Article Conference CoverageFrom the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Orlando, Florida, October 22-24, 2001

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Hans van der Slikke, MD: "Hello, I'm Hans van der Slikke from, and next to me is Kaylen Silverberg, the Medical Director of the Texas Fertility Center. Welcome, Kaylen. You told me about your software called 'Cost Doctor' and I understand this kind of software helps run your practice more effectively."

Kaylen Silverberg, MD: "That's exactly right. The basic problem and the reason we created this software and developed it is that doctors have no idea what it costs to do business today. The problem is that if you don't know your costs you don't know how to price your services. Doctors have to enter into binding fixed fee reimbursement contracts with managed care and if they don't know their costs they have no idea how they're doing. For example, we've analyzed practices throughout the country that are losing money every time they provide a service so whether they're doing a tubal ligation, whether they're delivering a baby, or whether they're doing a laser laparoscopy every time they do it for a specific insurance company they may be losing money without even knowing it. What we do is we provide software that has embedded templates so that the physicians can use their own numbers. They can put in all their own information about their costs, their employees, their office expenses, and all their equipment and the computer software will then run their numbers and calculate by CPT code what it costs them to do everything that they do. Then when they input their reimbursement information, they can compare their costs and their reimbursements and they actually get spreadsheets and reports to show the margin on each specific procedure by code by insurance company."

Hans van der Slikke, MD:"So it's a more logistic tool for this."

Kaylen Silverberg, MD: "Absolutely."

Hans van der Slikke, MD: "But it's running your practice."

Kaylen Silverberg, MD: "Absolutely, it allows the physicians to identify their costs, lower their costs, and then contract more effectively and rationally with managed care."

Hans van der Slikke, MD: "Why do you do this kind of business stuff?"

Kaylen Silverberg, MD: "I've got a degree in finance, and I was very frustrated because I had no idea in my own practice what it cost to do business so I wrote a program for my own office. I ended up showing it to friends of mine, and we liked the infertility application. Now Serono Laboratories are distributing the product nationwide in infertility. We then went on and developed a business model and a business plan, and we received intercapital funding. Now we've developed software for ob-gyn and it's being distributed starting November 19th of this year with Organon so they're going to distribute it nationwide. We've just completed the development of cardiology and ENT and over the next eighteen months we're going to complete all twenty-seven major medical specialties."

Hans van der Slikke, MD: "That's great. Does it also include, let's say, the content side of the business so the medical records in terms of decision support models?"

Kaylen Silverberg, MD: "No, there's no patient specific information in there at all so we avoid all the HIPAA regulations on those issues but what we really identified as the basic problem that doctors have is not converting their charts to electronic medical records. The basic problems doctors have is they're losing money and their revenues are falling every year, they're working harder and longer and making less and less and less money to the point that some of them are just giving up. They're saying they can't do this anymore, they're retiring early, they're leaving medical schools, and it's a national problem."

Hans van der Slikke, MD: "So what do you advise our colleagues, our fertility specialists, or the ob-gyn?"

Kaylen Silverberg, MD: "We advise them to use the software because the software is going to be given to them for free by the pharmaceutical companies. It's a very valuable package despite the fact that it's free. What they can do is by inputting their data they can learn their costs, they can then lower their costs, they can then compare their costs to their reimbursements, and then analyze their contracts objectively. Then they can better negotiate with managed care and improve their financial forecasting and profitability."

Hans van der Slikke, MD: "So your advice is ask your Organon or your Serono rep for more information." 

Kaylen Silverberg, MD: "Absolutely."

Hans van der Slikke, MD: "Thank you very much."

Kaylen Silverberg, MD: "Thank you for the opportunity."

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