If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. The Practice of Management
The Practice of Management
Many time intensive administrative tasks can be streamlined and simplified using features built into practice management packages—everything from insurance billing to managing appointments. Unfortunately, many practices don’t use all the features their system offers. Physicians and office managers may not know about their system’s more sophisticated capabilities, or they might lack the training to maximize the software’s potential.
The first question to ask is whether or not your office software has these features:
- Electronic remittance/batch posting
- Recurring credit card payments
- Patient registration using a patient portal
- Appointment search vs. scroll
- Strong Revenue Management features with detailed reporting in all areas
If it doesn’t, it might be time to find one that does, according to AMA and MGMA. Practice Management options may be stand-alone software or modules of EHRs.
Money Left On The Table?
Effective practice management solutions can improve patient follow-up and boost patient satisfaction scores. Increasingly, CMS is rewarding medical practices for higher scores on patient satisfaction surveys and positive performance on the quality of the care provided. Many physician groups are or will be affected financially by this sea-level change, either because they are part-owners in a hospital or because they participate in risk-sharing financial partnerships with hospitals.
With money at stake, providers should opt for practice management software that facilitates electronic communication with patients and effective follow-up. Reaching out to patients goes beyond asking how they’re doing. In some cases, it means gearing up for patient collections, especially with increasingly high co-pays and deductibles.
Most physician-owned practices adopted EHR to avoid government penalties and installed practice management program to run their business. But EHR and PM systems can work together when implemented correctly; enabling patient registrations become patient health records, for example. Similarly, diagnoses entered in the EHR can translate into properly coded insurance claims for faster payment.
Physician groups in the market for a new practice management platform may initially start out thinking about EHR, given the regulatory push of Meaningful Use and other payment incentive changes in the market like MACRA and MIPS; but as the experts at Information Week say, the strength of the underlying PM system often makes or breaks the enterprise.