More patients mean more money but many practices are still not prepared for handling the patient influx caused by the Affordable Care Act. Due to the lack of skilled front-desk staff and physicians, providers have become uncertain about the future of their business. The shortage of skilled resources has put pressure on an already-taxed healthcare system, strained patient outcomes and also affected the level of interaction between physicians and patients.
According to a study, approximately 48% physicians don’t have the necessary resources for accepting new patients. Practices are finding it difficult to spend more money on an extra physician, a physician’s assistant, EHR and other system changes to manage the influx.
How to Deal with the Crowd?
Practices need efficient patient management in order to deliver high quality patient care and improve patient satisfaction levels. It is important to ensure that patients don’t wait for long hours or else it will lead to loss of referrals, poor productivity, losing patients, employee turnover and thus, loss in revenue too.
If your clinic is too crowded, you need to look for ways to streamline the clinical and administrative tasks. Your practice needs effective management solutions so that care provision can be ensured without losing patients or revenue.
You will have to make efforts for improving staff scheduling and appointment scheduling procedures. This will help your practice to reduce the waiting time for patients. High rate of appointment cancellations, no-shows, declined referrals, frustrated patients and increased employee turnover are some of the issues faced by practices. If your practice is facing similar issues, it is important to make some significant changes in your workflow.
What Needs to be Done?
The problems areas need to be identified. Physicians need to find out why and how the clinic remains crowded. The latest appointment scheduling software should be used to ensure that appointments are scheduled effectively. Experienced or well-trained front-desk staff should be hired so that the waiting room experience is improved for the patients.
The billing department staff should be trained to handle patient flow in case the front-desk employees need extra help. The staff will have to be trained to return patient phone calls in a timely manner. If possible, nurse practitioners or physician assistants should be given the extra work being handled by a specialist. This will help that specialist spend more time on other patients.
Patient Influx and Medical Billing
The patient influx will be building pressure on medical billing. This will have a negative impact on quality of healthcare being provided by the doctors. In order to treat more patients, physicians will be left with little or no time to monitor the billing procedures. Errors in coding, increased AR days, lack of follow-ups will disrupt the cash flow of the practice to a great extent.
To ensure timely payments and optimize management at the clinic, many doctors are outsourcing their RCM needs to billing partners like MedicalBillersandCoders.com. MBC is a 15 year old company and has a team of certified and experienced coders and billers who are experts at handling billing challenges for different medical specialties. Apart from billing and coding, MBC also handles RCM services such as patient scheduling, patient enrolment, insurance verification, AR management and denial management.