More physicians than ever are selling their practices to large hospitals - but not for the reason you may think. The offices that are selling are actually victims of success. They are unable to scale their billing practices with their new patient rolls, and they have to get out before they face the legal repercussions of crushing regulations and shrinking reimbursements eating into their paper thin profit margins.
If you are looking to maintain the lion's share of your work, you must learn how to scale your entire practice as you take in more patients. Here are some of the most important aspects of scaling that you should take into account.
Collaboration with Different Entities
You are an independent business, and it can be tempting to try to do everything on your own. This is not the best option for billing, however. For instance, joining an Independent Physician Association will not only help you organize your current patient data more quickly, but you wil also be able to increase your profit margin per patient through negotiated group insurance rates.
Collaborative efforts cost more up front, but they pay themselves off very quickly. The infrastructure that you would otherwise pay thousands of dollars for comes to you fro a nominal fee as well, keeping your in house staff free to service the day to day business.
Keeping up with billing does not have to be a labor intensive task. As a matter of fact, in order to keep up with your competition, it can't be. A modern billing system combines automated systems and reporting abilities that keep up with regulations for you in real time. You may even be able to take advantage of technologies such as predictive payment yields, which allows you to predict the amount of money that a patient will owe and the probability that he will actually pay your office.
Automation in your billing will also free your process of human error. The categorization of your procedures can quickly become confusing. If your data entry is off by even one digit, you can lose that entire payment from insurance. Avoid this, especially from payers who change the rules of their formatting on a whim. Automated billing will also ensure that the integrity of your practice remains even if you have a high turnover rate in the office.
The smaller your office, the more responsibilities you have. Scaling becomes incredibly difficult if you do not have the means to outsource or organize your workflow. Your electronic medical records system should be able to communicate information across lines without faxes or a need for phone calls. Your in house staff will be able to outsource work into the system and focus on the follow up emails and special cases that actually require special attention.
Make sure that the tedium within your office, the procedures such as appointment setting and reminder calls, is a priority within your system. Your staff may quickly become bored with these aspects of office administration and begin to take them for granted. Mistakes here will eventually affect your billing, as your records must be kept in a strict order when it is time to collect money.
Individual Medical Billing Practices
Shoring up the average 12% in services that you likely miss payment for is a vital aspect of scaling your business up. Direct pay will be a much larger part of your billing should the ACA maintain its current form, so make sure that your system takes that into account as well.
M-Scribe is the billing and coding services platform that you can trust to scale with your business. Look to us if you need a higher level of efficiency, speed and service in your medical practice.