
“You need to know this if you’re going to help your doctor to be successful,” said Sally, one of the five inaugural graduates. “If you want your doctor to stay in practice, if you want your doctor to be the best doctor he can, you HAVE to know this.”
“There are things you think you’re doing correctly and you are totally not!” laughed Diane. Taking the course has helped her to clearly see both the things her practice was doing well, and the areas where they could improve. “It will help on a million levels across the board.”
“The benefit is so great!” said Angel. “You learn so much, and it makes you more confident. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to be more knowledgeable, more prepared, and confident. It makes you a better leader and a better manager.”
Although the course materials were extensive—and the program challenging—all five graduates felt well prepared and well served by the training and coaching provided by the AAPPM.
“The course material was definitely challenging, and the notebook was the biggest thing I’ve had in a long time,” said Tana. “but I did take the test feeling good about what I knew.”
Sally concurred. “The course material completely blew my mind. I never in my wildest dreams thought all of this had to go into a practice … I’m still re-reading it.”
More than just a study guide, the reference material provided by the AAPPM will provide lasting value to their practices. “I am so excited about getting the certification, but I’m even more excited to have the manual in my possession at the office,” said Colleen. “Having that information available to go back to is invaluable.”
No matter how long a practice manager has been in their current role, CMOM-POD certification provides essential training and knowledge that can help every practice improve compliance, employee relations, efficiency, and financial stability.
“Whether you have someone who is brand new or a seasoned employee, the CMOM-POD certification will add to their value and make it so that you’re able to leave at 5 o’clock every night with your notes and billing done,” said Sam Guillory, one of the course instructors. “You get paid faster, you’re happy, and obviously, your revenue will increase as well.
“There’s nothing else like it. The CMOM-POD is exclusive to the AAPPM, and the knowledge you’re going to earn from it is exclusive.”