According to the Practice Profitability Index, in 2014, about 70% of the surveyed physicians spent more than one day a week on paperwork. That is a staggering number. The figure is indicative of the fact that administrative tasks are keeping Physicians away from their core job – taking care of the patients. This naturally lowers down the on-the-job happiness level.
The index also reveals that physicians focus on factors such as staff optimization, technology and billing processes for increasing practice profitability and performance. Right from recordkeeping to billing, reducing claim rejections and insurance denials, the administrative processes can be cumbersome and exhausting.
With the new emphasis on patient satisfaction scores increasing manifold, balancing between practicing quality medicine and obtaining decent scores is becoming difficult.
The list of challenges goes on. As the non-medical burdens of physicians continue to bloat, the need to address the challenges have increased. The question that next appears is – Whether to improve the in-house processes and hire a good practice manager/s and train a team, or to find a partner who will carry out the non-medical responsibilities? Let’s have a look at the two options:
Polishing in-house capabilities
Billing and revenue management cycle are as crucial as the medicine practice itself. If you already have the technology in place and well-trained staff, the in-house management can offer decent return on investments in terms of smooth operations and revenue management.
However, keeping up with the changing rules, or not having quality processes in a small team can result in errors, which can lead to denials and delayed payment. The cost associated with the best-in-class technology and experienced staff can be huge. A staff member leaving can disrupt the practice for weeks and months.
And, more often than not, the burden of managing the practice still falls on you, the Doctor.
Outsourcing the ‘Management’ from the Practice
If your objective is to be free of the administrative worries and to enjoy the practice of medicine, let a partner handle some tasks such as:
If your responsibilities stretch too much beyond the ones pertaining to your primary skill sets, it can act as a major deterrent to your practice. Imagine having to deliver high quality care to the patients and simultaneously having to deal with the billing processes. This diverts the focus and quite often the interest in one’s core job. Hence, shifting the responsibilities related to admin tasks onto an expert’s shoulder can ensure that your non-core tasks are taken care of.
Medical billing and collections
Medical billing procedures can be cumbersome and too time-consuming. A billing partner frees you up from managing your staff, helps in reducing claim rejections and insurance denials and keeps up with all the rules of several insurance claim-related filing and verifications. Overall, they free you up and could collect more in a shorter timeframe, offering you revenue predictability.
Billing Process, technology and quality measures
Following good process ensures error free claim submission, leading to quicker collections. Claims can also be filed faster, electronically.
Internet security and data breaches are in the news every alternate day. Ensuring the confidentiality of patients’ information is sacrosanct to any medical practitioner. A rigorous IT system is the need of the hour, and your partner with the right infrastructure and processes in place can relieve you from the complexities of such a sensitive task.
Electronic health records (EHR)
While health records can improve the ability to diagnose diseases and reduce or prevent medical errors, overall improve patient outcomes, it is a time-consuming process for the physician. Your technology partner ensures robust data security and even assists you to complete the records or transfer them when the patient moves.
Periodic reporting and audit for better management
Periodic comprehensive reports on claims filed, collections, AR, etc. grants you greater visibility and transparency, which in turn aids in analysis and control management. Shifting the reporting task can allow you better insights. A helpful partner will help you look through the numbers, stats and raw data to help you locate an opportunity to improve and answer the ‘whys’ more than the ‘whats’.
In conclusion, shifting the daily admin tasks to a third party can lower your stress levels, letting you spend more time with your patients and enjoy every bit of your job.
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