2014 NORM Conference Recap

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 And the Final Results are in and NORM is in the  Winners Circle



In short, it was a lot of fun! The 2014 NORM conference featured engaging speakers and entertaining activities for winding down after a day of meetings and networking. For that perfect first presenter, we decided to start the conference off with a laugh. The first presentation was Laughter is the Best Medicine by Brad Nieder, MD, CSP, better known as the Healthy Humorist.

Theresa Jaynes enjoyed the Healthy Humorist so much that she told us he was her favorite speaker. “I just needed a good laugh and he made me belly laugh out loud,” she said. “We all need to laugh more in our stressful jobs and he was naturally funny!”

But it wasn’t all fun and games; there was a lot of learning too. Friday, the Medical Necessity Panel gave attendees the opportunity to learn how to address challenges practices nationwide have today.

“Panel members Kyle Harner, MD, Kathy Rock and Ana Reyes-Cartegna did a fantastic job of covering many questions we all face in our day-to-day practices,” said Bobby Moore, a new member to NORM. “I have brought many of the topics that were covered back to the physicians in my clinic and have already seen improvements in care. Because of these changes, we are more proactive and provide documentation in the patients’ record before a claim is ever filed, thus causing fewer denials.”

During the ICD-10 Workshop, Dr. Amiel Toyaker presented on the rheumatology-coding sheet he developed.

“We had looked at creating a short list of commonly used codes but nothing as elegant as the form he developed and presented to us,” Glen Ballard commented. “Dr. Toyaker’s presentation and the organization of his coding sheet gave me a better understanding of the logic and patterns in ICD-10 coding. I feel I have a better grasp on ICD-10 coding in general. He also presented the material clearly and with humor. It was a light-hearted presentation on a subject that could have been tedious.”

Still, it wasn’t just speakers that entertained. The activities were just as entertaining as the presentations. For example, take thereception and dinner sponsored by Janssen Biotech, Inc Friday. What took the cake that night? Two words: photo booth. With derby hats, sunglasses and smiles, a crowd formed around the most popular attraction of the evening. People were able to hop in, snap a couple of photos and go home with funny, memorable souvenir from their trip. Groups of four or five crowed in around the camera lens, making funny faces and smiling. When Denise Price Thomas’ alter ego, Gladys Friday, started photo-bombing pictures, the fun really started!

“I could have stood there for hours watching her as she made every person that entered the booth laugh while she was laughing out loud at herself,” Debbie Liggatt said. “Priceless!”

Glen Ballard said he enjoyed when Gladys had some fun with audience participation that same evening.

“Denise Thomas, in her nurse persona, convinced people to come up and speak at the dinner on Friday night. When I say speak, I mean some people spoke and some people danced,” said Glen Ballard. “I like that this group is informal enough, and non-critical enough, that people can relax and participate in group activities.”
No bored faces here!

2014 Karen

Gladys Friday photobombs attendees during the 2014 NORM Conference

The 2104 NORM Conference in Louisville, KY had it all: informed presentations, lots of learning opportunities and a whole lot of laughter.

“Having joined NORM just this year and attending this conference as my first, Louisville was a pleasant trip to make and served as a gracious host offering plenty of attractions outside the conference itself,” said Bobby Moore.

Long time member, Glen Ballard said, “I attend the meetings to keep up with the latest happenings in our field. Some years, I find I really need to focus on some aspect of our practice. Other years, I find we know what we’re doing and just need to get ready for upcoming changes. It’s very nice to have a resource of people who know what you’re talking about. Our group is focused on business, but it is OK to have fun also.”

Theresa Jaynes found it insightful as well. “This was a very valuable conference for me, and it was my first. I will definitely go to more meetings. I appreciate the hard work and effort it must take to put one of these conferences on.”

Lots of smiling faces left Louisville and we look forward to seeing you all next year in Belleville, WA!

Posted by
  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

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