Since the Affordable Care Act has been effective, Jan 1 2015, physician’s payments have been tied to providing higher value care. Further, practices that cannot attest to meaningful use can face heavy penalties. So how does all this tie with effective practice management? What is involved in practice management? Will technology alone help boost efficiency? In such an atmosphere of constant change, physicians are finding it difficult to maintain homeostasis especially with respect to revenues. Moreover, staying compliant in this fast moving digital and changing healthcare reforms world, can cause staff productivity and efficiency to decline and thereby be another major cause for loss of revenue.
Practice management simply put is putting into effect processes within the system whereby people perform with efficiency and productivity either equipped with better technology and/or a well managed workflow process. In the medical practice, especially in today’s changing atmosphere, practice management involves a whole host of processes right from the front office which requires patient interaction and verification, to billing and coding; and from keeping records to patient satisfaction. With complexities filtering in, it becomes impossible for staff to keep up with changing knowledge scenarios and simultaneously focus on the core business, patient’s health & satisfaction. National studies estimate the cost for waste and inefficiencies in healthcare expenditures to be as much as 30% of the revenue earned.
These simple but effective practices will increase patient satisfaction and boost revenues indirectly
- Instill Staff Responsibility: It is very essential that each and every staff member understands that the role they play helps bring in revenue. Be it the front desk to the nurses or physicians in your clinic or hospital. Huddle meetings once a week to understand problems encountered, find solutions together, and figure out ways as a team to streamline processes. This goes a long way in bringing a buy-in with your staff, whose productivity will immediately reflect in indirect increased revenues
- Automating scheduling/reminders of patients: Maintaining an efficient and effective way of scheduling helps enable improvement in patient satisfaction. Streamlining appointments, reducing overbooking of patients, etc. goes a long way in indirectly improving revenues
- Front desk management: Often front desk errors in practice management systems lead to a backlog of claims, which cause delays in reimbursements. From filling up insurance forms and verification of insurance eligibility, all this helps cut down the rate of denial claims later
- Improve coding standards: Be this in-house or outsourced, updating your staff and/or monitoring provider updates of coding practices is very essential to keep errors minimal. Regular feedback and checkouts are essential to maintain an efficient workflow between staff and provider
- Digitizing Health records: Paperwork can cause staff to be overworked, and lead to inefficiency especially when it comes to filing claims and/or resubmitting paperwork. If papers are not filed correctly, this can cause loss of time and unnecessary effort. So investing in a good technology setup to cater to a more electronic way of handling records and maintaining patient records which integrates with the scheduling of patients, helps the workload on your staff, who then can focus on your core business, indirectly contributing to increased revenue
This shows how practice management if effectively dealt with can have improvement in your reimbursement and subsequently your revenue.