Pre-Conference Sessions

Separate registration required for pre-conference sessions

Saturday, April 14, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Laura Hills, President, Blue Pencil Institute

Every day, orthopaedic administrators enter into a complex communication dance in which they try to lead and have others follow. How successful they are in getting others to do as they wish can be chalked up to a lot of things – charisma, charm, authority, leverage, sympathy, empathy, and even threats. But beneath all of that, how well they get others to do as they wish relies upon one thing: their ability to communicate. Dr. Laura Hills has spent more than 30 years teaching adult learners how to communicate more effectively. In this fun, fast-paced, learning-by-doing program, orthopaedic administrators will learn new communication skills that will make them immediately more effective and influential in their work. [bold the following sentence] This is not a rehash of communication basics. Come learn fresh, easy-to-implement communication strategies that you are unlikely to have encountered before – but that can make a huge difference in your work and in your life.

Attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe the orthopaedic administrator’s challenge to be a communication “virtuoso.”
  2. Identify the six communication skill areas that are essential to the orthopaedic administrator’s success.
  3. Read others more effectively so they can understand what they need and want.
  4. Adjust their speech and body language to have more and greater influence over others.
  5. Assess individual communication strengths and weaknesses.

About Laura Hills
Dr. Laura Hills is the president of Blue Pencil Institute (, a personal and professional development firm in Fairfax, Virginia. She is the author of six successful business books and hundreds of articles on topics that include practice management systems, human resources, marketing, communications, leadership, teamwork, work/life balance, goal-setting, and ethics. Dr. Hills has been a practice management consultant, speaker, and author for more than 30 years and has written a human resource column in The Journal of Medical Practice Management since 1998. She earned a Doctor of Arts with a focus on adult learning and leadership studies.


Nate Moore, CPA, MBA, FACMPE, Business Intelligence Speaker, Writer, and Consultant

This session will describe and demonstrate business intelligence (BI) tools that produce customized reports for orthopaedic practices with a specific focus on an expanded view of revenue cycle management from appointments through denials. It is easy for managers and staff to see exactly what they need to see without having to go to the IT department for each new report. The BI tools are easily automated. Reports come directly to your email, webpage, or electronic device. Spreadsheets automatically refresh data as they open, so your time is spent analyzing data instead of simply creating reports over and over again.

Attendees will be able to:

  1. Communicate their BI vision to IT staff by speaking their language.
  2. Get example after example of revenue cycle tools currently being used by practices across America.
  3. Compare several BI tools, many of which their practices already owns, that deliver customized, automated data quickly and efficiently.
  4. Gain practical ideas to apply in their own practices and learn what BI should mean to their practices' unique revenue cycle.

About Nate Moore
Nate Moore, CPA, MBA, FACMPE speaks, consults, records, and writes about Business Intelligence in medical practices throughout the country. He is the author of two books, Better Data, Better Decisions – The SQL: Business Intelligence for Medical Practices and Better Data, Better Decisions: Using Business Intelligence in the Medical Practice, both published by MGMA. Nate’s consulting focuses on using SQL Server and BI Tools to mine and leverage medical practice data into actionable knowledge.


Paul Bruning, DHA, Director of Orthopedic Service Line, Signature Medical Group
Jason McCormick, MHA, Campbell Clinic
Chad Sackman, RN, BSN, MBA, Signature Medical Group
Vicki Sprague, PhD, AAOE

As healthcare continues to move toward value-based care, physicians and administrators need better access to information on the quality of care in orthopaedic practices. Specifically, the ability for practices to compare their patient satisfaction, outcome, and quality results to other orthopaedic practices will allow physicians and administrators to identify areas for improvement, make informed strategic decisions, and leverage their results to support practice growth.

Attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify the data required to improve the overall quality of care in orthopaedics.
  2. Integrate patient satisfaction, patient reported outcomes, and quality measures into orthopaedic practice management.
  3. Utilize available resources to begin collecting and reporting data.
  4. Analyze the benefits of participating in an orthopaedic data warehouse.

About Paul Bruning
Dr. Paul Bruning is the Director of Orthopedic Service Line for Signature Medical Group, and has more than 25 years of experience in musculoskeletal care and management. Bruning has held leadership positions and has been an active speaker for state, regional, and national organizations. He has presented on clinical, leadership, and healthcare topics.Bruning currently serves on the AAOE Board of Directors and is a board liaison to the AAOE Advocacy Council. Bruning was honored with the AAOE President’s Award by 2014-2015 AAOE President Donald Schreiner. He enjoys being terrible at golf, reading, wishing he was traveling, and red wine.

About Jason McCormick
Jason McCormick serves as the Manager, Process Improvement at Campbell Clinic, a 50-physician practice located in Germantown, TN and the surrounding areas. Founded by Dr. Willis C. Campbell in 1909, Campbell Clinic has been a leader in the practice of orthopaedic surgery and sports management. Campbell Clinic currently employs more than 500 employees in five office locations and two ambulatory surgery centers, and offers a full complement of ancillary services.


About Chad Sackman
Chad Sackman is the Chief Operating Officer of Signature Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician group with 160 physicians in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Southwest Missouri. Sackman has been with Signature Medical Group since 2001. During that time, he has held numerous clinical and business positions. Since 2005 he has been the administrator for one of the largest orthopaedic divisions within Signature Medical Group. In addition, Sackman serves as the COO for the entire organization. As a member of AAOE, Sackman has served as the Council Chair for the AAOE Benchmarking & Data Analytics Council since 2014.


About Vicki Sprague
Vicki Sprague has more than 15 years of experience in program evaluation and outcomes management. She is passionate about helping organizations turn data into information that can be used for decision making and quality improvement. Sprague has a Doctorate in social psychology and expertise in data analysis, research methods, logic model development, and communicating results. She has successfully implemented data analytics and outcome evaluation programs and worked in collaboration with organizational and industry leaders to promote the effective use of data in a variety of settings. Sprague has shared results through a variety of presentations, reports, and publications.



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