There have been numerous articles written about this topic, and you may ask “why should I read this one?” The short answer is, you may pick up a new tip or two.
Before trying to increase the bottom line, you first need to know the financial health of your medical practice. Perhaps consider contacting Concordis Practice Management LLC to schedule a complimentary one-hour consultation to discuss how our team of experts can assess your practice by performing an operational assessment or revenue cycle review. These assessments will provide a road map to improve operational efficiencies, evaluate costs and have a positive impact on your profitability.
Ensuring your appointment schedule meets the provider’s availability is important to maintaining a steady revenue stream. While it may seem counter-intuitive, your profits will be higher by retaining your current patients opposed to adding new patients. With that stated, new patients are still very important to the longevity of the medical practice. The costs could be six times more for the new patient examination versus the steady stream of established patients who keep coming back to your practice because of the patient experience they feel each visit. What systems do you have in place to ensure patients receive preventive examinations, follow up after the physician has ordered laboratory or imaging studies or make calls regarding a missed appointment?
Hand-in-hand with the appointment schedule is the efficient use of physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to provide same-day appointments for those patients with acute problems. The patients who can be worked into the schedule will be additional revenue for the practice.
Speaking of missed appointments, have you considered using virtual appointments to fill these gaps in the physician’s schedule? The medical assistants should be able to assist you with patients who have called the office with questions regarding an acute or chronic medical issue. The virtual appointments are billable visits if performed correctly. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services describes code G2012 as “a brief communication technology-based service when the patient checks in with the practitioner via telephone or other telecommunications device to decide whether an office visit or other service is needed.” Requirements include:
- Limited to established patients
- Can’t be related to an office visit in the previous seven days
- Can’t result in being seen for a next available office appointment or within 24 hours, and
- Must have five to 10 minutes of medical discussion
There is a downside to using the G2012, which is the $2.50 copayment for the Medicare beneficiary.
We all understand that expenses are increasing, while reimbursement remains flat or gradually decreasing. The medical practice manager can review every vendor contract in the practice, and the reality is that any attempt to negotiate lower prices is time consuming with minimal results. While it’s not impossible, it is difficult to negotiate higher reimbursement from the commercial payers. Perhaps the focus to increase revenue would be to add ancillary services or “cash” services to your practice?
Finally, the medical practice must work to decrease “no-show” and canceled appointments, which could cost the practice thousands of dollars each year. Establish policies for your staff to follow when a patient misses an appointment. In addition to lost revenue, a missed important appointment to review test results could result in a bad outcome for the patient.
Concordis Practice Management LLC is ready to assist your medical practice become more efficient. Call us at 210-704-1014 today to schedule a consult or visit our website at concordispm.com.