Dr. Nicole Nguyen created Carmel Obstetrics and Gynecology to care for women through all stages of life (adolescence, pregnancy and adulthood) and to provide personalized and compassionate care for women.
We recently asked Dr. Nguyen about her practice management experience and the challenges she’s observing with billing and EHR. Here’s what she shared:
How has medical practice management evolved since you started your career?
There have been major changes in insurance, hospital regulations and healthcare charting (EMR).
What are the major challenges of managing medical practices today?
The main challenges are getting reimbursed for our services by insurance companies that will do anything possible to try not to reimburse us or poorly reimburse us.
What are you doing now to prepare for the future of healthcare?
I have already converted to EMR and otherwise am constantly trying to improve my contracts with the insurance companies.
What healthcare trends interest you most today?
I’m interested in robotic surgery.
What have you found are the biggest benefits of the transition to EHR?
Ease of ordering labs and getting lab results by EMR, also when computers are working well, it is easy to access all the patient information, and filing is not a problem.
What would you love to change about EHR? What improvements would you like to see made?
I would like to have the ability to link all EHRs.
How has EHR impacted practice management?
It makes it easier in some ways, but it is expensive to purchase and to maintain all the computers.
What has been the reception of your patients to patient portals?
My patients are interested in portals.
What have you found are the most effective ways to get patients to use portals?
To give them the information they need to access it and explain what the portal contains for them.
What are some of the challenges you are facing with billing today?
Everything about billing is a challenge. The coding is ridiculous and has become even more obscure with some of the ICD-10 codes. Getting reimbursed by insurance is the big challenge.
What types of tools have you found to be the most useful when managing billing?
Having a good biller who will harass the insurance companies to pay.
In a perfect world, what features would your medical billing software include?
Better wording to find the correct codes. Putting codes in English.
How do you manage your relationship with insurance companies?
I don’t interact with them unless they do something so poorly that I have to intervene.
Where do you have the biggest struggles with reimbursement?
Getting paid by government programs including Medicare, MediCal and Tricare.
What have you found improves your practice’s ability to be reimbursed?
Having a good biller to help with tracking down the insurance companies and try to get the reimbursement we deserve.
What would you love to change about working with insurance companies?
Have them give the same reimbursement for the same activities to all doctors not just better reimbursement to the larger groups.
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Last Updated on February 26, 2017