It is tough to remain an Independent Physician today. There always seems to be a pressure added to the medical practice that has nothing to do with caring for your patient. The good news is that there is software to improve office efficiency, improve claim submission and increase revenue. There are also out-sourced third party companies whose core competency is related to their work e.g. billing, collections, payroll, credentialing, HIPAA compliance, etc. and quite often they can perform the service for a lower cost than you can do in the office.
For the past five years the team at Glenwood has been writing about ways to improve your medical practice earnings. We’ve talked about the dynamically changing marketplace, free EMR, Meaningful Use, better collections by integrating clinical and billing software, automation, meaningful use, 5010, ICD-10, patient customer service, private practice to employed physicians, practice processes designed to help those physicians still in private practice improve their collection rate and bottom line profits, and many more issues.
External market drivers are thrusting change upon you and there are some big decisions to make. If you are still in private practice, then you are one of the “proud and the brave.” Administrative requirements and revenue restrictions continue to plague the private practice physician. In fact, many of your colleagues have decided that it is easier to be an employed physician and have left private practice to work for someone else. It is, in my opinion, a shame that the entrepreneurial spirit of the U.S. physician is being challenged so severely.
A leading industry publication recently stated that 30% of current EHR users are actively looking to change EHR software products and a much higher % are dissatisfied with the product they are using. No doubt the rush to claim a piece of the Meaningful Use Incentive has caused physicians to implement a product that isn’t truly suited to their practice needs and specialty.
Cash flow is an emotional issue; it is the basis from which an economic enterprise operates efficiently and profitably. Yet too many medical practice owners don't want to be involved in the details of financial management required to keep cash flowing smoothly, especially if it requires asking patients for money.
This famous quote by Lewis Carroll could have been written for a great many medical practices today. Our industry is changing dramatically. Information, the need for information, misinformation, technology, security, privacy, third parties, regulations and economic events all have an impact on the operation of your medical practice today.
We often don't like to discuss revenue performance; after all, our business is care and medical attention delivered to our patients – not money. Yet without healthy revenue performance we do not have the resources to care for our patients, our staff or our families. When anybody, even a physician, works hard to deliver their very best service they deserve to be compensated.
Ask most Physicians or Billers about their collection performance and most will tell you it's "Good." Ask how this is measured and few have the statistics handy to support the claim. Historically,success has been 1) steady patient count, 2) steady revenue stream,3) enough revenue to cover medical practice expenses and 4) enough to provide the Physician the living he or she expects. Ask the Physician or Biller in the office what keeps you up at night and most answer - nothing, our revenue stream and patient count are solid!.
Let's remember that maximized revenue performance is not just about profitability. It is ensuring that your practice has the necessary resources to provide quality care to your patients, keep strong performers on your staff, and invest in technology to provide a high standard of care, quality clinical outcomes and improve patient and staff satisfaction.
CMS announced on May 18th that the first incentive payments were being sent. It has been a long wait and lots of work but the Meaningful Use incentive period has started and the monies are being paid. Note - Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), carriers, and fiscal intermediaries will not be making these payments. CMS is working with a Payment File Development Contractor to make these payments. Please do not contact your MAC regarding EHR incentive payments.
New EMR and billing system implementations are among the greatest challenges a provider and medical staff may face today; you have spent years doing the same thing, the same way and now you do it pretty well.
Your medical practice is a business. It provides a service to consumers and income for employees. It supports the economy at every level whether sponsorship of a Little League Team or lunch purchased at the local deli to the taxes paid at the local, state and federal levels.
If your practice is like the majority of medical practices in the United States, you accept third party insurance, and the provider contract rates are the single largest factor affecting your total practice revenue...
Starting in 2011, providers deemed to be "meaningful users" of EHR systems will be eligible to receive $40,000 - $60,000 in incentive payments paid out over five years in the form of increased Medicare and Medicaid premiums...
The Recovery Act establishes financial incentives beginning in January 2011 for eligible professionals (EPs) who are meaningful EHR users. Beginning in 2015, payment adjustments will be imposed on EPs who are not meaningful EHR users...
What happens when your business is affected by disaster - a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane or earthquake? How do you recover operations and get back to business? Imagine the impact one of these events would have on your practice, staff and your patients.