As a growing number of physicians become employed in practices owned by health systems or investors, these independent physician or physician-owned practices now represent only about 46% of the total and 74% of physicians were working as employees as of 2022. After surviving volume losses during COVID, many practices saw their productivity and revenues grow in 2022. That’s the good news. The bad news is that rising labor and non-labor costs meant that margins were negative for many practices despite the growth in revenues.
Independent or affiliated physician practices cannot rely on a health system or investor group to support them financially through difficult years. They must ensure their practices are employing the latest charge capture, claims processing, analytics, and cost-saving measures to remain financially viable, or they risk sacrificing their independence and other benefits of private practice.
Medical practices can minimize risk and optimize financial viability in 2023 and beyond by having point-of-care solutions that accurately capture revenues, minimize denials, and deliver actionable productivity and performance insights.
1. USE ADVANCED POINT-OF-CARE CHARGE CAPTURE TOOLS
Many independent physicians practice at multiple facilities with considerable healthcare technology. They must use multiple EHRs and technology systems that may not communicate with their own practice management system. Even those fortunate enough to have a single EHR may have to deal with multiple instances of that EHR or use cumbersome EHR charge capture tools that tend to miss complex, higher-dollar charges. That can seriously impact cash flow and revenues.
A mobile tool that automates charge capture and seamlessly integrates with multiple EHRs improves a practice’s ability to rapidly and accurately capture charges wherever care is delivered. This approach enables independent physician practices as well as employed practices to:
- Track patient care episodes via real-time census and appointment data feeds
- Reduce the complexity of medical coding with automated menus that prioritize the most used codes
- Avoid denials
- Speed reimbursement turnaround times to improve cash flow
2. IMPROVE CHARGE RECONCILIATION AND DECREASE MISSING BILLS
Automated charge tracking and analysis tools quickly uncover and address gaps in the revenue stream. With an advanced charge capture solution, independent physician practices can reduce reimbursement delays, audit risk, and denied claims. Expect a high-performing solution to:
- Lighten clinician workloads with automatic prompts and intelligent code filters
- Alert providers of missed bills via in-platform chat, visual indicators, and push notifications
- Automatically identify and prevent missing charges and assign missing bills to the right provider
- Improve resolution of charge issues using mobile push notifications and secure messages
3. ENHANCE PRODUCTIVITY BY GAINING RAPID INSIGHTS INTO PATIENT VOLUMES
Physician practices have had to adapt to far greater volume shifts in recent years. That makes it more challenging than ever to appropriately manage clinician staffing levels so that the practice meets its productivity targets without contributing to stress and burnout.
That makes it essential for a medical practice to have a point-of-care solution that can deliver timely, accurate insights into patient volumes and physician workloads. Ingenious Med offers intuitive dashboards that display accurate data based on what physicians themselves have entered, enabling physician practices to quickly view workload and productivity data and trends. Many customers report that the data has helped their physicians better recognize times when productivity was lower as well as times when volumes surge.
A related blog, Ingenious Med: Supporting a Comprehensive Productivity Optimization Program for a Top U.S. Physician Company, provides more details about how a large physician group uses Ingenious Med to enhance its productivity without overtaxing its clinical teams.
4. USE REAL-TIME ANALYTICS TO MONITOR AND ENHANCE PERFORMANCE
In addition to helping physician groups to optimize productivity, a top healthcare software platform that enables providers and administrators to share credible, real-time data can enhance the group’s ability to:
- Evaluate and standardize performance across the entire organization or among individual providers
- Demonstrate value to hospital partners and payers during negotiations
- Catch charge and revenue-cycle flow issues before they impact the bottom line
- Identify areas of opportunity to improve performance with real-time mobile and web-based dashboards
- Track role-based KPI data visualizations across charges captured, RVUs, LOS, readmissions, and other metrics.
Additional blogs on this subject include: How to Harness the Power of Data to Improve Physician Productivity, 5 Ways to Increase Revenue with Healthcare Business Analytics, 5 Questions to Ask About Revenue Cycle Analytics.
5. IMPROVE HEALTHCARE WORKFLOWS THROUGH AUTOMATION
Automated, intelligent tools are enjoying more widespread adoption as their utility becomes apparent. One of many tools Ingenious Med has created to help customers reduce repetitive tasks and streamline workloads is MasterCoder, which uses semi-coding automation.
Efficiently run independent medical practices today must work with other care providers to manage patient care more cost effectively and in a variety of settings outside the hospital. Having the right tools is essential to maintaining financial viability and remaining providers of choice.
Enter just a few data points into Ingenious Med’s ROI calculator to determine just how much more revenue your practice could generate by using our solution.