Assess the capability of your workforce: Is your clinic administration in the right hands?

The capability of your workforce as a physician is directly impacted by the number of people you hire and the efficiency of the staff. Ideally every business entity needs to find the right balance between the number of people employed and the profits or revenue that they help generate. This factor along with the efficiency of your staff directly affects your revenue and accuracy. Physicians in the United States face numerous challenges when it comes to choosing the right administrative staff because of the ever changing face of the health industry. Therefore it becomes important to analyze whether the administrative aspect of your practice is in the right hands.

The clinical staff cannot completely focus on your patients and handle the negotiations with insurance company all at the same time. Even if this is possible, it may drive down the profits due to errors from work overload. The best solution for this problem is to hire extra staff or medical billers and coders who are experienced in this field. Even though this may increase your investment in staffing, it will also increase your revenue, justifying the addition of such experienced medical billers and coders.

The three most important professionals that affect your productivity are the assistants, the receptionist and the support staff for billing and coding who can also negotiate and interact with payers. The most crucial role played in the administrative and revenue cycle management is that of medical billers and coders. It is important to hire medical coders and billers who are excellent in technical skills, have updated knowledge of HIPAA guidelines, and have experience in handling negotiations with payers. The technical skills required in medical billing and coding is not just about having good computer literacy but is also about numerous other qualities such as good communication skills and knowledge of recent trends in reimbursement in your specialty.

There are numerous other ways of enhancing your staff’s productivity and these may be as practical as optimal utilization of office space to something as intangible as motivating your workers. Some simple ways of enhancing or gauging the efficiency of the staff is measuring individual productivity, revising methods to modify or channel employee behavior and talent in the right direction, setting clear goals that are achievable, rewarding the staff whenever required, and keeping a follow-up by evaluating whether the changes made are having a positive financial impact on your practice.

The reforms in the health care IT sector have also affected physicians dramatically, and utilizing latest technology such as EHR (Electronic Health Records), using practice management software efficiently and other IT tools has become necessary.

EMR system support and training are also important when deciding whom to hire to run the EMR system. Without an effective EMR installation, your practice may not be entirely proficient. EMR systems can profit medical facilities in numerous ways; the reports driven from an EMR can highlight the lacunae in a physician’s system and staff productivity. EMRs with facilities to audit logs, assigning tasks to specific staff member and regular follow up and reminders on pending tasks, provide tools to streamline systems. This means that EMR not only improve patient care but also assist in increasing the revenue in the long run. Efficient use of EMR or EHR is one of the most important aspects of the administrative side of a physician’s practice.

Assessing the productivity and capability of your administrative staff is a job that entails not just number crunching but also the level of patient satisfaction, the amount of time saved due to professionalism, the accuracy of medical billers and coders, HIPAA compliance, and meaningful use of the technology that is adopted for billing and coding. If all these aspects do not result in improved revenue over a period of time then it would be better to look for staff and medical billers and coders who can do the job efficiently and in a timely manner.

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