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Doctor listening to patient

Why the Most Important Skill in Private Practice Ownership is Listening

Learning to listen effectively may be the best thing you can do for sustainable private practice ownership.

Most of us think of listening in a very general way. In truth, good listening skills, more than being essential to good medicine are vital to the success of your private practice, the satisfaction of your staff, and even your own ongoing sense of purpose.

First of all, really listening to your patients is the common key to thriving in practice! If your sustainability strategy is based on anything other than what your patients want and need, a private practice especially will fail. This applies to helping your current patients and as well as those prospective new patients anxious to give you a try.

Second, your staff needs you to listen well to their concerns as well as to their positive feedback. Staff satisfaction provides a lot of useful data about which of your business systems are working well and which ones need improvement. And, of course, staff morale is important to the overall health of your practice because it will make or break customer service—which keeps patients coming in the door.

Third, and possibly most important of all, you have to be able to listen to your own intuition about your personal health and satisfaction primarily! Remember that in private and direct care, what matters most is your vision for the practice and your passion for making it succeed. Without those driving factors, your passion is just is not sustainable.

Consider what you can do today to be a better listener! Keep this really simple too! Often this just requires from us better self-care including more days off, vacations and down time. Ask for feedback on your listening skills. Don’t forget to check in with your colleagues on this too.

To that end we can so help each other by being better listeners!

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Patti Hayes is CEO of Perfect Practice Web, and has 30+ years experience in practice management.

Our team may be reached for a free 15 Min “Strategy Session” by texting 339-793-8610 – just be sure to leave your name and time zone and we’ll get back to you 9-5 EST Monday-Thursday.

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What Do You Stand For?

It has been said, that “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”.

To be truly independent, on this great day of American Independence you need to know where you stand on the major cornerstones of your life (Personal, Spiritual, Material, Fitness and Financial).

A strong personal philosophy on each of these is vital to your success, and developing an evolving professional life and practice .

This is a great day to ask yourself if are truly living the personal and professional life you deserve.

Are your actions leading you in the direction of the goals you set at the beginning of the year?

If not, make the midyear corrections NOW to insure not another precious moment of your life is wasted! (This is one place where one on one consulting can really help this to take shape for you!)

When I think and read about what our American forefathers accomplished, (while spending the Fourth on Nantucket, steeped in American History), especially in light of the challenges they faced, most of the tasks we have at hand seem to pale in comparison. (I firmly believe this is also why America needs to continue to be clear on what we stand for!)

What do you stand for? Make sure your patients and your staff know your personal philosophy on these vital cornerstones or you are liable to ‘fall for anything’!

If you are not crystal clear on your personal philosophy, or even if it needs some updating or fine tuning, get out a blank legal pad, sit in a quit place, close your eyes for a while and list what comes to mind. Just make sure you do it before you go to sleep tonight!

All successful people can clearly define their stand.

You must count yourself in these ranks.

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Private Practice Marketing Mistakes
Private Practice is Dead. Or is it?

One would think with all the changes in healthcare nowadays, that private practice is dead. So many doctors are flocking to what they believe is the protection of large networks, our healthcare landscape is changing. What are we losing as this evolution occurs?

With the thriving world of private practice, there are many ill outcomes that begin to govern our society and our healthcare dynamics. For instance, just imagine there are no longer local docs whom you turn to and trust with every member of your family. Just imagine, that all those reasons we become doctors in the first place no longer exist.

What are some of the reasons?

  • Provide great care to our patients
  • Create our own business – a mini culture so to speak
  • Make a good living – thoughts on deservingness

Doctors generally become doctors because we want to care for patients, right. Of course, we do! If you didn’t want to take care of people and make a difference, you never would have made it through medical school. It’s not a walk in the park!

We want to make a difference in the lives of others. Most, if not all of us, believe we can make a difference. For some, that’s a small-town doc who makes house calls. For others, maybe it’s staying late because we know our local mill shuts down at 7 pm. We’re the ones who take care of rusty nail feet, pregnant moms (maybe), strep throat kids and we may even see patients at the local hospital too.

What we aren’t is a conglomerate. We are our own business. We make our own living. However, we choose to do that, we do it our way. But what’s the other way that is overtaking us?

Is Private Practice Really Dead or Can We Change the Landscape?

The healthcare landscape has “forced” many physicians to close shop, for fear of being run out of business. We become corporate robots instead of independent practitioners which is what we set out to be.

So, has the establishment brought us to a halt? Is private practice dead or do you just not know what to do? If the latter is your story and you want to rewrite your story with your own ending, we can help you do that.

So, is private practice dead? Only if you let it be.

At Perfect Practice Web, our team of experts has put it alltogether to help others like us. We did the testing for us all, we suffered thebumps and bruises along the way. We’ve worked with clients around the world and perfected the private practice methodology. Go here to learn more.

Quote-Business Basics
You Can Breathe Life Into Your Private Practice

If you are ready to get down to the basics of business and achieve real success, then we challenge you to read our back to basics series beginning here.

Private Practice CEO – Step Up To Success

What does it really mean to be a private practice CEO? Generally, it means different things to different practitioners.  Whichever type of CEO you are or want to be, Perfect Practice Web, LLC can help you achieve those goals.

Speaking of goals, do you have any? Have you set a plan in motion that maps out exactly where you will be in 5 years? 10? How about retirement? What does that look like?

Consequently, something you might want to know, based on research both online and off, most physicians have not planned their practice out that far, much less their life. Specifically, too many of us are missing out on the visions we had of living the good life. Additionally, we get bogged down in the regulations, the programmatic changes, and just trying to keep up and make a decent living.

What if it were possible to step beyond where you are now? If you could be mentored through to the success you’ve longed for, would you accept the challenge?

Consider this, Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” Great food for thought!

If you’re one of the thousands who have said yes, you are ready to take that next step to success as a private practice CEO, then we would like to help you. Furthermore, we have an arsenal of tools designed to help you.

What Does it Take to be a Private Practice CEO?

One of our programs, Practice Owners as CEOs is a great place to begin. It contains enough ammunition to help you grow to the next level. A 21-week program that walks you through fundamental principles of personal achievement, specific practice building steps, strategy planning, and much more is just the beginning of the benefits you will find here. A few benefits you will receive include:

  • E-delivery – You don’t have to travel or go anywhere for your lessons.
  • Immediate implementation ideas and printable PDF transcripts.
  • 21 weeks of CEO training including monthly “Steps to Success” sessions
  • Weekly lessons, practice management tools, strategic growth planning
  • Our dynamic newsletter
  • Dynamic, motivational content like you’ve never crossed before

That’s just the beginning. Do you want to make more money, increase your freedom, and gain peace of mind? Then, it’s time to get started.

Finally, if you are finally ready to learn more and take your business and personal life to the next level here’s the opportunity you’ve been waiting to hear knocking. Visit us HERE now to get started!

Your Private Practice Needs Serious Help

Private Practice Owners Must Use Content Marketing Effectively (Here’s Why It Matters)

For private practice owners, effective content marketing can make or break your long-term success.

You’ve heard about “content marketing” and that private practice owners should be using it to build their businesses. But do you really know what content marketing means—or why it’s so important to the long-term success of your private practice?

In short, content marketing means that through your online presence (your website, your social media accounts, and so on), you are providing valuable information to potential and current patients. The goal is to enrich their lives through building a teaching relationship with them.

There are several reasons why private practice owners absolutely must embrace content marketing and use it effectively for private practice building.

Your content enhances your branding. There is much, much more to branding for private practice owners than just your logo and website design. Every message you share with your local audience enhances and develops your brand by emphasizing the ways that you serve patients and the community.

Patients are constantly looking for information online, and they are eager to find a trusted source. Private practice owners can use effective content to capture the attention of their ideal patients, not just right now, but for the long term.

Great content marketing is about building relationships. Rather than focusing on the interests and specialties of private practice owners, it emphasizes the needs and interests of the audience—your prospective patients. In other words, content marketing isn’t a monologue; it’s a conversation.

Content marketing is an opportunity for private practice owners to use storytelling as a way to engage audiences and humanize providers. Human beings love stories, and potential patients will feel a bond with you when they read relevant personal information and hear significant information in your “voice.” These patients will follow you over time, and they’ll tell others about you.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Private Practice Marketing Strategy

Private Practice Owner? Know These 3 Keys to Successful Team Management

No private practice owner can succeed without an effective team. Implement these 3 keys to team management and see your private practice thrive.

As a private practice owner, it’s your vision and knowledge that guides your business to success. Without you, your team is just a group of people with skills but without a shared vision.

But without your team, would you be able to be a private practice owner at all? Probably not.

If your private practice is thriving, most likely it’s because you’ve built an excellent team with good rapport and a solid understanding of how to work together to meet shared goals.

On the other hand, if your business is struggling, your team is a good place to look for answers.

Here are three essential components of team management that will cause a significant positive shift in your experience as a private practice owner:

1. Set clear expectations—and live up to them yourself.

You’ll need to implement a clear, simple set of expectations for team behaviors and protocols, and find ways to reinforce these messages on a weekly basis. Of course, you’ll also need to model these policies by following them to the letter yourself!

2. Offer your team reminders of your shared vision and measurable goals.

One way to keep your team in touch with vision and goals as a private practice owner is to hold daily or weekly team conferences. Your team will be able to touch base as a group, you’ll have frequent opportunities to provide feedback on measurable goals, and your team will be reassured and energized by regular communications. You’ll also be able to identify problems earlier and address them privately if needed.

3. Provide personal incentives as well as feedback.

Part of the role of a private practice owner is to know and effectively guide each team member. Understand what makes each of your staff “tick” and how to motivate them personally. Then you can provide frequent personal feedback tailored to that staff member in addition to using what you’ve learned to implement incentives for the group as a whole.

With these three components solidly in place, you’ll find that your staff will begin to come to work without that clock-watching “just a job” attitude. And, due to the likelihood of increased efficiency and customer service that will organically happen, you’ll also see the difference in your profits as a private practice owner.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

Loyal Patients in Private Practice

Your Physical Therapy Business is Not a Desk Job

You’re the CEO of your physical therapy business, the leader and visionary for your team. But the last place you should be is behind a desk.

As the practice owner and chief decision-maker for your physical therapy business, you are effectively the CEO of your company. But if your mental picture of a CEO features someone sitting behind a large mahogany desk, you’d better think again.

If you want your physical therapy business to grow and thrive, you should be spending very little time at a desk. It’s time to step away from your desk and step into an active, hands-on role as a team leader.

As CEO, you’ll need to become deeply involved in every aspect of your business.

Of course, there’s a fine line between deep awareness and micromanaging. As you move around the office, don’t just step in between your staff and the work they’re doing—which might be viewed as intrusive and controlling. After all, you hired your team carefully with a view to being able to trust them to do their jobs well.

Instead, think of it from the perspective of simply being visible and present throughout the day. Make it a point to briefly shadow each team member at his or her job every few days, so that your team gets accustomed to having you right there. Keep in mind that the objective isn’t to monitor for mistakes. The idea is that you’ll be able to put yourself in your staff’s shoes and understand the key aspects of every role.

The goal is to become familiar with the workings of every aspect of your physical therapy business. Allow your team to become your teachers. If you don’t know or understand how something works, ask your staff to demonstrate or explain. You can rely on your staff, who do this job day in and day out, to provide the most effective input on what improvements are needed, rather than handing down directives about how to improve.

In short, you should spend very little time at your desk. Use this space for research and learning during quiet hours, before staff arrive or after they leave. During the workday, when staff and patients are in the office, be in the office. Strive to be an active part of the office environment on a daily and weekly basis, and you’ll find that your physical therapy business begins to really come alive.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

What Do You Promise to Patients?

Did You Ever Make a Promise to a Patient?

 

This is an area that far too many clinicians regardless of the specialty get into trouble with. It is so important to understand that the only real promise to patients you or I can and should make to patients is that we will do our very best to help them.

That’s it, nothing more. To make promises of anything more is just fraught with peril!

Furthermore, it’s not good informed consent it’s also grossly unfair to yourself and your entire team.

As the old saying goes under promise and over deliver. It’s a far better strategy for practicing long-term.

I know there are many legal ramifications and obligations too…

Let me tell you what I’ve heard as a consultant.

“This WILL Fix You For Good Mrs Jones!”

“I know Jimmy, you have been sick for years but with this NEW treatment if you are NOT FIXED in 3 weeks you can have all your money back!”

Huh?

Promise to Patients?

Yes!

But lets get real. Why not be 100% honest and say something like…

“We will do all we can to help you to the best of our ability…these are the risks associated with treatment…these are the risks if you do nothing…”

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join our team experts for a free strategy session HERE

 

Have a great day!

the PPW team 

Don’t Miss This Critical Opportunity in Private Practice!

One of the most important, often ignored things in busy private practices is the amount of information in relationship building to take place in the initial visit.

Doctor taking notes about patient

 

Too often in today’s private practices we feel rushed or more focused on EMR and making sure all key compliance components of the EM codes are in place, instead of getting to know everything we need to learn to best help our patients.

Today, anyone who is successful in private practice knows these pressures are real.

But there are strategies you can learn that will help tremendously.

It is so important to let patients know from the beginning exactly how to communicate with you. In fact, the more communication, the better. This does not mean that you need to personally do this but you must have systems in place in order to gather and then research provided information to learn everything you possibly can about your new patient.

Today’s most powerful and profitable private practices have mechanisms and systems in place that allow free flow but also private forms of communication.

But you must take the first step and make sure your team properly knows how to gather and get the most crucial pieces of information to you in a timely manner.

Ideally, the more you can learn about your particular patient before you even see and evaluate (especially treat), the more accurate your diagnosis and the better the clinical outcome!

Make no mistake about this! This is what private practice is all about. This is why patients bypass the public system oftentimes spending thousands of dollars out of their own pocket.

Don’t miss these crucial and now essential first steps toward building a more powerful private practice.

Learn all you can but most especially participate in the most appropriate private practice expansion programs and be sure to take action.

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Adding Preventive Services to Your Private Practice

Adding preventive services to your private is one of the most important things that you can do.

doctor

 

Establish yourself as a community leader by adding preventive services to your private practice. For example, weight-loss strategy groups and self-care classes done inside your practice and outside in your community can go along way towards building you as healthcare authority.

The most important thing however is to carefully plan out your strategy.

For example, I have always maintained that if I were going to bring a class or presentation to a group or organization they need to reciprocate in kind.

At the very least, you should be able to bring business cards, post flyers and leave brochures etc. There should be no problem asking for referrals.

By designing a strategy this way all parties benefit. There is a real reciprocation rather than a one-way street.

Unfortunately, too many private practice owners undervalue their time and thus waste vast amounts of energy on referral sources that never will develop.

So where do you begin?

As always, begin with a written game plan and strategy.

One of the most important things you can do is research first. You should be reading your hometown newspapers, doing local web searches, and surveying your patients etc.

All this will provide valuable information for you to ultimately develop a powerful game plan to work from.

Ask patients in your own practice as well as those from your fellow referral medical professionals what types of patient training programs they would like to see.

Some examples include early morning stretching and yoga classes, chronic pain control groups that you sponsor and train exclusively in as well as the time tested, twice monthly healthcare classes for all new patients.

Whatever it is you embark upon make sure it is well worth your time and effort but most especially, that these programs provide something special and engaging for your patients and your community.

As Walt Disney once said, make sure it’s so powerful that ‘patients can’t resist telling other patients!’

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Preventing Chronic Pain in Private Practice

In private practice, one of the most important things that you need to do is to pay attention.

For many years, we’ve known that patients who are going to develop chronic pain are those who do not manage acute pain and injuries well.

DoctorAs you know, there’s a tendency towards drug-only therapy early on, especially from the consumer’s perspective and heavy OTC drugs.

Be sure you fully understand the health risks here. The most important including liver failure from acetaminophen in all its forms and combinations that consumers frequently combine, as well as renal failure from NSAIDs.

It’s also critical to understand pain is complex phenomenon with emotional and psychological components as well as the very real physiologic changes to injury or illness.

From a clinical perspective, one of the most important things that you or I need to do is to pay attention. And pay attention early on.

As one of my professors once told me, the most important thing we need to understand is if we listen carefully, the patient oftentimes tell us exactly what is wrong with them!

There is no substitute for a professional and smooth running staff, which puts patients at ease and facilitates the history-taking process.

Don’t underestimate how mastering these simple practice efficiency tools can also help you build an enormous private practice!

But if you really want to help your community, understand what a large segment of the population clearly is not well-versed, and certainly not trained in practical as well as modern clinical pain control technology.

There’s enough information here for you to grow an enormous practice.

But this will only happen if you have all the business, clinical, and marketing systems, tools, and inroads you will find essential to private practice moving forward.

The rest is up to you.

We’re here to help, but only if you reach out!

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The Changing Face of Specialty Practice

Business systems of private practices must continue to expand and implement changes.

One of the key concepts that many private practice owners have difficulty grasping is that there is no substitute for true and ever-changing expertise.

Doctors, Nurses, Physical TherapistsAnd just like a top-notch surgeon, your expertise must be continuously expanding, developing, and growing.

It’s not enough that you took some CEU’s three months ago or took a course last year.

The reasons for this should be obvious; sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day operations of our private practices.

The reality is, the world is changing fast—very fast. True specialists spend time in study every single day learning what can—and should—be done to help their patients the most.

Their focus is always on just two things:

One, the most important, is that they provide help to their patients in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. This always leaves the patient feeling in control, and like they made the best choice.

Two: The business systems of these private practices must continue to expand and implement changes that will allow them to grow and be incredibly successful.

In a true specialty practice, you cannot have one without the other. Doing one without the other will cause the practice to implode.

So here’s the challenge. You need to develop and continue to grow all the skills necessary to have a true specialty private practice.

You need to have the systems and mechanisms in place, especially the tools, to make this a reality.

This is what we can help you with the most.

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Deciding To Meet Patients Where They Are Today

Unless you present your services as new menus periodically—that are understandable and provide enough options—you will find practice much more difficult than it needs to be.

One of the most important things to understand about private practice, and self-paying patients in particular is that to be truly viable today you must meet the patient where they “are”, both financially and mentally.

receptionist with patientsJust like a fine restaurant or bar, you must provide a menu the patient can choose from. One thing that’s really critical to understand is, just like a fine restaurant experience, patients will only return for what they truly want. Never has this been truer than it is right now.

One of the mistakes too many private practice owners make is not having a clear menu, especially not having top-shelf care plans to choose from. Sometimes we let a poverty consciousness invade and this does not serve your patients.

Think of it like this: When patients visit their favorite restaurants, they don’t hesitate to ask and pay for what they really want. Sometimes they want and buy more than others. Some days it’s top-shelf only, and other days only within their pocket.

In reality, modern private practice is just the same. But unless you present your services as new menus periodically—that are understandable and provide enough options—you will find private practice much more difficult than it needs to be.

Always remember, you have an obligation to provide your patients with the top-shelf items. To not do so is an extreme disservice your patients and your community.

As one of my patients recently sent to me, “Dr Hayes, why would I not want what is the very best for my health? Good question.

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Just Another Week in Specialty Practice

In private practice, we are likely to help many patients regain quality of life!

Last week, I told you about the wonderful patients I’ve had the opportunity to care for recently.

Doctors, Nurses, Physical TherapistsWell this week has turned out even more challenging.

First, there is the 77 YO with a history of colorectal cancer, radiation side effects, and unrelenting pelvic floor pain, with paroxysms that stop him dead in his tracks. 7 years like this. He could barely sit through the consultation.

Next, a 35 YO exposed to Chlorine/Bromine with brutal small fiber neuropathy, unable to work and emotionally at her wits end. Of course there’s the litigation and expert components, which are going to make this one very interesting.

Lastly, late in the office last night, a couple that drove almost 2 hours in from north of Boston seeking help for her very mysterious onset of an undiagnosed neurologic disorder, which I believe might actually be hereditary.

She’s only 34, with a 5-year-old child. Devastated.

And tonight we begin treating our 17 YO Lymphoma patient.

The wonderful part? We are likely to help all of these patients regain quality of life with our treatment protocols!

This is the reality of doing neuropathy specialty in private practice right. And this is just one week!

Thanks for doing all you do to help these patients!

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What are the Impacts of Your Daily Private Practice Routines?

Why is it that so many find private practice so difficult?

By our nature, most healthcare professionals are focused and organized.

If we weren’t, we never would’ve passed all those exams, and made it into private practice in the first place.

doctor looking over papersSo why is it that so many find private practice so difficult?

The reality is, private practice today requires skillsets far beyond those we received in our professional training.

Seriously, think about it; marketing, staffing, hiring, and firing. Not to mention expanding your technical and professional skills as time goes on.

Then there’s compliance, the ever-increasing body of rules and regulations.

But there is a way out. And that is to make sure you develop—and follow—a powerful daily professional routine.

For example, we need to have dedicated time to return patient calls, as well as those from referring professionals. Review examinations, treatment plans, proper diagnoses, and coding.

You also need the scheduled time to do things like clean your office, maintain your equipment, etc.

Perhaps most important of all is to make sure there is a continuous stream of new patients and returning former patients to the practice.

Is your job as the private practice owner to make sure that all of these things are implemented, and then followed? 

You are also the one to feel the full burden if this does not happen as it should.

So why not start today by working on your daily practice routine. Work on keeping it externally powerful—simple, yet effective.

This is why it is so important that you as a private practice owner work daily on identifying, learning, and then mastering your CEO organization and skills.

Remember, this is where we really can help!

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Private Practice Made Simple? Here’s How It’s Done!

Trouble is not far away when decisions are not based on knowledge of current private practice requirements.

Now don’t get me wrong: any business, especially modern health care, has all types of rules, regulations, and complexities built in. There is no escaping that fact.

DoctorsIt seems the rules are always made by those who are most clueless about what it takes to run a business—and have little if any real world experience to draw from.

Still, it is up to us to make our own decisions about HOW to deal with all the issues we are confronted with daily, in the most effective way possible.

But trouble is not far away when decisions are not based on knowledge of current private practice requirements.

For us as health care pros, our professional training usually falls miserably short, or just happened too long ago to be relevant today. Unless you have an MBA or other business training, so much of your day’s time will be spent just trying to sort things out—think hiring, training, and effective marketing out.

The problem, of course, is, you only make money with income-producing NOT valuable TIME-consuming activities.

So what’s the answer?

Do as all the greats in any business do: 1. Purchase specialized knowledge about running your practice, so it does not run you, and 2. Learn to hire your “deficiencies”.

Now, as a private practice owner, our “deficiencies” may include staffing policies, updating rulebooks and posted regulations, or tax and patient data protection policies.

Not to mention a myriad of other legal and accounting complexities.

The most critical of all is marketing. Marketing is the lifeblood of your practice. Do this one wrong, and you may as well ignore everything else, as it will soon become immaterial.

Because of how quickly things change, you MUST do both of these on a regular basis.

Honestly, thinking we can do otherwise is delusional.

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