November 5, 2012 – Managing a healthcare practice management is a lot like running other small businesses, except for a few glaring differences. In general, a small business can predict how often and how well they will be compensated for products or services. This is because the client or customer who received the products or services is the same as the payer. In healthcare practice management, the payer is often a third party, in the form of a health insurance company or a governmental program.
To ensure that a medical practice is financially secure, healthcare practice management must take a four pronged approached; everything within the practice needs to be integrated with the rest of the practice. Most importantly, scheduling, documentation, billing, and marketing must all be integrated to get the most efficiency and productivity
from the staff.
Start with Scheduling
Making scheduling of your healthcare practice management efficient is fairly obvious; for every open appointment slot of each day, there should be a patient coming in to the clinic. The problems arise when there are either not enough patients or patients cancel appointments and the slots are never filled. Historically, medical practices haven’t had much of a choice when it came to making the scheduling process more efficient or precise. But with technological advances, scheduling has evolved so that filling slots is easier and tracking patient visits becomes automated.
Scheduling and Marketing
To get the most from your schedule, it turns out that the healthcare practice management will have to do some marketing. Usually this means projecting a certain image to the general public and attempting to entice patients to come to your practice rather than alternatives. Marketing is also important as patients move through the system, and encouraging referrals from current patients should be part of the healthcare practice management plan. Without good marketing, it will be hard to keep your schedule full.
Scheduling and Documentation
Of course, usually it is the receptionist who handles both scheduling and the pulling and refiling of medical records. The responsible healthcare practice management staff member must take the time to look over the schedule and pull the correct records each day. They must also know when to schedule the next visit based on the clinician’s notes from the current visit. This entire process can be automated and streamlined with current technology.
Documentation and Billing
And the bottom line for any healthcare practice management will be collection of payments from the payer, whether that is the patient or their health insurance company. Medical billers and coders need access to those medical files, too, and they need to know what the clinician has been doing to help the patient to get better.
By realizing that there are important connections between the four major parts of a practice, healthcare practice management can look for the ways that communication and transfer of information has become inefficient within the practice. Efficiency can only be improved when management is seeing the connections and assessing the performance of each aspect of the practice as it relates to the rest.
Source: EMR News