Medical practices are under increasing pressure to remain profitable for multiple reasons. While the easy–and popular–culprit is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. However there are more factors involved, of which some may be more significant than the effect of the ACA.
Some Pressure-Creating Factors
Family practices face issues that force physicians to take a hard look at their business–as a business–not just a healing medical practice. The reality that these pressures come from other businesses and governments leave no other logical or effective solutions for family physicians. The source of this pressure is not likely to evaporate any time soon.
- Pay for performance (P4P);
- Incentives that can quickly become disincentives;
- EHR requirements, which if not met, will result in penalties.
- Payers becoming more strict with claim accuracy demands that often result in reimbursement reductions, delays or denials; and
- Higher co-pays that put more pressure on collecting from patients.
These are some of the sources of pressure on family practices to remain profitable. Family practitioners and primary care physicians should recognize the potential downsides of these issues and address them to better ensure their profitability.
Technology Can Help
Using some new technology can meet the current requirements to cut and manage costs, while meeting HIPAA, CMS and ACA regulations and targets. Doing so will keep the cash flow coming without damaging interruptions. Among the technology trends and options available to maintain profitability, the following often are the most effective.
- Using the “cloud” to save money while enjoying convenience and speed of response;
- Installing integrated practice management software;
- Employing patient portals, raising productivity and improving patient care;
- Using mobile app solutions to increase productivity when you’re on the go;
- Adopting “certified” EHR software to maximize compliance and reimbursement levels;
- Learning to use state-of-the-art metrics and analytical tools to measure performance to make better practice decisions.
Technology is never the answer to every operating problem. However, cutting-edge technology can alleviate many of the profit-stealing issues the current healthcare environment creates for family practices. For example, shifting some IT responsibilities to cloud technology delivers at least three benefits.
- Ability to access important data with only a PC and Internet connection.
- Access auto updates of vital information.
- Ability to access data 24/7 wherever you may be, even on the road with mobile apps.
This is a graphic “snapshot” of the physician benefits delivered by current technology that improves productivity and profitability for family practices. If these requirements appear daunting, consider using a top third-party medical billing and documentation firm, like M-Scribe Technologies, to manage all these responsibilities for you.
Instead of purchasing complex software, training staff and needing a practice IT guru to keep it performing, third-party firms can offer evidence of proven performance by fully-trained and experienced staff familiar with the most current software operation. You’ll enjoy the added benefits of cost-control, compliance and better nights’ sleep, along with a healthy practice bottom line.
Survey Responses Confirm the Problem
Noted consulting firm, Deloitte, completed a survey of US physicians with confirmatory results of the problem. The most striking and troublesome statistic were family and primary care physicians stating they were the least satisfied (41 percent) with practicing medicine of the respondent groups.
Reducing admin costs must be matched with adopting technology that keeps practices in compliance, while maintaining reimbursements at former or higher levels. The Deloitte survey confirms the perceived current challenges facing family practices today.
Family practices and internal medicine practices overhead appears to gobble up around 60 percent of gross revenues. This stat makes it imperative that physicians employ the most cost-effective and efficient solutions to minimize expenses balanced by offering the quality patient care that qualifies for incentives, while avoiding penalties.
Call us today at 77-666-0470 to know how we can help you increase your profitability.