By shifting our model to an integrated multidisciplinary approach, we were able to negotiate contracts with payers as well as apply to insurance plans that were previously closed…
Anyone in the health and medical care industry will tell you the landscape has been ever changing. Especially after the pandemic. Many specialists have taken a closer look at their own office setup and evaluated if being an independent-niche type office still makes sense or if merging with other relevant specialists in an integrated multidisciplinary approach could be more practical and profitable.
In the past, specialty physicians operated on their own, in their own boutique offices, solely focusing on areas of their own expertise. Patients would hop from one office to another depending on their referrals and their physical needs. But over time a shift began to take place and gradually, the idea of these boutique offices became less popular.
Here are six points to consider when thinking about solo vs. multidisciplinary:
1. Reconsidering Demographic Needs
At our organization we started to see that many patients were not considering a specialist that required an out-of-pocket expense and instead finding specialists that were within their insurance coverage. We were losing patients because we were out of their network and we quickly realized we had to find a way to better respond to the needs of the demographics in our surrounding communities.
2. Broadening Insurance Plan Acceptances
By shifting our model to an integrated multidisciplinary approach, we were able to negotiate contracts with payers as well as apply to insurance plans that were previously closed to our individual practitioners, ultimately making our model a more profitable one and allowing our perspective patients to find us in their network of coverage. Our reached increased and our patients’ needs were better met.
3. Understanding and Retaining Patients
Appealing to a broader demographic meant we could gain a more diverse range of patients. Many of our patients worked in fields of service, ranging from FedEx to NYPD to State Correction Officers. We began identifying these patients as our best when it came to retention and reimbursement. Over time we realized that these patients had a need for an integrated multidisciplinary approach and services. This became one of the inspirations that facilitated our office’s shift to an integrated multidisciplinary approach. Furthermore, it allowed us to provide the most services to our most loyal patients without needing outside referrals.
4. Expanding Outside Referral Sources
After breaking out of our boutique office setup and offering a larger variety of group services, we became increasingly attractive to outside referral sources. This included attorneys, medical practitioners and employers of manual laborer’s. Our reach had expanded exponentially and gave us a more competitive edge.
5. Staffing in a Cost Effective Way
By joining teams with other specialists, we were able to cut some costs for our physicians and absorbed expenditure overhead such as front desk costs, back office expenses and general employee benefit packages. Additionally, we’ve cross-trained staff to perform multiple duties when the office is busier with more patients. Subsequently when the office is slower those same employees are able to carry out tasks such as verifying insurance and following up with appointment reminder phone calls. Another way we’ve lowered staffing expenses is by optimizing our EMR software by automating some of our processes, such as initiating text features for appointment confirmation and onboarding patients online. Efforts like these ones help us to be more efficient and cost conscious on a daily basis.
6. Doing it All Over Again
Once our new office template was defined it became easier to replicate. Now that we have a blueprint for our EHR system, phone and computer vendors and systems, internal protocols/processes, physicians hired, we’ve been able to successfully and seamlessly open other offices utilizing these processes. The formula and the steps we’ve taken in the points mentioned above have been the guide to making this journey a positive one. We look forward to continuing to grow our offices and teams with an integrated multidisciplinary approach and can’t wait to see what the future holds for us all.
RUSSELL GREENSEID, DC, is chief of staff at Metro Healthcare Partners in Brooklyn, NY. He is a trusted advocate and respected voice in the chiropractic field with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY. He resides in Short Hills, NJ, with his wife and two sons. Visit metrohealthnyc.com for more information about Greenseid and his multidisciplinary team of professionals.