Louisiana Medical Group Management Association



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Video from 2015 Conference, taken by Speaker Beth Ziesenis,, who presented two sessions: "A Day In The LIfe of an Office Nerd," and "Secret Tech Weapon for Professionals". Click here to see the video.

2015 newsletters           (click to view or download pdf)

  January         February            March           April              May               June            July


Executive Director Suzie Smith retires 12-31-15

I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the many years of camaraderie. Where else but LMGMA could a gal strut with members through the French Quarter with a brass band leading the way, not once but twice!? 

Working with great boards of directors and chapters through the years, observing each leadership group step up to continue the excellent work forged by their predecessors and introduce their own innovations has been a treat. We've had challenges and successes through this past 20 years or so, swimming through industry changes. When I first joined this organization, few had Blackberries (the iphone didn't exist yet) and the internet was still pretty much unknown. Parting words? Stay tuned in, and take advantage of networking opportunities. 

I leave you in good hands as I "rewire" and make my way over to the pina coladas!

-- Suzie Smith

MGMA-LA contracts with M3 Solutions for Executive Director and Event Planning Services


M3Solutions has 21 years of experience specializing in medical association management, and has an outstanding history and reputation of working with the National MGMA and managing several other MGMA state chapters.

The management company will partner with MGMA-LA's leadership to cultivate new opportunities for members, benefit packages, and potential products and services based on members' needs. M3Solutions will also be responsible for marketing and promotion of the MGMA-LA, fostering new opportunities for the association, cultivating volunteers, convention and meeting planning, and all administrative day-to-day activities to support our organization. We are pleased to welcome Kristina Romero as Executive Director and Conference Planner.

A note from M3Solutions account manager, Kristina Romero:

I am truly excited to be working with the Medical Group Management Association-Louisiana. I look forward to getting to know each member. With M3Solutions' established relationships, knowledge of the MGMA and your association's competent leadership, I am confident that the transition period will be smooth. I am committed to managing your association with the highest level of professionalism, integrity, effectiveness and satisfaction, and I look forward to a long term relationship with the Louisiana Medical Group Management Association.


Kristina Romero, MGMA-LA Executive Director

Chastant, Waldo added to roster of Honorary Life Members

Ledoux J. "Lee" Chastant III and Andy W. Waldo IV became leaders in our organization during the 1990s when we were known as Louisiana Medical Group Management Association (LMGMA). They both served as presidents of the Board of Directors. They will be honored at the 2016 annual conference in New Orleans.

Andy W. Waldo IV - president 1998-1999

A leader in North Louisiana healthcare, Andy Waldo IV  is Administrator of the Gastroenterology Clinic & Endoscopy Center in Monroe, and Managing Partner with Delta Research Partners. 

He was a member of the LMGMA Board of Directors from 1996 to 2001, and served as president in 1998-99; he introduced organizational measures including a Board Handbook still used today and was frequently involved in legislative leadership roles such as the Louisiana standardized credentialing project which began during his presidency and was finally realized the following year. 

Waldo introduced Specialty Breakout Sessions at the 1999 Annual Conference that appreciably increased attendance. He has additionally served as president of the  Louisiana Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, and is a board member of the Northeast LA Physician Hospital Association. 

Ledoux J. "Lee" Chastant III - president 2000-2001

 Ledoux J. “Lee” Chastant III was tapped by the LMGMA Board of Directors to serve as legislative chair in 1993, serving in that role for the next 10 years. He joined the Board in 1996, served as president 2000-2001 and ended his tenure 2003. Chastant keenly focused on legislative and regulatory matters, frequently working with other provider organizations to achieve mutual goals.  

He encouraged members to educate lawmakers about how prospective bills affected their offices. He represented the LMGMA on several State Legislative committees including the Healthcare Advisory Committees for Rep. Troy Hebert and Rep. Karen Carter.

Chastant testified on behalf of LMGMA before the State Legislative Health and Welfare Committee, helping to achieve the passage of the Prompt Pay legislation. Under his leadership, the LMGMA became one of the major voices for healthcare in the legislative arena. During this time the landmark Standardized Credentialing project passed and was put into effect. He is currently employed as CEO of West Feliciana Parish Hospital in St Francisville.

 See list of other Honorary Life Members here 

(Oct. 28)

Alan Beason recipient of top MGMA Award

Alan Beason, MS, FACMPE, was honored by his peers at the national MGMA Conference in Nashville earlier this month: He was named the 2015 recipient of the Harry J. Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award.

This award is the highest recognition bestowed by national MGMA and is awarded to an individual who has made nationally recognized contributions to healthcare administration, delivery and/or education in his or her career, advancing the field of medical practice management. Beason is CEO/Administrator of Cardiovascular Consultants in Shreveport. Beason told the Nashville audience (see photo below), " I am honored to be recognized, but also very humbled when you consider the awesome work that so many volunteers do to support their local chapter, state MGMA affiliates, and national MGMA. As well as our overall profession." 

He has served in numerous leadership positions including MGMA's representative to the United Healthcare National Physician Advisory Committee, chair of its American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE), the MGMA Southern Section, and the Louisiana MGMA Board of Directors.   As a Louisiana Board member and officer, Beason took on a number of important roles in our state organization and was always available to mentor and assist other managers.  "This is so amazing!  I can’t think of a more deserving person.  He was key in mentoring me and my obtaining my Fellowship status,” said Lisa S. Conner, FACMPE, Lake Charles. Conner is a past president of the Louisiana board of directors. 

Beason was a key leader in Louisiana as providers worked to establish a new credentialing form which the state legislature finally adopted. In addition to his legislative work  and board member duties, he also served on other Louisiana MGMA committees including Scholarship and Sponsors. A featured speaker at conferences, he early on urged managers to jump onto the technology train. His presentation at our 2001 annual conference was entitled, "The Net-Savvy Administrator" as he talked about the importance of managers getting comfortable with technology linking patients, physicians and staff. He also publicized the advantages of joining ACMPE and its importance to managers wishing to broaden their backgrounds and abilities to deal with constant changes:  "It offers proof of your competence and credibility as a group practice executive...a commitment to ethics, excellence and ongoing professional development," he wrote in a 1999 Louisiana newsletter article. 

Beason joined Cardiovascular Consultants in Shreveport in 1996.  He was formerly the associate administrator for the Steen-Hall Eye Institute in Shreveport; executive director of the Louisiana Eye Foundation where he managed the first statewide initiative in Louisiana to network optometrists and ophthalmologists; and a member of the administrative team at Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport. He was the first graduate of the masters degree program in gerontology at Baylor University. 

He is now the fourth Louisiana member to receive this prestigious award. Others are Ed Silvey of the Baton Rouge Clinic (2013), Mel Manning of Hamilton Medical Group in Lafayette (2001) and Edgar Saux of New Orleans (1982).


Solving the patient engagement predicament under Meaningful Use:     This article offers good tips on engaging and educating patients on the portals.

Lessons from my practice:   Tim Dudley, MD shares his experience in this interesting story. Read it here.

Sept. 30

Keep up with BCBSLA information:   Their current newsletter includes important ICD-10 information: Read it here. 

TV in your waiting room? Good idea?  This doc doesn’t think so. Find out why.

Sept. 08 

  Weiss named to MGMA-Louisiana Board

Diane Weiss, CPC, CPB, has been named to fill the vacancy on the MGMA-Louisiana Board. She will serve for a year, until the next election. Diane has served several terms as president of the New Orleans Chapter, is a featured Medicare speaker at other chapters as well, and brings a wealth of experience to the table.  She has 10 years of experience managing a general surgery practice, and 12 years working for the Medicare MAC (Pinnacle Medicare Services) doing provider education throughout the state of Louisiana. She was the internal Medicare consultant for a large health system in the greater New Orleans area, and currently holds the position of Vice President of Reimbursement for Wound Care Specialists with 90 out-patient clinics in 13 states.  She continues to serve on the MGMA-New Orleans Chapter Board as the Past President.

Schwing named Jefferson Parish Medical Society Executive Director

Jodi Schwing, longtime member of MGMA-Louisiana, has been named the new executive director of the Jefferson Parish Medical Society.  

Jodi brings to her new position 20-plus years of experience in medical practice management and hospital medical affairs. She was most recently employed at Bone and Joint Center in Metairie, and becomes the third person to manage JPMS in its 56 year history. We look forward to continuing a mutually-beneficial relationship, and wish retiring ED Charlene Baudier all the best.

DOI takes over Metairie insurance co-op: There are approximately 17,000 policyholders who are being advised to continue paying premiums and schedule doctor appointments. See details here 

Bayou Health Plans open enrollment in progress  See Informational Bulletin 15-12 here  - Providers must follow certain regulations in the Bayou Health program which are outlined in this bulletin.

Aug. 31

ICD-10 is just around the corner: Here's a free tool you can use.  MGMA-Louisiana Board Member Stefanie Ardoin, RHIA, just used it and reports, "It works great." Healthcare IT News featured it in a July 8 article you can  read here.

How savvy are you in practice management? Here's 10 questions to test your knowledge.

President's Message

by Mary Alice Stanford, CMPE

New officers ... Search for new Executive Director begins ... Two lifetime members selected

Wow!  Wasn’t that conference great!  Each year I look forward to reconnecting with old friends, and making a few new friends at the MGMA-LA Conference and Annual Meeting.  I know I can always rely on my “MGMA Buddies” whenever the path gets rocky.  While I love the networking aspect of the conference, I also find the information delivered valuable and timely, picking up a few handy tips and sometimes a new perspective. This year was no exception, and I particularly enjoyed the pre-conference workshop where attendees had the opportunity to earn a yellow belt certification in Lean Six Sigma for health care.  

Best of all, thanks to our conference planner, Janna Pecquet and her team, the conference ran smoothly, and was a great deal of fun!  How about those ‘80s costumes?  The Roosevelt New Orleans is fabulous, and I’m pleased to announce we will return to New Orleans and The Roosevelt in 2016 and 2017.  Mark your calendars now for Aug. 17-19, 2016!

After the final session on Friday the MGMA-LA Board of Directors met.  Lorrie Rogerson, CMPE announced that she has accepted a position with Centene (Louisiana Healthcare Connections), and will transition her membership status from active to affiliate.  According to our current bylaws, affiliate members may not hold a seat on the Board of Directors, and Lorrie tendered her resignation.  On behalf of the entire board, I would like to say that we enjoyed working with Lorrie, and we thank her for her service to MGMA-LA!  We wish her the very best, and will miss her!  

The current officers and directors will remain in place until December 31, 2016. You can see them on the Board of Directors page at our website.  I have moved from the vice presidency into the president's role. Other officers are Tina Baus, vice president; Tim Barrett, treasurer; and Crystal Williams, secretary.  Our other board members are Bruce Anzalone, Stefanie O. Ardoin, RHIA, Julie Beene-Police and Greg Ivey. The Board will appoint someone to fill the vacancy created with Lorrie's resignation and this person will serve until the 2016 election. Tara AllenMBA, FACMPE, continues to serve as an ex-officio board member and our liaison to ACMPE. 

We announced at the annual meeting that Suzie Smith, our Executive Director for the past 20 years, has notified us that she plans to retire at the end of 2015.  Suzie has played such a vital role in our chapter, and she will be greatly missed.  I’m sure I can speak for board members, past and present, and say that we are all appreciative of her guidance.  Suzie keeps the best interest of the MGMA-LA membership at the center of all decisions and initiatives, and often reminds us of our mission.  On behalf of the entire membership  I thank Suzie for all she has done for our organization, her loyal service, her patience and her persistence!  Congratulations Suzie!

A sub-committee of the Board of Directors has developed a Request for Proposal which has been sent to potential Executive Director Candidates.  We have some really big shoes to fill, and will do our very best to find another amazing Executive Director!

I am pleased to announce that Lee Chastant and Andy Waldo, long-term members and past presidents of the Board, have been designated as Honorary Life Members in recognition of their service to MGMA-LA.  We will be featuring them in an upcoming newsletter and honoring them at the 2016 conference. Please join me in thanking and congratulating Lee and Andy!

Finally, I am humbled and honored to serve as your President.  This organization, its mission, and its membership mean a great deal to me, and I hope I can serve it as well as it has served me.

Aug. 18

Feeling The Burn?  Summer is nearing an end (we hope). Kids are returning to school. What about you? How do you recharge in the midst of the nonstop demands on your energy?   Read more.

Hospitals impact our state economy -  This report was prepared for the Louisiana Hospital Association (LHAby James A. Richardson, Alumni Professor of Economics at LSU. Using 2012 figures, the most recent available, it shows almost 300,000 persons employed in healthcare/social assistance sector in Louisiana with an annual payroll of almost $10.9 billion. See details as well as breakdown by regions of the state here. 

We can help you keep up with Medicare news  - Diane Weiss is our MGMA-Louisiana Medicare liaison who sends out regular email updates to those who sign up for this service.  Email her to get on her list. Diane is the immediate past president of MGMA-New Orleans and a former Medicare Provider Relations/Education representative.

Aug. 11

Patients want online access:  More than half of U.S. residents want to access health information via their physicians' websites, but few currently do so, according to findings published in the  Journal of General Internal Medicine. Read more here. 

More than half of nation's physicians work in small practices: Did you know most physicians work in small practices? More than 60% of physicians work in practices with 10 physicians or fewer, and that practice size didn't change much between 2012 and 2014, the American Medical Association said in a new study. Learn more here.

Aug. 3

Managing Patient Payments: This article from the American Medical Association contains good information including a toolkit and post-visit collections resources. "As deductibles and coinsurance amounts continue to increase, so too has uncollected patient financial responsibility, resulting in physician practice bad debt spiraling out of control.  If the average amount due from a patient at the time of his/her visit is $110, and each physician in your office sees 20 patients per day, you could miss out on collecting $2200 per physician each day." More here

July 28

THIS WEEK: Get some great resources from a highly-praised authority, Elizabeth Woodcock.  Through her travels across the country, Elizabeth has culled the best business practices and innovative practice management ideas from a variety of medical organizations. In this Guide you'll find links to incisive articles, Elizabeth's own resource lists, industry tools, and practical worksheets - all easily downloadable and available at no cost to you!
 Click here

VISIT A CHAPTER: We have six chapters around the state - New Orleans, Northlake, Bayou, Baton Rouge, Acadiana and Central Louisiana.  Visit them here.




2014 Newsletters:         August            September    Oct. 8      Oct. 29                November                      December

1998:     Sept-Oct newsletter    (Baton Rouge gets new area code ... Physician Credentialing legislation pushed ... Chapter reports)











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MGMA-Louisiana State Office / Phone: (985)290-8020/ 1527 Gause Blvd. #105/ Slidell, LA 70458

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