Archive for month: February, 2018

5 Keys to Improving Participant Outcomes in Retirement Plans

Categories: Articles

Capital Ideas Retirement

“I am constantly fielding questions about what improvements, beyond investment performance, can be made to a retirement plan. The attached article, provided by Capital Group, provides insight on a few simple action items that will create drastic results. While this is not an exhaustive list, it’s a terrific primer for a true retirement plan consultation.

I look forward to being a resource.”

Joshua C. Harper, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®

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A Look Forward Into 2018 – A Contractor’s Perspective

Categories: Articles

construction contractorsThrough the years I have learned that future projections typically do not come true, so this article is not about projections for 2018 but about possible trends for the construction industry.

The New Year will bring challenges in hiring quality personnel as well as retaining current staff. As commercial workloads increase, so will the need for skilled labor. Construction companies will have to pay more to attract workers to the construction industry, provide on-the-job training and encourage workers to accept responsibilities of supervision. Our more seasoned personnel will be required to train the younger employees and those employees that are willing to learn new skills. Because construction tasks require manual labor, hourly rates will have to increase above hourly rates which do not require as much manual labor. My thoughts are the difference will be about $2.00 per hour.

As labor costs increase, there will be more opportunities for prefabrication and automation. Commercial construction still has a way to go before automation reaches to job sites, but equipment is currently being developed to help reduce manpower. There will come a point when much of commercial construction projects will be built in a factory and those parts will be shipped and then assembled on the job site.

As we move farther into 2018, we should see less demand for repair and replacement in Texas and Florida due to the hurricanes of 2017. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit in August of 2017 and damage has been estimated to be in $200 billion-dollar range by Bloomberg. As the demand for materials and labor for repairs continues to decline in these two areas, material delivery lead times should normalize, and skilled laborers will hopefully redistribute from the hurricane damaged areas.

The events of December provide strong indications that business investment may be on the rise. Record Christmas season sales and a pro-business tax bill establish a solid foundation. Companies may be more willing to invest in new buildings to house people and product, therefore increasing commercial construction demand.

All looks positive for commercial construction in 2018. Only time will tell.

By: Eric A. Schoppman

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

Kristy Lockert

Kristy Lockert
Practice Administrator, Sandy Springs Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, P.C.

Kristy Lockert is the Practice Administrator at Sandy Springs Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, P.C. located in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The practice has a dual specialty with focus on general pediatrics and a few of the doctors focus on infectious diseases. The practice started in October 1999 and has changed and grown through the years. Currently there are seven doctors in the practice with a total of 20 people on staff. Prior to working at Sandy Springs Pediatrics, Kristy worked in Dallas at several medical offices of various surgery types and also worked nine years in a national home health agency.

Kristy enjoys being in pediatrics. She finds the doctors to be more laid back and have fun compared to the surgery doctors, and she enjoys having kids around. Kristy has been in healthcare since 1986. She thrives on the ever-changing environment. To keep a healthy work environment, Kristy focuses on improving office satisfaction through frequent communication. She recognizes the importance of staff meetings to share information and openly discuss what is working and what is not. She also knows that it’s important to have more casual one-off conversations with each staff member where she can get different responses than the full staff meetings.

Another of Kristy’s tips to practice managers is to stay on top of changes by being proactive and thinking outside of the box. She accomplishes this by reading various industry newsletters from MGMA, Pediatrics Associations, and other physician practice newsletters. She also receives information from their EMR vendor. By staying informed, she is able to talk to the doctors about changes and steps to take to keep it a viable practice. Healthcare can be cyclical, especially with practices being bought out by hospitals and then returning to independent. Although pediatrics is not bought out as much as other specialties, Sandy Springs Pediatrics desires to stay independent. To succeed, they need to stay on top of changes and implement changes as necessary to keep patients and parents happy.

Kristy has had many mentors through the years including her mother, grandparents, and previous bosses. The key advice that she holds dear is to stay true to herself, serve, be fair, honest, and loyal, and most importantly to not forget where you came from. To be successful as a manager, "you need to remember the previous jobs you held and wear other hats to see different angles and viewpoints." She keeps this all to heart at Sandy Springs Pediatrics and is best expressed by John G. Long, MD, "One of the things that sets Kristy apart from other office managers that I have worked with is her energy and constant planning for the future. She has the ability to guide our group of fairly conservative MD’s into important projects that change and update our business. She is a dynamic leader who has guided us through adding new physicians, adopting an electronic medical record system, and twice moving the practice to new spaces, most recently last year when we relocated to our current offices in Sandy Springs. She is always able to carry out these projects with consensus building, good humor and ultimate agreement by all that progress has been made."

When Kristy is not working, she is an avid bowler. She bowls on several leagues. She also enjoys reading, hiking, and riding motorcycles.
Kristy Lockert was nominated by Chris Jann of Medicus IT. She speaks highly of Chris and all of the people she has worked with at Medicus. In 2013, the practice started using an EMR systems. Prior to that, Kristy was the IT person. She knew it was time to have full IT support to help handle everything from installs, updates, HIPAA compliance, and keeping everything secure. She wouldn’t want to do it without them.

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